The Half Moon at Northchapel more widely known as ‘the pub with the red tractor’ has been home to Keith Sandieson for 35 years and he celebrated the milestone behind the bar, with a three day beer festival, a hot roast and live music over the weekend.
Keith, now 70 years old took over the pub on July 16, 1982 with his wife Teresa who sadly died two years ago.
He had been manager at the Punchbowl in Hindhead and worked at The Links in Liphook before coming to Northchapel with his wife and sons Adam and Peter.
Teresa and he ran the pub together with Keith doing most of the cooking as well and the two boys helping out.
Sadly Peter died ten years ago but Adam, his wife Emma and grandchildren Isabel, Eleanor and Henry are still lending a hand.
“The pub has been good to us over the years and I am still enjoying running it,” he told the Observer, “ I shall certainly carry on for a few more years but I am finding a bit more time to take off now and hopefully eventually the family will take it over from me.”
As well as the red tractor Keith has collected a wealth of memorabilia inside the pub, mostly carpentry and farm implements given to him by customers over the years.
The pub, which is believed to have been built as a coaching inn some 500 years ago and has also doubled as a petrol station in its time, has a bizarre historical connection with English cricket.
Noah Man, who was born in Northchapel in 1756 and owned the pub, was a well known cricketer at Hambledon, the home of English cricket. He is reputed to have died in the pub in 1780 when he fell asleep in his chair and fell into the fire.
Keith and his wife added three B&B letting rooms around eight years ago to help with the income.
He lives at The Half Moon and has also been captain of bell ringers at St Michael’s Church in Northchapel for many years.
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