Chichester hotel changes name again after complaints

The new owners of a city centre hotel have changed its name for a second time following complaints.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 2:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2016, 2:38 pm
The north street venue is now called Harbour Hotels|The ship

The Ship Hotel in Chichester’s North Street was set to be rebranded the Chichester Harbour Hotel by the Harbour Hotels chain, who took it over last November.

The name change caused a backlash, with many pointing to the historical significance of the name The Ship, and saying the new name was misleading because the hotel is nowhere near Chichester Harbour.

Now it has been changed again - though city councillors are still not completely satisfied.

It had been The Ship for close to 80 years before the rebrand

Speaking at a Chichester City Council meeting last night, cllr Martyn Bell said: “Prior to noticing the change, I was going to suggest to you all to do as I did and go into the Harbour Hotel and ask them where the Ship Hotel was.

“But actually they laughed and said it’s going to be changed this afternoon.

“But we’re not all the way there. Now it has been changed to Harbour Hotels|The Ship Hotel, which is actually now on the sign.

“It’s a step in the right direction but we’re still not there.”

It had been The Ship for close to 80 years before the rebrand

Cllr Anne Scicluna said she had also visited the hotel to complain ‘in no uncertain terms’ about the name change.

Chichester Mayor, cllr Peter Budge, said: “We have all noticed that the ship Hotel has changed its name and it’s caused quite a lot of bad feeling.

“We will still call it The Ship, it doesn’t matter what it’s called it will be known as The Ship forever.

“I have been down to see the general manager and I will be writing to the directors to suggest a lunch where we can discuss the name and see how we can convince them to go back to the status quo.

“But in the meantime there has been some movement towards getting back to The Ship which is welcome.”

The building became The Ship when it was turned into a hotel in 1939 and the name was chosen to reflect the fact that it had originally been built as the home of Admiral Sir George Murray, captain of the fleet to Lord Nelson.

It had remained The Ship for nearly 80 years until Harbour Hotels announced the rebranding last month.

People have also expressed anger that the restaurant, formerly called Murrays, was set to be renamed the Jetty.

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