Cathy Price spent four-and-a-half years completing a tour of every Red Lion pub in the country - and then another one popped up!
The Olde Original Withy Trees in Station Road, Bamber Bridge - Cathy’s local - temporarily changed it’s name to The Red Lion on Saturday, to celebrate her achievement and to mark her book launch.
As well as huge banners, the pub was decked out in Red Lion bunting, Robinson’s Brewery put on a Red Lion pump clip, and landlady Jane Burns held a Red Lion quiz and made Red Lion cocktails.
Cathy, a personal trainer, said: “It was brilliant. The pub was full all day and we never stopped.”
Her book, called The Red Lioness, charts Cathy’s experiences of all 656 Red Lion pubs and her near 100,000 mile journey, which all started on Grand National weekend in April 2011.
She had popped into a pub in the Lake District to see how her horse was doing when she saw the Red Lion sign and wondered if anyone had ever visited them all.
The part-guide, part-adventure story charts her quest and the characters behind Britain’s most commonly-named pubs, including tales of royalty, rock ’n’ roll, births, deaths, marriages and ghosts.
Cathy said: “It’s a mixture of the journey and the stories I found out, plus four-and-a-half years of my diary running alongside it.
“Historical tales are also woven into it, such as I found out that Enid Blyton used to write in the snug of one of the Red Lions.
“There’s a bit of something for everyone. At 320 pages it’s a substantial read, but I’ve condensed it so there’s not loads of boring bits. There’s also 48 pictures of all the people doing it with me.”
Since the news of her quest emerged, Cathy has featured frequently on national TV and radio, and Prime Minister David Cameron even sent a personal note of congratulations, as the Red Lion she visited was in his constituency.
Cathy said: “It came completely out of the blue. The last pub I visited was in Oxon, and the letter was there, waiting for me behind the bar.
“It said he was delighted the tour had culminated in his constituency, and he recognised the important part the pub plays in the social and economic life of the UK.
“I was amazed, that’s proper recognition.”
The Red Lioness is now available directly from Cathy at www.cathypriceredlions.co.uk or through Amazon. It is priced at £10.99.