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Home Maidstone News Article
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 countryside pub.
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 picture.
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 one."
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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