Owners of Blackie Boy pub in Newcastle will change its name over fears it could cause offence despite being named after blacksmiths that used to work on site
- Blackie Boy in Newcastle was named after blacksmiths that used to work on site
- But owners want to change it over fears it could cause offence if misconstrued
- The 18th century pub will be called Swarley’s after a former famous proprietor
- Owners say reference will be made to pub’s history and the name inside venue
One of the oldest pubs in Newcastle city centre is set to be renamed because owners fear its original name could cause offence.
The Blackie Boy, in Newcastle’s Groat Market, dates back to the 18th century and has been a popular spot for locals and tourists in the city centre for decades.
But although it was named after the blacksmiths that used to work on the site, owners of the Blackie Boy said it will be renamed as it may be ‘misconstrued’.
Vaulkhard Group are set to pump new life into the venue, as part of multimillion-pound plans to rejuvenate the rest of the area.
Part of those plans will see The Blackie Boy name taken down, to be replaced with a new name also taken from the building’s past.
Owners Ollie and Harry Vaulkhard said they have delved into the history books and will be renaming the pub Swarley’s.
Owners of the Blackie Boy pub in Newcastle (pictured) are set to change its name over fears its current title could cause offence despite it being named after blacksmiths who worked on site
The name pays tribute to Richard Swarley, one of the former proprietors who famously ran a Newcastle debating club on the premises in the 18th century, attended by another notable Newcastle dignitary, the engraver Thomas Bewick.
Ollie Vaulkhard said: ‘We are delighted to be investing in the building and bringing the pub back to life.
‘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.
‘The time is now right to reopen the doors of the Blackie Boy in its new incarnation as Swarley’s.
‘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.
The Blackie Boy pub, pictured circa 1988, has long been a popular spot for locals and tourists
‘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.’
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.
The Vaulkhard Group will restore the façade of the building to accentuate its art-deco features and renovate the interior to recreate a traditional Victoriana-style pub.
The external restoration work will commence at the end of May and is expected to last until late July.
The Blackie Boy is the eighth building to receive grant funding as part of the overall scheme, which is backed by the National Lottery
Heritage Fund (NLHF), following on from restorations at Pumphreys, Meat:Stack; the Victorian men’s toilet building which is now WC Newcastle wine bar; Koh-I Noor; CosyJoes, Kafeneon and Balmbra’s.