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Greene King seeks permission for new signs to rename The Black Boy pubs in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury after racism concerns

Plans for new signs have been submitted to rename two historic Suffolk pubs after concerns the names were linked with racism.

Thousands of people voted in online polls, arranged by Greene King, to help rename The Black Boy pubs, in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury.

The Bury St Edmunds pub, in Guildhall Street, will be called The Westgate, while The Lady Elizabeth was chosen for the Sudbury pub, on Market Hill.

Planning documents to change signs at the pubs, submitted to West Suffolk and Babergh District Councils by Greene King, said race equality think tank The Runnymede Trust welcomed the move as the 'names had been a continual reminder of a history of oppression'.

The plans noted that although there was no consensus about the origins of the names, there was a perception they were linked with racism.

Greene King said it knew it had to make the change to 'to continue on their journey to become a truly anti-racist organisation'.

The Bury St Edmunds pubs giant went through a period of soul searching after it emerged that its founder Benjamin Greene profited from the slave trade and received nearly £500,000, in today's money, when he surrendered rights to three plantations in the West Indies.

The decision to change the names prompted a wide-ranging reaction with many questioning and others praising the decision.

The Bury St Edmunds pub is built close to where the town’s old West Gate once stood and the Sudbury pub is named after Lady Elizabeth de Burgh, who in the 14th century invested in creating the Market Hill.

The new sign design for The Westgate
The new sign design for The Westgate

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