Sort file:- Dover, November, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 15 November, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1895

(Name from)

Castle Inn

Open 2020+

Dolphin Lane and Russell Street


01304 202108

Castle Inn

From the Dover Express 24 December 1997 by Bob Hollingsbee.

Castle Inn Landlady 1904

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.

Castle Inn publican

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!"


Castle 1955

Above photo kindly taken and sent by Norman Clark, circa 1955.

Castle sign 1955Castle sign 1955

Above signs from above photo.

Castle matchbox 1974

Above matchbox, circa 1974, kindly sent by John Gladish.

Castle matchbox 1974

Above matchbox, circa 1974, kindly sent by John Gladish.

Castle Inn card

Above Whitbread card from Kent Series, No. 2, released 28 May 1973.

Castle Inn circa 1980

Above photo circa 1980.

Castle 1984

Above photo, circa 1984.

Castle 1986

Above photo, 1986, kindly sent by Michael Lock.

Castle Inn circa 1987

Above photo circa 1987.

Sastle Inn sign 1986Castle Inn  sign 1991

Castle sign left April 1986, sign right, October 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Castle Inn circa 1995

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.


Mr. Rutley Mowll applied for the renewal of the licence of this house to Mr. Bushell.

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 1d.


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, Friday 9 June, 1933.


The "Castle," Dolphin Lane," from Ernest Hillyar to Albert Ernest Tumbers, late of the "Board Hotel," Knarlsborough.


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.


Dover Express, Friday 16 June 1950.

CASTLE INN. Russell Street, Dolphin lane.

Re-opened on June 5th.

Welcome awaits you in this very comfortable well-known Inn.

Bed and Breakfast.

Drink Fremlin's.


From the Dover Express, Memories by Bob Hollingsbee, 4 April 2002.

Castl Inn regulars 1963 Castle Inn regulars 1963

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 'local.'

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 redevelopment scheme.

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!

Photo Souvenir.

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 Street.

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 released.

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, 27 October 2005.

Monthly pub discos.

PEOPLE with learning disabilities now have a new venue thanks to the couple who run the Castle pub in Russell Street.

Allan Whawell and his partner Joanne McRoberts run discos and events for people with learning disabilities on the last Thursday of every month.

The next disco is taking place tonight (Thursday) starting at 7pm.

Mr Whawell said: “We wanted to offer people somewhere different than a community centre or a church hall, which have very distinctive atmospheres.”


From the Dover Mercury, 3 November 2005.

Castle licensees 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 venue.

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 special night."

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 202108.



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.


Castel cellar 1998
Castle cellar flooded 1998

Above two photographs by licensee 1998-99 (he thinks) showing the cellar after it was flooded.

Any bankruptcy lawyer Columbus knows that unforeseen disasters like floods can cause financial hardships that often lead to bankruptcy for many businesses.


Closed February 2008.


Closed Castle Inn 2009 Closed Castle 2009 Castle Inn sign 2009

Photographs by Paul Skelton 12 August 2009.

Castle 2012 Castle sign 2012Castle sign 2012

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.

Castle and landlord 2010

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 can't.

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 size.

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 300-and-something pounds.

"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 partitions.

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 night?


From the Dover Express, Thursday 16 September, 2010.


Pub boss and former journalist reveals 'reporting techniques'

THE landlord of a Dover pub has become embroiled in the controversy surrounding allegations News of the World reporters hacked into politicians' telephones.

Paul McMullan

Paul 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 , 29 September, 2010. BY MATHEW BEECH


A LISTED building that has been derelict for years is being brought back to life.

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 Bluebird.

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 door.

“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.


Castle reopening 2010

CHAOS: Castle Inn owner Paul McMullan (centre) and bar managers Kark Wooling and Georgia MacKenzie had teething problems on the opening night.

Castle Inn set to try again on Saturday.

THE grand re-opening of a Dover pub last Friday was hit by "teething" problems.

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."

Ruby 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 pub.

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.

"We had to shelve our opening night thanks to the beer cooler in the cellar packing up.

"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 chilled.

"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 Skelton.)

"We are proud to reverse the trend and reopen as the 40th."


From the Dover Express, 18 November 2010.



Georgia McKenzie

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 with you."


From Thursday, 27 January, 2011


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 Russell Street.

Georgia MacKenzie & Paul McMullan

Pole 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 dance.

"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 1950s.

"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


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 executive.

Paul McMullan

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 with journalists.

News International sacked a senior executive In charge of news after a series of e-mails appeared to implicate him in alleged phone-hacking activities."

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


Hollywood celebrity Hugh's pop at planners over a pint

Report by Kathy Bailes

Hollywood star Hugh Grant has criticised the layout of Dover seafront saying part of The Gateway flats should be flattened.

Hugh Grant at the Castle

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."

