Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.


Earliest 1871-

Chance Inn

Open 2020+

Guston Road


01304 206162

Chance Inn 1915

Above postcard, circa 1915.

Chance Guston
Chance Sign GustonChance Date  stone Guston

Above photograph of the Chance Inn by Paul Skelton 4 August 2007


A stone laid into the pub states the T E R 1746, so the building is obviously mid eighteenth century but looks like it has been renovated and altered over time. I do not know what the letters stand for, probably the initials of the original builder.

The "Chance Inn" sign of the 1980s used to depict Red Rum one of the most famous ‘chances' of all time. The house acquired its name when an eighteenth century farmer bought it and converted it to a pub for his workers, thus taking a chance by competing with the established village inn, the "Plough."


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 January, 1895.


George Edward Harris was charged with selling beer at the “Chance,” Guston, without a license on 22nd December last.

Defendant pleaded guilty, and Mr. Mowll who appeared on his behalf said that it seemed that on the last Court day the defendant attended with the view of asking for temporary permission to draw at the “Chance” beer-house, Guston. No formal application however was made, but the defendant afterwards seemed to be under the impression that he would be doing nothing wrong in selling until the next sitting of the Court in Dover. No doubt it was a technical offence for which the defendant was sorry.

The Magistrates took a lenient view of the case and imposed a fine of 20s. including costs.

Subsequently Mr. Mowll made an application of behalf of Mr. Harris for permission to draw at the “Chance” and the Magistrates taking his previous good character into consideration gave permission.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 January, 1895. Price 1d.


John Walter Baker, and John Pierce Wellard were charged with being on licensed premises of the “Chance,” Guston, after closing time. Both pleaded guilty and the Magistrates imposed a fine of 9s. each including costs.


Chance Inn 1895

Above photo taken in 1895 shows a farm cart and labourer in a field opposite the Chance Inn (in background), the field is now the site of Brompton Villas.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 January, 1895. Price 1d.


Mr. Knocker applied for the confirmation of a provisional licence , granted at the East Kent Quarter Sessions to the Chance Inn, Guston.

Mr. F. G. Hayward, a member of the firm of Messrs. Worsfold and Hayward, produced the plan laid before the Quarter Sessions at Canterbury, and also a plan showing enlargements since effected to add to the accommodation. The bar parlour was 7ft. by 13ft., and the tap room had been enlarged to 11ft. by 20ft.

Superintendent Chaney said that he was satisfied with the way the work had been carried out.

The application was granted.


Dover Express, Friday 17 May 1895.

More bonafide travellers.

Samuel Dixon, a civilian, Henry Bailess, and William Fould, Artillerymen, stationed at the Castle, were charged with being unlawfully on licensed premises, the "Chance," Guston, during closing hours on Sunday, April 28th.

Police Constable Adams proved finding prisoners in the "Chance" on the day in question. On being questioned, the Artillerymen said they came from Deal, and the other man said he was from Folkestone.

The Superintendent said there was no doubt that the landlord believed the men were bonafide travellers, and they had not proceeded against the landlord.

The Bench fined Dixon 11s., including costs, and the two artillery men 8s. each, including costs.


Dover Express 21st September 1900.


Permission for an hour’s extension on the night of the harvest supper at the "Chance Inn" on September 26th was granted.


From the Dover Express, Friday 16 October, 1903.


An occasional license was granted Mr. W. S. Norris, of the Chance Inn. Guston, to supply intoxicants at Frith Farm, on October 21st. on the occasion of the stock and farm sale there, caused by the farm being obtained for the Duke of York School.


Dover Express 29 September 1911.


Messrs. Terson and Son held a sale of property at the Auction Mart yesterday.

Including "Chance Inn," Guston, sold for 900.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 28 February, 1913. Price 1d.


Mr. R. Mowll (Coroner for East Kent) held an inquest at the “Chance Inn,” Guston, on Saturday afternoon, to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the finding of the mutilated body of Claud William Laurence Marshall a short distance inside the Guston tunnel on the previous Friday morning.

Mr. R. Mowll, in opening the inquest, said it had been suggested that the deceased was in the habit of occasionally going into the tunnel for the purpose of injecting morphia.

Mr. Morton Pickett was chosen foreman of the Jury, which, having viewed the body heard the following evidence:-

John Fortune, 25, Bridge Street, Dover, a platelayer of the S.E. and C. Railway Company, said: On Friday, about 7 a.m. I was entering the Dover and Deal tunnel, near the Danes, to go to work, when I saw the body of the deceased about fourteen or fifteen yards inside the tunnel. The body was laying face downwards, the head towards Dover, the left leg lying in the four foot way of the uproad from Martin Mill. Most of the body was lying between the outer rail and the side of the tunnel. The body was cold, and I moved it clear of the rails and left it in charge of two men whilst I communicated with the Borough Police. Outside the tunnel on the downside, near Mr. West's garden, there were marks on the bank as if someone had slipped down.

