Thousands sign petition to stop Black Bitch pub from being renamed
Over 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Black Bitch pub to retain its name after it was announced it was going to be renamed by its owners.
Greene King, who operate the pub announced plans to change its name to The Black Hound with their operations manager saying: “You wouldn't call a new business today The Black Bitch.”
A planning application has been submitted to the local council to physically change the name written on the pub, which was originally named after a local myth.
The Black Bitch pub was originally named after the local myth which told of a black greyhound who swam to an island in Linlithgow Loch to keep her stranded owner alive.
The town also has a black greyhound statue with the greyhound also featuring on the coat of arms of the town.
However, the decision to rename the pub has sparked anger amongst locals, who have since launched a petition that has drawn over 3,000 signatures in a matter of days.
The petition reads: “Stop the name of The Black Bitch Pub Linlithgow being changed as it is seemingly offensive!
"This is part of the Linlithgow History and one of the oldest pubs in Scotland!
"Bitch is a reference to the black greyhound dog which is part of our local history!
One signee wrote: “History is history and due respect should be paid to preserve it so future generations can learn and appreciate the town's story.”
Another comment left on the Change.org petition read: “Nothing racist about The Black Bitch. It’s ingrained in the history of the town.”
And it is not just a petition that locals have backed, with an online shop now offering t-shirts with the phrase “Save the Black Bitch – Linlithgow” on them.
Despite the calls to stop the renaming, Greene King operations manager for Scotland, Paul Wishart said that the company and the pub was evolving with time and language had changed, so it was appropriate to change the pub's name.
CEO Nick Mackenzie of Greene King said on the renaming of the pub: “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.
“We have spent many months reviewing and discussing this as we understand that changing this name will attract a range of views, but as part of our commitment to being an anti-racist organisation we want our pub names to be welcoming and inclusive and that means taking action when there is a need to make a positive change for the better.”
Last year the John Newland Festival in Bathgate came under fire last year due to its ties with slave and plantation owner, John Newland.