Paul McMullan and Hugh Grant

"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 his bar.

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


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 again.

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 nuisance".

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 recur."

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 notice.

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


Risque wear gets licensing bosses hot under the collar

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" guidelines.

Nipple tassels

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 objective."

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


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 paedophiles".

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, privacy."

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 clicking here.

From the Dover Express, Thursday, 15 December, 2011. 60p


The Dover publican who gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry into press standards has been the victim of an alleged assault at his public house.

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, 26 April, 2012. 65p. Report by Adam Westgarth


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.

Paul McMullan

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's unbelievable.

“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 police.

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, 12 July, 2012. 65p.


Castle Street roadworks 2012

DISTURBED: the road work equipment outside the "Castle Inn" in Russell Street

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 Crichley.

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.

Paul McMullan

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 years.

Refurbishment work is still going on.

Paul McMullan will contest the county council elections for UKIP


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 21 February, 2013. 70p.


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


Paul McMullan

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 after Ukip's 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 not.”


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 2 May, 2013. 70p. Report by Mike Sims


Paul McMullan in the King's Head, Kinmgsdown

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 them.”

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.


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 month.

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. ”


From the Dover Express, 20 February, 2014. Exclusive by Jamie Rose.

OWNERS of properties which suffered damage in the storms in an area stretching from central Dover to the seafront have been warned their insurance may be invalid because of flood risk.

Paul McMullan

It means many may have to fork out thousands of pounds repairing the damage themselves.

"Castle Inn" in Russell Street had more than 150 Kent peg tiles ripped from its 250-year-old roof and submitted two estimates of just under 10,000 for repairs.


But insurer Gresham’s assessor said the claim was “not worth proceeding with” as the building was less than 250 metres.

From the sea and within a flood risk area. It is believed flats around Market Square have suffered similar problems.

The "Castle Inn’s" owner Paul McMullan said: “The pub sign blew into the street and tiles were being picked off and tossed into the air - it was probably the worst storm I’ve ever seen down here.

“On Wednesday police had to be called as big aluminium ‘Welcome to Dover’ sheets put up by the council were flying down Russell Street, crashing into cars and people. One of them nearly broke my left arm and another cut a police officer’s hand.

“It was like a scene from a disaster movie. Our insurance company was quick to accept payment for the policy, but not so keen on paying.

“It says that we should have disclosed the flood risk, even though most of the damage was done by the wind.

“I’ll bet next year’s premiums are going to be huge. My current renewal quote is 3,000, which is enough, especially if it doesn’t pay when disaster strikes.”

Gresham said that the claim would probably be rejected “due to the properties’ proximity to the sea and that the flood database shows the property is within an increased flood risk area”.


It added: “Had underwriters been made aware of this they would have accepted the risk subject to no history of flooding to any property within a 250m radius of the risk. They would have also applied a 2,500 storm/flood excess."


From the Dover Express, 20 March, 2014. Exclusive by Jamie Rose.

Landlord in bid for cannabis cafe at pub.

He’ll contest next election for party he has founded.

Paul McMullan

A TOWN centre pub landlord wants cannabis legalised so he can turn his premises into a Dutch-style coffee shop.

"Castle Inn" owner Paul McMullan is also looking to contest next year’s general election as a candidate for the Dover Coffee Shop party, a group he has founded.

The former tabloid journalist believes the only way forward is for an elected member to raise the issue of legalisation in parliament.

It follows Green councillor Ian Driver’s campaign to open a cannabis cafe in Thanet.

Russell Street pub owner Mr McMullan said: “My argument is that I pay considerable taxes while the government is missing out on a multi-million pound selling and growing industry.


“I have a son who is getting older and I’d like to think he won’t have to meet the kind of scum who will happily poison you for 20 quid profit.

“'But the only way is to change the laws and that would mean an elected member making the case in Westminster. Unfortunately, even though a lot of people smoke cannabis in Dover they aren’t exactly the types to go out and vote.”

The government reclassified cannabis as a more serious Class-B drug in 2009.

Meanwhile Cllr Driver organised a public meeting in Thanet on Saturday and attendees included Professor Alex Stevens from the University of Kent, the Kent Cannabis Consortium and the UK Cannabis Social Clubs.


Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes was invited to the meeting but declined to attend.

She said: “If people want the law changed then they really need to lobby their local MP"

Cllr Driver accused her of “burying her head in the sand”.

Kent Police said: “Our role in enforcement is bound within the law and possession is an offence which carries a maximum five-year prison term.

“The use of any premises for any drug-related activity is an offence punishable by imprisonment of up to 14 years with an unlimited fine.”


From the Dover Express, 21 August, 2014.

Landlord’s parking ticket appeal turned down.

Paul McMullan

RUBBISH: Paul McMullan with his fine.

