Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1861-

Who'd A Thought It

Latest ????

Matfield Road (1 Petteridge)



Only one mention found of this at present. As below.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier. 29 August 1873. Price 1d.

Tonbridge Petty Sessions

Tuesday, Aug. 26. Before G. H. Field, Esq. (in, the chair), Julian Goldsmid, Esq., M. P., Viscount Hardinge, H. D. Streatfeild, Esq., C. Powell, Esq., and Thomson Hankey, Esq.


This was the annual licensing day, and Superintendent Dance laid his report before the Bench, in which it was stated that there were no complaints except against the following houses:—

He considered that George Avards, beerhouse-keeper, of Paddock Wood, in the parish of Brenchley, was an improper person to keep a house, he being constantly drunk. He (Avards) had been brought up for permitting drunkenness and disorderly conduct in the house, but he always brought forward a number of witnesses to outswear the evidence of the police.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier. 29 August 1873. Price 1d.


Mr. Cripps said he appeared to oppose the renewal of the license to George Avards. Mr. Warner, who represented the other side, made what he termed an ex part application (one where the concerned parties do not have to be present) for the granting of a license to the above house to a new tenant until the 10th of October, when he should apply in the ordinary way for a renewal, and at which time the position of his friend Mr. Cripps would be a good one.

This house had been for some time in the occupation of Avards, but it had now changed hands, and Messrs. Kelsey had become the proprietors.

There was now a new tenant in the house, of the name of Augustus Austin, a carpenter, and a man in every way fitted to carry on the house respectably. He had very satisfactory testimonials in his favour, signed by Dr. Leeds, the surgeon, of Brenchley, and Mr. Oakley, on behalf of Messrs. Willicombe and Oakley, of Tunbridge Wells, each of whom gave him an excellent character. He should also call the police constable to prove that the present tenant was in every way fit to carry on the business of a beer-house-keeper. Under the 14th sec. of the 9th Geo. IV., cap. 61, their worships had the power of granting a license to the new tenant until the 10th October, when it could be renewed in the ordinary course. This was an ex part application.

Mr. Cripps dissented from this proposal.

Mr. Warner said it had been held by the Bench that no one had a right to be heard in opposition under similar circumstances, and he had been told by Mr. Palmer that Mr. Cripps himself raised the objection on a previous occasion.

Mr. Goldsmid: If the Bench held so, they were decidedly wrong then.

The Chairman: The Bench is bound to hear every objection.

Mr. Warner replied that what he had suggested had been the coarse adopted by the Bench, but the Chairman remarked that they had decided to hear Mr. Cripps in reply to the case. Mr. Warner then read the notice which had been served upon the man Avards and which was by the Rev. F. Starr, vicar of Brenchley, and other inhabitants, and was to the effect that the house was kept in a disorderly manner, and by reason of Avards being constantly and habitually intoxicated, he was not a fit and proper person to be entrusted with a license to sell excisable liquors.

Mr. Warner submitted that the opposition fell to the ground, inasmuch as the house had changed hands.

The Chairman: But the manner in which the house has hitherto been conducted will influence us very much, Mr. Warner.

Mr. Warner: You have only to consider the way in which the house is at present conducted.

Mr. Goldsmid: But then this application comes to us in the name of Avards. Mr. Warner said that was not so. Mr. Goldsmid replied that it must be either one thing or the other—either an application for a transfer or a new license.

Mr. Warner replied that, had it been for a new license, he should have had to give certain notices, which had not been done. He relied on the Act Geo. IV., which provided a remedy in such cases. Mr Goldsmid would like to know when the notice was served.

Mr Cripps replied that it was served seven days' ago. Mr Goldsmid asked when the notice of the proposed change was given because it might appear to the Bench as a colourable transfer.

Mr Cripps said the notice was dated the 19th of August. Mr Goldsmid: When was the notice of this opposition given?

Mr Cripps replied that notice to give up possession was given to Avards last Thursday night, and the notice of the opposition was given on the previous Tuesday. Mr Warner said the contract for the sale of the property was dated the 15th of August, and from that day the equitable possession changed hands.

P. C. Stanford was then called, and said he had known the plaintiff for a number of years and his private character was very good. As to his qualification for a beer house keeper, he could not say anything; he had only been in the house since Saturday.

Mr. Kelsey was called, and said on the 15th of August he purchased the house in question for 385. He was prepared to enter into an arrangement, if this temporary license was granted, that the establishment should be well conducted in future. In fact there was an agreement with the present tenant that if the place was not well conducted he was to give up possession at once. Supposing the license was not granted, he should by the transaction be a loser to the extent of about 100.

In answer to the Bench, Mr Kelsey said he was not aware that the notice of objection had been served upon Avards until the preceding day (Monday), but previous to purchasing the house he knew that it bore a bad name, but as Avards had never been fined he did not presume that the license would be taken away.

Mr Goldsmid remarked that that lay at the discretion of the magistrates.

Mr Cripps said he had an undoubted right on behalf of the vicar of Brenchley, and he might say on behalf of almost all the respectable inhabitants of the district to oppose the granting of a license either to Avards or a new tenant. He felt it his duty to draw their worships' attention to what he really felt was an attempt on the part of the Messrs Kelsey to prejudice the Bench as to what was fair and right so far as regarded the general public. It was all very well to ask the magistrates to exercise their discretion under the section of the old Act of Geo. IV., which referred only to deaths and such circumstances, but Mr. Warner had asked them under the powers of that section to grant a temporary license, until the 10th of October, to a fresh applicant, and whom they could not then set aside in any way, because he had been already granted a license. The proper course would have been for Avards to have attended for a renewal of the license, but he had stayed away, and now Mr. Kelsey came before their worships with a new applicant. He believed that the house was not fully rated, and under those circumstances there would be no harm done by refusing to grant the license.

