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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 14:33 GMT
Row brews over 'Hitler' pub sign
Pub sign
John Masefield was made poet laureate in 1930
A Wirral pub named in honour of a former poet laureate has had complaints because some locals claim its sign looks like Adolf Hitler.

Locals have nicknamed the John Masefield, in Rock Ferry, "The Adolf" because of the sign's resemblance to the Nazi leader.

But Seanie Walsh, who manages the pub, said he would not be dictated to and refused to change the picture.

Mr Walsh said: "That is what he looked like so the sign is to stay."

We shouldn't penalise talented people simply because of how they cut their moustache
Seanie Walsh, pub manager

Masefield, who was made poet laureate in 1930, spent his Merchant Navy apprenticeship on HMS Conway, which was moored at Rock Ferry.

It was during this time he developed his writing skills and he is said to have drawn inspiration for his poetry by watching the comings and goings of the nearby River Mersey.

He worked for the Manchester Guardian during World War I and died in 1967.

Speaking about the poet's appearance Mr Walsh said: "Decades later we shouldn't penalise talented people simply because of how they cut their moustache."

John Masefield
Masefield was on the HMS Conway when it was moored at Rock Ferry

He added: "No offence was ever intended".

Local councillor Steve Niblock said: "I said to Wetherspoons, if you put John Masefield into Google you get all sorts of pictures of him and it is unfortunate that they chose one which looks like this."

A spokesman for Weatherspoons which owns the pub, said the portrait had been prepared in good faith.

He added: "This matter is being considered very seriously."

The pub manager talking about reactions

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