Monday, January 23, 2017
UK: Brewery's plans to change historic 'Black Boy' pub name because it 'wasn't PC' is scrapped after a huge public backlash
A pub firm has dropped plans to re-name The Black Boy after locals protested the change.
Barons Pub Company took over the centuries-old inn at Shinfield, near Reading, Berkshire, this week and wanted to change the name to the more politically correct Shinfield Arms.
While the company said there had been 'negative' comments over the Black Boy name, more than 250 people on social media hit out at the name change.
The firm said on Saturday that it is backing down and the pub will remain The Black Boy.
Barons Pub Company said it had pitched the name change because continuing to call it The Black Boy was 'causing concern' in this day and age.
'We are always respectful of the history of pubs and understand that changing the name of a pub is not a decision to be taken lightly,' the company announced on January 16th when previous landlords Claire Hawkins and Mike Clegg sold their lease after eight years behind the bar.
The firm added: 'However, in our short association with the pub, we have been surprised how many negative reactions we have had to the name The Black Boy.
'We are proposing to change the name to The Shinfield Arms and would like to hear the views of anyone who lives in the area or anyone who has an opinion on this subject.
'All that we ask is that this is reasonable and well considered feedback.'
They got more than 250 comments from customers urging the pub to keep the historical name.
Yesterday they said the name would remain the same.
'What a fantastic response from everyone!' Barons Pub Company wrote. 'Thanks so much for all your comments, your passion and enthusiasm - you've made the decision really easy.'
The pub will remain closed for refurbishment until March 8, when it will reopen in the evening.
Barons said: 'The refurbishment will aim to enhance the character of the lovely old building, adding a touch of modernisation.
The Black Boy, which is a commonly used name for pubs and inns in the UK, refers to a description of King Charles II, child chimney sweeps or coal miners
King Charles II, who was in power between 1660 and 1685, was known for his dark complexion.
A Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon, north west Wales, is believed to date back to as early as 1522.
It's landlord once said that complaints about the name were 'political correctness gone wrong'.