Sort file:- Rainham, February, 2022.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 15 February, 2022.


Earliest 1881-

Railway Hotel

Open 2020+

113 Station Road


Railway Hotel 1900

Above photo 1900.


Above photo date unknown.

Railway pre 2012

Above photo pre 2012. Picture: John Westhrop.

Railway Hotel 2015

Above photo, 21 August 2015, kindly sent by Peter Checksfield.

Railway 2019

Above photo 2019.

Above photo, 2021, kindly sent by Maggie Francis.

Railway Plaque 2021

Abbove plaque says the following:- THE RAILWAY. Rainham railway station opened on 25 January 1858. The railway's arival changed the centuries-old village of Rainham for ever. By the early 1880s, a 'temperance hotel' had been built alongside the station. The land opposite the hotel was known as Mr. Bruce's meadow, where cows grazed and village events were held. Around the turn of the 20th century, the meadow was developed. By then, the temperance hotel had become The Railway Hotel. In the early 1900s, it was run by Stephen Mitchell, living in the hotel with his wife and family. Over the years, this popular public house became known simply as The Railway. These premises were refurbished by J D Wetherspoon and opened in October 2019.


It is suggested that this was built in the 1870s although does not appear on the 1873 map.

First appearing in an 1890 directory, the census of 1891 describes this as a Temperance Coffee House & Hotel. I believe it finally gained it alcohol license in 1901 although Peter Metcalf from his November 1995 article in Bygone Kent suggests this was 1903.

The pub closed and was boarded up in May 2013.

Reports in February 2016 stated that Wetherspoons had an interest in the property to bring it back as a public house. Work due to commence by Wetherspoon's mid February 2019 with an opening for June 2019.

Sept 2019 The Railway has had a 2.1 million pound Wetherspoons refurbishment.

Local information says that when Wetherspoons took it over there was a public debate regarding the changing of the name, but in the end they decided to keep it the same.

I have recently also found reference to a "Railway Tavern" as early as 1877 from the Manning & Co directory. It mentions a Thomas Hales of the "Railway Tavern." Kelly's directory of 1874 mentions a Thomas Hales of Ivy Street who holds a license as shopkeeper. he appears again in the 1881 census as an Ivy Street gardener.

Another Thomas Hales is of the "Railway Tavern" in Sittingbourne, but the ages in the census show him to be a different person.

From the By Rachel Dixon, 10 September 2019.

Sign mix up at new Wetherspoon pub in Station Road, Rainham.

Building works are not even finished at a new Wetherspoon pub but already some unfortunate errors have been spotted in its new sign.

Recently, a sign featuring a Gothic-style image of a steam train and the Domesday book has been erected.

However, it transpires there are a couple of errors with the logo.

Firstly, Domesday has been incorrectly spelled 'Doomsday', but worse still Rainham in Kent didn't even feature in the historic manuscript, in fact the entry refers to Rainham in Essex.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We thank KentOnline for alerting us to the Domesday Book reference to the sign outside the soon to be opened pub in Rainham.

Wailway wrong sign 2019Railway sign 2021

Above sign left is the old one, sign right the new replacement.

“This is an error as the Domesday Book refers to Rainham in Essex and not in Kent.

“A new sign is being made without reference to the Domesday Book and we apologise for the cock up.”

Rainham in Essex was mentioned in the Domesday Book four times.

The Railway pub had been empty since 2012 after previous owners Sarumdale pub group went bust.

The site was bought by JD Wetherspoon last year and construction has been under way since early April.

This week the pub has applied for planning permission to drop the kerb at the car park entrance to allow access for vehicles.

Peter Pethers has been appointed the pub's manager.


From the By Rachel Dixon, 29 September 2019.

Wetherspoon pub The Railway in Rainham to open on Tuesday.

A new Wetherspoon pub is set to open on Tuesday.

The pub in Station Road, Rainham has been left disused since 2012, but JD Wetherspoon hopes to breathe new life into the historic establishment.

After six months of building works, restoration and a cash injection of 2.1million The Railway pub will open on Tuesday morning.

Doors will officially open to customers at 7am after a soft launch and staff training this weekend.

The premises was originally known as The Railway Hotel and had been a temperance hotel prior to 1901, managed by Elizabeth Sayers.

Present-day manager is Peter Pethers, who previously lead the "Thomas Waghorn" pub in Chatham to success.

Manager Peter Pethers said: "We have tried to pay homage to the original pub, we've decorated with lots of old pictures of the railway when it was first built.

