Noak Hill's The Bear could see name change after new pub company takes over
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:42 08 May 2019
A popular historic pub could see a name change after hundreds of years as a new pub company takes it over.
The Bear, Noak Hill Road, Noak Hill, has temporarily closed for refurbishment and it is said it will re-open on Tuesday, May 21.
The pub, which first opened under its name The Bear in 1715, has been taken over by pub company Marston's, and once opened, will be renamed The Deer's Rest.
It is said that the pub's owners in the 1950s met a zoo owner and acquired a bear called Rhani who was then exhibited in a cage at the rear of the beer garden.
After Rhani passed away, the new bear Honey then arrived and when the landlords retired in 1974, so did Honey who then went to Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire.
Resident Karen Collier has set up a petition calling for The Bear to keep its name and has so far more than 300 signatures.
She said: "My mum used to work at The Bear and I go there most weeks for lunch or meeting up with friends.
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"It's seen some trouble over the years but a lot of people still really like going there.
"I think the new owners think that they're going to attract new customers to the pub by changing the name but it's still the same place at the end of the day so the same people will come.
"I'm excited that it's going through a refurbishment but it doesn't need a different name.
"We've lost a lot of pubs over the years and The Bear is one of the last one's left - its name holds a historic significance which we don't want to lose."
A Marston's spokeswoman said: "We have decided to rename the former Bear to help provide a new start for the business.
"Our aim was not to discourage local history so have tried to reflect this in the new name.
"The Deer's Rest references the regular deer visits to the pub garden from local woodland and we hope with this name change and refurbishment, the pub will have a new lease of life and reinstate itself as the community local."
To sign the petition, visit here