From the Dover Express 24 December 1997 by Bob Hollingsbee.
ONE TIME Castle Inn landlady Mrs Marjoram outside-the Russell Street public
house with a mixture of customers, two of the sailors coming from HMS Ganges
and HMS Queen respectively. The picture was shown to me by a fellow local
history enthusiast and former ambulance officer Joe Harman, of St Radigunds
Road. I was a little surprised to read from my notes that the postcard dates
from about 1904.
From the Dover Express 28 January 1998.
My MENTION recently in Memories of how few early photographs there seemed to
be of the Russell Street area around the Castle Inn prompted a response from
Express reader Brenda Blackman.
"It was a surprise to me to see the photo of Mrs Marjoram, onetime landlady of
the Castle Inn in your December 25 edition of Memories," she writes, "as she
was my mother-in-law's mother."
Mrs Blackman said she lent Joe Harman the original postcard. "The date was
1908. I know this because the young lady on the right of the picture is my
mother-in-law Kate born in 1894. She was 14 at the time.
"Her brother, Albert Marjoram is third from the left in a uniform I can't
identify. In 1936 he was landlord of the Royal Mortar Inn
public house in Military Road."
Mrs Blackman went on to tell me their father, David Marjoram was landlord of
several pubs in the town over the years "having itchy feet!" Best of these was
one at the bottom of Finnis Hill where they often had actors etc staying with
them while they were appearing at the old Hippodrome theatre in Snargate
Street, which was near the site of the former Dover Express offices and
printing works, now demolished.
When David Marjoram retired and moved to Balfour Road he and his two
daughters, Alice and Kate continued to care for people including soldiers
stationed in Dover in the First World War.
And, she said: "One of them became the husband of Kate who gave birth to my
husband, Eric in 1924!"
Above photo kindly taken and sent by Norman Clark, circa 1955.
Above signs from above photo.
Above photo circa 1980.
Above photo, circa 1984.
Above photo circa 1987.
Castle sign left April 1986, sign right, October 1991.
The above three coloured photos supplied by Barry Smith. Above photos
circa 1995. Notice part of the old brewery (left) coming down.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 12 February, 1904. Price 1d.
DOVER LICENSING SESSIONS
Mr. Rutley Mowll applied for the renewal of the licence of this house to
Mr. A. M. Bradley opposed on behalf of the Temperance Council, and
called F. W. Barthomomew to prove service of the notice of the objection
on the grounds of (1) That on the 20th April, 1903, the then holder of
the licence was convicted of keeping open during prohibited hours, and
fined 20/- including costs; and (2) that the licence was not needed by
the requirements of the neighbourhood.
Mr. Bradley said the facts in this case were similar to those in the
last, (see last case) except that this was not an 1869 house, therefore that difficulty
was out of the way. He drew attention to the fact there had been five
changes in tenancy in five years, and that this house was situated at
the corner of Dolphin Lane and Russell Street, and whichever way it was
approached a person must pass another licensed to get to it. He called
no evidence except that he asked that the register should be put in.
Mr. Rutley Mowll said he never remembered any occasion in all the
licensing meetings he had attended where a renewal had been opposed and
no evidence of any kind called except the production of a licensing
register. It would be a great injustice to the present occupier, who had
staked his little all, as not a syllable had been suggested against him.
It was said that the licence was not required because of five changes in
the last five years. But he would point out that was no reason at all.
It was only a small house, and the publican after taking it and making a
little money then went out and took a larger house. John Murray had
taken the “New Inn,” at Sandwich a larger house; William Curling had
left it for the “New Commercial Quay Inn,” another larger house; and J.
J. Hunt left it for the “Green Dragon.” Bushell still had the house, and
so every one of these five changes except the man convicted was in
possession of a licence still. The argument was all nonsense, as the
house was doing a comfortable trade, and the licence ought to be
renewed. Last year there were a good many licenses opposed in various
parts of the country, and three were opposed at that Court, but the
Magistrates renewed them. They had served the town's money by doing so,
for where the other Benches did not have that good sense and took away
licenses, what happened? In every single case where licenses were taken
away and there was an appeal to the Quarter Sessions, except in one case
where the house was very dilapidated, every one of these appeals was
granted. What was the effect in L.S.D. The towns from whom these appeals
took place had to bear the cost, which fell on the rates. He hardly
thought that they would desire to increase the rates of the town in that
way. If they did refuse this licence they would not satisfy those who
objected. Mr. Wright or some other nominee of that powerful body the
Dover temperance Council, would come before them next year and ask them
to do it to some more, and they would not be satisfied till they cleared
away every house in the place. He was going to suggest that the amount
of drunkenness and offences had no bearing on the number of licensed
houses, and that the Report of the Royal Commission was that where the
number of public houses to houses were greater, that in those cases
drunkenness was the least, or in other words that drinking leads to
drinking. Supposing that the public houses in Dover were concentrated,
and they were reduced by an eighth, that would, he contended, increase
the drunkenness, for this reason. Supposing A and B, two friends, went
into a public house. A stands B for a drink, a drink for B and himself,
two drinks each. C and D, two friends of A and B, go into another public
house and go through the same procedure. Take away the houses where C
and D get their drinks, and so A, B, C, and D would go into the same
house, and the four friends being together stand each other drinks, so
that they would have four drinks apiece instead of two. (Laughter.)
Mr. Bradley: Then it is the strongest reason for taking away in the
interest of the brewers. (Laughter.)
Mr. Mackenzie; That is Euclid.
The Mayor said that they had decided to renew the licence.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 27 February, 1914. Price 1½d.
Plans were also approved for making a fresh entrance into the room
behind the bar parlour at the “Castle Inn,” Russell Street, and closing
the existing door.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 29 September 1939.
Nelson Staines, "Castle" Inn, Russell Street, was fined 10s., the
offence being on 3rd September at 8.50 p.m.
P.C. Page said that a strong light came from the bar doors when they
were opened. Defendant said that he was very sorry and wuld get the
lights properly screened.
From the Dover Express, Memories by Bob Hollingsbee, 4 April 2002.
End of an era.
