The new names of four Greene King tenanted pubs can now be revealed, after the public voted to pick the most popular from a shortlist of options.

In January, Greene King announced it would be renaming three pubs called the Black Boy and one pub called the Blacks Head, because of the racist connotations of the names.

Community groups were consulted to help get a shortlist of options that were then put to public votes, which closed at the end of the day on Wednesday 10 February.

The new names of each pub will be as follows:

Previous pub name

Number of votes cast

Winner of the public vote

The Black Boy in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

3,540

The West Gate: The pub is built close to where the town’s old West Gate once stood and towards the rear of the pub are remnants of the old town wall that used to join up to the West Gate.

The Black Boy in Shinfield, Berkshire

913

The Shinfield Arms: A name that calls out the pub’s location at the heart of a historic village, as the team look forward to reopening the pub’s doors after restrictions are lifted so they can continue warmly welcoming people from the village and beyond.

The Black Boy in Sudbury, Suffolk

760

The Lady Elizabeth: Named after Lady Elizabeth de Burgh, who in the 14th century invested in creating the Market Hill in Sudbury, where the pub and hotel sits today. More information about her is available here thanks to the Sudbury Museum Trust.

The Blacks Head in Wirksworth, Derbyshire

1,923

The Quarryman: With limestone quarrying and lead mining playing such a key role in the history and development of Wirksworth, calling the pub The Quarryman would mark this important piece of history for the area.

Commenting on the new names, Greene King Pub Partners managing director Wayne Shurvinton said: “We’d like to thank the more than 7,000 people who have taken part in these votes and who contributed to our community consultations to help find new names for these four pubs.

“Despite the obscure origins of the pubs’ previous names, from the research we carried out it was clear that there was a perception today that the old names were linked with racism, which is why we knew we had to take this step if we wanted to continue on our journey to become a truly anti-racist organisation.

“Once we took the decision to change the names, we wanted to involve local people in choosing new and inclusive names for these pubs, so they remain at the heart of their communities. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who voted and helped us choose new names that continue to reflect the history and heritage of each pub but also ensure that they are places where everyone can feel welcome.”

While the new names have now been confirmed, it is still likely to take a few months to change the signs at each pub, because of the timescales required to get the necessary planning permissions to carry out work on the buildings.

The renaming of these four pubs is part of Greene King’s inclusion and diversity strategy to champion equality and diversity within the company and further support people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

In 2020, Greene King pledged to significantly invest in initiatives to support more young people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to begin a career in hospitality. As a result of this, last August, Greene King strengthened its partnership with the Prince’s Trust with a new five-year agreement, increasing funding by a third and pledging to create 1,000 opportunities for young people and an increased financial commitment to the charity linked to the diversity aims.

An employee-led group called Unity has also been created that represents Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and is formed from representatives across Greene King with the aim of creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Views from Unity were sought as part of Greene King’s consultation on how the names were perceived.

Last October also saw the launch of a year-long partnership between Greene King and the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool to raise awareness and educate about the historic transatlantic slave trade.

 

Vote results in full

The Black Boy in Bury St Edmunds (3,540 votes cast)

  1. The West Gate with 2,580 votes (73%)
  2. The Thomas Clarkson with 642 votes (18%)
  3. The Abbot with 171 votes (5%)
  4. The Saint Edmund with 147 votes (4%)

The Black Boy in Shinfield (913 votes cast)

  1. The Shinfield Arms with 470 votes (51%)
  2. The King’s Rest with 225 votes (25%)
  3. The Merry Monarch with 218 votes (24%)

The Black Boy in Sudbury (760 votes cast)

  1. The Lady Elizabeth with 324 votes (43%)
  2. The Market Inn with 297 votes (39%)
  3. The Coach & Horses with 139 votes (18%)

The Blacks Head in Wirksworth (1,923 votes cast)

  1. The Quarryman with 839 votes (44%)
  2. The Gilkin with 609 votes (32%)
  3. The Market Tavern with 475 votes (24%)