Sort file:- Gillingham, November, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 November, 2021.


Earliest Aug 2014

Past and Present

Open 2020+

2a Skinner Street / 15 Canterbury street


07725 072293

Benjy's 2012

Above Google image, July 2012.

Past and Present 2015

Above photo 2015. Showing the original site.

Above photo showing the original building, November 2021, kindly sent by Arthur Cornwell.

Past and Present 2021

Above photo, November 2021, kindly sent by Arthur Cornwell.


Classed as one of the new Micro Pubs, this establishment opened in August 2014.

This is said to be Medway's first Micropub, and was formerly a second hand shop called Benjy's,

As most pubs of this micro nature the toilet facilities are at the rear and are unisex. This pubs has a strict no admittance after 10pm on Friday and Saturday evenings.


From the By Nicola Jordan, 30 January 2020.

Micropub Past and Present in Gillingham moving to bigger site to sell gin and rum.

The first micropub to open in a Kent town is now looking to expand by moving to new, larger premises.

Past and Present, Medway’s first miniature boozer, is looking to the future has proved so popular it is moving to a bigger place up the road in Gillingham.

Dave and Lorraine Hallowell 2020

Dave and Lorraine Hallowell run the micropub 'The Past and Present' in Skinner Street, Gillingham. Pictures: Phil Lee.

Owner Dave Hallowell, who opened up in a former second-hand shop in Skinner Street in August 2014, is expanding to cater for the influx of drinkers favouring spirits, like gin and rum.

But he insists the no-frills ethos of micropubs, with its real ales, no fruit machines and ban on mobile phones, will remain.

The 58-year-old said: “It will be a compromise. We shall still be sticking to the basics like no food, but perhaps the odd pie and bar snacks. We were getting more people coming along and turning away because their wife or vice versa wanted a gin and tonic.”

The new premises, at the recently-closed "Gin and Tap Room" in Canterbury Street, which Dave also owns, is twice the size.

Dave and wife Lorraine, 58, hope to be behind the bar by the spring.

The former aerospace engineer and Lorraine, who used to work for the NHS, had no experience of running pubs beforehand.

They believe their success inspired others to follow suit, with several other micropubs springing up across the Towns soon afterwards.

His decision to give up his job paid off, picking up CAMRA awards three years running, including Pub of the Year and Cider Pub of the Year.

The father-of-four said: “There are about 500 micropubs in the UK today and 90% would say they are not real micropubs any more. You have to move with the times.”

'We like to mix it up a bit and not rotate the same beers...'

The initial concept was simple - good beer and cider in a friendly place where customers can have a conversation without the distraction of TVs, piped music, loud bands, mobile phones or gambling machines.

Dave added: “I put our success down to sourcing our beers from further afield, like Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight. We like to mix it up a bit and not rotate the same beers.

“Before, the only experience I had of the licensing trade was drinking the stuff.”


During the Covid 19 crisis of 2020, this pub was able to offer a take away service in June, possibly earlier.


From the By Angela Cole, 18 June 2020.

Supporting pubs across Kent with Love Your Local, including the Past and Present at Gillingham.

We could be just a matter of weeks away from some pubs across Kent and Medway opening again as the government’s lockdown restrictions slowly begin to ease.

Despite being unable to open up, many of our much-loved locals have been doing their bit to keep going, and continue to be the hub of their community.

Pubs of all shapes and size have begun to diversify, and started to open their doors for takeaways and deliveries. We want to help out pubs and bars from all across the county and have launched our campaign, Love Your Local.

Each week in your local KM Group newspaper, we are printing free adverts for many of the pubs we’re promoting, to help businesses while the doors must stay shut. We are also writing about as much of the latest pubs news from across the county as possible.

For the Past and Present, lockdown could not have come at a worse time.

Medway’s first miniature boozer was looking to the future and about to move to a bigger place up the road. But lockdown came just as the doors were about to open.

Owner Dave Hallowell said: "We were all ready to go and then lockdown came. We don't really know how things are going to go and we're not really sure when we can open, but we've been working out how we'll do it."

Just some of the pub conundrums include the toilets - Dave has worked out an "engaged" lighting system; whether there needs to be table service, and even, how locals get in, as there could be long queues outside. "We don't really even know how many people we'll be able to have in. We are in limbo."

The pub, which is set to reopen as the Past and Present Ale House, will also be stocking some gins, whiskies and rums once it does. In the meantime, Dave said, it had won Medway CAMRA's Pub of the Year 2020 and Cider Pub of the Year 2020, but had not been able to celebrate it.

In the meantime, it is offering deliveries on Friday nights, or in future possibly Saturday nights of ciders and real ales. To order a delivery, visit the Facebook page here.

New Past and Present building 2020

The new Past and Present in Gillingham.



HALLOWELL Dave & Lorraine Aug/2014-20+


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