A few months ago, owner of the Red Lion, Ritchie Grierson, received a message from a couple in Australia - Veronica and Stewart Nicholl - saying that they believed a distant relative of theirs had once owned The Red Lion. They explained that they were planning their first ever trip to Scotland and asked if they could call in. They emailed a copy of a certificate which had been given to their relative and they shared this story...
In the second half of the 1800s, a man named John Newton ran the Red Lion. In 1889, on the 25th anniversary of his tenure, he was presented with a certificate. John emigrated to Australia and it would appear that he took the certificate with him.
Veronica and Stewart inherited the certificate and a photograph that they believe to be of John Newton.
In readiness for their visit, Ritchie checked the title deeds and found on the list of owners a notary instrument dated December 1893 mentioning the 'Trustees of the deceased John Newton'. It was there in black and white: he had indeed once owned the pub!
On Monday 17th September 2018, the certificate made a return visit to the pub: Veronica and Stu had brought it with them on their trip.
If you have any family connection to John Newton, please let Ritchie know and he can put you in touch with Veronica and Stewart.