Best garden pubs: Only Fools tribute, fire pump room and an Irish bar10/13/2023
Britain’s best backyard boozers: Only Fools and Horses tribute, fire brigade pump room and traditional Irish bar called The Pirate are man caves in running for Pub Shed of the Year
- Three back garden pubs are up for for the Pub Shed of the Year 2023 award
An Only Fools and Horses tribute, a fire station-themed pub and a traditional Irish-style bar are among the DIY man caves in the running to be named Britain’s best backyard boozer.
Three incredible garden pubs have been announced by judges for this year’s final of Pub Shed of the Year after being whittled down from more than 1,000 entries.
They include Only Fools and Horses tribute pub, The Nags Shed, in Staffordshire, which comes complete with a Trotters Independent Trading retro arcade machine.
The Engine House, in Hampshire, is based on a fire station where a retired firefighter worked with his father – and boasts its own home-brewed fire service-themed beers.
The Irish Pirate, in Cornwall, has a cosy Irish pub feel with wooden décor and is filled with Guinness-branded memorabilia, including a pool table and dart board.
The Engine House, in Hampshire, is based on a fire station where a retired firefighter worked with his father – and boasts it own home-brewed fire service-named beers
Only Fools and Horses tribute, The Nags Shed, in Staffordshire, complete with a Trotters Independent Trading retro arcade games machine
The Irish Pirate, in Cornwall, has a cosy Irish-pub feel and is filled with Guinness memorabilia, including a pool table
The trio of amazing pub sheds will find out who has crowned the winner of this year’s national contest on November 11.
Former firefighter Kevin Francis built the Engine House in 2017 after his wife told him to clear out the memorabilia he had stored in his loft.
He said: ‘So I built from scratch a fire station-themed pub shed, and with the assistance of my retired mum and dad the Engine House was born.
‘The 07 is the station where my dad and I served together.
‘My collection and the building itself have had some additions since then but still used regularly as a meeting place for friends, family, and work colleagues.
‘For me it has been a great place to relax and reflect on the great times I had in the fire service but also be able to share with others.
‘The bar and stools came from Basingstoke Fire Station before it was demolished to make way for the new station, and I also brew my own fire service named beers.
‘I recently retired from the fire service after 33 years and now work for the ambulance service but I have no intention of painting the doors green.
‘I am really excited about being a finalist, I congratulate my fellow finalists and wish them the best of luck.’
Former firefighter Kevin Francis built the Engine House in 2017 after his wife told him to clear out the memorabilia he had stored in his loft
Lee Doherty, who built the Irish Pirate, even got married to wife Sharon in his man shed in June this year after constructing the bar during the pandemic
Shane Rankin is the brains behind The Nags Shed, which also has a fully-functioning bar, seating area, dart board and big screen TVs
He said he wanted to pay tribute to the Trotters’ favourite watering hole The Nags Head from the classic British comedy Only Fools and Horses
Lee Doherty, who built the Irish Pirate, even got married to wife Sharon in his man shed in June this year after constructing the bar during the pandemic.
He added: ‘I’m an upholsterer by trade and was working from my garden shed, then Covid hit and the world stopped and as my good lady says I can’t sit still for a minute.
‘So, I decided to do something with my workshop shed, as I’m an Irishman living in Cornwall what better name than The Irish Pirate with a Guinness and Cornish theme.
‘We both visit Ireland regularly and I’m always picking up mementos, particularly anything Guinness related.
‘We had already turned my office in the garden into an Airbnb the year before, so this just fitted the bill for our guests and us alike.
‘It’s been a massive hit with guests, family, friends, and ourselves.
‘So much so that this year on June 9 we got married in The Irish Pirate with all our friends and family present to celebrate our special day.
‘It’s now become our social hub on many occasions and will continue to do so. I keep adding to it and I’m not sure it will ever be finished.’
Ex-firefighter Kevin Francis built his fire station-themed pub shed from scratch with the assistance of his retired parents
The Engine House back garden pub is packed with firefighting memorabilia, including helmets and a fireman’s pole
Shane Rankin is the brains behind The Nags Shed, which also has a fully-functioning bar, seating area, dart board and big screen TVs.
He said he wanted to pay tribute to the Trotters favourite watering hole The Nags Head from the classic British comedy Only Fools and Horses.
Shane added: ‘We were sat in our local on that fateful day as the Covid announcement came in that all establishments were closing that very night.
‘As avid pub goers we were distraught and declared no-one’s going to keep us out of the pub’, so built our own.
‘Deliberating over the name for the pub, we had many ideas for names. With us being sited on an old colliery, we’d gone down the route of The Miners Arms.
‘With forces connections and as an act of remembrance we also thought about naming it the Lest We Forget Inn.
‘As an ode to Only Fools and Horses we had also thought about referring to the Trotters favourite haunt, The Nags Head, but ultimately couldn’t decide.
‘While digging the foundations for the pub shed, we came across a lump of corroded metal hidden deep in the soil.
‘A quick clean off revealed an old cast iron horseshoe, more than likely discarded from an old pit pony from the colliery.
‘This fate nailed it for us and took it as a sign of history and settled upon The Nags Shed.’
Shane Rankin said he chose to call his gaff The Nags Shed when he found a horseshoe while digging the foundations
He said he wanted to pay tribute to the Trotters favourite watering hole The Nags Head from the classic British comedy Only Fools and Horses
‘I decided to do something with my workshop shed, as I’m an Irishman living in Cornwall what better name than The Irish Pirate with a Guinness and Cornish theme,’ said upholsterer Lee Doherty
It is estimated there are in excess of two million back garden pubs and bars after their popularity exploded during the pandemic.
Drinkstuff.com and Twofatblokes.co.uk run an annual competition for back garden publicans to enter the converted Pub Shed of The Year.
Ashley Turner, from Two Fat Blokes Bar Sign Emporium, said: ‘With the huge cost of living crisis more and more homeowners are adding their own pub in their gardens.
‘With the average cost of a pint now over £5.90 across the UK & over £8 in some London pubs, it’s no surprise that Britons are looking for ways to save on the cost of their entertainment.
‘By having your own garden pub, gin palace or garden bar you save on the cost of the booze with a pint from the local supermarket from only 72p a can.
‘It’s easy to see how much is saved by having your favourite tipple at home, then there’s no expensive taxis or waiting at a bus stop.’
The three finalists will go to a public vote and the winner will be announced live on Pub Shed Radio on November 11.
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