Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1997 (Name from)

Hopping Hooden Horse

Latest 2001

(Name to)

24 Church Road

Paddock Wood


Originally known as the "Kent Arms, this pub changed name to the "John Brunt VC" on 3rd September 1947.

By the late 1990s, the pub had gained a reputation for drugs, trouble and after-hours drinking and the Whitbread brewery sold it to the Inn Business pub chain. On Sunday 1 June 1997, after a final night disco, the pub closed. The new owners announced that it was going to be renamed the "Hopping Hooden Horse" because of the hop cultivation in the area, and that it would have the initials JBVC after the name to retain the history of the town. Within a week work had begun on renovating the pub, and no more than two days after an article in the local newspaper revealed the plans a campaign to retrieve the pub sign, and a petition to retain the original name had been started.

The new owners of Hooden Horse Inns ltd, Inn Business PLC, after receiving some letters of complaint announced that: "most of our pubs contain the corporate Hooden Horse name and there was simply no way we could have made the place work under the name John Brunt V.C." and the newly renamed pub opened 6 days before the 50 year anniversary of the original naming ceremony on 28 August 1997. Bob Akehurst, a Paddock Wood resident, threatened to stand against the existing Paddock Wood councillors in the local elections if they didn't take appropriate action to ensure that John Brunt's name was remembered.

Some former customers refused to enter the pub now that the name had changed and Mr. Akehurst, who remembered John Brunt, said that to "call the place The Hopping Hooden Horse is, frankly, ridiculous."

The pub continued under this name till June 2001 when Rita and Terry Dixon took over the pub and immediately decided to revert to the old name, which was greeted with enthusiasm by Paddock Wood residents. Several customers who had refused to drink there under the Hooden Horse name now returned (although even during that time, the pub was still known by local residents simply as The Brunt).



DIXON Terry 2001 Next pub licensee had


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