Mr. Warner said if the license was not granted them they could not apply again for twelve months. He asked that the Bench might adjourn the hearing until the 30th September, and then they could see how the house was conducted in the meantime.

Mr. Goldsmid was understood to dissent from that proposition.

Mr. Cripps then proceeded to observe that Messrs. Kelsey finding opposition was to be offered to Avard, gave him notice some two or three days' previously and got a new tenant; but was any brewer at liberty to turn round and say, I have got rid of the old tenant, here is a new tenant, and you (the magistrates) are bound to grant a license to him.

He (Mr. Cripps) contended that unless it could be shown that the public would be damnified by the house being closed, their worships had full discretion to refuse the application. He asked them to take the whole of the circumstances into consideration, and he felt satisfied that they would refuse to grant the license. He called P. C. Stanford, who said he had been stationed at Brenchley for nearly six years, and he had frequently visited the beer-house in question, which was for the most part frequented by poachers and thieves, and that Avards had been summoned before the magistrates, but always managed to bring witnesses to contradict what the police said, and so the cases against him were dismissed. Avards was about half his time drunk.

The Rev. — Martin, curate of Brenchley, said he had frequently passed the beer-house, which had a very bad character, and had heard a great noise going on there. He had also seen Avards intoxicated. The general character of the house was very bad. He believed that there were eight licensed premises within a distance of a mile and a half of this beer-house, and the nearest licensed house was within two-thirds of a mile of it. It was impossible to enlarge the premises except by adding to them at each end, and there was a want of sufficient accommodation.

William Orgles, assistant-overseer, said he had frequently visited the house, and had heard very bad language and quarrelling going on there. He had often seen Avards in liquor. The house was anything but well-conducted, and it was in a very bad situation, near a wood, and he had reason to believe that men got there on a Sunday morning and took beer from the house into the wood, where they drank it.

Mr. Cripps was about to call further evidence, when the magistrates intimated that they did not require it.

Mr. Warner contended that, inasmuch as the license was granted before the 1st May, 1869, it was only lawful for the magistrates to refuse it under certain conditions set forth in the 8th sec. of the 32nd and 33rd Vic., neither of which the applicant had been guilty of.

Mr. Goldsmid said the section referred to meant where licenses were in force, but Mr. Warner had failed to prove to them that this license was in force.

Mr. Warner contended that the license was in force at the present time. It did not matter whether it was to Avards or not.

Mr. Goldsmid: But you have not proved that you are applying for a license.

Mr. Warner: I have made my application under the 9th sec. Geo. IV., cap. 14.

Mr. Goldsmid said that was the day fixed upon by the Act of Parliament for application to be made by any beer-house-keeper throughout the county for a renewal of his license if he wished it. It appeared to him, therefore, that the renewal should be applied for according to the directions of the Act, and then a transfer asked for.

Mr. Warner said he had a right to make use of any Act of Parliament that was in force and unrepealed, and the 9th Geo. IV. was in force and unrepealed. Under that Act he had a right to come before their worships and ask them to grant a new tenant a temporary license to the 10th October, unless it could be shown that the Act of Parliament had been contravened in any way.

Mr. Goldsmid: But you do not dispute out discretion?

Mr. Warner reminded their worships that they were to be guided by the Acts of Parliament.

The Chairman: Suppose we refuse to do this; you cannot say that we have done an illegal act?

Mr. Warner: I should be very sorry to use such language.

The Chairman: Do you maintain that it is positively obligatory on as to grant this license?

Mr. Warner: Yes, unless you are satisfied that my client has failed in one of the particular referred to in the 32nd and 33rd Vic.

Mr. Goldsmid: If you consider we do anything unlawful, of course you have your remedy. I need not remind you of that.

The Chairman: You would oust our discretion, at that rate, in every case where a man has a good character; and Mr Cripps says this man has a good character.

Mr. Warner: If that be so, in your discretion you will grant me the license.

Mr. Goldsmid then submitted that what the Bench had to deal with was the new licensing Act, and not the Act referred to by Mr. Warner.

The Chairman, after some conversation with his brother magistrates, said the Bench were of opinion that the license should not be transferred.

Mr. Warner: I have not asked for a transfer; I have asked you to grant me one until the 10th October.

The Clerk (T. Walker, Esq.): A temporary license, which is virtually the same thing.

Mr. Warner: I have nothing to do with Avards. I have simply come to ask for a temporary license for this man.

The Chairman said they were not inclined to grant the application.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 9 September 1950.

Cottage with no front wall. It used to be a pub.

There is a cottage on the edge of the main road through Petteridge with no front wall. It used to be a public house called the "Who'd have thought it.

The property was owned by Kelsey's Brewery and its name was not so uncommon about 80 years ago when it was built.

But it has been a private house for many years.

No. 1, Petteridge, that is the address, said it's over, retired farmer, Mr. S. Woodgate. "I have been waiting years for them to take that front wall away. It's been going for some time - gradually bulging out over the road. The builders have been too busy to do it before, but now they are going to put up a complete new wall."

Reminiscent of the blitz, the cottage stands with all its secrets exposed and the furniture (still in position) covered by dust sheets.

Mr. And Mrs. Woodgate still live in the back of the cottage, but their daughter and granddaughter are being looked after by Mrs. Clout, their next door neighbour.



AVARDS George 1861-Aug/1873 (age 39 in 1861Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

AUSTIN Augustus Aug/1873+ Next pub licensee had Kent and Sussex Courier


Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier


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