A PUB landlord who challenged the parking ticket he was given while clearing up fly-tipping has lost his appeal.

The Express reported last month that Paul McMullan, who runs The "Castle Inn" in Russell Street, had been slapped with a 70 fine while trying to tidy the rubbish dumped near his boozer.

Dover District Council parking department said: “The charge was correctly served because the vehicle in question was parked on double yellow lines in Russell Street at 1.34pm on July 19 in contravention of the waiting restrictions. Your reasons for parking in contravention are not acceptable grounds for cancellation. The civil enforcement officer first noticed the vehicle parked at 1.26 but did not log you into his computer until 1.33pm.

“He did not see any loading or unloading taking place either to or from the vehicle during this time and loading must be continual, adjacent, regular and timely. Therefore, the notice was issued correctly.”

Mr McMullan now has 14 days to pay.

He said: “If that’s what the council is going to do when I try to help then f*** you, they can move it themselves.”


From the Dover Express, 4 September, 2014.

Express helps landlord quash parking ticket.

A PUB landlord has thanked the Express for helping him get his parking ticket quashed on appeal.

The Express recently reported that Paul McMullan, who runs The "Castle Inn" in Russell Street, had been slapped with a 70 fine while trying to tidy rubbish dumped near his pub.

Dover District Council initially refused to cancel the ticket, but the authority has now caved in.

Mr McMullan said: “To make sure they saw the story I cut and pasted it out of the Dover Express and sent it straight to Sue Young, the parking boss at the council.

“A day later she accepted the appeal. It’s one-nil for the power of the press this time round.”

An e-mail sent to Mr McMullan said: “The circumstances described in your representations have been accepted and the penalty charge notice has been cancelled on this occasion.”


From the Dover Express, 16 October 2014. By Jamie Rose.

Landlord calls time on council’s payment rules.

‘Destroying small businesses that bother to try to work in Dover’

A LANDLORD has blasted “ludicrous” rules which mean business owners incur court fees because councils are only allowed to send out one late payment reminder per year.

Castle Inn owner Paul McMullan had a reminder in January, paid the arrears and paid in monthly instalments until August.

Within days of the August payment being missed, he was sent a summons to magistrates court including immediate 100 costs and the potential for hundreds more in legal charges.

The Russell Street publican said: “It’s no surprise that businesses keep shutting up shop in Dover and blame the council.

“I have a lot going on and deal with cash payments - it’s always a bit off a faff doing it and on this occasion I had simply forgotten to pay it.

“They don’t actually do anything for the town. They just sit up there in Whitfield destroying small businesses that actually bother' to try to work in Dover.”


A Dover District Council spokesman told the Express said the one reminder per year rule was entrenched more than two decades ago in the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

But Mr McMullan is not the first trader to point a finger at DDC this year. Several weeks ago new town centre restaurant Darvell’s closed its doors after just four months, taking a passing swipe at Dover’s business rates on the way out.

This week a Folkestone sandwich shop owner, who wished to open a new branch elsewhere, told the Express that rates for a similar tenancy in Dover were higher, despite the lower footfall.

A DDC spokesman said: “We would stress that DDC does not set the business rates. Business rates are set by the UK Government and collected by the district council. Like every town, Dover’s high street has seen the effects of the recession.

“One of the ways we’re responding to these challenges is with the proposed St James’s development, which is attracting new retailers and leisure facilities to the town.

“This demonstrates that investors see the potential in Dover.”


From the Dover Express, 20 August 2015.

Roof caves in on pair staying at Castle Inn.

TWO guests at the Castle Inn were injured when the ceiling collapsed on top of them as they slept in their beds during a thunderstorm.

Castle plaster 2015

Lumps of “lathe and plaster” - said to be 200 years old - gave way without warning at 10pm, just as the guests were turning in for the night.

The young couple suffered minor injuries. The boy was bruised on his back and the girl received cuts to her leg.

Paul McMullan, owner of the Russell Street pub, said: “It was quite quaint having a sloping roof to the bedroom and because there are no bricks on the second level the whole building actually moves in a storm.

“Sadly this was one storm too many and the plaster just let go.

“We did what we could to make them as comfortable as possible and because we were full, I paid for them to sleep at the B&B opposite.”


From the Dover Express, 24 September 2015. By Phil Hayes

Guests at Dover pub feel the earth move.

GUESTS at the Castle Inn in the heart of the St James development zone woke up with their beds vibrating last week.

As demolition crews started to take apart the County Hotel, more than 20 tiles fell onto the pavement as the pub shook, according to landlord Paul McMullan.

He said the 235-year-old Castle Inn also lost the A’ the ‘S’ and the ‘L’ from its historic sign.


