Sort file:- Peckham East and West, October, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 27 October, 2021.


Earliest ????

Harp Inn

Closed 2013

218 Hale Street

East Peckham

Harp 2013

Above photo 2013.

Harp sign 1991Harp sign 2009

Sign left, October 1991, sign right, 2009.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Harp Inn Whitbread signHarp card 1949

Above aluminium card issued May 1949. Sign series 1 number 40.

Harp matchbox 1980s

Above matchbox, circa 1980s, kindly sent by Tony Leahy.

Harp 2015

Above photo kindly sent by Tricia Francis, 28 March 2015. The building is currently being turned into a private residence.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 1 December, 1950.

Three years for vicious attack.

Assize sequel to scene outside inn.

WARNING him that if he had used a weapon of any sort the sentence would have been much heavier. Mr. Justice Humphreys imposed a sentence of three years imprisonment on Albert Henry Thurogood, 38, of Canning Town, London, at Kent Assizes at Maidstone on Friday.

Thurogood had pleaded not guilty to wounding Arthur Brooks and Frank Harold Wood at East Peckham on September 17 with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but guilty of unlawful wounding.

The charges arose out of an incident outside the "Harp Inn," East Peckham, at 10.45 p.m, when Thurogood backed his lorry on to the forecourt of the inn and collided with and damaged a seat. There was an argument about compensation, and when Mr. Brooks, the licensee, went to 'phone for the police. Thurogood hit Mr. Wood in the face with his fist.

Mr. M. Morris, who prosecuted, said that Thurogood must have been wearing a signet ring because Mr. Wood's eyebrow was split. Mrs. Wood then hit Thurogood with a stick and when Mr. Brooks returned he asked Thurogood to be peaceful but he lost his temper and attacked Mr. Brooks. Finally as Mr. Brooks got away Thurogood struck him on the crown of the head, which knocked him down. Mrs. Brooks then hit Thurogood with a broom and he left. Mrs. Brooks took the number of the lorry and Thurogood was arrested that night.


Det.-Con. G. H. Pratt proved ten previous convictions including six for violence. The last was in March 1945.

The Judge when sentencing Thurogood said that he was glad the ladies joined in with the brooms. He deserved all he got from them.


From the 23 September 2007. By NEIL SEARS.

Darling Buds of May village in uproar as pub landlord launches daily strip club.

For its 3,500 inhabitants, the allure of East Peckham has always been peace, rural gentility and a Darling Buds of May style landscape of Victorian oast houses.

But the charm of a community at the heart of Kent's hoppicking country has been disturbed by some rather more basic attractions.

To the dismay of parishioners, a struggling pub landlord is employing strippers four nights a week to pull in custom.

Two large blackboards have appeared outside the "Harp Inn" proclaiming to passers-by: "Erotic dancers. Weds, Thurs, Fri and Sat. From 5pm."

But while Lee Swainsbury hopes the shows will turn around the fortunes of his pub, locals are up in arms, claiming it will ruin the reputation of the village.

Reverend Anthony Carr, vicar of Holy Trinity Church, has written to the parish council demanding a ban on the shows.

"This is not the sort of place for this type of activity," he said. "The villagers work hard to maintain the right sort of image for this village and we don't want it spoiled by allowing undesirables into our community.

"I realise there are pubs in towns and cities who offer this sort of entertainment but it is totally out of place in a quiet country village."

Mother-of-four Jody Baker, 36, who lives near the pub, said: "I couldn't believe it when I saw the signs. I have to walk past it with my kids and I find it very uncomfortable."

Unfortunately, the guardians of taste in East Peckham appear to have missed their chance to halt the enterprise, as the licence Mr Swainsbury was granted when he bought the pub's 30-year lease in 2005 makes provision for 'adult entertainment'.

He and his wife Natasha say they spent 60,000 on refurbishments but could not entice the extra business to earn a reasonable return on their investment.

