THERE was shock 75 years ago this month when local newspapers, including The Northern Echo, reported that “The Chequers Inn, Snilesworth, a resort for refreshments for hundreds of visitors to the moors about Osmotherley will shortly no longer serve this useful purpose”.

The Chequers was a legendary pub on the drove road over the moors to the east of Osmotherley.

It had been refreshing both human drovers and cattle drovees for more than 300 years – the cattle grazed on the grass around the pub while the gullible humans were attracted in by the inn sign, which said: “Be not in haste, Step in and taste, Ale tomorrow for nothing”.

Of course, tomorrow never came – only a large bill and a throbbing hangover.

The pub was also famed for having a peat fire that had been continuously blazing for 200 years.

But landlord Walter Thompson told the Northallerton Brewster sessions that he did not wish to renew his licence and the pub would close on April 5.

It later became a tearoom and is now a luxury guesthouse, and the peat fire is believed to have been extinguished in the 1960s.