Page Updated:- Tuesday, 06 July, 2021.


Earliest ????

Royal Oak

Latest 1990s

(Name to)

High Street/Chapel Lane


Royal Oak

Above photo, circa 1853.


Now called the "Pride of Kent" and I believe it changed name around about 1985.

This pub is now closed, has been bought by a property company who intend to convert it into flats above a bistro on the ground floor.

Information gathered from the 1851 census tells me that William Beeching was the son of Jesse Beeching age 45, who was at the time a servant at the "South Eastern Hotel," along with his wife and 5 children.


Royal Oak locals post 1945

3 old photos found in the pub on moving in. Kindly sent by Debbie Clements.

Royal Oak winners post 1945

3 old photos found in the pub on moving in. Kindly sent by Debbie Clements.

Royal Oak locals post 1945

3 old photos found in the pub on moving in. Kindly sent by Debbie Clements.

From a local newspaper, date unknown.

Pool competition

The Royal Oak, Staplehurst raise 200 for the Brook Hospital, Woolwich, Scanner Appeal. The money was raised by a pool competition held at the pub, left to right are; Bob Jarrett and Gary Hollands (runners up in the pool), Justin Currie and his parents Brian and Catherine; Donald Smith (landlord) and Alan Cowdry (Pool winners).

Pool Players Raise 200.

A special chequepresented to the Brook Hospital, Woolwich, Scanner Appeal took place at the "Royal Oak," Staplehurst on Sunday evening.

A 200 cheque was the result of a knock-out pool tournament organised by landlord Mr. Don Smith. The finals took place on Sunday between Mr. Alan Cowdray and Mr. Bob Jarrett, with the former reigning supreme.

Mrs. Cathy Currey, whose seven-year-old daughter died when a brain tumour spread to her spine, handed over the cheque. Mrs. Currie and her husband Brian who live in Hythe, are spearheading a campaign to raise 1m for the scanner at the hospital together with a special building in which to house it.

Mrs. Currie believes that if the hospital had had a scanner her daughter's spreading tumour would have been detected earlier and there may have been a chance that her life would have been saved.

The Brook Hospital, which is world renowned for treating head injuries and diseases, will also benefit from a collecting tin which has been left at the "Royal Oak" by Mr. and Mrs. Currie.


Don and Pauline Smith 1969

Above photo, 1969 Newspaper photo about Mum and Dad taking over the pub, holding and displaying things found in the pub. Kindly sent by Debbie Clements.

Don and Pauline Smith with Jim Wickendes 1970

Above photo, Dad, Mum and Grandad, Jim Wickenden in public bar 1970. Kindly sent by Debbie Clements.

Jim Wickenden

Jim Wickenden, left, with 2 Customers in Saloon bar. Date unknown. Kindly sent by Debbie Clements.

Royal Oak pancake throwing 1971

1971 Pancake Throwing competition. Royal Oak Homepride Flour Graders. Kindly sent by Debbie Clements.

Royal Oak Kissogram 1983

Customers Kissogram when Mum and Dad left the pub (Dad left, Mum second right) 1983. Kindly sent by Debbie Clements.


After bring bought by a syndicate from Whitbreads in the mid 1990s the name was change to the "Pride of Kent."

As the information is found or sent to me, including photographs, it will be shown here.

Thanks for your co-operation.


From an email received 27 February 2020.

Don & Pauline Smith, my parents, took this Charrington Pub over from the previous Landlord, Frank Toole, in January 1969, when I was 14 and my brother Martin was 12.

According to my mum, a year before we took over Frank moved from London with his housekeeper aged about 80. When he passed away the pub continued to be run by his Housekeeper until the Brewery could find a new landlord. In that time, due to burglary's the housekeeper was too frightened to have any valuable stock eg, spirits and cigarettes and so the pub had very few customers and only sold a barrel of bitter a week.

The day we moved in we spent a week clearing an accumulation of Mr. Toole's possessions left behind. A copy of the old photograph of the pub on your website my parents framed and it hung in the bar until they left in 1983.

My parents didn’t make enough money to pay for cleaners or bar staff, so along with my Grandad, Jim Wickenden who moved in with us, did everything between them.

Internally it was very old school, furnishings wise, and had a Public bar at the front and Saloon bar at the back, the Gents toilets were accessed from outside in Chapel Lane, so my mum had the lovely task of cleaning them, which was a nightmare at times as non-customers used them.

My dad was very strict regarding serving alcohol to under age customers and only sold bottled Shandy to the teenaged young blokes. It didn’t stop the pub from becoming popular with villagers both young and old and there was always a good atmosphere between all the locals.

One memory that stands out, was my dads throwing away of a sign that was hanging behind the bar saying ‘No Gypsies served here’ he was appalled by it.

Over the years there were many trips to France, Amsterdam etc. by the male customers and many stories were shared in the bar after.

The licensee who took over from them only run the pub for 2 years between 1983-85 and the pub was still called the "Royal Oak" and it was during that period that dad ran the bar for them while they were on holiday. It then closed and was gutted and renamed the "Pride of Kent." There was a succession of tenants possibly managers. It then closed as a pub and became a tearoom. Not for very long as wasn't a great success.

My Dad was very proud of both his and mums achievements there, over 14 years, but it was hard on their relationship at times. My dad died January 2019.

Debbie Clements.



PIETERS William 1851+ (listed as carpenter and builder age 40 in 1851Census)

RUCKING William 1871+ (age 28 in 1871Census)

BEECHING William 1881-1911 (age 38 in 1881Census retired by 1911)

HICKS James Thomas 1911+ (age 52 in 1911Census)

TURK Minnie Ann to June/1923 Kent and Sussex Courier

TURNBULL Henry June/1923+ Kent and Sussex Courier

GODFREY Ernest R 1939+ (age 63 in 1939)

TOOLE Frank to Dec/68

SMITH Don & Pauline Jan/1969-83

HAMMOND Nigel late 1980s+

???? Pete & Debbie 1980s+

SUTTON Tony to Mid 1990s

HORGAN Den & Carolyn mid/1990s-2000 Next pub licensee had



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:-