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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 14:34 GMT
Historic pub to keep name
Balmbra's pub
Protesters were angry at the proposed name change
One of Newcastle's most famous pubs, which was set for a change in identity, is to keep its name.

Balmbra's, immortalised in the Geordie anthem "The Blaydon Races" was to change its name to "Reflex" as part of its conversion to a 1980s theme bar.

The decision provoked such strong opposition that 10 MPs raised the issue in the House of Parliament.

But brewers Mitchells and Butlers have now decided to name the pub, in the Cloth Market, "Balmbra's Reflex".

A Commons motion tabled by Tyne Bridge MP David Clelland and signed by nine other MPs said the House was "shocked to learn of the proposal by Mitchells and Butlers".

Tyneside folklore

The motion said the move was "in blatant disregard for the history and culture of Tyneside and is deeply resented by the people of the area".

The Balmbra's name is sung every week by thousands of Newcastle United fans, and the Blaydon Road Race starts outside the pub every year.

The Blaydon Races became part of Tyneside folklore after it was written by Geordie Ridley in the mid-19th Century.

The brewers wanted to change the pub's name to "Reflex" after the hit record by new romantic band Duran Duran and to fit in with the bar's new image.





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