Sort file:- Tonbridge, May, 2024.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 01 May, 2024.


Earliest 1845-

Telegraph Inn

Latest 1975+

(Name to)

56 (26) Priory Road


Telegraph Inn 1950s

Above photo, circa 1950s, kindly sent by Stuart Thomas.

Telegraph Inn

Above photo, date unknown.

Priory Road map 1900

Above map circa 1900.


South Eastern Gazette 2 June 1857.


At the Petty Sessions, held on Wednesday last, the following transfers of licenses were made:-

The "Telegraph," Tonbridge, from Henry Pearson to William Bovis.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 16 March 1858.

Indecent assault.

Edward Beadle, 22, a labourer, of High Brooms, Southborough, was charged with criminal assaulting Florence Payne, at Tonbridge, on 25th May.

The complainant, a half-witted young woman, 27 years of age, said that she lived with her mother, a widow, at 114, Lavender Hill. About 3 o'clock on Whit Monday afternoon she saw the prisoner, who dragged her into the yard of the "Telegraph Inn," Priory Road, where he threw her on the ground and assaulted her.

Mrs. Mary Ann Payne, the mother of the complainant, said her daughter was 27 years of age in March. She was very death, and had an impediment in her speech. About 3:30 on Monday, from something she heard, she went into the road and found her daughter being led along. Her jacket was torn, her dress was pulled about, her hair disordered, and her hat was on one side, and she was very dirty, while her lip was injured.

John Humphrey, a lad, 12 years of age, said that he saw the prisoner run after the complainant into the yard of the "Telegraph Inn," where Beadle pulled the complainants on top of him on the ground. Witness and another boy pulled the prisoner's hands, by which he clasped the young woman, apart, and he then got up.

Elizabeth Pollington, a girl, 15 years of age, corroborated.

P.C. Streeter said that he heard of the occurrence about 4:30 on Whit Monday afternoon, and apprehended the prisoner, who was detained by a mob on the footpath leading through the Hectorage Farm to Primrose Hill. When charged, he used very bad language and threats.

The prisoner was further charged with criminally assaulting Mary Robbins, at the same time and place.

The prosecutrix, the wife of a labourer, said that she had been hop-tying, and was returning home between 3 and 4 o'clock on Whit Monday afternoon with her two children, 10 and 7 years of age. When passing along the footpath from Primrose Hill to Salubrious across the Hectorage Farm, she met the prisoner. He told took hold of her by the waist and threw her down. She struggled, but could not get away, as he held her so tight. One of the lads went and fetched Mr. Nye, who released her from the prisoners clutches. She should think that the prisoner held her on the ground from 5 to 10 minutes. When he got up, the prisoner, who was a stranger to her, ran away, that was pursued. The prisoner did not appear drunk, but more like a man out of his mind.

William Nye, bricklayer, of Lavender Hill, Tonbridge, said that on Monday afternoon he was going home, when some girls and women shouted to him, and he went into a field on the Hectorage Farm, where he found the prisoner and the first witness on the ground. He was holding the woman as tightly as he could, and she complained that he was hurting her. Witness released the woman and told the prisoner that he was a brute. When the man got up he struck at witness, and asked him what he had to do with it. The woman was very exhausted. The prisoner had no doubt had a little to drink, but he should not call him drunk.

The prisoner was committed for trial at the Assizes on both charges.


Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 11 September 1869.

A Caution to Sunday Morning Tiplers.

George Hursey, shoemaker, of Tunbridge, a respectable man, was summoned by Superintendent Dance, charged with unlawfully drinking during prohibited hours, on Sunday morning, the 22nd of August, at the "Telegraph Inn," Tunbridge, (sic) kept by Mrs. Mary Ann Smithers. This was the first case of the kind that has been before this court, under the new Beerhouse act and caused a good deal of interest.

Superintendent Dance spoke highly of the respectability of the defendant, and said he had orders to bring up all persons he could catch infringing the law.

Defendant pleaded guilty, but said he did not make it a practice of going into public houses on Sunday mornings.

The Chairman:- Why were you found in the house on a Sunday morning?

Defendant:- I had some herrings for breakfast; they turned out rather salt, and I had a pint of beer instead of a glass (laughter).

The Chairman:- Was the landlady of the house fined last week?

Superintendent Dance:- Yes my lord.

The Chairman said the Bench would not inflict a heavy fine, as it was the first case. Defendant would have to pay a fine of 2s. 6d, and 11s. 6d costs.

Defendant asked to be allowed some time to find the money.

Superintendent Dance said the man was well off, and could pay at once.

