Painted pub Hawkenbury Inn a picture of real Christmas cheer
Pub staff and mural
artists outside the Hawkenbury Inn
by Anna White
A couple have gone above and beyond the call of duty to spread
Christmas cheer to everyone who passes their pub.
Lesley and Russell Sparkes run the Hawkenbury Inn, a cosy
But they like to offer something unique and hard to miss.
The building, which sits in Hawkenbury Road, between Headcorn
and Staplehurst, has been transformed with a winter wonderland
Its exterior has been painted with a snowy scene, including
a twinkling midnight sky, reindeers and snowmen. Father Christmas
can be seen climbing up the wall.
This is the fourth year the landlord and landlady have
commissioned the eye-catching scenery. In previous years, the three
wise men on camels have pulled in the punters.
Mrs Sparkes said: "We have seven grandchildren so we know how
exciting this time of year is for youngsters and we just wanted to
do something fun at the pub. It's not just the kids who love it –
we get people ringing up asking when it will be finished so they
can plan and book their Christmas parties.
"My husband wanted to paint a huge England flag on the front
when the World Cup was on, but I had to put my foot down on that
The annual work of art is created by Dean Tweedy of Marvellous
Murals, in Sittingbourne.
They get together every October to decide the Christmas theme.
He starts the challenge in mid-November aiming to have everything
ready for the start of December.
Mrs Sparkes said Mr Tweedy hits his target date every year and
manages to beat his previous records by a day every time.
She said: "He's got to know the pub. I'm always amazed at how
quickly he gets it all done but it always looks brilliant."
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