Hartlepool dad transforms shed in ‘monkey hanger’-themed pub in honour of town heritage
This man truly went above and beyond to honour his home town’s heritage.
Lockdown has spurred plenty of redecorating projects and Andy Cotson 31, has raised the bar higher.
Inspired by the infamous legend of Poolies hanging a monkey during the Napoleonic Wars, because they allegedly suspected the animal was a French spy, Andy transformed his shed into a monkey-hanger themed garden bar.
There is a hanging monkey in the corner greeting guests, as well as a glass window with a monkey and the words “The Monkey Hanger Est. 2021” near the entrance.
Andy is a cable jointer and says his job has taken him all over the UK with people from every corner of the country immediately thinking of the legend when he tells them he’s from Hartlepool.
Andy, from the Foggy Furze area of town, said: "I work away a lot and every time I see somebody from a different town or city, they’re like ‘Oh, you’re a monkey-hanger.’
"Everyone seems to know.”
However, the space wasn’t always meant to be the unique bar it is now.
Andy said: "At first, it was just going to be a shed, just for junk and the kids’ bikes.
"But then during lockdown everyone was doing back garden pubs, so I got the idea."
Initially, Andy wanted the name of the pub to incorporate the names of his children but couldn’t think of an appropriate phrase.
Eventually the idea to name the bar in line with Hartlepool’s heritage came to mind.
Andy, who declined to have his picture taken, said: “Obviously with me working away and everyone always calls me a monkey hanger when I say I’m from Hartlepool.
"It’s just amazing how many people know.
"I was just sat there one day and it just came into my head. I thought ‘Yeah, that’s the perfect name’.”
Although the space has an actual bar counter and is complete with lights, Andy has said it’s for close friends and family only.
He said: "It’s like a cosy, sophisticated little bar.
"It’s nothing major like a nightclub or anything like that.”
Very few people have been inside so far due to Covid restrictions although feedback from those who have has been positive.
Andy added: "They loved it, they thought it was really good.”