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9 Kent pubs full of weird stuff

ByRebecca Tuffin

Ever walked into a pub and spotted an obscure item propped on a window ledge or nailed to the ceiling and wondered, what on earth is that?

Well, we have too. So we went on a mission to find the weirdest and most interesting items hidden in taverns across the county, and how they got there.

Below is a list of nine pubs full of unique collections for all to marvel.

Four Fathoms

Herne Bay

Joe Mullane holds a ball of whale vomit at the Four Fathoms, which was found in Italy
Joe Mullane holds a ball of whale vomit at the Four Fathoms, which was found in Italy

A ball of whale vomit, glass eyeballs and tap shoes are just some of the hilariously bizarre items in Four Fathoms' cabinet of curiosities.

Since taking over last year, Joe and Jane Mullane have built up an eclectic collection of oddities.

A 20ft-long wire display cabinet sits in the middle of the pub and the contents of each compartment has its own story.

Four Fathoms' Jane Mullane holds some crisp origami made by customers
Four Fathoms' Jane Mullane holds some crisp origami made by customers
The Four Fathoms display cabinet is full of obscure items
The Four Fathoms display cabinet is full of obscure items

Mr Mullane said: "It's a real hotch potch. We have collected crisp packet origami, free reading glasses people can use and a ball of whale vomit I found in Italy.

"We've also got tap shoes in case we get a dancer in, a graveyard of all the different beers we've had, and free lollies and mints.

He added: "Our philosophy is life needs to be fun. The stuff we've got is completely random and pointless but it amuses us and other people too."

Fez

Margate

Fez in Margate High Street is crammed full of curiosities
Fez in Margate High Street is crammed full of curiosities

A salon hair dryer, fairground waltzer cart, barber chair, vintage till and drug store sign all the way from America, are just a handful of items in Margate's very own Aladdin's cave.

And of course, as the name indicates, you will spot the odd fez here or there.

When Phil Evans took over in 2015, his love of all things oozing in character came with him.

You can perch on an old barber chair while sipping your cider
You can perch on an old barber chair while sipping your cider
An American drug store sign hangs from the ceiling
An American drug store sign hangs from the ceiling

Phil said: "My home looks a lot like the pub - I am very particular about what goes in."

With no set theme, it is simple as if something catches Phil's eye, he will put it in the pub.

The former University for the Creative Arts teacher added: "I have stuff from the Victorian era right up to the 1970s. But this doesn't mean I won't put something in because it's modern- just as long as it has a good design."

Mr Evans also hosts a ukulele sing along group every Tuesday.

Fenn Bell Inn

St Mary Hoo, Allhallows, Rochester

The Fenn Bell Inn has a zoo in the back yard, home to lemurs, parrots and the like
The Fenn Bell Inn has a zoo in the back yard, home to lemurs, parrots and the like

It's not every day you can have a pint and traditional fish and chips and then ride a safari truck and see all manner of exotic creatures all on the same site.

Parrots, pigs, racoon dogs, caracals, servals, birds of prey, lemurs, meerkats and several breeds of monkeys are homed at this unique St Mary's Hoo free house.

Fenn Bell Inn has held Medway's first ever zoo licence since 2017.

All the animals come though rescue or from other zoos, and work with schools on education trips an the safari truck runs five days a week.

You can see the zoo from the beer garden, so a pint of Kentish ale can be enjoyed while trying to spot lemurs jumping between branches.

Just to make this pub even more random, a miniature railway also runs around the edge the three acre garden.

The White Horse

Dover

The White Horse walls are covered from head to toe in signatures and finish times
The White Horse walls are covered from head to toe in signatures and finish times

Every inch of The White Horse walls has been filled with a mass of signatures in thick black marker pen. But whose?

These aren't teenage graffiti tags, they are names of those who have been brave enough to swim across the English Channel.

Australian brothers Albert and Peter Bardoel were the first to leave a permanent mark on the pub, back in 2002.

Since then, word has got around Dover, leading hundreds to follow suit.

The walls finally filled up a few months ago, but we are sure it will remain a town talking point for many years to come.

The Lady Luck

Canterbury

A jukebox and retro memorabilia fills the St Peter's Street bar
A jukebox and retro memorabilia fills the St Peter's Street bar

A rock and roll haven, The Lady Luck feels like you have stepped straight into the 1960s.

Two retro jukeboxes stand in the Canterbury pub, one fully functioning, and the other just for display.

Hundreds of classic games are loaded on a colourful, cartoon-wrapped arcade machine, which is free to play.

The Lady Luck has a retro arcade machine which is free to play
The Lady Luck has a retro arcade machine which is free to play

Abi Baker, assistant manager, said: "We used to have a paid-for quiz machine, but we thought this was a much better replacement."

Gig posters cover the walls above electric blue and red suede seats, all with a retro feel.

The Riverside Tavern

Rochester

The Riverside Tavern homes two big sparkly cats
The Riverside Tavern homes two big sparkly cats

Lurking round the back of The Riverside Tavern is a pair of big cats, ready to greet unsuspecting visitors.

But don't worry, they may be more than six feet tall but they're made of metal and smothered in silver glitter, so they won't hurt you.

Given to the pub by a local, the feline friends allegedly started off in a London shop, before journeying to Medway.

They used to be inside but were moved to make room for a function, and have lived in the patio area ever since.

Molly Hubbard, supervisor, said: "People like them - they're definitely a bit different!"

Five Pointed Star

West Malling

The Five Pointed Star floor is made up pennies
The Five Pointed Star floor is made up pennies

Inspired by trendy Barcelona bars, the Five Pointed Star in West Malling has a floor made entirely of 1p coins.

A mosaic of dark bronze pennies, weathered and worn down by the many hands they've passed through, among shiny new coppers, the flooring cost a lot more than the pennies it's made from.

Each coin being glued individually to planks of wood which are then fitted on the ground, it was a time-consuming process which took two and half weeks to complete.

The floor was part of renovations when Tom Berhane, Danny Kwiatkowski and two others took over in 2017.

A stuffed rodent also sits in the back room of the High Street tavern, just one member of Mr Kwiatkowski's hoard of auction items, most of which reside elsewhere.

Its winged companion, a stuffed bird, was sadly stolen quite recently.

Divers Arms

Herne Bay

Divers Arms ocean mural suspends from the ceiling
Divers Arms ocean mural suspends from the ceiling

An old-school diving helmet and a painted ocean mural pinned to the ceiling show off this seafront tavern's nautical theme.

And another deep-sea helmet, this time a bright copper colour, swings from the pub sign.

The first, homed in the pub, now acts as a collection box to raise funds for The Shipwrecked Fishermen & Mariners Royal Benevolent Society.

One staff member said: "We also have an old black pump which used to supply air to the divers, 3D pictures of little mermen and mermaids sat at Neptune's bar and a porthole from a real ship."

Ye Olde Beverlie

Canterbury

St Peter's Street, Canterbury more than 100 years ago
St Peter's Street, Canterbury more than 100 years ago

This pub may not exactly be quirky, but with roots which can be traced back to the 16th Century, it's definitely rich in history.

Vintage photos and memorabilia of Canterbury's past adorn the walls of Ye Olde Beverlie in St Stephen's Green.

Punters have more than 30 black and white snaps to nose at while sipping their pint of bitter.

Yasmin Francis, supervisor, said: "The large painting on the wall is actually on floorboards from Manwood House where Sir Roger Manwood lived prior to its destruction.

"He was the gentleman responsible for building Almshouses on the site and our pub.

"The Ye Olde Beverlie lobby doors were also taken from Manwood House's billiard room."

For more quirky and unusual stories in Kent, click here.

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