The background behind our family pub, The Chequers Inn...
The earliest recollections of the building are that of a "Customs House" that was at one time called "The Star". In 1799 it was run by George Morris who paid 6d as a quarterly rate to the parish of Godshill. Robert Downer ran the pub in 1820 paying 2s 4d as quarterly rates.
In 1889 it became the property of the Mew Langton Royal Brewery Limited who leased the pub to James Reynolds (a distant relative of Sir Joshua Reynolds, first president of the Royal Academy of Art) for the monthly rental of 15 shillings.
In the early 1890's James's eldest daughter, Mary, became licensee and she and her sister, Bella, remained in occupation for nearly 60 years. There are a host of stories to be heard about these two extraordinary ladies who many still remember.
During the 1960's and 70's the pub had somewhat of a revival with several changes of Landlord. However, in 1986 Whitbread, who had swallowed up the Mew Langton empire, took the unbelievable decision to close the pub as an unviable commercial prospect.
Permission to change the use to that of a private dwelling was refused and the property was purchased in 1988 by Sue and Richard Holmes, a local farming couple. Sue and Richard owned and ran The Chequers Inn for 28 years, and in the later years they welcome their son, Mark Holmes, to join them in the running of the successful pub.
Today, the tradition continues with their son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Laura Holmes now at the helm after undertaking a considerable refurbishment of the pub, and transformation of the style and menu on offer.