Here are regulars of the Castle Inn, Russell Street, back In 1963, a
photograph taken by Hughie McCann, who I recall from the early days
of the old Southern Television studios, across the road from the popular
The picture was shown to me by ex-Royal Navy man Bill Cock, of
Old Park Hill, Dover, a member of a group of regulars who switched to
the Castle Inn after the old "Salutation" in Biggin Street closed its
doors that year, prior to its demolition as part of a
At Bill's suggestion I showed the photo to my friend Ray Horton, of
Barton Road, who immediately gave me the exact date it was taken -
August 3, 1963. Ray, who is one of those in the group photograph, has
good reason to know.
His wife Pat was pregnant at the time and, in fact,
their daughter Julie was born only a few hours later! And that was a
good reason for a toast too!
Those pictured, left to right, are: Jack Pinnock (a bus conductor); Ray Bradley; Vi Blythe (nee Manton), whose
brother was a cook on HMS Hood and was lost when it was destroyed and
sunk. Vic Carr is half hidden between VI Blythe and Mrs Bollans, whose
husband Charlie Bollans, mine host at the Castle Inn, is Just behind,
holding a Gold Top logo.
Next is Ron Townsend, wearing glasses, son of
Mrs 'Lou' Townsend, who is standing in front of him holding a glass of
beer. Another son, Charles Victor Townsend, was Licensee of the old
"Salutation", in Biggin Street - now site of Paynes, the greengrocers.
Next are immigration officer Pete Elliott, Eric King, Paul Terry, Pete
Elliott's wife Betty, and, just getting his head Into the shot, on the
extreme right, Ray Horton. Ray, whose best
man was Vic Carr, has a slightly different shot taken by Hughie McCann
at the same time - see lower photo. Like Bill, Ray recalls that when the
"Salutation" closed down a group of the 'locals' decided to stick together
and adopt the Castle Inn as their new 'watering hole.'
Bill's copy of
the photo, sent out to him while he was serving overseas in the Royal
Navy, recalls a particularly thirsty Job - working in the somewhat
steamy boiler room of naval survey vessels.
About that time, says Bill,
he developed a rather 'healthy' interest in, and became rather fond of
Fremlins' "Gold Top" English Ale!
This was reputedly good for anyone
trying to reduce weight, because of a low sugar content. That was of
special interest to Bill, because, he says, he was ordered to discard
some weight before a posting - or lose some holiday leave!
Naturally Bill didn't want that, so he would have a juicy steak, he told
me, and then make a beeline for the 'Castle' - but he reckons he put on
more weight if anything, not less!
His fondness for "Gold Top", provoked
friendly banter and his pals thought he would appreciate this picture,
signed by some of his mates. They all wrote their names on the back.
I believe "Gold Top" was originally Dover brewer Alfred Leney's brand,
presumably "home grown" at the former Phoenix Brewery, off Castle
By coincidence I came across a cutting from a back number of the
Dover Express, of Friday, August 9, 1963, with a picture of bar staff
and locals all making the most of their last ever drinks at the old
"Salutation", four days before, on Monday, August 5, 1963. Twelve hours
later, Dover Demolition Company began pulling the pub down.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 20 September, 1963.
Double-decker Bus Crashes Into Saloon Bar.
An eight-ton double-decker bus careered out of control, for more than
forty yards along Russell Street, in the early hours of Sunday morning,
and plunged into the side of the "Castle Inn." It ripped open the side
wall of the saloon bar, wrecking chairs and tables.
Just before the incident, three youths were seen walking towards the
bus which had been parked outside the East Kent garage.
It was later discovered that the handbrake of the bus had been
The youths were seen by Mr. Cyril Chapman, who is employed by the
Company and was leaving the garage a few minutes after one o'clock in
the morning. One of them, he says, was tall with fair hair.
Later Mr. Chapman helped in a search of the district, but none of the
youths could be found.
Mr. Charles Bollans, the licensee of the "Castle Inn," was asleep in
a bedroom immediately above the saloon bar when the crash occurred.
"The whold building shuddered, and, for a moment, I thought it was
going to collapse like a pack of cards," he said.
"Had it happened a couple of hours earlier, when the bar was crowded,
it would have been disastrous."
From the Dover Mercury, 3 November 2005.
Above from left, Joanne McRoberts, DJ Michael Kerr, and Allan Whawell
Pub's cheer for the disabled
A COUPLE who have taken over a Dover pub are hoping to use the pub
as a way of helping people with learning disabilities.
Allan Whawell and his partner Joanne McRoberts have been at The Castle
pub in Russell Street for the past five months.
Now, every last Thursday of the month they are offering special nights
where people with learning difficulties can come to the pub and enjoy a
disco, pool competitions, or just the chance
to socialise. The discos are also a chance for pub regular Michael Kerr
to show off his moves on the mixing desks.
Allan works as a senior support worker for people with learning
disabilities, for a charity called United Response, based in Ashford. It
is this role that inspired him to try to help by offering the pub as a
He said: "Many organisations already do so much work for people,
but church halls and
community centres have their
own atmosphere. We wanted to offer people somewhere where they can get
out into the community.
"A pub environment can be intimidating, so we had the idea of creating a
So far two discos have taken place and Allan and Joanne are getting more
inquiries from people keen to attend. The pub's phone number is 01304
Pigot's directory of 1823 lists a "Castle Inn" at Quay and hosted by
Stephen Foord. But that is not this one.
This Whitbread house was known previously as the "White Hart" and as
such, served the public long before Russell Street was formed in 1838.
Regrettably, on 13 August 1891, the licensee's mother accidentally
overturned a paraffin lamp. The consequent blaze destroyed the interior and
it is tempting to say that the name changed when it was restored and
reopened some years later. I have no evidence to support that theory.
It was purchased by Chapman, Gibbon and Chapman in 1898 who traded as
George Beer and Company.
Enemy action closed the pub on 5 June 1942 but it was reopened by Brinley
Critchley on 5 June 1950. Much renovation and modernisation has taken place
since 1963 but the pub retains much of its old character for all that.
Above two photographs by licensee 1998-99 (he thinks) showing the cellar
after it was flooded.
Closed February 2008.
Photographs by Paul Skelton 12 August 2009.
Photos taken by Paul Skelton 16 February 2012. By the way, Paul
McMullan obviously hasn't done his research correctly as the pub is not
quite the oldest one Open 2014+ in Dover. I have only managed to date this
back as far as 1790, not 1789 as inferred, and then it was named the "White
Hart." It changed name to the "Castle" some time around 1891. The "White Horse" directly
opposite, changed name from the "City
of Edinburgh" before 1755 and I have traced it under this name as early as 1635. Looks
like Paul McMullan is again warping truths as reporters tend to do I'm
sorry to say.
From the Dover Express, 29 July, 2010.
The red tape merchants have got me over a barrel.
AN Englishman's pub is The Castle, or so says new owner of that
establishment, Paul McMullan. The Deal dad-of-four snapped up the
Russell Street boozer just over a month ago but his dreams of pulling
pints cannot be realised yet. It seems there is a mountain of paperwork
to overcome first. Here he writes of his frustration at the seemingly endless
need to fill out forms.
I WOULD like to say what a joy it is opening a new business to bring
tourists to Dover and creating half a dozen jobs for the town ... but I
The complexities of reopening an old coaching inn have left me adrift in
a snowstorm of bureaucratic nonsense. Forests are being cut down to
produce the paperwork I have to fill in.
Dozens of sheets of A4 are being handed to me daily, the health and
Safety one even came in its own lever arch folder.
Each one has to be filled in not once, not twice but in quadruplet and
sometimes quintruplet. I don't even know if that is a real word but I do
know I have to write the same thing on the same form five times over.
Instead of moving in to The Castle Inn, which I have bought, and
getting it running, I spend my days at Whitfield collecting another ream
of forms from the Department of Listed Buildings ... the Department of
Building Regulations ... the Department of Food Hygiene ... the
Department of Meaningless and Unnecessary Paperwork.
OK, I made the last one up but try this ridiculous piece of red tape for
I am told in order to reopen this historic 'pub with accommodation' as a
'pub with accommodation' I must apply for a "Change of Use."
Not only do I have to fill in the forms but I need expensive
architectural diagrams, plans, site maps and of course a fee of
"Don't worry," the girl said breezily behind the desk: "Your planning
consultant will help you with that."
"A planning consultant, why on earth would I need a planning consultant
to turn a 'pub with accommodation' into a 'pub with accommodation'?"
The Castle Inn has been running as a coaching inn
since 1790. It has advertised its overnight rooms in Dover District
Council's very own accommodation guide for tourists.
"I am not changing anything," I say. "I understand it is a listed
building. I am leaving it exactly as it is. .I am just reopening the
front door." The girl on the front desk says she needs a second opinion.
"Well, it still sounds like a change of use to me," said the head of
planning, to my complete bafflement, and then she explained: "We don't
actually have anything on our records, so for us to put it down on the
record you have to go through the 'change of use' procedure."
I plead: "I have to open, I have to sell beer, I have to let rooms. I am
heading for bankruptcy even before any customers have come in."
The Castle Inn existed even before the street that runs alongside it was
built, Russell Street, and I like the look of it. I am not even going to
change a roof tile.
I will put a few new ones in and reattach the old before they fall off,
but inside is another matter. It is a dreadful mishmash of 1960s and 70s
wallpaper, beer and cigarette-stained carpeting and bizarre paper-thin
Many of them are made out of wood and to be honest are a tinder box
waiting to go up. The whole place burnt to the ground in 1895 - I don't
want to repeat the trick.
I called the Kent Fire Safety Officer myself and what a breath of fresh
air Candy Watson was. Not a form to be filled or a fee to be paid, just
plain speaking on site advice on how to stop your building burning down.
I am desperate to upgrade facilities but just to install an ensuite
toilet I have to hire another architect, for more plans - a site plan,
waste plans, water run plans - for another fee of £500.
There are also four different sets of forms, each to be filled in four or
five times over. I have 25 forms to fill in to sell a pint of beer and
put in a toilet.
I have spent all afternoon in Dover's Heritage Centre in the reference
section digging up historical documents about The Castle Inn, to present
to the council as evidence it has been run as an Inn.
Surely the clue is in the name of the pub, The Castle Inn?
Thankfully there in black and white in one of Dover Corporation's very
own pamphlets, dating back to the 1950s or 60s, I find my proof. In a
list of places to stay recommended by the Corporation itself, The Castle
Inn, Dolphin Lane, 12 shillings and 6p a night. I think 12/6 is about
60p, so clearly it never competed with The Grand, but I also discovered
it used to be Cliff Richard's watering hole.
Every time he and the Shadows used to play in the now boarded-up Odeon,
(That should read the Grenada, later ABC
cinema). The Castle Inn being the closest to the stage door, Sir Cliff, then just
in his 20s, would run round for a quick pint. I wonder if he stayed the
From the Dover Express, Thursday 16 September, 2010.
TABLOID PHONE HACKING WAS 'RIFE' SAYS LANDLORD
Pub boss and former journalist reveals 'reporting
THE landlord of a Dover pub has become embroiled in the controversy
surrounding allegations News of the World reporters hacked into
McMullan, a father of four, was a journalist on the Sunday red-top
tabloid at the same time Andy Coulson - Downing Street's head of press -
was a senior executive there.
Mr Coulson has been accused of knowing about the "dark arts"
allegedly employed by reporters despite his public denials.
Mr McMullan, 48, who spent years as an investigative reporter and
eventually deputy features editor, recently bought the "Castle Inn" in
the town centre and is currently renovating it.
Last week, however, he broke his silence claiming to the Guardian
that phone hacking and a host of other dubious reporting techniques were
rife at the paper, particularly the use of private investigators.
Mr Coulson has always denied he knew of hacking.
But Mr McMullan, who lives in Ash, asked: "How can Coulson possibly
say he didn't know what was going on with the private investigators?"
The former journalist - who has freelanced for this newspaper in
recent years - claimed he regularly dealt with a private investigator
called Steve Whittamore based in Hampshire. He provided confidential
information at a price.
Mr McMullan - who qualified his actions with the "public interest"
justification - added: "Some of what Steve did was legal, like using the
electoral register, but if he went a step further, I would not have
given it a second thought to whether that was illegal, because that was
part of your job."
Mr Coulson was facing pressure to stand down in the face of a growing
number of former News of the World hands stepping forward to question
the Number 10 media advisor's stance on hacking.
Mr McMullan added: "Investigative journalism is a noble profession
but we have to do ignoble things."
He appeared in The Guardian and on several television programmes last
Thursday as the firestorm around Mr Coulson threatened to engulf him.
The Guardian broke the story on Thursday morning. Mr McMullan said he
had accepted no fee for his interview with the journalist Nick Davies.
From the YourDover.co.uk , 29 September, 2010. BY
SIR CLIFF'S LOCAL SET TO REOPEN AS MUSIC PUB
A LISTED building that has been derelict for years is being brought back
The "Castle" pub in Russell Street has been bought by former News of the
World journalist Paul McMullan.
The 48-year-old, who has been embroiled in the controversy surrounding
Downing Street's head of press Andy Coulson, bought the pub more than
three months ago and is investing more than £50,000 into it.
The father of four is planning to open the pub in a couple of weeks'
time, on Thursday, October 7.
Mr McMullan also has acquired a grand piano that used to belong to
former land-and-water-speed record-holder Donald Campbell, who was
awarded with the instrument after setting the land-speed record in
Mr McMullan plans to make The "Castle" a music venue for live bands and
have an opening launch.
He said: “I'm looking for a big headline act to kick it all off -
someone like Dizzee Rascal - to help launch the pub and get us known.
“We may have a quiet first few weeks, but I'm looking for a big act to
help us get established.
“I'm planning to make the pub a music venue, with a disco on Friday or
Saturday nights with live music aimed at the younger market.”
With the renovation work taking place, the re-opening of the pub will
give a boost to the dwindling number of pubs in Dover.
Mr McMullan added: “In 1970, there were more than 300 pubs in Dover, but
when I bought this, there were only 39 left.”
(I really don't know where these journalists get their information from,
but apparently Paul McMullan doesn't believe in research. In 1970 I can
only count 78. 2009 there were 39 though. Paul Skelton.)
However, despite looking to reopen, Mr McMullan is already fighting a
financial battle with Dover District Council.
He said: “Normally, a derelict building that has been refurbished gets a
three-month business rate holiday.
“They want £5,500 as soon as I take the metal sheeting down and open my
“It's not surprising so many pubs are closing down.”
The dilapidated building, next to the former Stagecoach depot, has had
an illustrious history, which was unearthed with the discovery of a
number of pictures.
Some of the photographs, dating from 1970, include celebrities such as
Bruce Forsyth and Max Bygraves.
Potentially the biggest name to have visited the pub was Sir Cliff
Richard and the Shadows, who used to regularly drink at the bar after
recording at the former TV studios in Russell Street.
Mr McMullan said: “It used to be a small hotel before it closed down and
was the local for Sir Cliff Richard and the Shadows.
"If Sir Cliff wanted to come back, we'd be overjoyed to welcome him."
From the Dover Express, 14 October, 2010.
PUB OPENS WITH NO BEER OR LOOS
CHAOS: Castle Inn owner Paul McMullan (centre) and bar
managers Kark Wooling and Georgia MacKenzie had teething problems on the
Castle Inn set to try again on Saturday.
THE grand re-opening of a Dover pub last Friday was hit by "teething"
The first problem for The Castle Inn, at the end of Russell
Street, came when the cellar beer equipment packed up.
The delivery of a
new till scheduled to arrive for the Friday night bash was also delayed
and staff ended up putting cash in an old peanut dispenser.
And then to
add to the chaos the ladies toilet, which workmen had stayed up
throughout the night to finish in time, was covered in wet paint and
tacky varnish and had to remain closed.
Initially two of the musical
acts booked to play the opening night threatened to walk off without
even getting out their instruments, but in the "never say die" spirit of
true Dovorians played anyway.
For the first time since The Castle Inn
closed down in October 2007 the sound of laugher and good music wafted
across the Russell Street car park and old National Express garage.
About 50 people turned up to see what was going on. One, mum-of-two
Rebecca Smith, 29, said: "It was a lovely atmosphere and despite the
fact there was no beer and no toilets and the bar was a complete
shambles with no till, everyone mucked in and enjoyed themselves."
Langston, 18, from Folkestone, said: "Although there were opening night
problems I had a great time."
Her mum Cath, 38, added: "They serve a
lovely drop of Pinot."
To drum up new business for Dover, The Castle Inn
has purchased a new mini bus and is offering to take people as far as
Deal, Canterbury and Folkestone at closing time if they spend £20 in the
Landlord Paul McMullan said: "It is a great idea all round. It helps
stop drink driving and brings much needed new life into the town.
had to shelve our opening night thanks to the beer cooler in the cellar
"We had installed completely new beer lines and Heineken had
tested the chillers but after the first pint of John Smiths the customer
complained it was a little warm.
"Then a horrible screeching came from
the cellar; a fan had burnt out on the unit and nothing was getting
"We had to close the ladies for fear of women spoiling their
clothes on the wet paint and varnish and the till failed to turn
up on time, but people were happy we were opening and the girls agreed
to use the boys toilets and the band played on."
Just James played a
number of Bob Dylan and blues numbers and Becky on the pub grand piano
played a set of love songs.
A second reopening day has been set for this
Saturday. The till has arrived, the cooler has been repaired and the
paint has finally dried.
Newly appointed bar manageress Georgia MacKenzie,
23, whose family run and help work three pubs in Dover, said: "In the
1950s Dover had 340 pubs - by 2010 the number had dropped to 39.
(Correct number was actually 96 in the 50s. Paul
"We are proud to reverse the trend and reopen as the 40th."
From the Dover Express, 18 November 2010.
SCARE FOR NEW LAND-LADY
SPOOKY NOISES AND SIGHTINGS IN 'HAUNTED' DOVER PUB.
NEW landlady of The Castle Inn Georgia McKenzie took on more spirits
than she bargained for when she signed up to manage the recently
reopened Russell Street pub.
When darkness falls over the 18th century inn, all manner of creaks,
icy blasts and apparitions have been sending a shiver down her spine.
And on one evening two painters and decorators who stayed on to work
late witnessed first-hand a man pacing the upper floors of the building.
When they called out to him they found all the doors bolted on the
inside and there was no trace of him ever having been there. Georgia
said: "I have had a sense that someone else is in the building ever
since I moved in three weeks ago. One night the builders tripped a fuse
and left the top floors in darkness. I was half way up the stairs when I
heard a rustling and was too terrified to continue."
To ease her fears Georgia, 24, raced downstairs and called her
partner Karl Wooding, 30, to bring their Rottweiler guard dog upstairs
to investigate, but the three of them could find nothing.
Worse was to come when Georgia thought she was safely back in her
bedroom when the keys in the lock starting "jingling".
She said: "I was so scared, the keys were moving but there was no one
there. I opened the window to call for help."
Georgia added: "There is over 200 years of history in this building
and hundreds of people have stayed at the inn and I fear something
horrible must have happened to one of them."
Owner Paul McMullan said: "I have tried to find sensible explanations
of what has been happening. When the windows are rattling and the wind
is howling round the rafters it is easy to let your imagination run away
POLICE in Dover say they have "concerns" about an application for a
temporary sexual entertainment licence at a local pub.
The licence requests permission to hold "a performance of dance by
topless women" and have a private dance area, where Dover women will
perform erotic naked dances for £10 a session, at The "Castle Inn" in
position: Bar manageress Georgia MacKenzie and landlord Paul McMullan
with the new pole for the proposed topless dance nights at The "Castle
Inn," Dover Picture: Channel News Service
The application was served at Dover District Council offices in
person on January 19.
The first event is scheduled for February 4, and officials have noted
the pub has already ordered and erected a silver pole.
The police officer responsible for licensing, Steve Alexander, said:
"Dover is seen as a bit of an innocent backwater compared to North Kent
and Margate, and when my bosses saw this they went to 20,000 feet.
"They had never seen anything like it. New rules for sexual
entertainment venues are not yet in place, and this is a temporary
licence to pre-empt that.
"There are 21 guidelines with simple rules for establishments to
follow, like preventing people looking in from the outside, but our main
concerns are the prevention of crime and disorder.
"The "Castle Inn" has held a number of drum and bass events in recent
months and they have gone off without incident, so as long as there are
door staff our grounds to make objections are limited.
"We have concerns as to how the private dances are to be monitored,
so we will be looking at this closely."
Dover District Council licensing boss Tony Bartlett said: "This is a
temporary licence application for sexual entertainment. It has come to
our attention there is a silver pole in the public bar at The "Castle
Inn," which currently does not have a licence for the performance of
"Without a licence, if a woman were to put on a performance, and were
so much as to expose even part of a breast, the landlord would be liable
for a £20,000 fine or six months in jail. If this temporary licence is
granted lewd acts are still prohibited.
"I don't think I need to explain what a lewd act is but in the
private area there would really need to be a doorman or CCTV to ensure
nothing lewd occurs."
Landlord Paul McMullan said: "We put up a pole to see where it might
go and it got stuck – no one is dancing round it and won't be doing so
until we have a licence.
"I have spoken to three officers at the council and one police
officer, they are really getting themselves in a spin. One of the
licensing officers even told me the women would be allowed to go naked
if they didn't move. We haven't had those kind of restrictions since the
"The girls want to make a bit of extra cash by taking off their pants
for a tenner and who can blame them? But this is a real sticky point for
the council, so we are looking at semi see-through netting."
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 3 February, 2011. 60p
PHONE HACKING INVESTIGATION IS 'NOT SERIOUS'
Met officers 'cosy' with reporters
A FRESH police investigation into illegal phone hacking by Sunday
newspaper journalists has been dismissed by a former News of the World
Paul McMullan, who now runs pubs in Dover and Eastry, claims the fresh probe
into the practice of obtaining information from mobile telephones is not
"serious or credible."
Mr McMullan told Newsnight on Wednesday last week that the Metropolitan
Police were compromised in their original investigation into a wider
hacking scandal because too many officers enjoyed a close relationship
News International sacked a senior executive In charge of news after a
series of e-mails appeared to implicate him in alleged phone-hacking
The new probe was started after the Met received information from News
of the World bosses who had carried out an inquiry.
This followed the resignation of Andy Coulson on January 21 as Prime
Minister David Cameron's chief spin-doctor amid continuing speculation
about what was really going on at the newspaper when he was editor there.
Mr McMullan said he had offered to be interviewed by police three times
after he had broken his silence about his experiences as deputy features
editor but said officers were reluctant to travel to Kent.
He said: "They never had any serious intention, "I don't suppose this
is either serious or credible.
"The questions being asked of the police why they didn't pursue the
inquiry further are valid there is a cosy relationship between the Met and
some tabloid journalists.
"They didn't investigate it at all and that caused a lot of incredulity
among tabloid types past and present.
"I don't want to come across as a whistle blower. I'm just standing up
for free speech and the evils of privacy."
Mr Coulson resigned from Number 10 after facing a barrage of questions
about his conduct as editor of the country's biggest selling newspaper.
The Met said it had reopened the case after receiving "significant new
information" and would be led by deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers.
Mr McMullan, of Ash, runs the "Castle Inn" in Dover and "The
Bull" in Eastry. He has freelanced for titles in Kent Regional News
and Media, which includes this title.
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 7 April, 2011. 60p
MOVIE STAY SLAMS TOWN DEVELOPERS
Hollywood celebrity Hugh's pop at planners over a
Report by Kathy Bailes
Hollywood star Hugh Grant has criticised the layout of Dover seafront
saying part of The Gateway flats should be flattened.
The Four Wedding and a Funeral star made the comments in a Dover pub
where he was celebrating his return to fitness after a recent health
scare, with a beer and a packet of crisps.
Branding The Gateway "that monstrous tower block casting its shadow
over the town and blocking the sea view," he suggested to other regulars
at the "Castle Inn" that knocking part of it down would improve the view
for visitors and residents.
The millionaire actor said: "Dover appears to have been reduced to a
port with a dual carriageway running to it.
"Most towns have bypasses, Dover has built a road to have lorries
thundering right through the middle. It must be the worst piece of town
planning I have ever seen and with that council block along the front
you can drive right the way through Dover without knowing there is
actually quite a nice beach the other side.
"They should try and knock some holes in the block."
"Castle Inn" owner Paul McMullan says be is now planning to launch a
campaign to knock the width of Russell Street out of the centre of The
Gateway flats to give the town back its view and access to the beach.
Mr Grant, who checked himself into hospital with chest pains and
breathing difficulties last week, was in town to test his fitness with a
round of golf at Sandwich after being given the all-clear by medics.
Following the round at Royal St Georges, where the Open kicks off in
July, Hugh fulfilled a promise he made to Mr McMullan to have a beer in
In January Mr McMullan came to the rescue when the star's new
£140,000 Ferrari broke down in Eastry by giving him a lift to St Georges
in his pub minibus.
At the bar staff where amazed when Hugh first walked in but he said:
"I am a man true to my word and if I promise someone I will look in and
say thank you for helping me out, I will."
Mr McMullan said: "He is just like you or me apart from the Ferrari,
the top models, the fame, the fortune, the adulation, the superstar pals
and the jet set lifestyle, but he still enjoys a pint and on that note,
the sly bugger left without paying, Hugh, mate, you owe me £5.40."
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 24
March, 2011. 60p
ANGER AS PUB LEADS TO NOISE NOTICE
Castle landlord hits out at council
Report by Adam Westgarth
A PUB landlord claims be has been served a noise abatement notice
because of rowdy gate crashers who attacked him while trying to force
their way into his bar
Paul McMullan, who owns the "Castle Inn," says a reveller tried to
glass him at kicking out time last weekend.
Mr McMullan called the police who went to the Russell Street pub and
are still looking for a man in his 20s in connection with the attack
which took place at the end of a drum and bass disco night.
But Dover District Council officers also attended during the
altercation and recorded an abatement of noise nuisance order.
Furious Mr McMullan said: "A number of people tried to get into the
"Castle Inn" after closing time and when they were refused service,
became aggressive and one tried to blind me with a glass.
"I was hit on the shoulder and head but mercifully it bounced off and
shattered behind me.
"It had been a well managed and enjoyable night up until then. The
disco was over and we were trying to close up by 2.30am.
"It is unbelievably harsh the council should add insult to
potentially life-threatening injury by serving us with a noise order."
In a letter to Mr McMullan DDC's senior environmental protection
officer Peter Davison warns the landlord he could face legal proceedings
and a fine of up to £20,000 if the "Castle Inn" breaks noise regulations
Mr Davison also warns the council may apply for a warrant to enter
the premises and remove any equipment that "may be used to cause further
A DDC spokesman said: "Under the Environmental Protection Act 1890
local authorities have a statutory duty to serve an abatement notice
where they are satisfied that a nuisance exists or is likely to occur or
Dad of four Mr McMullan, who gave up the lease to Eastry's the "Bull"
pub in March after resident complaints, has vowed to appeal against the
The former tabloid hack added: "We have learned The Beatles had been
filmed inside the "Castle Inn" in the 1960s and The Rolling Stones and
Sir Cliff Richard were also patrons.
"So many ordinary people in Dover have supported us for our efforts
in reopening this historic music venue and I am saddened by the actions
of the council.
"I have invested more than £200,000 in this part of Dover and we now
have a vibrant music scene in what can only be described as the
wasteland of the Dover development zone."
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 25 August, 2011. 60p
COUNCIL EXAMINATION OF 'TOPLESS BARMAIDS'
Risque wear gets licensing bosses hot under the
A request to allow barmaids to pull pints "topless" at Dover's
"Castle Inn" has prompted stiff opposition from the council.
District council licensing officers said they were going to keep a
keen eye on the skimpy costumes provided for the bar staff at the
Russell Street pub in case they breached "adult entertainment"
They ruled too much movement from the employees could breach "performance of
dance" licensing rules and demanded that tassels, even if used to cover
their modesty, could not be twirled in a provocative manner.
This week it
appeared a compromise was close, as landlord Paul McMullan, agreed to alter the topless specials on
Friday and Saturday nights in favour of Bikini Beach nights. He told the Express:
"Discussing the size of tassels that would need to be stuck on the girls
and whether or not they would be allowed to move while pulling pints was
one of the more bizarre conversations I have had with the council. It
was like stepping back into the 1930s.
"When a girl reaches up to the optics clearly she is going to
stretch and move - I suppose it, is a form of dance, but when the
council say the licence required costs £5,100, I can
understand why they are being picky."
An adult entertainment venue licence issued by Dover District Council (DDC) costs £2,100 for the application and £3,000 a year thereafter,
allowing lap and pole dancing and topless entertainment.
DDC's newly-appointed chief licensing officer John Newcombe said: "It is
the view of the licensing authority that the provision of 'topless
barmaids' falls under the definition of 'adult entertainment', and as
such would require either a variation to your licence under the
Licensing Act 2003 for the provision of adult entertainment or an
application for a sexual entertainments venue Licence under the Local
Government Act 1982.
"Either route would allow for proper consideration to be given to the
safety of members of staff and the promotion of the four licensing
objectives, in particular the protection of children from harm
Police licensing officer Steve Alexander, who also carried out a
personal inspection, promised a top to bottom probe.
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 1 December, 2011. 60p
CASTLE INN LANDLORD'S EVIDENCE AT ENQUIRY
DOVER pub IandIord and former News of the World journalist Paul
McMullan came under the spotlight at the Leveson Inquiry into the
culture practices and ethics of the press on Tuesday.
The father of four, whose career spans more than 20-years, spoke at
length about the practice of phone-hacking, binrifling and undercover
surveillance in the quest to write bout the truth".
In a comment that prompted a flurry of responses through social media
such as Twitter Mr McMullan told the inquiry "privacy is for
He said: "The only people I think need privacy are people who do bad
things. Privacy is the space bad people need to do bad things in.
"Privacy is particularly good for paedophiles, and if you keep that
in mind, privacy is for paedos, fundamental, no one else needs it,
Controversially Mr McMullan defended the hacking of murdered
schoolgirl, Milly Dowler's phone, saying: "Because I know how corrupt
the police can be and how, actually, it's run by a bunch of Inspector
Clouseaus, that the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone was not a bad thing
for a journalist, a well-meaning journalist who is only trying to help
find the girl, to do."
Former editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks also came under fire
during his evidence, with Mr McMullan calling them "the scum of
journalism," for their denials of any knowledge of phone-hacking.
Mr McMullan ended his evidence by saying: "The press and a free
press, and a press that strays into a grey area is a good thing for the
country and a good thing for democracy.
Should the video not play in your browser, it can be downloaded by
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 15 December, 2011. 60p
NOT GUILTY PLEA FOR PUB ASSAULT
The Dover publican who gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry into
press standards has been the victim of an alleged assault at his public
On Monday Jake CIapson, 18. pleaded not guilty to assaulting former
News of the World executive Mr McMullan by beating him at the "Castle
lnn" on June 6.
Mr McMuIIan gave evidence to the inquiry a fortnight ago.
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 12 July, 2012. 65p.
HOSTEL BOSS HITS OUT AT WORKS
DISTURBED: the road work equipment outside the "Castle Inn" in
THE owner of a former pub-turned youth hostel has hit out at road
workers who left their diggers on the pavement outside his business.
"Castle Inn" owner and former News of the World reporter Paul
McMullan says a tarmac machine, a digger, and a steamroller were left
“abandoned” outside the premises during recent resurfacing work.
The works on June 27 ended at 2am and involved the use of hot tar.
Mr McMullan said: “The stench of tar was everywhere.
“It was a hot night and all the windows were open but they had to be
closed because of the smell.
“The machines made one heck of a noise and everyone in the building
was woken up.
“We had nine Belgian cyclists, two backpackers from South Korea and
two Americans and all of them had to be refunded.
“To make matters worse, the machines were left outside all day so we
couldn't even open our front door or use the outdoor seating area.” KCC
said a mechanical issue with equipment caused the works to carry on
later than planned.
A spokesman added: “We apologised to the residents of The "Castle"
youth hostel and have offered compensation for their disturbed sleep.”
From an email received 23 January, 2013.
The widow of CRITCHLEY Brinley
Aubrey 1947-61 dec'd of the "Castle Inn," took over the licence of the "Prince
of Wales," Fishmongers Lane after Brin died.
Sorry I cannot remember her name for sure but it may have been Iris
Regards, Peter Coe
From the Dover Mercury, March 21, 2013. 80p.
Ex-NoW journalist stands for UKIP
THE UK Independence Party is
planning to field a number of candidates in Dover and Deal at the county
council elections - and one has already been named.
Picture: Graham Tutthill FM249507T
Former News of the World journalist Paul McMullan, who was among those
who gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, is to stand for one of the
Dover seats at the election on May 2.
He has also been appointed as the press office for the Dover and Deal
branch of UKIP, and says he would be interested in eventually standing
for the European Parliament.
Mr McMullan, 45, says he was inspired watching Diane James, the UKIP
candidate who beat the Tory candidate in the Eastleigh by-election, when
she appeared on the BBC television programme Question Time broadcast
from Dover Cruise Terminal.
Mr McMullan, 45, who moved to this area after playing golf at Deal,
bought the "Castle Inn" two years ago when it had been closed for two
Refurbishment work is still going on.
Paul McMullan will contest the county council elections for UKIP
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 26 April, 2012. 65p.
Report by Adam Westgarth
OUTDOOR PUB SEATING STOLEN IN DOWNPOUR
Shower lasts 20 minutes, during which teak chairs taken
MYSTERY surrounds the disappearance of an outside dining table and
chair set which vanished from a popular Dover pub.
Revellers were left shocked by the sudden disappearance of the brown
garden furniture from outside The "Castle Inn" on Russell Street.
Punters were outside enjoying the sunshine when a 20 minute downpour
forced them to retreat inside with their pints.
But when one drinker nipped outside for a cigarette when the rain had
gone, he was amazed to find the £600 dining set missing.
Landlord Paul McMullan, 45, told the Express: “I thought I was going mad, one
minute the usual street furniture was there arranged nicely right
outside and the next it had gone.
“It is not as it was light - the teak chairs were really heavy, I
didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
“I was just dumbstruck.”
The "Castle Inn" now has no outside furniture for punters to relax on
and Mr McMullan has called the disappearance last Wednesday as “one of
the most brazen thefts ever reported in Dover”.
Both he and a group of customers scoured the surrounding area for the
table and chairs but failed to locate them.
To add insult to injury, Mr McMullan, a former tabloid journalist,
only recently paid Dover District Council £200 for a license to have
street furniture outside his business.
He added: “I have the right to have outside furniture but I don't
have any to put out there.
“The rain literally lasted 20 minutes and in that time someone has
pinched my tables and chairs.
“It couldn't have been one person - the furniture is really heavy.”
Mr McMullan has contacted the police about the theft and is urging
anyone with information about the incident to get in touch with the
The stolen items include a bench, three teak, slated folding chairs
and two tables for visitors to enjoy a pint outside in the sunshine.
■ Mr McMullan can be contacted on 01304 202108.
MYSTERY: The Castle Inn landlord Paul McMullan has no idea where his
outside furniture has disappeared to
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 21 February, 2013. 70p.
PUB FIRE JAIL TERM
A FORMER bar manager who tried to set fire to a Dover pub has been
jailed for six months.
David Astbury, 47, was convicted at Margate Magistrates' Court on
February 1, of common assault, theft of £5 and attempted arson. Astbury
was sacked from his role in charge of the bar at The "Castle Inn,"
Russell Street, last year but remained living at the premises. He
attacked staff with lumps of raw meat, stole a bag of change and set
fire to a table on January 24.
