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There have been traditional music sessions at Sandy Bell’s Pub since 1942. An extraordinary number of influential musicians of many styles and backgrounds have been regular players. 

The pub is a legend and an institution – known internationally but with an absolutely local culture of real traditional music.

Sandy Bell’s is a local pub, a world-famous meeting place for musicians, and an institution. Surprisingly – behind the high windows were once shelves full of groceries: the property began life as a local shop.

By the 1920s the property was owned by a Mrs Bell and although already a bar, was known as The Forrest Hill Buffet. Over time, it became known as “Sandy’s”, or “Bell’s” – and finally “Sandy Bell’s” – although this would not be seen on the sign outside for over half a century. The name “Bell’s” came from Mrs Bell and her family. Accounts differ about “Sandy”: Some say he was a barman – and perhaps he was known for enthusiastic ringing of the bell for last orders.

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