Sort file:- Ramsgate, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1853-

Alexandra Hotel

Latest 1867+

Hardres Street



I am assuming this is a different establishment to the "Alexandra Arms" in Alexandra Road and the "Alexandra" at Harbour Parade. Hardres Street being a good half mile from the other two.


Thanet Advertiser, Saturday 8 September 1866.

Sandwich. Annual Licensing Sessions.

The "Alexandra Hall," Ramsgate.

Mr. Surrage appeared in support of an application made by Mr. Charles Dudley Stewart, for a spirit licence for the "Alexandra Hall," Hardes Street, Ramsgate.

Mr. Minter (of Folkestone) was instructed to oppose on behalf of a number of the owners of property and residents in the immediate neighbourhood of the building propose to be licensed.

The due service and posting of notices having been proved, Mr. Surrage addressed the Bench on behalf of the applicant, first remarking that the licence was not applied for for an ordinary public house, but for a public hall of entertainment. He instanced the "Alhambra" and other large halls in London as showing that the public taste was in favour of halls and entertainment like the "Alexandra Hall," and alluded to the opening of the "Hall-by-the-Sea," at Margate, as a reason why a licence should be granted to this hall, which, was, he said, intended to be a similar place of entertainment, though on, perhaps, rather a smaller scale than the "Hall-by-the-Sea." The "Alexandra Hall" was a building of rather large pretensions; it had been said that man plays many parts in life, and he might say that buildings also play many parts, for this building was, he was told, first constructed as a private house; it was then turned into a chapel for the Rev. Mortlock Daniell, and upon the gentleman's death, it was used by another minister, who soon after left it. It then became a whole for casual entertainments, such as "Middleton's Poppets." This year, however, it was determined to convert it into a hall of public entertainment. There then arose a difficulty about the licence, for, as the Bench were aware, the chief emolument of those places was derived from the sale of refreshments, and admission money being merely nominal. Under an Act of Parliament, power was given to the Magistrates to grant temporary licences for special purposes, but such licences must be granted to persons who were present licensed victuallers, and application was made to Mr. Whitehead, one of the magistrates for Ramsgate, for a special licence for 6 days, and which licence he (Mr. Surrage) beleaved was again renewed by that gentleman.

(Mr. Whitehead:- No.)

He begged Mr. Whiteheads pardon, but he was not aware he was present; a special licence, then, was issued by Mr. Crofton, another magistrate. But several publicans then became jealous, and opposed the granting of those licenses, saying that they should apply in the ordinary manner. They afterwards applied for a wine licence, but which with a similar result, and they were, accordingly, there at last to apply for a spirit licence in the ordinary manner. Mr. Surrage here describe the hall, and produced a plan of the interior. He said it was capable of seating 1,200 people comfortably, and had, he was informed, on one occasion seated 1,400 person; the average number it was calculated to hold was about 700, but it had not lately been used by more than two or three hundred persons, who were, he believed, of the most respectable character, no improper characters being admitted, and no complaints had been made against it since it has been opened. He asked why several hundreds of person should be denied the opportunity of getting refreshments where they were, without having to send out for them. After some further arguments of a similar nature, Mr. Surrage read a memorial in favour of the granting of the license, signed by one of the Churchwardens, two Overseas, the Postmaster, and a number of the Town Commissioners. He also put in memorials to the same effect signed by numerous residents in Hardres Street, and tradesmen in High Street, Queen Street, Harbour Street, and King Street, Ramsgate. He said they all knew it was a great nuisance to live next door to a public house, he felt it himself, but the public call for such places, and they must put up with the inconvenience for the public good. Referring to the opposition he expected to be made to his application, Mr. Surrage said he supposed the first was the old, old story of other publicans, who did not like to see anyone go into another's door who would have come into theirs; but in case anyone should say there was another hall in the town equal to the "Alexandra Hall," Mr. Forde, the eminent singer, who was in the room, would tell them that it was the only hall in the town in which he would sing. Then there was, he understood, a religious opposition. It was said that it was a pity that the hall was not still a chapel; and they all thought it was a pity, because they knew that such places could not always be kept on; the Margate Theatre was, he understood, once a church or chapel, and several of the music-halls in London were once chapels. With respect to the objection that the hall was near to the Wesleyan Chapel, he contended that as the Wesleyans only had two short week night services, which commenced at 7, whereas the entertainment at the hall did not commence before 8, one began when the other left off, and no objection could be made on that ground. Mr. Surrage concluded a lengthy address by formally applying for the license.

Mr. Minter said he must first object that Charles Dudley Stewart had not given such a description of himself in the notice as was required by the Act of Parliament. Their clerk would tell them that it was required that the applicant should state his name and residence, and the occupation he had been carrying on for the previous six months. Now, it had been stated that the applicants had been carrying on the business of a refreshment house-keeper and beer house-keeper, while on the notice he merely describe himself as a "theatrical manager."

