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Pubs commit to changing names associated with racism and slavery

02 July 2020 by

Pubs with names associated with racism or the slave trade have started rebranding following weeks of Black Lives Matter protests.

The Colston Arms pub in Bristol, named after slave trader Edward Colston, has temporarily put a banner over its signage inviting suggestions for a new name, as well as a board saying: ‘We are listening. Black lives matter.'

Meanwhile, the Black Boy pub in Sevenoaks is set to be renamed the Restoration, to focus on its "potential connection with King Charles II".

Pub operator Shepherd Neame said in a statement: "After much deliberation, we have decided to seek consent from relevant authorities to change the name and provide new signage for the Black Boy in Sevenoaks. It was not a decision taken lightly, but we recognise that its current name is not potentially welcoming for all customers, and feel that it is the right thing to do."

The pub traces its history to 1616 and the name has been attributed to coal mining and chimney sweeps; John Morockoe, who worked at nearby Knole House during the reign of James I; and the nickname of King Charles II.

JD Wetherspoon said last month it was considering changing the name of its Elihu Yale pubs in Wrexham, as the 17th-century merchant and Yale University benefactor also oversaw the East India Company's slave trading activities.

And Greene King, which has 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK, also recently updated its website to reflect the history of its founder Benjamin Greene who, after founding the brewery in 1799, went on to own cane sugar plantations in the West Indies, where he was a slave owner.

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