Residents in the village of Hoghton in Lancashire, England, have won their fight to prevent the owners of a local pub from naming the town’s favorite watering hole after the infamous historical figure, Oliver Cromwell.
The leader of the protest, Mick Whyte, was shocked that the story made international headlines saying he was “chuffed to bits” at the victory.
Whyte, 36, organized an online petition after pub company owner Punch Taverns decided to turn ‘The Old Oak Inn’ into ‘The Cromwell’ after the controversial military leader.
"Within days the petition was signed by people in Ireland, the US, Palestine – I wasn't expecting it at all," Whyte told the Sunday Independent.
His opposition to the name, he said, centered on local affection for the pub’s name and worry that the new name might cause offense to “our Irish cousins.”
"I am aware that, especially in Ireland, Cromwell doesn't have the same reputation as he does in England.
"I've always been interested in history and anti-imperial struggles," said Whyte.
"I'm not Irish myself, my dad is from Scotland and my mam is from Manchester," he added.
His petition referenced "atrocities and land seizures carried out by Oliver Cromwell in Ireland,” who massacred garrisons at Drogheda and Wexford in 1649.
Punch Taverns issued a statement saying a decision had been made against changing the name after the owners "took note of the comments and passion expressed by the local residents.”
"It became obvious to retain the Old Oak as the pub's identity."
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore