Above photos taken by Paul Skelton, 17 September, 2011.
Blue Pigeon sign right, February 1987 with thanks from Brian Curtis
Above photo taken 2007.
Earliest date found so far being 1844 when the Dover telegraph reported
the death of the licensee, Edward Farrier, the elder.
From the Dover Mercury, 20 Februay 2003.
The building was listed on the 28 March 1987 as a Grade 2 listed
building. The description is as follows:- "Public House. Early C19. Painted
brick and slate roof. Three storeys with parapet to hipped roof with stacks
to rear left and to rear right. Regular fenestration of 3 half-sized glazing
bar sashes on second floor, 3 full sized glazing bar sashes on first floor
and 2 on ground floor. Central door of 2 tall, moulded panels with
rectangular fanlight in double pilaster surround with cornice. Rear outshot
to second storey height. Included for group
value. Listing NGR: TR3363256134.
From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury,
1 September, 1900. 1d.
Frederick Clarke and George Noble, labourers, were charged at the
"Blue Pigeons," Worth, on the previous afternoon.
Mrs. Farrier, the prosecutor, said that about 5.30 p.m. on Friday,
the prisoners came into her house, the Blue Pigeons, Worth, and asked
for a pint of beer each. She did not hen notice that they were in drink.
A little later two other men came in, and the two prisoners did their
utmost to provoke a quarrel with them. They both left, and the prisoners
then became very abusive, and commenced throwing the chairs and saw-dust
about. Witness requested them to drink their beer and quit her premises.
She did not even then detect that they were the worse for drink. When
they finally went they plucked and trampled down the flowers in the
garden. She then locked the door and sent for the police. One of the
chairs was broken, and she estimated the damage done at 2s.
The prisoner Clarke contended that he did his utmost to maintain
peace. This the prosecutrix admitted, but said he was as bad as the
other man afterwards, and the language of both was filthy.
P.C. Whitehall deposed to apprehending the men.
The Mayor sent both to gaol for 10 days with hard labour.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday,
2 October, 1931. Price 1½d.
Mr. D. A. Daniels (Deal) was granted the final removal order foe the
"Blue Pigeon," Worth, which had been moved to a house adjoining.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18
WINGHAM PETTY SESSIONS.
WORTH LICENSEE FINED.
George Ainsworth, licensee of the "Blue Pigeons," Worth, was summoned
for selling and supplying intoxicating liquor during non-permitted hours
to Maurice Charles Locker, Harold Leslie Ford and William Wilson, on
Locker, Ford and Wilson were summoned for consuming intoxicating
liquor during non-permitted hours.
Mr. A. K. Mowll appeared for the four defendants, and pleaded not
P.Sgt. Setterfield, Sandwich, said that at 9.55 p.m. on January 4th,
with P.C. Cloke, he kept observation from the Churchyard, on the "Blue
Pigeons," just opposite. Later he went to the side door leading to the
bar, and P.C. Cloke stood by the bar window. Witness heard voices
inside the bar, and to hear better, lifted the cover over the keyhole.
He heard the sound of dice being thrown. Then there was the sound of an
engine being pulled, followed by the sound of silver and copper coins
being thrown on to the counter. Then there was the sound of the coins
being placed into the till. Immediately afterwards the public bar door
was opened by Locker, and witness and P.C. Cloke entered, the latter
stopping Locker from leaving. There were two half-pint glasses of what
appeared to be beer on the counter. One was in front of Wilson and the
other by the right arm of the licensee, who was leaning on the counter.
The beer appeared to be freshly drawn as it was clear, and there was a
"head" of froth .In front of Ford was a full wineglass, and between
Ford and Wilson another wineglass, containing similar wine. That was,
apparently, Locker's drink. Witness, who was in plain clothes, informed
the licensee who they were, and asked them to notice the time. The clock
in the bar showed 10.40, and another behind the bar 10.35. Witness told
the licensee he would be reported for selling intoxicating liquor in
non-permitted hours. He said, "I am right down sorry, sergeant. I
promise, if you let me off this time, I will go straight in the future.
This means ruin to me, and the ed of my licence. Ford came to see me
about my wireless, and Locker came to give me hair treatment. Wilson was
waiting for Ford and Locker to take him back in the van to Sandwich."
P.C. Cloke, Worth, gave collaborative evidence.
Mr. Mowll submitted that there was no evidence at all against any of
those men for consuming.
The Chairman: The Bench are of the opinion that there is a case to
George Ainsworth (50), said that he had held the license for six
years, and was the sole support of his wife and child. He did not
dispute that the men were in his house, but there was no tossing for
drinks. Mr. Locker, a hairdresser at Sandwich, came to his place three
times a week to give him hair treatment, and started that night just
after ten. Ford was there to adjust his portable set, and did that
whilst Locker was doing witness' hair. He admitted that the liquor was
on the counter, but it was not paid for. Witness gave it to them for
their kindness. He treated them as friends and not customers.
Locker, a hairdresser, of Sandwich, said that on the night he went to
give Ainsworth violet ray treatment, as he was doing for three weeks.
Ainsworth gave him a sherry. They did not dice.
Ford said that he was a wireless dealer, and did general repairs. He
was in the "Blue Pigeons" that night to attend to Ainsworth's set,
and he did that just after 10 p.m. Witness was going to take Wilson back
In reply to Supt. Webb, witness said that the rattle which the police
thought was dice and money was probably caused by his tools and some
plugs being put on the counter.
Witness, who lives at Sandwich, said that he was waiting for a lift
back to Sandwich. There was no dicing for drinks.
Mr. Mowll submitted that there was no evidence that could justify a
conviction against the defendants accused of consuming. As regards
Ainsworth, he submitted that he was entertaining bona fide friends. If
he were convicted of the offence he would be down and out for good. He
would not be able to hold another licence, and a man of fifty years had
as much chance of getting a job as "the man in the moon." As regards
dicing, Mr. Mowll suggested that was imagination on the part of the
The Bench were ten minutes considering their decision.
The Chairman: The Bench are quite unanimous in finding all defendants
Supt. Webb said that all the defendants had good characters.
The Chairman said that they had no reason to think that the police
deliberately concocted the story. Ainsworth would be fined £10, or a
month, for supplying, and Ford, Wilson and Locker, 40s. each, or a
month. Allowed to pay a month.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10
The licence of the "Blue Pigeons," Worth, was granted an occasional
licence from 10.30 a.m. to 7 p.m., on September 18th, for the West
Street Hunt Gymkhana.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 11 March, 1938. Price 1½d.
At the adjourned annual Licensing Sessions the licensee of the “Blue
Pigeons,” Worth, was granted an occasional licence from 10.30 a.m. to
5.30 p.m. at Knowlton Park, on March 23rd, for the West Street Harriers
From the Dover Express, 16 September, 1999
Blue Pigeons pub will keep Pumpkin Day flying high
THE Blue Pigeons in Worth is holding its Pumpkin Day on Sunday,
It is a great fun day for families and is organised to raise money
for the Cancer Research Campaign.
The new owners of the Blue Pigeons need help in raising funds through
Anyone growing a pumpkin can contact the pub for a sponsorship form
Landlady Laura Heath said: "We 'ye only just moved into the area from
London, but are determined to continue with this terrific local
tradition and hope to raise more this year than ever before, but we do
need the support of local gardeners.
There will be prizes for the biggest and the ugliest pumpkin and an
under-16s category. The day starts with the weighing of the pumpkins at
A bouncy castle, circus entertainer and face painting in the garden
as well as live music in the afternoon and evening will ensure all
members of the family are entertained.
From the Dover Express, 7 October, 1999
Pub landlady is amazed by sight of growers' big 'uns
Above:- Matthew Williams from Deal.
SQUASHES of all shapes and sizes lined up for the great pumpkin day
weigh-in at the Blue Pigeons, Worth.
Growers young and old proudly displayed their efforts, hopeful of
winning not only a prize but also the admiration of the crowd.
In the all-comers section an 87.2kg monster grown by Jeff Motuel of
Deal was a clear winner.
But Robert Vauall from Worth was acclaimed the luckiest contestant.
He won the pub section, for the largest pumpkin grown from a plant
bought from the Blue Pigeons in April.
His pumpkin weighed a respectable 55.3kg.
His prize was the weight of the pumpkin in beer some 130 pints.
Mr Vauall refrained from claiming all of his winnings at once. Instead,
he has a slate behind the bar, so he
can enjoy his prize over the
Mathew Williams won the under-16s section with a 44.4kg squash.
Brothers Richard and Jack
won in a contest for pupils from Worth Primary School. Their entry was
To prove size isn't everything there were two sections dedicated to pumpkin appearance.
John Pipe's torpedo-shaped vegetable won the dubious accolade of
At the other end of the scale, Ryan Beer, five, from Betteshanger was
declared the grower of the prettiest pumpkin for his perfectly
Landlady Laura Heath said judging the competition
was a tough job.
She said: "I'd thought, if you've seen one pumpkin you've seen them all, but there are so many different types, it's
As well as
laugh, pumpkin day raised money for the Cancer Research Campaign.
Four customers volunteered for a head shave to further boost profits.
Band Gold Top provided musical entertainment and there was a bouncy
castle for children.
November 2009, the Dover and District CAMRA Branch meeting reported that
the pub has been sold and is currently closed for refurbishment.
Open again January 2010.
From the Crackerjack Magazine. No 31 December 2009.
The UK's No 1 Online Rockabilly Magazine.
LIFE AFTER VIRGINIA
I am sure many of you must be wondering what has happened to ‘Virginia’, now that her Creepers club has staged it’s last
event.....well, I am able to report that she has now settled into her new lifestyle as
Landlady, Hotelier and barmaid, and that things are going well.
Her new venture, a tradtional public house, called "Blue Pigeons" at
Worth, has been refurbished in double quick time, and there’s even a
website as well!
The pictures below don’t really do the place justice, I can assure you
(because I’ve been there to visit) that it’s much nicer than
are themed rooms - Johnny Cash, Betty Page...50’s and of course
rockin’ folk on their way to the continent are more than welcome to
stay in one of the well appointed rooms. There are also two chalets
out the back as well and I know that there are some interesting musical events (They would be interesting with Virginia involved!) planned
very soon, although details are not available just yet.
They have an internationally famous chef on hand to provide a fantastic
menu and of course the
bar is stocked with all your favourites and for those that are into real
ale, they have some of them
From the East Kent Mercury, date 2010. By Dave Mairs
FLIGHT OF FANCY TO MAKE BLUE PIGEON FLY AGAIN
There's a sense of decadence descending on the village of Worth, in
particular over one of its landmark pubs.
Big changes are afoot at "The Blue Pigeons" where new leaseholders
Marilyn Coleman-Mellings and Ray Rough are turning things around in no
In little over a month, they have "gutted" the place, according to
"It needed a lot of work and tender, loving care," she said. "This
was the first place we looked at and initially I said no."
"However, once we'd seen some more premises, the potential of this
one became obvious. We realised it could be very nice."
Another pub, another makeover, you might think. But there's a genuine
difference at "The Blue Pigeons," where the intended feel is "shabby
"We're after the Louis XIV look," said Ms. Coleman-Mellins. "We're
going back to neo-Georgian - we're not in this century. We want that air
And for those who want to indulge in such moods, there are splendid
sofas i which to recline while seeing all or little by the light of a
chandelier. The image may be from another era, but everything about "The
Blue Pigeons" is shiningly new.
"We want to draw a line under whatever people though of "The Blue
Pigeons" before. It was a place that kept changing hands and that you
felt hadn't been cared for as it should have been."
Food will play a big part in the new venture. Broadstairs chef Andrew
Johnson has big plans for forthcoming menus, his culinary career having
taken him across the world.
Brazil, Bermuda, Germany, Iran, Egypt and Oman and some of the
countries to have hosted his talents, and just maybe a little but of
each will eventually be finding its way to Worth.
