Pub called after mythical black dog throws a bone to woke crowd and renames itself

·2-min read
Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, said the decision to rename the pub was 'the right one'
Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, said the decision to rename the pub was 'the right one'

A historic Scottish pub will change its name after its owner, Greene King, said it could offend punters who considered it racist.

The Black Bitch, located in Linlithgow, West Lothian, was built in the 17th century and named after a female dog that forms part of the town’s official crest. It still stands as a statue in the town centre.

Local lore dictates that the eponymous greyhound had courageously saved her owner from starvation while they were imprisoned on Linlithgow Loch.

Greene King has now said it will rename the pub to The Black Hound because of the company’s “commitment to being an anti-racist organisation”.

The popular chain said it was concerned revellers could find the original name offensive, damaging the otherwise “welcoming and inclusive” environment.

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'Important decision'

Nick Mackenzie, the chief executive at Greene King, said: “This is an important decision to take but we feel strongly that it is the right one. 

“We are well aware of the pub's history and where the name originates, and so we are choosing a new name that still reflects the pub's history and will look to retain the coat of arms and images on the pub's sign.

“We have spent many months reviewing and discussing this as we understand that changing this name will attract a range of views, but as part of our commitment to being an anti-racist organisation we want our pub names to be welcoming and inclusive and that means taking action when there is a need to make a positive change for the better.”

A planning application is set to be submitted to West Lothian Council to formally change the name of the pub.

The move follows the company’s decision earlier this year to rename three pubs in Suffolk and Berkshire, all called the Black Boy.

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