Greene King pub signs plan rethink after protests

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Media captionGreene King replaced the Dog & Partridge pictorial sign and then changed it back again

A brewing giant is rethinking its plans to replace traditional pub signs with modern ones without pictures.

Suffolk-based Greene King has been accused of "cultural vandalism" by conservation groups.

It has agreed to change the Dog & Partridge sign in Bury St Edmunds back to the old one.

The firm said it would consider which of its other 85 Flame Grill pubs should keep their pictorial signs before rolling out the rest of its programme.

Some of Greene King's hanging signs have been replaced by ground-level hoardings in front of the pub, such as at the Spread Eagle in Bury St Edmunds.

Image caption The new sign in the Spread Eagle's car park has replaced its hanging picture of an eagle

Like a 'filling station'

Alan Jary, chairman of the Bury Society conservation group, said: "The Dog & Partridge is in a conservation area and the new signage was cultural vandalism.

"Traditional pub signs are works of art and an important aspect of the English urban landscape.

"The Spread Eagle sign is reminiscent of a filling station or supermarket sign, so we're hoping Greene King will think again with these."

Richard Lewis, managing director of Greene King's local pubs division, said: "The change to the new Flame Grill branding has generally been very well received by our customers.

"However, we do accept that the changes may not be right in all 85 of our Flame Grill pubs and as a result we are looking again at the pictorial signs at some of the more historic pubs.

"We are passionate about our pubs and it is heartening that the local community appears to be just as passionate."

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