Sort file:- Whitstable, July, 2021.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 08 July, 2021.


Earliest 1889-

Brewery Tap Inn

Latest ????

20-22 Oxford Street


Brewery Tap Inn

Above photo 1890, showing pub extreme left. Photo by Douglas West.

Location of Brewery Tap Inn

Above photo showing the garage on the site of the "Brewery Tap Inn." Photo by Douglas West after 1913.


I am informed that Mr. Breach's garage was situated at 20 and 22 Oxford Street and that he took over the premises in 1913. The building was on the site of the former "Brewery Tap Inn."


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 15 April 1933.


Former Brewery Tap fire 1933

Mr. Field's Furniture Store gutted. Family's Escape from smoke filled bedroom. Clamber over roof to safety.

Whitstable has suffered an enormous amount of damage during recent months from frequent outbreaks of fire and in the early hours of Sunday morning there was another serious fire to add to the unenviable list, on this occasion Mr. W. A. Field's extensive furniture stores in Oxford Street being gutted by a blaze which raged furiously for over three hours.

Mr. and Mrs. Field and their nine-years-old son, Norman, were awakened by their neighbour, Mr. A. C. Hale, who was aroused by the barking of his dog, and they found the bedrooms full of choking smoke. Mr. Field, upon opening the door, saw that the stores beneath were well alight and that the staircase was burning. The family, in scanty attire, made their escape, with the assistance of Mr. Hale, through a window and over the roof into Mr. Hale’s premises. The climb was the more perilous because of the blinding smoke.

After rescuing his neighbours Mr. Hale went out in the street and shouted "Fire, fire," and a gentleman who was passing in a motor car drove him to Engineer Rigdon's residence to call the Fire Brigade. Who the motorist was he did not know and he was too upset to ask him his name, but he has requested us publicly to thank him for what he did.

The Fire Brigade, under Chief Officer G. W. Fisher, made a very smart turnout, but upon arrival found that the fire had obtained such a strong hold that it was practically impossible to save the premises. The fact that the building was partly timber built and that stock in the big showroom and the store beneath was of a highly combustible nature handicapped the firemen, who were also hindered because the roof of corrugated iron, which glowed red hot, did not fall in and allow water to be poured in from above. It was a difficult fire to tackle.

The back of Mr. Hale's premises was involved and the building had to be evacuated by his wife and himself. At the height of the blaze, flames swept across the street and there was considerable danger to the adjoining timber built house, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. W. Stevens, an elderly couple. The Brigade, however, did splendid work in preventing the flames seizing upon the wooden side of the house, which was only three feet from the burning building.

Neighbours removed their furniture and piled it along the street. In the next house but one — occupied by Alisa Reeves — Mrs. James, with her two little girls, Judith and Christine, was on a week-end visit to her mother. Mrs. Best, Miss Reeves’ sister. The children were hastily removed in their night clothes to an aunt’s house in an adjoining street.

Mr. Hale caught his face on the edge of a door and discoloured his eye and Mr. Field got a cut over the eye, otherwise no personal injuries were sustained.

Firemen were on duty throughout Sunday. The cause of the fire is a mystery, everything appeared normal when Mr. and Mrs. Field retired at about 10.15 p.m. on Saturday.

The damage at Mr. Field’s premises is estimated at 3,200.

Mr. Field had occupied the premises for ten years. Formerly the premises mere used by Mr. Rigden as a motor works and originally it was the site of the old Whitstable Brewery, subsequently being a public house, the "Brewery Tap."


In an interview with a representative of "The Whitstable Times" Mr. Field, who was evidently suffering from shock from the ordeal through which he had passed, said that his little boy Norman went to bed at 7 o’clock on Saturday evening, and at ten o’clock, before he and Mrs. Field retired for the night, he went over the premises as was his custom to see that everything was in order. He undid several doors to make sure that all was safe. The electric light was shut off at the meter and there was only gas in the front portion of the premises and there was no gas in that part where the fire started.

Having satisfied himself that everything was safe he and his wife retired at about a quarter past ten.

"We were aroused by Mr. Hale banging on the wall and by his breaking our bedroom window with a long pole," said Mr. Field, who added: "We jumped out of bed and owing to the dense smoke we had no time to gather up our clothes, but I managed to get on my trousers. Our only escape was by way of the window. My wife threw open the window and I pushed my little boy across the roof and Mr. Hale grabbed him. We climbed along the roof and escaped by way of Mr. Hale's premises. We climbed over the party wall and got into Mr. Hale’s bedroom and then went down into the shop and out into the street."

Mr. Field said his little boy did not see the flames because his wife, who was provided with clothes by a neighbour, took him to Mrs. Tomsett (Mr. Field’s sister) at 15, Harwich Street.

Mr. Field was loud in his praise of Mr. Hale's dog, who was responsible for saving their lives. If it had not been for the dog barking there is every likelihood of some or all of the occupants of the two houses being burned to death.

Mr. Field added that how the fire originated was a complete mystery because he did not smoke himself and he never allowed smoking in his workshop.

The suggestion has been made that the fire was the work of the incendiary who has been blamed for several of Whitstable's recent fires, but as there is no evidence one way or the other the fire, like all others that have occurred in recent months, must be relegated to the list of "Unsolved mysteries."


Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Field and Norman would like publicly to thank Mr. and Mrs. Hale and Pug the dog for saving their lives, also for the practical help of all neighbours. Firemen and Police, and others, too numerous to mention, and for all letters of sympathy received, which are too numerous to answer.

Miss May Reeves wishes to thank most sincerely all those who rendered her such helpful and willing assistance during the fire in Oxford Street on Sunday morning.



RICHARDS Frederick 1881+ (identified as shipwright age 44 in 1881Census)

WYBORN Edward Alfred 1889-91+ (age 38 in 1891Census)

SHILSON George Hill 1901-03+ (age 60 in 1901Census) Electoral Register



Electoral RegisterElectoral Register


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