Regulars raise a glass to Clive’s secret pub garden
Although many people in Ashford know the Locomotive pub, what they may not be aware of is the venue’s hidden surprise.
Clive Guest, who owned the pub on Beaver Road for 28 years, has transformed the back of the Locomotive into a beautiful secret garden – which you can’t see from the street.
Bonnie Gray, a regular at the Locomotive, said: “In recent years I have discovered it has a secret that no one can see from the street. Their garden is really something to behold.
“Clive is the one with the green fingers and every year he creates something quite spectacular. There is something for everyone, bright coloured displays, water feature, lights, and large bushes and plants.”
Mr Guest retired as landlord from the pub two years ago, passing the reins onto his daughter and son-in-law – Paula and Matt Barham.
However he still regularly attends to the garden.
He said: “I have a bit of a greenfinger. My mum used to do a lot of gardening and enter competitions for it so I must have inherited it from her.
“I spend so much time in the garden and I just love doing it, it gives me a lot of satisfaction especially when people comment on how good it looks.
“It does seem to be a secret garden, as a lot of newcomers are really surprised when they see it as they don’t know it’s there.”
When Mr Guest moved in there wasn’t a back garden to the pub. Part of the car park has since been taken over, as well as land from two neighbouring properties, to turn the unused space into a popular pub garden.
“It wasn’t really a garden when I moved in, it was just a yard before but I’m really pleased with it now and proud of myself because I take good care of it,” added Mr Guest.
‘My mum used to do a lot of gardening and enter competitions for it so I must have inherited it from her’
Clive Guest shows of some of the blooms
The secret garden created by Clive Guest
No hint a floral oasis is hidden behind the car park fence
Clive Guest and landlords Matt and Paula Barham