Chapter 10

'The Red Heart' pub stood on the corner of Castle Avenue; the Proprietor, Hugh John (Scotty) Herron. This place, with adjoining small shop, faced onto the Main Street and was in operation since the 1900's. A long yard extended from the rear of the pub to Claremont Avenue and was entered through an archway about half way along an equally long two-storey building on the Avenue side. An office inside the archway used as a reading room, was for the convenience of the public and free of any charge to anyone. The library is thought to have been personally funded and run by Willie Cusack, the Saddler. Another section of this building was used in the 1940's and '50's, as a Motor Repair Garage, by Paddy Fegan. Scotty Herron had a good steady custom during his lifetime and once had an agency for sheep's wool. His initial experience in this business was so poor. He couldn't understand why all his pleas for wool at Christmas bore no fruit. When Hugh J. retired, one of his sons, Ned, took control of the pub while another, Walter (Watty), opened a Greengrocer's in the adjoining part, about 1945. Ned Herron sold the place to Paddy Garrett, in or around 1964. Paddy ran the Red Heart till the late 1970's/early '80's, when he in turn sold to a Belfast man, Jim Ross.

Former Red Heart Pub location

The New Shop on the Corner is the spot where the "Red Heart" Pub stood.
The Archway at the extreme left is the present location of the pub which is now called the "Forest Park Inn.

Shortly after that, the pub was demolished and business moved into premises in the yard, using the archway as a front entrance. Jim Ross remained there for about three years and left Castlewellan, having sold to David Armstrong, a son of the local draper. Armstrong soon got tired of the spirit trade and, within a year or so, had got a buyer and handed over to John Smyth from the Crescent. John also got tired to this type of work and sold to John Polson, from Dundrine. Above the archway leading to the pub is now the more modern name, 'The Forest Park Inn'.

Just round the corner on the Avenue and, seemingly, part of Herron's property, stood a large two storey house, used as a surgery during the 1910/ 1930 period, by the tenant, Dr. Hillyard. From that time, until 1984, it was a private dwelling and, in that same year, was converted to a shop for the sale of wallpaper and paint. This is owned by Jennings' (no relation to the people of the same name from Bunker's Hill). To see such businesses fronting onto Castle Avenue in 1986, is a sign of changing times, as this was prohibited in earlier days by the Annesleys. The name of this shop is'The Decor Centre'. At onetime, Wallace Shaw had lived there and carried out upholstery repairs on the premises.