Railway inside 2019

The inside of The Railway in Station Road, Rainham.

We're hoping to become a recognised community pub.

"It's going to be open from 7am everyday.

We're right next to the station, so commuters can pop in grab a coffee and some food before they get the train.

"We'll be doing all the classic Wetherspoon deals, curry club and fish and chips deals.

"Everyone's welcome, it's going to be brilliant."

Railway staff 2019

The bar staff are ready to meet their new customers at The Railway in Station Road, Rainham.

"I'm very excited, it's going to be brilliant if it can become as popular as the "Thomas Waghorn."

The Railway will specialise in real ales, as well as craft and world beers, serving a wide range of different draught ales, as well as bottled beers, with some from Kent-based brewers.

It will be open for family dining and children accompanied by an adult are welcome in the pub.

There will be wheelchair access and an adapted toilet for people with disabilities on the ground floor.

The new-look pub features one bar, as well as a non-smoking courtyard beer garden to the side of the premises.

Railway garden 2019

Beer Garden, at The Railway in Station Road, Rainham.

Smoking will be permitted in a separate, designated, outdoor area.

Photos, artwork and details of Rainham's history, familiar scenes and characters are displayed in the pub, together with information boards relating to events.

Even the carpet is Rainham related.

The design references the growing of cherries, apples and - of course - hops.

There is a real fireplace and a gantry-style open kitchen.

Railway inside 2019

Inside the new Wetherspoon, The Railway in Station Road, Rainham.

The pub will be open from 7am -11pm Sunday to Thursday, and 7am until 12 midnight Friday and Saturday.

Food will be served throughout the day, from opening until 10.30pm (Sunday-Thursday) and 11pm (Friday-Saturday) with a takeaway options available.



HALES Thomas 1881 (age 54 in 1881Census) ("Railway Tavern")

SAYERS Elizabeth 1882-87+ Kelly's 1882Kelly's 1887 (Temperance hotel)

FOORDE George (age 23 in 1891Census) & GIBBONS Florence 1891-95+ (Hotel Keeper)  Kelly's 1891Kelly's 1895

LEACH Clara Miss 1899+ Kelly's 1899

HUMPHRIES Bessie Miss 1903+ Kelly's 1903


Last pub licensee had MITCHELL Stephen 1901-07+ (age 43 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903Kelly's 1905Kelly's 1907

CASTLE James 1908-18 (dec'd age 52 in 1918) Sitingbourne District Parrett's Directory 1908Kelly's 1909CensusKelly's 1914Kelly's 1915Kelly's 1916

CASTLE A Mrs 1918+ Kelly's 1918

BROWN Charles Young 1919-33+ Kelly's 1922Kelly's 1924Kelly's 1927Kelly's 1830Kelly's 1933

BRUNNING Joseph 1834-35+ Kelly's 1934Kelly's 1935

BROWN Henry A W 1937-55+ Kelly's 1937Kelly's 1838Kelly's 1939Kelly's 1948Kelly's 1951Kelly's 1953Kelly's 1955

LINFIELD Arthur F J 1957-59+ Kelly's 1957Kelly's 1959

???? Roy & Wendy 1983+

Last pub licensee had PETHERS Peter 2019+



Kelly's 1882From the Kelly's Directory 1882

Kelly's 1887From the Kelly's Directory 1887

Kelly's 1891From the Kelly's Directory 1891

Kelly's 1895From the Kelly's Directory 1895

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Kelly's 1905From the Kelly's Directory 1905

Kelly's 1907From the Kelly's Directory 1907

Sitingbourne District Parrett's Directory 1908From the Sittingbourne District Parrett's Directory 1908

Kelly's 1909From the Kelly's Directory 1909

Kelly's 1914From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1914/15

Kelly's 1915From the Kelly's Directory 1915

Kelly's 1916From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1916

Kelly's 1918From the Kelly's Directory 1918

Kelly's 1922From the Kelly's Directory 1922

Kelly's 1924From the Kelly's Directory 1924

Kelly's 1927From the Kelly's Directory 1927

Kelly's 1830From the Kelly's Directory 1930

Kelly's 1933From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1933

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Kelly's 1935From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1935

Kelly's 1937From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1937

Kelly's 1838From the Kelly's Directory 1938

Kelly's 1939From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1939

Kelly's 1948From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1948

Kelly's 1951From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1951

Kelly's 1953From the Kelly's Directory 1953

Kelly's 1955From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1955

Kelly's 1957From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1957

Kelly's 1959From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1959


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-