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Couple build rum bar in their garden after coronavirus cancels Florida holiday

PUBLISHED: 13:09 26 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:25 29 July 2020

Joe and Lisa Melton in the beach bar they built in their garden after a dream holiday to Florida was cancelled because of coronavirus Picture: joe Melton

Joe and Lisa Melton in the beach bar they built in their garden after a dream holiday to Florida was cancelled because of coronavirus Picture: joe Melton

Archant

Joe and Lisa Melton were looking forward to sipping mojitos by the beach when they jetted off to Florida.

The Meltons' beach bar, which has been entered for shed of the year  Picture; Joe MeltonThe Meltons' beach bar, which has been entered for shed of the year Picture; Joe Melton

But when covid put the kibosh on Key West, they took solace in their shed.

The 39-year-olds from Terrington have turned their garden retreat into a rum bar.

Now the Meltons, family and friends can enjoy all the comforts of the Sunshine State - without leaving the Fens.

And the couple’s aim is to call time on their day jobs and earn a living making garden bars.

Lisa Melton in the bar she built with her husband Joe in their back garden at Terrington, near King's Lynn  Picture: Joe MeltonLisa Melton in the bar she built with her husband Joe in their back garden at Terrington, near King's Lynn Picture: Joe Melton

“We originally had a once in a lifetime holiday planned for the family for three weeks to do Disney, swim with dolphins and everything,” said Mr Melton, who works as a product consultant for high-end car firms.

“It was £15,000, we’ve got 90pc of it back because we applied for it soon enough before BA put a stop to refunds and started offering flights.”

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Mr and Mrs Melton and children Kyle, 13, Lexi, 10 and Bailey, aged three, set to work on a hard standing where a shed once stood in their garden.

The Meltons' beach bar, which has been entered for shed of the year  Picture; Joe Melton The Meltons' beach bar, which has been entered for shed of the year Picture; Joe Melton

Their back garden bar is one of 27 short listed for the Cuprinol Shed of the Year awards.

“I’d like to think we’d do well,” said Mr Melton. “Everything’s recycled or upcycled, we just put some love into it.”

Since building the rum bar, the couple have had a trickle of requests from friends and neighbours.

Mr Melton said so far, they have built four, while another three have been ordered.

Inside the beach bar which Joe and Lisa Melton built in their back garden  Picture: Joe MeltonInside the beach bar which Joe and Lisa Melton built in their back garden Picture: Joe Melton

“We really enjoy doing it,” he said. “We do lots of different signs, that kind of stuff. We like to upcycle.

“It’s just thinking outside the box, using stuff people would just chuck away.”
Other shed of the year finalists include a woman from Sheffield, who has been making visors for frontline NHS staff in her shed workshop, and a teacher from London who has turned his shed into a virtual school.

The winners will be decided by a public vote, with a panel of experts deciding on the overall winner after voting closes on August 9.

Head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox said: “More than ever, the events of recent months have shown us what a valuable role sheds can play in our lives.”


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