Grandfather upset after local pub closes down builds his own in his back garden
Last updated at 11:56 AM on 16th June 2011
A grandfather who was distraught when his favourite local pub closed down has recreated his personal drinking refuge - in his back garden.
Former barman and welder Frank Fox thought he'd lost forever the experience of drinking at his favourite watering hole, The Whitmore in Coventry, when it was demolished two years ago.
But before it was knocked down to make way for a nursing home, Mr Fox salvaged The Whitmore's furniture and used it to build a private pub in his back garden.
Back to life: Mr Fox used furniture from the demolished Whitmore pub to create his own 20-seat back garden drinking den
The 20-seat pub - called The Snooty Fox - cost £5,000 to make after the father-of-two knocked down his shed and built it from scratch.
With a flat screen television, neon lights and authentic beer pump handles, the pub has already been host to a stag and hen do, a wedding reception and a funeral.
The furniture includes the original tables, chairs and bar stand from The Whitmore which Mr Fox was allowed to take just before it was demolished.
Although The Snooty Fox is not open to the general public, Mr Fox has 'opening' hours from 8pm on a Friday and Saturday for his closest friends and family.
Just like the real thing: Mr Fox's garden pub has real working pumps and cost £5,000 to create
He buys his beer and spirits from a local supplier and his 'punters' make a donation, with any profit going to the charity Help for Heroes.
He said: 'When The Whitmore closed down I was gutted - I had nowhere else to go. I told a few friends of mine I was going to build my own.
'I bought all the wood and managed to get the furniture out of the pub before it was demolished, like the tables, chairs and signs.
'I even had a pint in there before it came crashing down.
'It was such a bad year for me because four of my friends died in the same year - I really wanted something that would keep family and friends together.
'It's welcoming and I'm really proud of it.'
Cosy: The Snooty Fox is open to Mr Fox's friends and family, with any profits going to Help for Heroes
Former favourite: Mr Fox was devastated when the Whitmore in Coventry was demolished two years ago
Mr Fox has a photo on the wall of his best frind Bill Ryan, who died in April at the age of 74. They had been friends for more than 30 years and father-of-six Bill was the first person to have a pint in the garden pub.
Among Mr Fox's regulars is Ken Coombes, 73, who says the pub has been a lifesaver for him.
He said: 'My wife Jackie died in March after losing her battle with cancer.
'We would have celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary this September. Our birthdays are on the same day, June 21, so I plan to come to the pub that day.
'I've been able to come over, have a drink and a chat with our friends.
'It's always nice being here and I always feel really welcome. We're like one big family.'
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