"We tried everything we could think of to bring people through the doors but none of the local residents supported the pub," said Mr Swainsbury.

"I had no option but to think of something else. We still run at a loss but my trade has increased so there is a market for it.

"I don't want to upset the community but we're a couple with a family and we've got to survive."

Parish council chairman Peter Crawford said: "A number of people thought it was in bad taste and certainly a degree of disgust was aired. Unfortunately, however, the dancing activities don't breach the terms of the pub's licence and there's nothing we can do."

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council's chief solicitor Duncan Robinson said of the licence application.

"The only objections were about parking. Nothing was mentioned with regard to the dancing so we had no alternative but to grant the licence. It would be near impossible for residents to reverse the decision now."


From the 07 June, 2013. By Lucy Clarke-Billings

Strip-club to close in East Peckham as license refused

A STRIP club in East Peckham is set to close after it failed to get its licence renewed, following sustained opposition from nearby residents.

The "Harp Inn," in Hale Street, has been run as a sexual entertainment venue for the last six years.

Exotic dancers provided adult shows four days a week – but the curtain is set to come down for a final time on June 30.

Graham Hammond, manager of the "Harp Inn," was unhappy with the decision – saying locals have no right to claim they lived in a traditional English village.

He said: "The place cannot operate as anything other than it is. The village is simply going to end up with another derelict building or an even more undesirable pub.

"East Peckham is not a pretty, quaint little village, it's a s***hole. It's just an industrial estate with a few houses. But the decision has been made, so it's time for us to move on."

For six years, the club's erotic shows were permitted under the Licensing Act 2003 and the council could only oppose a licence based on prevention of crime, public disorder, or public nuisance, and the protection of children and public safety.

But with the introduction of a new licensing regime in the borough giving the council more power over applications, 43 objections were made against the pub.

East Peckham parish councillor Peter Street said: "The borough council obviously found the "Harp's" entertainment as sufficiently controversial enough to refuse the license.

"I think this is due to a number of residents feeling as though erotic dancing is not an entirely suitable occupation."

In a statement from Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, it was revealed that the licence was refused on May 30 because members of the panel considered the nature of a sexual venue would be inappropriate in the residential area of East Peckham.

The refusal of this license means there are now no sexual entertainment venues in the borough of Tonbridge and Malling.

Only one – a sex shop in Southborough – remains in the Tunbridge Wells borough.

Mr Hammond said: "Even I know it's not a normal establishment to have in a village, how on earth have they let us get away with it for so long is beyond me.

"If I'd lived in the village I would have got it shut down. We agree that it's not suitable for the area. But the people of East Peckham are just worried about their house prices. That's their only concern."

East Peckham has another derelict pub, the "Rose and Crown," at the other end of the village. Mr Street said: "It would be a shame to waste the building.

"I don't think it will attract enough custom as just a public house because of where it's positioned.

"It will be interesting to know what their plans are. For it to close altogether would be a shame."

Struggling with falling trade in 2007, Lee Swainsbury, landlord of the "Harp Inn," decided to liven things up by bringing in some raunchy entertainment.

After staging live music and taking on a chef failed to interest customers, in a last ditch attempt he employed strippers to pull in the punters.

At the weekend, management posted on their website: "We have had great fun at the "Harp." We thank our loyal and generous customers but have to say unfortunately it is the end of an era."

Mr Swainsbury has another 21 years lease on the building and currently has no plans for the future of the "Harp Inn."


The census of 1861 shows John Groves a widower age 34 and listed as an agricultural labourer living in a beer shop. I assume he was the licensee. The census of 1891 says he was a licensed victualler but those words were crossed out for some reason.


Converted to residential in 2015.



GROVES John 1861-91+ (widower age 61 in 1891Census)

LAWRENCE John 1901+ (age 55 in 1901Census)

JURY Ernest Edgar John before May/1927 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

FOSTER Bertram 1938+

???? John & Jean 1980s

SWANSBURY Lee 2005-13



Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


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