Army of protest over Oliver pub rename

Name row: The Old Oak Inn may be changing its name to The Cromwell
Name row: The Old Oak Inn may be changing its name to The Cromwell
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Civil war has broken out in a Chorley village.

Folk in Hoghton are furious over plans to rename their favourite pub after one of England’s most famous historical characters.

Pub company Punch Taverns are turning The Old Oak Inn, Hoghton Lane, into The Cromwell.

But objectors say the company are off their ‘roundheads’ and they are not happy at the ‘cavalier’ attitude being shown by Punch.

A petition, organised by Mick Whyte, is calling on Punch to have a rethink for two reasons.

It says: “The Old Oak has been a hub of the community for generations of Hoghton residents and is not any old business that Punch Taverns can rename on a whim, but a significant part of the lives of that community.”

And: “The proposed name, The Cromwell, is inappropriate due to the offence it may cause to some residents and regulars with regards to the atrocities and land seizures carried out by Oliver Cromwell in Ireland and the subsequent famine and suffering caused to our Irish cousins.”

An English soldier and statesman, Oliver Cromwell, who made England a republic and then ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 to 1658, divides opinion.

He lead the Parliamentarians - the roundheads - to victory over the Royalists - the cavaliers - in the English Civil War which started in 1642. He became army commander and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, crushing resistance with massacres of garrisons at Drogheda and Wexford in 1649.

A Facebook page has been created with growing support for the petition. One objector posted: “Cromwell has no significance to this area whatsoever! Oliver Cromwell is still burning in hell!!!”

A Punch Taverns spokesperson said: “The proposed name change was made to coincide with the investment at the pub. We always appreciate feedback from the local community and we are looking at the opinions raised in the petition very seriously.”