One backpacker staying at the pub, which also serves as a young travellers’ hostel, said: “When the cranes and the trucks move around you can feel the vibrations coming through the beds.

“It is quite exciting to be in the middle of things but you can’t help worrying the place is falling apart.”

Three weeks ago part of the ceiling collapsed on a young couple in bed. Mr McMullan initially thought the damaged had been caused by a storm. But he told the Express: “Cracks are appearing on another ceiling.

“I have spoken to Chris Waller, the council building control officer, and he said they had deliberately chosen to take the buildings down slowly to minimise damage but accepted vibrations might have an effect.

“I am overjoyed to see the work finally starting - I just hope the Castle stays upright until it is finished.”

Bond City, the developers of the St James site, have since written to Mr McMullan proposing a “detailed condition survey of the building” to monitor impact of the work.


From the Dover Express, 14 January, 2016. By Phil Hayes.

THE landlord of The Castle Inn in the heart of the St James development zone is threatening to chain himself to his garage in a dispute over a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

Castle garage

The three parking spaces and garage at the back of Paul McMullan’s historic pub are the last patch of land to be taken over by Dover District Council.


While Burlington House and the multi-storey car park have been bought and nearly demolished to make way for the likes of Cineworld and Nando’s, Mr McMullan has managed to hang on to the sliver of land.

The former News of the World journalist said: “We need it for the bins, our beer deliveries and parking.

“We are all in favour of the new development but the council is demanding we hand it over without offering anything in return.

“Really nothing, not a bean or even the offer of a parking space in the new development.”

A warehouse is scheduled to be built just six inches from the pub’s back wall, completely obscuring the three-story building, according to Mr McMullan.

He added: “Progress is progress, but with Dover having so little history in its town centre after the destruction of the Second World War, the council should treat The Castle Inn as the gem it is.

“The Duke of Wellington used it as his office in 1793 and dozens of famous characters have been through its doors, from the Beatles to Fred Dinenage.”

Mr McMullan told the Express he should receive compensation.

But he fears bankruptcy if he pays high legal fees and loses.

A DDC spokesman said: “The land did not have a registered title and was therefore treated in the CPO as land in unknown ownership.

“However, Mr McMullan has claimed that he occupies the land for parking and storage in connection with the Castle Inn.

“The council, in liaison with the developer, has therefore permitted Mr McMullan to continue to use the land until possession is required.

“Mr McMullan has also been advised of his rights to claim compensation if he has an interest in the land or has acquired rights over the land.

“Obviously such a claim will have to be properly formulated and supported by appropriate evidence. The council will continue to engage in dialogue with Mr McMullan in order to clarify any claim that he is making and seek to resolve the matter as soon as possible.”



I am informed that of August 2018 the pub was under sale for an asking price of 500,000.



HOWE Charles 1895 Pikes 1895

CRUDEN John 1895-99 Kelly's Directory 1899

CHAPMAN G A 1898 ?

CHAPMAN W C N 1898 ?

GIBBONS Oliver F 1898 (White Hart or Castle Inn)

ARMITAGE B early 1900's (Castle Inn)

CURLING William 1901+ (age 66 in 1901Census)

HUNT James Harold 1901-Dec/02 Next pub licensee had Dover ExpressKelly's 1903

MERRILL Benjamin Armitage Dec/1902-03 end Dover Express

BUSHELL Frank William 1903-Apr/04 Dover Express

Last pub licensee had MARJORAM David Apr/1904-Apr/12 Pikes 1909Dover Express

JOB William George Apr/1912-13 end Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1913

MARTIN William 1913-Apr/14 dec'd Dover Express

MARTIN Mrs Anne E (widow) Apr/1914-Feb/22 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1922

Last pub licensee had HILLYAR Ernest Feb/1922-June/33 Dover ExpressPikes 1923Pikes 1924Post Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33

TIMBERS Alfred Ernest June/1933-35 end

BARHAM Charles 1935-36 end

STAINES Nelson Arthur 1936-Mar/42 Post Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39Dover Express

MARTIN Wilfred Mar/1942+ Dover Express(of the Brewery, Favesham)

CRITCHLEY Brinley Aubrey 1947-61 dec'd Kelly's Directory 1956

BOLLANS Charles Fortescue 1961-75 end Library archives 1974 Fremlins

SEWELL Derek Ronald 1975-79 end

BROWN 1979



HILL J H 1987 only


STEWARD Victor 1988

LAWLOR John 1998-99

McROBERTS Joanne & WHAWELL Allan June/2005+

BEER Gary Aug 2007-Feb/08 Closed

Opened again

McMULLAN Paul August 2010+


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.


Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

Kelly's Directory 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Pikes 1909From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Pikes 1923From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Pikes 1932-33From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Pikes 1938-39From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39

Kelly's Directory 1956From the Kelly's Directory 1956

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


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