A mural, two dogs and a Half Moon painting

If you have visited The Half Moon at Plumpton you must have noticed a striking painting in the dining room.

The oil painting by Dick Leech, was completed in 1979 and features pub regulars and a few famous faces, including Jimmy Page who used to live at Plumpton Place.

Thirty-four years on, general manager and head chef Richard Willis and his partner, Mandy Lawrie, decided to re-create the iconic painting with a photograph of the pub’s current regulars.

The great day arrived for the photo-shoot and regulars gathered outside the 200-year-old pub to pose under a mural that was recently completed on an outer wall by Plumpton artist Grant Dejonge.

Grant’s eye-catching mural reflects the style of the pub’s sign and the beauty of the surrounding countryside, with Richard and Mandy drawn in silhouette, sitting at a table.

Sarah Bane from Plumpton Green was assigned to take the photograph but gloomy skies refused to budge and the attempt had to be called off.

“The great English weather was not on our side,” said Mandy, “so we are planning another photo-shoot in three weeks time.”

Richard added: “About 50 people turned up. It was pouring down on the day and if the weather had been fine I think we would have seen even more people.”

If the weather holds in three weeks’ time, the photograph will be taken and eventually framed, listing all the people who joined in.

It will be mounted on the wall next to Dick Leech’s 1979 painting, giving diners plenty to look at as they enjoy Richard’s pub grub.

Two very special guests will be included in the photograph - Shelagh and Don Winter, who were in Dick’s original painting with their dog Penny.

Sadly, Penny is no longer with us but Don and Shelagh have a new dog, Polly, and the three of them posed for a picture under Dick’s painting when they came along to the aborted photo-shoot on October 20.

If you pop into the pub, look out for Penny in the oil painting. You can just make out her black and white face in the crowd.

While you are there, stand by Grant’s mural outside the pub and, if you look closely you can spot another fluffy friend - a barn owl that Grant has seen flying near the pub.