Black B**** pub gets new inclusive name as locals protest its named for dog

A major pub chain has decided to rename one of its haunts, the Black Bitch, to the more “inclusive” Black Hound, saying the move is part of its commitment to being an “anti-racist organisation”.

Greene King confirmed plans to change the name of the Linlithgow, West Lothian bar, sparking outcry amongst residents yesterday, who rallied to sign a petition to keep the name.

Those who signed are demanding that the pub keep its original name, which has long been a nickname for local townsfolk and symbolises a well-known local legend dating back to at least the 17th century, The Daily Record reports.

One resident told the publication: “I’m a Black Bitch and proud to be one.”

But a race forum for the West Lothian community, who was consulted on the matter, said the name change was “the right thing to do” for 21st century Scotland.

The Black Bitch name is associated with the town’s coat of arms, which portrays the legend of a greyhound who saved his master when he was sentenced to starve to death on an island in Linlithgow loch.

Greene King said it worked with a number of groups and organisations before making its decision and undertook independent research, which revealed many punters would no longer feel comfortable visiting the pub under its current name.

A planning application is now set to be submitted to the local council to physically change the name written on the pub sign.

But an online petition, called Stop the Black Bitch Pub Name Change, had gathered more than 800 signatures on Wednesday.

One local, Betty Scott, 74, told the Record the name change was “bureaucracy gone mad”.

She said: “I don’t see any reason to change it. I’m a Black Bitch and proud to be one.”

Lesley MacArthur, 55, said: “Its our history. Changing from a bitch to hound is sexist too.”

Simon Law added: “It’s political correctness gone mad. They don’t understand the story behind it and are obviously ignorant of local history.”

But Abel Aboh, chair of the West Lothian Community Race Forum, said the name was no longer welcomed by all.

He said: “As a local person who lives in West Lothian, I can remember how I felt the first time when I saw it and every time I go down that particular road, that feeling never changes.

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“We believe as a forum that the name of the pub should be changed in response to ensuring that it signals inclusion and diversity.

"That is what West Lothian is all about and we have seen all kinds of people from all walks of life living and working in West Lothian."

The pub title is the fifth Greene King have changed in 2021 after they decided to rename three pubs called The Black Boy and another called The Black’s Head.

CEO Nick Mackenzie 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."

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