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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 12:47 GMT
Garage warned over topless poster
Alan Jeffery and Paul Wellington
No offence: Alan Jeffery and Paul Wellington
A Plymouth garage owner is refusing to take down posters of topless girls after education officials asked him to strip them off his walls.

Alan Jeffery, who employs a trainee from Plymouth College of Further Education, got the request from the college's vice-principal Ian Clark.

Mr Clark asked that no "offensive material" should be displayed in training areas.

But Mr Jeffery has attacked the request as political correctness gone mad.

They are quite normal. After a while you do not even look at them."
Alan Jeffery

Father-of-four Mr Jeffery, 52, told BBC News Online: "I don't think they are offensive.

"World War II pilots had images of topless girls on their planes and it gave them succour and comfort.

"They were the images they wanted to take into battle.

"We have our own trials and tribulations and if it gives us comfort, I have no problem with it."

He added: "These images are synonymous with the motor trade.

"You don't see as many as you used to, but they are quite normal. After a while you do not even look at them."

'Pretty normal'

The row started after Mr Jeffery hired apprentice Paul Wellington, 22, who is studying at the college one day a week.

A new sign warns unwary visitors
The garage was visited by the education authority on a routine inspection to check it was suitable for students.

Education boss Mr Clark then wrote to Mr Jeffery saying the pictures - on a wall facing into the garage - should be removed.

He said: "Modern Apprenticeship programmes are funded by the taxpayer so there are guidelines about how these funds are used.

"We ask that no offensive material should be displayed in training areas.

"This requirement forms part of our terms and conditions and all our employers sign up to these."

Mr Wellington said: "They are pretty normal for a garage.

"I don't think they would corrupt me. That happened a long time ago."

Mr Jeffery has now put up a sign in the garage warning unwary visitors: "These premises may contain images of partially-clothed young females.

"Do not enter if this fact may cause offence."

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