Sort file:- Hawkhurst, January, 2023.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 29 January, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Debi Birkin

Earliest 1881-

Little Beehive

Latest 1976

Winchester Road


Little Beehive 1965

Above photo 1965.

Former Little Beehive 2009

Above Google image March 2009.

Buster Sisley 1951

Above photo, 1951 showing Buster Sisley driving our delivery lorry in the local annual carnival. Shown outside the Harkhurst pharmacy. Kindly sent by Paul Sisley.


The above group of 3 houses is known today as Beehive Cottages and operating as a beerhouse in 1881. Although still known as the "Little Beehive" there was no mention regarding the selling of beers in the 1911 census, but was described as the "Little Beehive Stores."

This operated as an Off-license till at least 1915, and once removed I believe it was transferred to another building some 125 yards from this one, but which at present I have no name, but now addressed as 23 Cranbrook Road.

Paul Sisley emailed me in January 2023 with the following information:- My father Mr. Sisley, "Buster," ran the office licence from 1951 until 1968 on behalf of Fremlins and Whitbread. After 1968 he ran the the off licence independently but tied to Whitbread/Fremlins beers. It remained an off licence until ill health forced retirement in 1976, when property was sold by Whitbread.

When I lived there with my family. We had the rooms above the shop and to the left. Our front door being adjacent shop. However, we always used the shop entrance. Although it looked relatively small, there was a three roomed cellar with remnants of an old bakers oven and the house and shop had 12 rooms.

The cover to the cellar can be seen in the front of the shop. Barrels and beer deliveries were on a Tuesday from the brewery and went down the wooden chute to the cellar.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 9th February, 1915.

At Cranbrook Licensing Sessions on Thursday the Chairman (Mr. W. H. Tylden Pattinson) announced that all the licences would be renewed with the exception of the "Kings Head," the "Bell," the "Lamb," and the "Crown," all in Staplehurst; and the "Prince of Wales," in Rolvenden Lane. These, on the grounds of redundancy, would be referred to the March Sessions. He congratulate it the licence holders on the way they had conducted their business.

Messrs. Fremlin Bros., Maidstone, applied for the removal of the off-licence at present held by them at the "Beehive," Winchester Road, Hawkhurst, to their stores on the main road, about 125 yards off. Mr. W. C. Cripps, in support of the application, said that if it were granted, it would result in a reduction of the number of the licensed houses, as the wine licence at present held at the "Beehive" would be given up. He called Mr. Henry Hills on behalf of the firm.

Cross-examined by Mr. Dickens K.C. (who opposed the application,) the witness denied that Messrs Fremlin bought the "Beehive" to get a licence at the other premises.

Mr. Hensley, manager of the stores, said Mr. Roberts, tenants of the "Beehive," having given evidence, Mr. Dickens put in a largely signed petition against the removal of the licence, and contended that Messrs Fremlin had acquired the "Beehive" with the object of capturing trade in Hawkhurst, owing to the refusal of the Justices to grant an off-licence all the stores in the main road.

Mr. Harry Oliver, Winchester carriage works, gave evidence as to the convenience of the present position of the "Beehive," to his own premises.

The Bench refused the application.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 9th November, 1915.

Herbert Vidler, Hawkhurst, was summoned under Defence of the Realm Act for supplying soldiers with bottles of beer.

Leonora Roberts, the "Beehive," Hawkhurst, stated that just before 4 on October 9th defendant called for 2 quart bottles of beer. She asked if they were for soldiers, and he said "No." She asked if he was shore, and he said "Yes, it will be all right." She watched him down the road, however, and saw him give the bottles to two soldiers.

The Chairman said it was a very serious charge, but possibly defendant acted in ignorance, and as he had enlisted he would be discharged.




OLIVER Thomas F 1881-91+ (also grocer age 37 in 1881Census)

NEAL Thomas 1903+ (also grocer)

BUTLER Fanny Mrs 1913+

VIDLER Herbert 1915+

ROBERT Ebenezer T 1918-30+ (also furniture dealer)

SISLEY Buster 1951-76




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