Pub name U-turn after outraged locals complain

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Upset: locals objected to Barons Pub Company changing the name of the Black Boy pub.
Upset: locals objected to Barons Pub Company changing the name of the Black Boy pub.

Related tags Augmented reality

A Berkshire pub sparked outrage on its Facebook page after new owners Barons Pub Company proposed to change its name.

The Black Boy, Shinfield, will keep its name, rather than change it to the Shinfield Arms after locals took to social media to slam the proposal.

Barons Pub Company managing director Clive Price said the pubco took advice from fellow pub group Greene King to consult with the local community on any potential name change.

Price said: “We know from experience with our other pubs, just how passionate people are about their local, so it was absolutely the right thing to do to ask their opinion, so we did so via the Black Boy’s Facebook​ page.”

The locals wanted the name to remain

He added: “Our business is all about goodwill and the last thing we would ever want to do is upset the local community.

“We were happy to listen to the feedback via Facebook and email and the message we received was loud and clear: the locals wanted the name to remain, they did not want it changed to the Shinfield Arms or anything else for that matter.

“We were absolutely delighted to receive such a wealth of feedback and opinions and to receive stories and reminiscences from locals and former locals who still hold the pub very dear.

“Some interesting debate appears to surround how the pub originally got its name, with varying stories about King Charles II, Native American tobacconists, chimney sweeps, horses and even a story of a little boy being rescued from drowning.”

Honouring the history of the pub

Price said: “Whatever the origin, we now realise the pub is one with which the local community identifies strongly – so we took the decision to keep the name, in order to honour the history of this fine pub.”

The pub is currently closed for refurbishment but due to reopen​ on Wednesday 8 March.

A pub’s name can be changed at the owner’s and sometimes, the licensee’s discretion and one such example involved pub in north Wales that did just that.

Formerly the Panton Arms became Pokémon Arms​, following gaming phenomenon trend, augmented reality game Pokémon Go​.

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