BAR'S OPEN: Paul Munson stands in his replica English pub, The Oddfellows Arms.
BAR'S OPEN: Paul Munson stands in his replica English pub, The Oddfellows Arms. Jonno Colfs

Warwick's undergound pub

A DAY IN THE LIFE - PAUL MUNSON

IT'S a problem that's been plaguing people for generations: "Shall I go to the pub or go home?"

For Warwick insurance broker and Anglophile Paul Munson however, it's not a problem at all.

This is due to the fact Mr Munson has a fully operational and mightily impressive replica English pub underneath his house.

The pub, a labour of love over many years, comes complete with all the trimmings including a pool table, piano, military memorabilia, countless figurines, paintings, posters and hundreds of pieces of beer and English pub memorabilia.

"As one lady told me, I've got the best dog house in Warwick," Mr Munson said.

"The bar is open from 4pm to 6pm for happy hour on Saturday and Sunday and old mates pop over with a six- pack for a laugh and chat.

"It's been quite busy lately with Christmas parties, and it gets used for the Royal Society of St George, Masonic Lodge and family functions."

Mr Munson, who was born and bred in Stanthorpe, left the area to find work in Brisbane after finishing school and worked at Myer in Brisbane.

This where he met wife Leanne and the two took off for a year in UK, both believing they were still too young to settle down.

"While over there I took a job at a Butlin's Holiday Camp in Ayr, Scotland, working in a pub called the Pig and Whistle," Mr Munson said.

"It was a lot of fun and got me well involved with my love of English pubs."

In 1982, the Munson family moved to Warwick and bought a house in town.

"We did look around for a better block but we couldn't find anywhere better than this," Mr Munson said.

"We've got great neighbours and lots of good friends around, so we decided to spend a little money on the house.

"I was working for Suncorp at the time and wanted an office at home as well as somewhere to entertain guests.

"So we dug in under the house and added a whole new area downstairs.

"Over time the entertaining area has evolved into an English pub, inspired by my time in the UK, my involvement with the Royal Society of St George and a neighbour with a passion for British Military history."

Parts of the bar including panelling and balustrading came from a 100-year-old boarding school in Yorkshire and the bar top is out of a Bank of NSW from Sydney.

"A friend of mine, Ken Mitchell, had a key while the work was going on and would let himself in and get to work on all the intricate and beautiful woodwork," Mr Munson said.

"We named the pub The Oddfellows Arms and had an opening ceremony on May 7, 2005.

"I named it for a pub in Colchester owned by my great-great-grandfather, Augustus Naylor, in the 1880s.

"The whisky figurines and alcohol related memorabilia dating back to the 1920s and 1930s was something I'd always taken an interest in and finding and sourcing these items became a hobby, that was made a lot easier with the advent of eBay.

"We've had a lot of good times with great friends in the pub."



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