Close Menu

Pub may be forced to change its name because it’s so offensive

Plans by pub owner and brewer Greene King to change the name of a 350-year-old public house are set to be discussed by the Scottish government, as its current moniker has been deemed by some as “too offensive”.

Pub may be forced to change name
Credit: Google Maps

According to reports, Greene King announced its plans to change the name of The Black Bitch Tavern in West Lothian after consulting the public in February. The pub would become known as The Willow Tree.

The term ‘Black Bitch’ has been associated with Linlithgow, West Lothian, for more than 700 years according t0 local historical sources, as it was the name of a legendary black greyhound.

However, Greene King wants to press ahead with the name change, and is said to have requested full approval from the Scottish government on its proposals after the local council deferred planning permission.

A statement made on behalf of Greene King read:

“It was made clear to the council’s Development Management committee both within the officer report and verbally at committee that it is not for the council to control the name of the premises and that there are no planning grounds for either advertisement consent or listed building consent being refused on this basis.

“It was also made clear that Historic Environment Scotland had been consulted and have raised no objection.”

A petition against the proposed name change, which has since closed, garnered more than 11,000 signatures, quite a feat considering the town of Linlithgow boasts less than 13,000 residents.

The Linlithgow Civic Trust insisted there was “nothing racist” about the pub’s current name.

“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.”

And former leader of the SNP Alex Salmond spoke out about the proposed name change last year.

“Whoever they consulted on this silliness certainly wasn’t local where the name Black Bitch is borne with pride as showing awareness and respect for Lithgae’s rich history.” He said.

Read more: beer-drinking pony-mayor banned from local pub.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No