Published on June 6, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour


Calling every Sherlock Holmes

A family Down Under is appealing to Cheers readers to help them solve a mystery. Donna Gary Whyatt, from Perth, Western Australia, bought a pub sign for her husband Gary – who was born in Hebburn, South Tyneside – from a local antique shop many years ago.

“We installed it on the side of our house,” writes Donna. “It’s a great conversation piece. The light inside still works and once switched on reveals the John Smith’s logo.

“I have tried many times with online searches to find out if this came from a pub that had been demolished or even upgraded, but have had no luck at all as to where it came from originally.

“We came to the UK in May and June 2015 and visited the Surtees Arms in Ferryhill, County Durham, hoping it may have some connection but learnt over a couple of quality lagers that it wasn’t from there.

“We left with a copy of Cheers magazine with the idea of getting in touch to see if you or your readers could help. The search still goes on and we are hopeful that someone may be able to shed some light on the history of our much-loved sign.”

Well then readers, it’s up to you. Although the sign is from a Scottish & Newcastle pub, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it’s originally from a North East pub. The Surtees name comes from novelist Robert Smith Surtees (1803-64), creator of the Jorrocks novels. Surtees lived around County Durham so it’s feasible the pub sign comes from there. There are also Surtees pubs in Kent and Derby.

Please direct your detective work to

About the Author

Alastair Gilmour

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