The clerk read the notice, in which the applicant, after giving his names and various addresses, described himself as a "theatrical manager."

Mr. Minter also read the notice, and pointed out that the applicant, after giving his residence, stated that he had there carried on for the period of the past six months, the occupation of a "theatrical manager." He had not only indistinctly described himself, but had omitted to put into the notice that he had been selling beer under an excise licence, and keeping a refreshment-house. To comply with the Act of Parliament, the applicant should not have described himself as a "theatrical manager," which he was not, but has a beer- house keeper, which he was. On these grounds, independently of the question upon it's merits, he (Mr. Minter) contended that the case must fail.

Mr. Surrage said he was taken quite by surprise as regarded the objection to the notice. On looking at it, however, he admitted that it was correct and sufficient, as it not only gave the applicant's Ramsgate residents, but another one, in York Street, Barnsbury, and did not say that he had been carrying on the occupation of the actual manager in Ramsgate, but elsewhere.

Mr. Minter said the applicant was bound to give the business he carried on at each place.

Mr. Surrage denied that, remarking that some persons have half a dozen trades, and they would not be obliged to give them all.

The Clerk (Mr. J. N. Moyrilyan) said he thought it was a sufficient description according to the Act of Parliament, and he should advise the Bench accordingly. He explained the requirements of the Act, and said he considered that notice was in accordance with them.

Mr. Minter said he must submit to the ruling, and proceeded to address the Bench in opposition to the granting of the license. He said he was instructed by a number of the owners of property in the immediate neighbourhood of the hall, who considered that their property will be damaged and it's value deteriorated by the granting of a licence applied for. He here alluded to the intolerable nuisances created by there being no proper place of accommodation to the hall, and to the indecent conduct of many of its frequenters. - His friend, Mr. Surrage, had eluded to some eminent singer who was in the room, Mr. Forde, stating that it was the only hall in the town in which he would condescend to sing, but he (Mr. Minter) did not think that had much to do with the case. They had also been told that there was no other hall in the town of Ramsgate to accommodate and amuse the visitors. He was sorry to contradict his friend, but he must tell the Bench that there were already 4 or 5 - St. George's Hall, St. James's Hall, the Philharmonic Hall, the "Harp," and the "Raglan" and he was instructed to say that if Mr. Forde could not condescend to sing at any of other hall in the town, Mr. MacNay, who was a much more eminent man than Mr. Forde, had sung at the Philharmonic. With regard to the signatures attached to the memorials it was very easy to account for person signing such a memorial, thinking that it would provide amusement for the visitors; but if they were quietly examined the signatures to the memorial put in, he thought they would find that very few resided in the immediate neighbourhood of the hall. It was very well for those at a distance to sign a memorial in favour of granting of such a licence, as they knew that as soon as they could get another one granted somewhere else it lessened the chance of their having a nuisance in their own neighbourhood. The petition he (Mr. Minter) had to present, was signed by persons who although, perhaps, few in number, were owners of property to the amount of 10,000 or 12,000, in the immediate neighbourhood. He contended that the hall was not at all necessary, there being three or four other places of the like kind in Ramsgate, and said he would prove by the evidence of Mr. Livick that the place was a perfect pest to the neighbourhood, there being no proper urinal accommodation.

The Clerk read the memorial put in by Mr. Minter, and which set forth that there was no need of a new licensed house in the neighbourhood in question, which was now well supplied; that the hall was not suitable as an ale-house, or victualling-house; that the parties had applied for a theatrical licence and also for a wine licence, which after hearing lengthy discussions, the Magistrates refused to grant the licence in consequence of the contiguity of the whole to an old established place of public worship, called the Wesleyan Chapel; and that the memorial lists therefore prayed the bench not to grant the licence. This memorial was signed by the Vicar (the Rev. J. M. Nisbet,) the Rev. E. Whitehead, Incumbent of the Chapel of Ease, the Rev. Thomas Stantial, D.C.L., and a number of the owners of property in the immediate neighbourhood of the hall.

Mr. Minter called James Livick, Superintendent of Police at Ramsgate, who said he lived at 1, Hardres Street (nearly opposite the "Alexandra Hall") and was the owner of the house, and some building land in Broad Street. He deposed to the very bad urinal accommodation afforded at the hall, and to the abominable state of the streets on every evening except Sundays in consequence. It was not fit for a respectable female to pass, and the Wesleyan Chapel, Mr. Bligh's printing office, and the adjoining houses were subject of very great nuisance. In addition to that there was a small area full of house refuse, at the Hall, to which the Inspector of Nuisances had drawn his attention that morning. He said that the building was totally unfit for the purpose to which it had been put, and a noise in the neighbourhood had been most intolerable. The names attached to the memorial he knew to be the owners of property in the neighbourhood.

