There’s a pub at the bottom of my garden

Derek Richardson in his pub Costa Del's Bar
Derek Richardson in his pub Costa Del's Bar

Traditionally it was the sensible place to store the lawnmower, kids bikes and general overspill from the house.

But now the humble shed has gone up market and being used for more unusual purposes by householders with an imagination - particularly it would appear husbands seeking an escape route to enjoy watching the football or a quiet social drink with their mates.

Ian Campbell in his pub

Ian Campbell in his pub

The bottom of the garden has already proved an unlikely safe haven for enterprising pals Ian Campbell from Grangemouth and Derek Richardson, who lives in Stenhousemuir.

They have both taken the hut idea to a new level by creating their own pubs on ground where grass or vegetables would usually grow.

Ian (58), a retired dock worker has built an impressive bar at the end of his patio which is as comfortable and well stocked as many licensed premises.

It has been designed to his own specifications and boasts tables and seating, heating, music system and television as well as a fully equipped gantry and a fridge to keep a huge selection of beers and lagers nicely chilled.

Since opening James’ Bar, named in memory of his grandad who took him for his first pint, Ian has regularly invited his ‘regulars’ to watch the big match on the big screen or simply pop round for a quiet drink and a blether away from any distractions.

He said: “I knew what Derek had created at his place but it was after I saw what a friend in Blair Atholl had built as a summer house that got me thinking.

‘‘It’s perfect for having the boys round to relax. My wife, Veronica, doesn’t mind. It gets me out of her road and she knows exactly where I am.”

Derek (50), a retired businessman, added ‘Costa Del Boy’s Bar’ to the end of the garage he was building. His wife, Linda, didn’t notice what was going on until it was finished.

It is also completed to a high standard with bar and stools, tables and chairs, fridge and all-important gantry holding a wide selection of spirits regularly re-stocked during his frequent holidays to Spain. It even has its own toilet and sink and hot and cold running water.

He said: “When the garage was going up I thought ‘why not?’ I’d always fancied the idea of running my own pub and this is the next best thing without any of the hassle because I know my customers and don’t stand for any nonsense! It’s also one of the few ‘smoking allowed’ bars in the country!

“In the good weather when we’ve got friends and family over for a barbecue its put to good use. Linda and the girls sit outside on the patio and the boys enjoy a drink - and a smoke - indoors with all the comforts of the local right on hand.”