The owner of The "Castle Inn," Paul McMullan, said: “It is a shame, I
had 50 applications for his job and he was the best one.”
Magistrate John Offord sentenced Astbury to 180 days in jail.
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 11 April, 2013. 70p.
Election coverage by Phil Hayes and Mike Sims
LANDLORD RUNS ON 'SAVE PUBS TICKET'
WILLING TO SERVE: Ex-journalist and pub landlord Paul McMullan is
running as an independent to help save village pubs.
Paul McMullan jettisoned by Ukip.
FORMER tabloid journalist Paul McMullan is running as an independent in
the county council elections after he was “stabbed in the back with a
rusty blade” by Ukip. The "Castle Inn" landlord is now challenging the
Conservatives for the Dover North seat after being kicked off the party
ticket at the last minute.
Mr McMullan will run for election under the banner of “Save Village
Pubs”, with a manifesto pledge of axing tax from beers which contain
four per cent alcohol or less.
The father of five hopes the prospect of reducing the price of a pint of
Fosters to just £1.65 will prove popular with voters in Guston, Kingsdown and St Margaret's.
Mr McMullan, who had been set to contest seats held by Tory Nigel Collor
and Labour's Gordon Gowan, quickly canvassed opinion in Dover North
chairman and executive committee refused to back his candidacy The
45-year-old said: “It only gave me a matter of hours to fill in my
nomination forms. The thing everyone cared about was the last pub in the
village staying open.” Mr McMullan thinks he will gain protest votes in
what is a traditionally Conservative area.
He said: “If you are sick of the Tories you don't have the choice of
voting Ukip but you do have the choice of saving pubs.”
A spokesman for Ukip agreed that “village pubs are damn worth saving”
but said the former News Of The World reporter was axed because of fears
that the party's 55 other Kent candidates “would be
overshadowed by Mr McMullan's personality”.
He added: “There was a feeling that his candidacy for Ukip would be a
distraction as he'd be the story rather than the party.”
The current Conservative holder of the Dover North county council seat,
Steve Manion, was not concerned by Mr McMullan's election bid and
believes voters will back him on his record.
He said: “I'm here to represent the people whether they go to the pub or
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 2 May, 2013. 70p.
Report by Mike Sims
CANDIDATE REGRETS HIS SPLIT WITH THE UKIP PARTY
LAST PUSH: Paul McMullan (right) campaiging with baby Sebastian in
the "King's Head", Kingsdown.
AN INDEPENDENT candidate has expressed regret that he is not
representing Ukip, as thousands of Dover district voters head to the
polls today (Thursday).
As revealed by the Express in March, former tabloid journalist Paul
McMullan had been unveiled as a Ukip candidate in the party's fight to
taste success at County Hall.
The 49-year-old later split with the group and accused it of “stabbing
me in the back with a rusty blade”, but now admits the fall out has
damaged his chances of success.
The accusation comes as a complaint was also reportedly made against the
local Labour movement to Dover District Council over its election
literature. It has been accused of breaking the rules by circulating a
leaflet without the party's imprint - a legal requirement - in the Ash
area for the Sandwich seat.
Father-of-five Mr McMullan, who is standing for the Dover North seat on
Kent County Council, told the Express this week: “Campaigning is going
ok, I've had a good response in Kingsdown, but I must say I kind of
wish I was still standing as a Ukip candidate. I would stand a much
better chance of success. It's a shame I've not been able to stand for
Ukip blamed Mr McMullan's personality on the split.
A party statement said: “There was a feeling that his candidacy for Ukip
would be a distraction as he'd be the story rather than the party”
Labour insiders this week told the Express that they were becoming more
hopeful by the day that they would make gains in the district.
Labour currently holds just one of the seven KCC seats, Gordon Cowan in
Dover Town, a victory it achieved in a by-election following the death
of the Conservative holder in 2010.
But a source said: “The response from our door-knocking has been warm,
so we're confident of increasing our presence at Maidstone.”
Ukip, meanwhile, have been buoyed by opinion polls which show a surge in
support in the county At 80, their Dover West candidate Gordon Killip is
one of the oldest to be standing across Kent.
If he won he would be in his mid-80s by the time of the next election,
but faces an uphill task as he takes on a strong Tory seat.
The former Labour councillor said: “I've got my own hair, own teeth and
am not overweight, I'm fine for this.
“Everybody I speak to says they will vote Ukip.”
Results will come in from 9am tomorrow (Friday) at Dover Town Hall.
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 27 June, 2013. 70p.
LANDLORD'S EURO MP BID
DOVER landlord Paul McMullan says he plans to stand in the European
Parliament elections next year.
The former News of the World journalist, who runs The "Castle Inn," told
the Express that Ukip had invited him to attend a “selection event” next
Mr McMullan was axed from the Ukip ticket in the run-up to the county
council elections in May amid fears that he would “overshadow” the
party's other candidates, and removed from the role of regional press
officer for the party.
But he stood in Dover North as an independent pledging to “save village
pubs” and finished third with 500 votes.
Now the 49-year-old is set to run again in next May's European
elections. Mr McMullan told the Express he received an e-mail from Ukip
inviting him to the selection process in London on July 10. He said:
“I'm surprised they're still courting me.” Dover and Deal Ukip chairman
Peter Ripley said he thought it was unlikely, that Mr McMullan would be
one of the party's candidates. ”
According to my research William Curling couldn't have been at this pub
long in 1904 as records show he was at the "New
Commercial Quay" from 1903 to 1905. I assume he was just filling in
between James Harold Hunt and David Marjoram, as it seems John Murray didn't
last long for some reason.
The Dover Express reported William Job of being at the G.P.O. prior to
this public house.
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1901
From the Post Office Directory 1903
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909
the Post Office Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1922
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
From the Post Office Directory 1930
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
From the Post Office Directory 1938
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39
From the Kelly's Directory 1956
Library archives 1974
From the Dover Express
If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the
above licensed premises, please email:-