Nottingham

Retford 'Black Boy' pub sign removed over protest fears

Black Boy sign Image copyright Louise Presley
Image caption The sign has been criticised online, with the landlady fearing the pub itself may be targeted by protesters

A landlady has taken down a pub sign over fears it may be targeted by anti-racism protesters.

Louise Presley, who runs the Black Boy pub in Retford, Nottinghamshire, said she had been made aware of people talking about targeting it online.

She said she removed it to avoid upsetting anyone or causing a disturbance in the town.

Mrs Presley said it was a "shame" but recognised it might be time to replace the sign.

"It's a sad day. It will be emotional for a lot of people in the town, they do not want it to come down," she said.

"But possibly it should be replaced with something more appropriate. We don't want to cause any upset."

Mrs Presley, who has run the pub for about nine years, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the name had "nothing to do with racism".

She believes it is named after King Charles, who was given the nickname "black boy" by his mother due to his dark complexion.

Image copyright Louise Presley
Image caption Mrs Presley says she will now have to decide what the sign should be replaced with

A spokesman for Bassetlaw District Council offered to advise on any new signage as the pub is a listed building.

Susan Shaw, a Labour councillor for the area, said a debate was needed about the name and the sign before any decision is made.

"It's part of the history and you shouldn't just be covering that up," she said.

"I feel very sorry for the landlord, they haven't had any business for months and now they are having to deal with this.

"The name doesn't sit well with me personally, however we need a debate and we need to do some proper consultation about the mood of Bassetlaw, and I think this is a really good opportunity to do that."

A statue of 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston was toppled as part of a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol on Sunday.

There have also been calls to remove the statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College in Oxford, which saw thousands of people protest outside the institution on Tuesday.

A statue of Britain's wartime leader Winston Churchill in London has been boarded up because of fears it could be vandalised in future protests.

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