Pub named after slave trader Edward Colston is renamed Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface in wake of Black Lives Matter protests
- The Colston Arms in Bristol is changing its title following toppling of the statue
- The pub put up a sign with the title ‘Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface’ this morning
- The pub sign makes it clear the new name is ‘clearly temporary’ and that ‘suggestions [are] welcome’.
A pub previously named after slave trader Edward Colston has been temporarily renamed – as Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface.
The Colston Arms in Bristol is one of the many places changing its title following the toppling of the statue.
The boozer put up a sign bearing the title ‘Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface’ this morning.
The joke appears to be a nod to ‘Boaty McBoatface’, which was the name chosen by the internet for a new polar research ship during a competition launched by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in 2016.
The suggestion received 124,109 votes – more than three times that of its closest contender.
However, the £200 million research vessel was not christened with the winning suggestion after a final decision by then science minister Jo Johnson.
Instead he announced that the Boaty McBoatface name would be used for one of the submersibles aboard the Sir David Attenborough – the name chosen for the research ship – instead.
The boozer put up a sign bearing the title ‘Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface’ this morning
On June 7, protesters used ropes to pull the Colston statue, which was erected in 1895, from its plinth in Bristol city centre.
The Colston statue, which had been in place since 1895, has been a subject of controversy in recent years – due to Colston’s links to the slave trade in the 17th century
The pub sign makes it clear the new name is ‘clearly temporary’ and that ‘suggestions [are] welcome’.
A chalk board underneath also bears the message: ‘We are listening. Black lives matter.’
The pub in Bristol was previously called the Colston Arms
It comes amid a debate on Britain’s imperial past sparked by Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd by US police officers.
Mr Colston’s statue which had stood in the city centre since 1895, was pulled down and hurled in the River Avon during a protest in early June.
As some 10,000 protesters gathered in the city, footage showed demonstrators heaving the monument down with ropes before cheering and dancing around it.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live earlier this month, Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees confirmed the bust will be fished out and put on display locally.
The statue will be placed alongside placards from the recent protests to help educate about the story of slavery and the fight for racial equality.
The statue had been a hotly contested subject of controversy and the most recent petition to remove it garnered more than 11,000 signatures.
Along with the tobacco trade, Colston’s wealth helped to develop Bristol in the 17th century. He used a lot of his riches, accrued from his extensive slave trading, to build schools and almshouses in his home city.
The removal of Colston’s statue sparked a campaign to take down dozens more across Britain
The Mayor also revealed that historians and local experts will be commissioned to ‘look into the city’s past’.
Mr Rees said ‘Bristol’s true history will be researched by a new commission so the city can better understand its story’.
The members of the commission who will spend time delving in Bristol’s history will be announced at a later date.
The future of the plinth the statue stood on will be decided by a democratic consultation, Bristol City Council also confirmed.
The council said it had received numerous suggestions including tributes to local icons and revolving artworks.
Since the removal of the statue, music venue Colston Hall and high-rise building Colston Tower have both removed lettering from their facades.
Edward Colston: Slave trader, philanthropist and a son of Bristol
The Edward Colston statue in Bristol was pulled down by demonstrators on Sunday
Edward Colston was born to a wealthy merchant family in Bristol, 1636.
After working as an apprentice at a livery company he began to explore the shipping industry and started up his own business.
He later joined the Royal African Company and rose up the ranks to Deputy Governor.
The Company had complete control of Britain’s slave trade, as well as its gold and Ivory business, with Africa and the forts on the coast of west Africa.
During his tenure at the Company his ships transported around 80,000 slaves from Africa to the Caribbean and America.
Around 20,000 of them, including around 3,000 or more children, died during the journeys.
During Colston’s life, slavery was being actively encouraged by King Charles II, with many European countries taking part in the trade.
Colston’s brother Thomas supplied the glass beads that were used to buy the slaves.
Colston became the Conservative MP for Bristol in 1710 but stood only for one term, due to old age and ill health.
Historian and broadcaster David Olusoga said one of the main problems the statue caused was that people did not understand why it was a source of upset for many in the city.
‘This is a city that is about 14% BAME with a statue of somebody who was not just a slave trader, he was involved in the Royal Africa Company, the company that trafficked more people into slavery than any in British history,’ he told BBC News.
‘The fact that it has not been seen as a problem for such a long time, that so many people are confused as to why the statue offends and upsets so many people, has been the problem.’
Colston donated money to causes in and around Bristol before his death in 1721 – including to the city’s churches, founded almshouses, Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School, and founding a religious school for boys.
According to Historic England, his involvement in the slave trade was the source of much of the money which he bestowed in the city.
Due to his philanthropy, Colston’s legacy has been honoured by the city he once called home, where streets, memorials and buildings bear his name.
An inscription on the statue, which was built in 1895, read: ‘Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city.’
Following Colston’s death in the 18th century, he was described as ‘the brightest example of Christian liberality that this age has produced’.
His charitable efforts helped inspire philanthropists in future generations, today the Dolphin Society provides help to vulnerable and elderly people who wish to remain independent.
The society says it is ‘seeking to emulate the charitable endeavours of Edward Colston,’ but distances itself from the ‘evils of slavery, both in the days of Colston and in the appalling levels of modern day slavery’.
A statue was erected in his honour as well as other buildings named after him, including Colston Hall.
Campaign group Countering Colston has called for an end to Bristol ‘publicly celebrating’ the controversial figure, and for the city to recognise the ‘true history of transatlantic slavery, colonialism and exploitation’.
An 11,000-strong petition said the statue of Colston had ‘no place’ in Bristol’s ‘beloved’ city centre.
In a victory for campaigners, Colston Hall – Bristol’s largest concert hall – announced in 2017 it would be re-branding, while a school formerly known as Colston’s Primary School was renamed last year.
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