Council will not rename ‘Black Boy Meadow’ after historian addresses racism concerns
PUBLISHED: 13:46 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:46 08 July 2020
Town councillors have decided they will not be renaming a town centre road after concerns were raised about its name.
A resident of Beccles had told the town council they believed the origins of Black Boy Meadow, in the town centre, to be racist, and asked councillors to consider renaming the road.
However at a town council meeting on Tuesday, July 7, councillors decided they would be standing by the road’s name after consulting local historians.
Town clerk Claire Boyne said: “The issue with the name was to do with the potential racist element of it. It was questioned whether it was an appropriate name and the council looked into the history of it to work that out.
“The road was actually once the site of the ‘Black Boy Pub’, and the road was named after that when it was formerly a meadow.”
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The town council say a local historian told them the pub was most likely named after King Charles II, who was nicknamed the “black boy of England”, allegedly for his head of black hair.
“This was an affectionate name given to him by his mother, and apparently it was adopted by his subjects,” the town clerk explained.
“He was quite a popular king and they named a lot of pubs and inns after him. So that is how it is thought the road name came about. It’s not set in stone but the dates certainly tally up with the time.”
After a unanimous decision against renaming the road, it will continue to be called Black Boy Meadow, however it was agreed by councillors that an information board explaining the history of the name would be put up on the road.
There had been some negative reaction to the suggestion to rename the road on social media with concerns made about rewriting history.
However, one person commented: “I understand that this has made a lot of you angry. I think perhaps the point is being missed though. All they’ve done is discussed it. Discussion is important. It’s crucial that everything be up for discussion. It’s how we are able to, as a society, progress and grow.”
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