Pub forced to change its name after 350 years after being deemed too offensive

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By stefan armitage

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A 350-year-old pub in Scotland has been forced to change its name after its owners deemed it "possibly racist".

As reported by Metro, the popular pub has been serving the locals in Linlithgow in West Lothian, Scotland, since the 17th century.

According to the West Lothian History and Amenity Society, the name of the establishment - The Black Bitch Tavern - comes from "one of the ancient coats of arms of Linlithgow burgh" and has also been the name of a legendary black greyhound.

However, Greene King - the company that owns the pub - announced earlier this year that it would be changing the name of the tavern following a public consultation and deeming the current name to be too offensive. The new name will be The Willow Tree and is set to come into effect in November.

However, the name change has left many locals furious, with the West Lothian History and Amenity Society stating that the name change is the result of an "imperfect understanding of the significance of the name, as well as some faulty reasoning".

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Credit: Angus McComiskey / Alamy

Additionally, local politician Alex Salmond stated last year: "Whoever [Greene King] consulted on this silliness certainly wasn’t local where the name Black Bitch is borne with pride as showing awareness and respect for Lithgae’s rich history."

Locals even launched a Change.org petition calling for Greene King not to rename the pub.

"This is part of the Linlithgow History and one of the oldest pubs in Scotland," the petition description reads. Prior to the petition closing, it had received 11,380 signatures from supporters - which is rather incredible considering the town only has a population of around 16,000.

Many signees even took to the page's comments to share their thoughts on the pub's name.

"A classic case of pointless virtue signaling trying to create an issue where none exists. Speaks volumes about the absurdity and intelligence of those behind this utter stupidity. Keep the name," one person wrote.

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Credit: Angus McComiskey / Alamy

A second added: "It's the history of the town. Ignorance should not be supported."

And a third wrote: "Political correctness is out of control. Unopposed, it grows increasing in lunacy."

In an attempt to keep the local council away from any influence over the proposed name change, Metro reports that Greene King sought support from the government.

An appeal on behalf of Greene King stated: "It was made clear to the council’s Development Management committee both within the officer report and verbally at committee that it is not for the council to control the name of the premises and that there are no planning grounds for either advertisement consent or listed building consent being refused on this basis.

"It was also made clear that Historic Environment Scotland had been consulted and have raised no objection."

This is not the first time Greene King has changed the established name of one of its pubs, having already renamed The Black's Head in Derbyshire and The Black Boy in Suffolk.

Featured image credit: Angus McComiskey / Alamy

Pub forced to change its name after 350 years after being deemed too offensive

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

A 350-year-old pub in Scotland has been forced to change its name after its owners deemed it "possibly racist".

As reported by Metro, the popular pub has been serving the locals in Linlithgow in West Lothian, Scotland, since the 17th century.

According to the West Lothian History and Amenity Society, the name of the establishment - The Black Bitch Tavern - comes from "one of the ancient coats of arms of Linlithgow burgh" and has also been the name of a legendary black greyhound.

However, Greene King - the company that owns the pub - announced earlier this year that it would be changing the name of the tavern following a public consultation and deeming the current name to be too offensive. The new name will be The Willow Tree and is set to come into effect in November.

However, the name change has left many locals furious, with the West Lothian History and Amenity Society stating that the name change is the result of an "imperfect understanding of the significance of the name, as well as some faulty reasoning".

size-large wp-image-1263167232
Credit: Angus McComiskey / Alamy

Additionally, local politician Alex Salmond stated last year: "Whoever [Greene King] consulted on this silliness certainly wasn’t local where the name Black Bitch is borne with pride as showing awareness and respect for Lithgae’s rich history."

Locals even launched a Change.org petition calling for Greene King not to rename the pub.

"This is part of the Linlithgow History and one of the oldest pubs in Scotland," the petition description reads. Prior to the petition closing, it had received 11,380 signatures from supporters - which is rather incredible considering the town only has a population of around 16,000.

Many signees even took to the page's comments to share their thoughts on the pub's name.

"A classic case of pointless virtue signaling trying to create an issue where none exists. Speaks volumes about the absurdity and intelligence of those behind this utter stupidity. Keep the name," one person wrote.

size-large wp-image-1263167234
Credit: Angus McComiskey / Alamy

A second added: "It's the history of the town. Ignorance should not be supported."

And a third wrote: "Political correctness is out of control. Unopposed, it grows increasing in lunacy."

In an attempt to keep the local council away from any influence over the proposed name change, Metro reports that Greene King sought support from the government.

An appeal on behalf of Greene King stated: "It was made clear to the council’s Development Management committee both within the officer report and verbally at committee that it is not for the council to control the name of the premises and that there are no planning grounds for either advertisement consent or listed building consent being refused on this basis.

"It was also made clear that Historic Environment Scotland had been consulted and have raised no objection."

This is not the first time Greene King has changed the established name of one of its pubs, having already renamed The Black's Head in Derbyshire and The Black Boy in Suffolk.

Featured image credit: Angus McComiskey / Alamy