The Rev. H. J. Bevis, minister of the Congregational Church at Ramsgate, briefly addressed the Bench in opposition to the license. He said that the hall was situated in what have been a very quiet respectable neighbourhood; he had resided there for some considerable time, in a house of value, upon which he had laid out a large sum of money, but he was afraid that if the Bench granted the license applied for, he would be compelled to remove from the neighbourhood, for he should scarcely like his own daughters and children to be living so near a place which would be so damaging to the respectability and morality of the whole neighbourhood. He also spoke to the great nuisances which existed at present, and said that the building was singularly unfit for the purpose. It would, when it was a chapel, have been taken for British Schools, only they found that there was no accommodation, and not a single inch of ground upon which to build anything of that kind.

Mr. Surrage, in reply, said he was glad to find that the chief objection was the want of urinal accommodation. No one lamented that more than Mr. Stewart, and he would undertake, if a licence were granted to remedy that evil by immediately erecting the necessary accommodations. He then replied to the other objections which had been raised by Mr. Minter, and argued that by granting the license the Bench would be acting for the good of the town of Ramsgate in general, and that he advocated the public interest against private interests. He said the nuisances could not be so bad as was represented, as Mr. Tapley, the highly respected Churchwarden, lived within four doors of the hall and he had signed in favour of the license being granted. He had no doubts that although many of the owners of property had signed against, the occupiers of many of the same houses had signed in favour of the license. Mr. Surrage here commented rather disparagingly upon the other musicals in the town, and concluded by urging the Bench to grant the licence, as a means of promoting that spirit of improvement which was, he said, so much needed at Ramsgate.

The Bench retired, and on their return into Court, after a few minutes absence the Mayor said they had decided upon granting the license on condition that a guarantee be entered into by the applicant that sufficient urinal accommodation should be erected, within one month; the licence would be withheld in the meantime.

Mr. Minter asked who was to be the judge as to whether the condition was probably carried out.

Mr. Hart, the owner, proposed Mr. Bridge, but to this Mr. Minter objected, and it was ultimately decided, after some little opposition from Mr. Surrage, that the Surveyor to the Local Board should be appointed to certify when the condition have been properly complied with.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 19 October 1867. Price 1d.


This was another appeal case against a decision of the Annual Licensing Sessions Magistrates at Sandwich, on the part of Michael Grouse, landlord of the "Alexandra Hotel," Hardres-street, Ramsgate.

Mr. E. T. Smith with Mr. Butler Rigby appeared for the appellant, and Mr. Barrow for several inhabitants of Ramsgate.

Mr. Rigby (specially retained) said he was instructed, to appeal against a decision of some Sandwich Magistrates, who refused to grant his client a license for the "Alexandra Hotel," at the Annual Licensing Sessions held at Sandwich. It was a matter of vital importance to his client whether the Magistrates refused to grant the license, or whether they found sufficient cause to justify them in confirming the decision of the Court below. If they came to the latter decision his client would lose a large amount of the money he had been advised to embark in the affair. Having made other observations, Mr. Rigby called the following evidence in support of the application:—

Charles Bennett, shipping agent, of Wellington Terrace, said he knew the "Alexandra Hall," and the class of entertainments given there was very good for Ramsgate. He had been there a number of times, but had not seen any disturbance. The people in the Hall were generally very well conducted.

Cross-examined:— Mr. Hart is the manager of the Hall. I don't know Mr. Grouse. I have known Mr. Hart for some time. The Hall is situated in a very respectable part of Ramsgate—Hardres Street. There are two more Music Halls in the town. I have seen some of the resident gentlemen there. Have seen a number of boys in the Hall; but I have never seen any prostitutes there. The entertainments given in the Hall consist chiefly of comic songs. If I had any daughters I should not mind taking them to the Hall. I live a long distance from the Hall. I took my wife there on one occasion. I met with respectable persons there. The admission to the Hall is one shilling.

Anne Elizabeth Faulkner deposed, that she lived in Hardres Street, nearly opposite to the Alexandra Hall. I have resided there nearly five years; and have never heard of any disturbance. I have been there, and liked the entertainment very much. There was nothing improper going on when I was there. There were both sentimental and comic songs performed at the Hall.

Cross-examined:— There are two gentlemen lodging at my house at the present time. I and my sister keep the house. The two gentlemen are not married. I have only been in the Hall once, when Mr. Hart gave me an admission order. My sister and I carry on a dress-making business in Hardres Street.

Mrs. Jane Danton, of No. 30, Hardres Street, lodging housekeeper. She had lived in the street nearly three years; and had never been disturbed by persons coming from the Hall. Had been there on one or two occasions, but had never been disturbed in any way.

Cross-examined:— Have never seen any indecency going on in the hall.

