Home News ‘World’s gone mad’ The Blackie Boy pub renamed to avoid offending people

‘World’s gone mad’ The Blackie Boy pub renamed to avoid offending people


The pub, one of the oldest in Newcastle, will now be known as Swarley’s, after Richard Swarley, one of the former proprietors who ran a debating club on the premises in the 18th century. Ollie and Harry Vaulkhard, who own the boozer, said they decided “with a tinge of regret” to ditch the old name.

But they said The Blackie Boy “may be misconstrued and cause offence which we want to avoid.”

The move has been slammed by many though, including regulars who enjoy drinks in the city pub.

One woman wrote online: “The world’s gone mad.”

Another Facebook user shared: “What an unnecessary change. I am sick of our culture where people chose to be offended about things which have been in existence for many years. A sad reflection on our stupid society. I will always call it Blackie Boy.”

A third posted: “So what happens to The White Horse, The White Swan, The White Hart – world’s gone mad.”

Another said: “It’s political correctness gone mad by a bunch of easily offended people. The owners should have just installed a large sign explaining the origins of the name.”

And the owners even acknowledge the name derives from the blacksmiths which occupied the building historically.

But Ollie Vaulkhard previously told Chronicle Live: “My family have been custodians of the building for forty years and its fortunes mirror those of the Bigg Market. With the rebranding and makeover, we want to stay true to the pub’s history.

“It is with a tinge of regret that we are changing the name, knowing that in the current climate, the name Blackie Boy, although linked to the blacksmiths that occupied the site historically, may be misconstrued and cause offence which we want to avoid.

“We are not deleting Blackie Boy from the history books and reference will be made to its history inside the venue and in its window displays. We want to create a beautiful, traditional pub in the heart of Newcastle, one steeped in history that will contribute to the continued success of the Bigg Market.”

The new signage is already up at the bar in part of Newcastle, which has been boosted by a multi-million investment recently.

Purchased by Nigel Vaulkhard, late father of current owners Ollie and Harry, in 1981, The Blackie Boy was then taken over by Ollie in 2005.

In the 1980s, when the Vaulkhards first bought the pub, it was thriving, frequented by journalists from a nearby newsroom and financial workers.

The Vaulkhard Group is restoring the façade of the building to accentuate its art-deco features and renovating the interior to recreate a traditional Victoriana-style pub.

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