Published: 16:07, 21 November 2019
| Updated: 18:39, 21 November 2019
A pub bucking the national trend of decline is so popular it's been given planning consent for an extension.
The married couple of 21 years worked every single day for a year with no help to build up their business.
And their impressive work ethic has now paid off.
The premises is now so cramped, they need more room.
Mr Melody, a former plumber, applied to Dover District Council for a single storey extension at the rear of the property in July.
The application was approved last week with a 10-week programme of works due to start in March 2020.
Mr Melody said: “Month on month, year on year, it just grows.
“It got to the point where customers came to the door and could see it’s too congested.
“We’re not necessarily trying to attract more customers but just accommodate our existing, give them some more breathing space.”
The style of the extension remains in keeping with the character of the 18th century Grade II listed building.
It will be one room covering part of the current patio.
Traditional brick, timber joinery and a pitched Kent Peg tiled roof will be used.
Rear access will remain through the existing double doors ensuring there is no loss of historic fabric.
Salvaged trunk from an 110-year old Ash tree which was removed from the pub garden after becoming decimated with ash dieback will be used to create table tops.
Mr Melody said: “We’ve got a lot of builders that drink here and they’ll be doing the work.
"We’d like to support them in exchange for supporting us.
"It will be business as usual while the works happen.”
The couple’s success story doesn’t match the national picture for landlords.
More than a quarter of Britain’s pubs have closed since the turn of the millennium, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.
The number of pubs has fallen from 52,500 in 2001 to 38,815, in 2017.
Deal pubs The Telegraph and The Rose called last orders for the final time, in recent years. Other venues in the town have experienced vacant spells.
Keeping prices low at £3 a pint and banning swearing are among Mr and Mrs Melody’s policies which they believe keep the punters coming back for more.
Mr Melody said: “Naturally the culture has changed. We’re owner occupied which I think helps but we worked everyday for the first year and still work hard now even though we have four barmaids.
"I think what people like about it is that’s it’s a traditional pub. We don’t sell food but allow people to bring it in. Those barred, are barred for life.”
They also run ten darts team and two pool teams which boost weekday evenings, and encourage family events like christening and wakes.
Mr Melody said: “And nothing’s going to change because of the extension, there will just be a little bit of extra space.”
More by this authorEleanor Perkins