A CUSTOMER has been left feeling horrified after discovering a rude mug for sale in an "upmarket" homeware shop.

Kate Rycroft has branded a Keith Brymer Jones mug sold in Dinghams in Salisbury,  "offensive and degrading to women" after visiting on Friday, November 17.

A selection of porcelain mugs with expletives printed in small, lowercase text was found on the shelves and online web store of the longstanding family-run business.

While Mrs Rycroft, 69, admitted liking the "beautiful" mug itself, she thought the use of the "C word" was too far.

"It's just not funny. I don't think I like ****head but I think this is quite degrading to women. I was horrified," she added.

Stroud News and Journal: Kate Rycroft was not impressed with the mugs.Kate Rycroft was not impressed with the mugs. (Image: Newsquest)

Shocked, Mrs Rycroft took a photograph of the mugs to show her friends who shared the same reaction and thought she was joking.

"I had to get my glasses out and take a second look," she said.

Co-owner Nicola Hardingham ordered a new batch of eight 'massive ***t' mugs after several customers pleaded for more as the first lot sold out quickly.

'Putting power back to women'

When asked what she thought of the mugs, Miss Hardingham said: "It's just a matter of opinion. Some people don't like it but other people love it.

"It's about reclaiming a word. Why should that one be the most offensive?"

Stroud News and Journal: Miss Hardingham said the mugs have proved popular.Miss Hardingham said the mugs have proved popular. (Image: Newsquest)

Miss Hardingham, who is part of the third generation of independent family ownership at Dinghams, explained how she thought the word is "much like Marmite" and saw the mug as a way of "putting power back to women and losing the stigma".

"It had upset some people but we didn't realise that we'd sold out. I had to quickly order more at the beginning of the week," she said.

The controversial mugs were first stocked for Christmas three years ago, according to Miss Hardingham.

Stroud News and Journal: Dinghams sold the mugs in previous years.Dinghams sold the mugs in previous years. (Image: Newsquest)

Robin Wright, another Dinghams customer, was also taken aback after seeing the mugs and said the display "does no favours to Salisbury's reputation".

"The mugs are displayed at easy eye level for children to see and it is far from appropriate in what I think is a well-regarded Salisbury shop," he added.