Defendant wished a fortnight to be allowed, and the Bench granted the request.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 8 July 1874.

Tonbridge Petty sessions. Tuesday, July 7th.

Tonbridge. Undstamped Measures.

Mr Alfred Allard, proprietor of the "Telegraph Inn," pleaded guilty to having in his possession, on the 24th ult., three pint and one-half pint unstamped measures.

The fact of the case having been spoken to by Mr. Francis, the Inspector, Mr. Allard said the measures had been in use for the last 25 years, and the impression of the stamp was worn out. He admitted that Mr. Francis had cautioned him about two unstamped measures he had in his possession.

Find 1 1s. 6d., including costs.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 25 August, 1876.


This was the annual sessions for the renewal of existing licenses to licensed victuallers, beerhouse keepers, and dealers in wine. The whole of the licenses were granted with the exception of the following, which, at the request of Supt. Dance, stood over until the Adjourned Licensing Days—Alfred Allard, “Telegraph,” Tonbridge. Mr Allard attended and denied the truth of a report that men had been served with beer at his house while in a drunken state.


From an email received 5 April 2015.

My grandfather aged 84, remembers when the "Telegraph" used to be where the "Legion" (soon to not be the Legion as of 9th April) now stands. The "Legion" will need a new name so my grandfather said it should be "The Telegraph social club."

Amy Osbourne.


Information supplied by Stuart Thomas.

Albert Blunden took over the tenancy of The Telegraph Pub at 26 Priory Road, Tonbridge in 1945. Priory Road is very close to the Railway Station and in the Age of Steam, the locomotive sheds were situated opposite the pub. During that time he could be serving about seven hundred people a day. But, by the time of his retirement in 1975, the railway had changed beyond recognition, all but one of the five coal merchants had closed down and much of the local housing had been pulled down and turned into car parks so trade was not as brisk as it once was.

There were stables and a yard to the side and rear of the pub and in earlier years coaches and horses would have been accommodated there. During Albert’s time at the pub he kept pigs and chickens in the stables and yard and he slaughtered and butchered these himself.

At the back of the pub was a skittle alley which, by the time I was allowed to explore in there, was full of all manner of furniture and knick- knacks no longer required in the bar. Albert always kept dogs and bred litters of pups and also had Alsatians as pub dogs – Trophy first and Trudy the last.

There were three bars – the Private Bar which was often frequented by railwaymen and where all the pumps were, the Saloon Bar and the Public Bar which had all the traditional pub games such as darts, bar billiards, table skittles and shove halfpenny. Off the public bar was the children’s room which had a piano in it and where children were placed, not being allowed in the bar area at that time. There was also a ‘Jug and Bottle’ which was just a small room with a single bench entered via a single door from the road where off-sales took place.

Albert was heavily involved with the licensed victuallers association and was treasurer of the Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge District Branch for 20yrs for which he received a medal in the year he retired.
Mr and Mrs Victor Bone took over the tenancy of the pub when Albert retired and not long afterwards it became the British Legion Club and the building underwent a number of changes making it pretty unrecognisable from the traditional town pub it once was.


Albert Blunden and wife and Trudie 1960

Above photo showing licensee Albert Blunden and wife and his dog Trudie, circa 1960. Kindly sent by Stuart Thomas.

Albert Blunden

Albert Blunden, circa 1960, kindly sent by Stuart Thomas.

Dorothy Blunden

Dorothy Blunden, circa 1960, kindly sent by Stuart Thomas.

From an email received 19 August 2017.

telegraph pewter mugs

Above photo kindly sent by David Russell.

Telegraph pewter mugs

Showing the base, original property of Thomas Coley, 1891.

Telegraph pewter mug

Made by G. Farmiloe & Sons London.



RICHMOND Philip 1845+

PEARSON Henry 1851-June/1857 (age 36 in 1851Census) (beer shop-keeper)

BOBBIS/BOVIS William June/1857-58+

RICHMOND Philip (tobacco and pipe maker) 1861-62+ Next pub licensee had

SMITHER Sarah Ann 1869-71+ (widow age 47 in 1871Census)

ALLARD Alfred 1874-76+

BRACKENBURY William 1881-82+ (age 45 in 1881Census)

COLEY Thomas 1891+ (age 35 in 1891Census)

KNELL Mrs Harriet Ann 1903-Mar/34 Kelly's 1903Kent and Sussex Courier

PEARCE Arthur James Mar/1934+ Kent and Sussex Courier

COTTLE Sidney George 1938+

BLUNDEN Albert 1945-75

BONE Victor 1975+


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier



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