Initially, however, the emphasis is on the traditional. Sunday
lunches have just got under way, while the Christmas menu is launched
The venue is already unrecognisable from how it used to be, so much
so that it comes as a surprise to learn that this is the new
leaseholders' first commercial venture into the pub world.
Both hail from London, where Mr. Rough has plied his trade as a
hairdresser and Ms. Coleman-Mellins is (still) a music promoter and
The latter will of course have a strong influence on "The Blue
Pigeons," and a range of bands will in due course make their mark.
Expect to hear the strains of rockabilly, blues and 1940s and 1950s
jazz any time soon.
For those staying over, there are three rooms upstairs - themed
respectively on art-deco, 1950s vintage and Johnny Cash - and two
chalets looking out on the large garden.
Although the theme concept is strong, Mr. Rough and Ms. Coleman-Mellins
stress that the two bars are very much open to local people "in
And if all the plans come to fruition, it could be soon standing room
Recent licensees Ray and Marylin recently appeared on Channel 4's "Three
in a Bed." The program can still be viewed from this link.
unfortunately you'll have to put up with the adverts as well at present.
Three in a bed winners certificate, on display in the pub.
From the Dover Mercury, 4 August, 2011.
HAPPY SNAPPERS RECEIVE AWARDS
Outside the "Blue Pigeons," with the winning pictures, are from left,
Sandwich Deputy Mayor Paul Graham, Mercury editor Graham Smith,
Vivienne Lavender, Mike Dallen, John Hilson, Josephine Wells, wife of
runner-up Paul, and Val Mercer.
WINNERS of the Sandwich Photographic Competition have had their prizes
presented at the "Blue Pigeons" pub in Worth.
The competition, aimed at promoting Sandwich and encouraging
photographic talent in east Kent, was run by Mike Dallen, who runs B&T Builders
in Woodnesborough Road, and the Mercury.
Judges were Mr Dallen, Mercury editor Graham Smith and Sandwich deputy
mayor Paul Graeme.
Winner of the competition,
which produced 150 entries, was a stunning picture of Sandwich Ropewalk
by Vivienne Lavender, of Balmoral Road, Kingsdown.
Runner-up was a picture of the Richborough cooling towers by Paul Wells, of 51 Francis Close,
Deal, in third place was a picture of Strand Street taken by John Hilson,
of BIake Close, Walmer, and a photograph of a snowy St Peter's church
taken by Val Mercer, of Dover Road, Walmer, was highly commended.
Mrs Lavender receives £100, Mr Wells £60, Mr Hilson £40 and Mrs
Mercer £20. The prizes were presented at a lunch, hosted by Mr Dallen,
at the "Blue Pigeons."
Congratulating the winners,
Cllr Graeme said: "Some of the entries were absolutely stunning,
and it was so hard for the judges to pick the winners.
"This was the third year of the competition, which is going from strength
It is now hoped to put all the photographs entered on display.
Full details will appear in the Mercury.
Was owned by Punch Taverns, but now (2012) a Freehold.
FARRIER Edward sen to Apr/1844
FARRIER Thomas 1869
BULL William to Apr/1932
BURNS Maurice James Apr/1932-July/33
AINSWORTH George July/1933-Feb/35
WALTER Mr R G Feb/1935-Nov/35
RISK/RICK Mr A W E Nov/1935+
MAY Mr A J to Feb/1937
RICKWOOD Mr F L Feb/1937-Aug/1938
SEAGRAM SPENCER Mr H J Aug/1938-39
BLAKE T H Mr 1940+
EASSALL Dennis W 1974+
HEATH Laura 1999
COLEMAN Paul sen. & Paul jun. 1999+
???? Mark & Tracey 2005-07
SPARKS Russell (holding manager of Punch) 2007-08
???? Mark & Joanne (tenant of Punch) 2008-Dec/2009
ROUGH Ray & COLEMAN-MELLINS Marilyn Dec/2009-8/Feb/12
HATZIPOLAKIS Minos 8/Feb/2012+
HUTSON Robert & Emma June/2012+
In 1938 the Magistrates said that the public house was changing hands
Library archives 1974
From the Dover Express