Henry Hart, pawnbroker, 59, High Street, Ramsgate, said:— I am freeholder of the "Alexander Hotel," and have let the Hall to the appellant at an annual rent of 110 for fourteen years. I was present when the license was fisat granted for the Hall; and also when the application for a renewal was made at Sandwich. On the first occasion, although there was a considerable amount of opposition, the Magistrates granted the license; but when Mr. Grouse applied for a renewal, the opposition was redoubled, and the renewal was refused. The character of the entertainments is the best in Ramsgate.

Cross-examined:— I am not the manager of the Hall; but I frequently ordered the doorkeepers not to admit "loose characters.” I have frequently given orders to my friends.

Henry Dyer, head waiter at the hall, stated that during the time he had been there several persons were refused admission on account of their character. The hall had always been conducted in an orderly manner.

Edwin Murphy, check taker at the hall, stated that he admitted only respectable people. On the evening of the 29th August, two drunken seamen came in and knocked off a person's hat; and was immediately expelled from the hall.

John Femble, money taker at the hall, said he had held that post for three months, and never admitted, to his knowledge, any prostitutes.

Mr. Edwards, Albion Hill, said he had frequently been to the Music Hall, and had never seen any prostitutes there. The Hall was generally well-conducted. He was not the least connected with the entertainment.

Mr. Bridge, Surveyor, proved preparing two plans of the Hall. He knew nothing of the entertainment.

Henry Hart, the manager, said he had never received any complaints of the manner in which he had conducted a similar business. He then corroborated the statements of the former witnesses.

The Rev. H. J. Bevis, congregational minister, said he lived in Hardres-street. He should imagine that no respectable person would be seen entering and coming out of the Hall. He did not profess to judge persons' immorality or morality; but they were generally of a very rough character.

Cross-examined:— Have no objection to persons receiving rational amusement; but he did not suppose that some songs tended to elevate the minds of young or old persons. His knowledge of music was not of a very enlarged character.

Another witness (Mr. Hogben, trustee of the Chapel,) was called, and said the music and the noise greatly interrupted the services. The persons who were in the habit of frequenting the Hall were of a very noisy character.

Mr. Cull, parish clerk, said the Hall was a “most considerable nuisanceand Mr. Hope, who resides in the neighbourhood, said he could not get any rest till twelve o'clock at night.
Mr. Edwin Bligh, the publisher of the Kent Coast Tims, also said the Hall was a nuisance. He had allowed, however, a paragraph in favour of the entertainment in his paper.
Superintendent Livick said he lived nearly opposite the Hall, which was a nuisance to the neighbourhood.
P.C. Stead said be had frequently seen prostitutes coming from the Hall. In his judgment, the Hall was a nuisance.
P.C. Petley corroborated the statement of P.C. Stead, and added that he had seen 13 women (prostitutes) come ont of the Hall at different times on the evening of the 7th September. He made a memorandum of this in the book (produced). Did not take them into custody.

Sir W. M. Coghlan, K.C.B., said he knew a little of the reputation of the Hall, and being in the habit of frequently passing the place, he could say that it was a nuisance. He had heard all sorts of noises from the Hall, but nothing unusual. Had never specially enquired about the nuisance, but had very often seen a rough mob congregated outside the Hall

Rev. G. W. Sicklemore said he was Sector of the parish of St. Lawrence, and a Justice of the Peace for the Cinque Ports. The "Alexandra Hall" was certainly a nuisance.

Mr. Bigby said he had the honour to address the Bench with a view to re-obtaining the license of the "Alexandra Hall." There was not a theatre or music hall that could exist if licenses were refused upon such evidence. He would call their attention to the manner in which Mr. Barrow opened his case. It was monstrous for him to prejudice a bench of magistrates against an appellant. Although his client certainly ought to have been in attendance, his evidence was not necessary, because he could only say what others had proved. His client had paid the sum of 300 premium, and took the "Alexandra Hotel" at a rental of 110 per annum. It would have been more just if the rev. gentleman who was called as a witness had kept away altogether, for it was evident that a rev. gentleman would not come into a court of justice and uphold a music-hall. Then there was the editor of the Kent Coast Times, who came here and termed the Hall a nuisance, while he had been in there several times, and even went so far as to cause a paragraph in favour of the entertainment to appear in his paper. That speaks “ trumpet loud” in favour of his client. Had the persons who said the Hall was not a nuisance committed a perjury? or was their evidence to be believed? Perhaps the fact of a crowd congregating outside the Hall and indulging in a laugh after enjoying themselves was offensive to a person like Sir W. M. Coghlan, but he should contend that it was not a nuisance. In conclusion, he would again bring before the Bench the fact of his client losing the greater part of his property if the license were refused.

The Magistrates then retired, and on their return into court the Chairman said that the application for a license would be granted.



STEWART Charles Dudley 1866+

GROUSE Michael 1867+ Whitstable Times


Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald


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