Bring back Nag's Head, says Jones the Lib

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The Independent Online
Brewers must call time on the fashion for giving pubs "trendy" new names like the Rat and Parrot, beer-loving MPs have decided.

Traditional pub names like the Alma and the Nag's Head are going down faster than dominoes as the brewers cater to the latest fads of younger drinkers. In Fulham, west London, four in 10 pubs have been given a new identity in the last five years.

Nigel Jones, Liberal Democrat vice-chairman of the All Party Commons Beer Club, yesterday called on pub companies to halt the market-driven assault on a corner of British history.

"The brewers have got to understand that enough is enough," said the Cheltenham MP. "They're destroying our heritage with a rash of ridiculous names designed to appeal to teenage tipplers."

In West Hampstead, London, there have been "dozens of name changes" since 1995. Two pubs, just yards apart, are now called the Rat and Parrot and the Rat and Carrot. In Holloway Road, north London, the Nag's Head has become O'Neill's - a victim of the fake "Irishisation" of pubs across the country.

In Mr Jones's constituency the Tankard and Castle has mysteriously transmogrified into the Goat and Bicycle. The Port of Call in Kingston became the Pickled Newt - to the confusion of voters looking for the polling station which their polling card said was outside the Port of Call.

"There's more in a pub name than mere marketing appeal," said the MP. " Number 29 buses now run to a non-existent destination since the Nag's Head disappeared."