Pub Planning To Change ‘Racist’ Name Despite Backlash From Locals

A Scottish Pub, owned by Greene King, is planning to change its ‘racist’ name despite backlash from locals.
Credit: Google Maps & Alamy

A Scottish Pub is planning to change its ‘racist’ name despite backlash from locals.

Greene King, the owner of the 350-year-old pub, has announced that the property in Linlithgow, West Lothian, which is called The Black B**** Tavern, will be renamed as it is deemed offensive.

The boozer will now be called The Willow Tree. 

Initially, the West Lothian council deferred the decision to rename, forcing Greene King to take the case to the government.

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Despite there being no grounds to refuse plans to change the name of the pub, locals have still put together a petition in an attempt to stop it from going ahead.

Linlithgow only has 13,000 residents, yet the petition garnered 11,380 signatures. 

The petition website states why they are opposing the name change, as it explains: “This is part of the Linlithgow History and one of the oldest pubs in Scotland! B**** is a reference to the black greyhound dog which is part of our local history!”

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The name of the pub originates from a local legend about a black dog, which is featured on the town’s crest and inspired a statue that can be found in the town’s centre.

According to the legend, this dog would always bring food to its owner when they were starving.

Government reporter Elspeth Cook said via the Scottish Daily News: “I have carefully considered the submissions from members of the public and local community groups regarding the story of the Black B**** (depicted as a species of hound) and its importance to the history and identity of Linlithgow.

“While the story is undoubtedly of historic and cultural importance to Linlithgow it is evident that the listed buildings were erected after the event took place.”

The Black Bitch Tavern
The Scotland pub will be having its name changed after it was branded offensive, despite locals arguing against it. Credit: Google Maps

However, the West Lothian History and Amenity Society has responded, as it has said in the Scottish Daily News: “The term ‘Black B****’ has been associated with the town for over 700 years, natives of Linlithgow are proud to be known as ‘Black B*****’; it is a term of affection with no negative connotations.

“The term describes a female canine, rightly called a b**** which is black in colour – nothing offensive, no misogyny involved.

“Greene King has jumped to the wrong conclusions and read something into the name which does not exist.”

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In the same article, Linlithgow Civic Trust has also added its own opinion on the story, saying that the Black B**** is not racist nor offensive.

The trust explained: “According to their managing director, Greene King is on a journey to become a truly anti-racist organisation and has already changed the names of a few of their public houses in England on the grounds that the names have racist connotations.

“However, there is nothing racist about the name The Black B****. It accurately describes a female canine with a black coat.

“We note that Greene appear to have no plans to change the names of their public houses called The Black Horse or The Black Bull.”

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