Police-sergeant Hayden, K.C.C., stationed at Walmer said: About mid-day on the 21st February, from information received I went to the Dover entrance of the Guston tunnel where I saw the body of a man lying on the outside of the up rail. I searched the body and found the following articles: a handkerchief marked C. L. Marshall, and empty hypodermic syringe case, a phial of pills, a portion of a hypodermic syringe, and 1s. 7d. in money. The glass portion if the syringe was missing. Upon searching the ground in the vicinity of where the body was found I discovered a portion of a hypodermic Syringe. There was also an envelope in the deceased's pocket bearing the address of a London chemist, and addressed to L. Marshall, Esq. About 180 yards from the entrance to the tunnel a railway employee pointed out marks on the bank apparently where someone had slipped down from over the top – about forty to fifty feet. Pieces of turf and chalk had been dislodged, but at the bottom of the bank there was nothing to show that anyone had been injured on the railway. The body was found fifteen yards inside the tunnel. Twenty four yards inside there were portions of the body and marks which no doubt showed that the body was struck by the train at that spot. I examined the body and found extensive injuries to the head. The left leg was severed at the thigh and above the knee. With the assistance of some of the railway officials the body was removed to Guston. The part of the hypodermic syringe was found twenty-four yards inside the tunnel. Upon examining the clothing I found the braces were fastened to the trousers on the right side and back only, the left side being unfastened. It appeared that the trousers of the left side had been let down.

Augustine Martin Marshall, living at Barntye, Guston, said: The handkerchief produced and the envelope were the property of my husband, Claude William Laurence Marshall, aged 41 years. He was formerly a lieutenant of the South Staffordshire Regiment, but of no other occupation. I last saw him at 2.10 p.m. on Thursday. He had been ill, and seemed weak, but said he would go into Dover for some fish for his tea. The doctor had ordered that he should not walk quickly, so I told him not to hurry up the hill. He did not return. At one time he often slept out of doors under hedges or anywhere, so that I did not worry very much. He used to suffer from double stricture, and before he was operated upon injected morphine and cocaine into his system. He gave it up from January to July, and then broke out again, and I once found him in a pit up here. He found things dull when the children went to school. I did not thin k that he touched any drugs since July. About a fortnight ago he came beck from London after spending a fortnight with his mother, and I think that he must have broken out there, but he did not tell me. I thin k that was as well as going for the fish on Thursday he also went to get himself some drug, because he left both his dogs with Mr. Pritchard, as he did not like them with him when his head ached or when they were troublesome. I asked him to call and see Mr. Fletcher, who lives on the hill near the tunnel, about some goats. Evidently he stopped on his way there and went into the tunnel to take some morphia. It was a bright noonlight night, and I know that he occasionally went into the tunnel to inject the morphia into his leg. He went in because he could not do it outside where people were often about. He generally took ten minutes to make the injections, usually three, and allowed two or three minutes between each injection. I remember that he once told me as a joke that one night he had been in the tunnel and came out and stood on the bridge and counted everything in his pockets to see if they were all right, and must have fallen asleep, for he woke up and saw the lights of a train coming towards him and received a great fright. I had beseeched him not to go inside the tunnel because I though that if he fell asleep on the bridge he might fall asleep in the tunnel. I do not know how far in it was that he was found, but I know that he would go inside so that nobody would be able to see him. He had no hypodermic syringe at home, and if he did have one he must have concealed it. He was 41 years of age, and has an estate at County Limerick, Ireland, where his tenants literally worshipped him. He was a thorough Irishman and of a happy disposition. He was never despondent, but fond of life. He formerly took sixteen grains of the drug a day, and we got the dose down to eight, and at last six, after which he gave it up. I thought that the doctor had ordered him to take a certain amount of something, and that he took the lot, and feeling very bad went to buy morphia and cocaine. I was breaking him of the habit. He suffered from indigestion, and was taking Oataline and Fry's Malted Cocoa.

Witness, in reply to the foreman as to whether the deceased would become dazed after taking the dug, said it depended upon the quantity taken.

Arthur Charles Kay, 40, High Street, Dover, a pharmacist, said: I knew the deceased gentleman very well as a customer. He used to purchase drugs from me. On Thursday he called at 4.30 p.m. and said he had broken out again and was unable to do without the drugs, and asked for the usual quantity. I gave him six grains of cocaine and six grains of morphine, in two separate powders. He had no bottles, and I provided him with the two produced. In each I put six drams of distilled water. He said he had lost his hypodermic syringe, and he bought another one from me, of which the portion (produced) is a part. He administered some cocaine in his arm. When he commenced dealing from me over a year ago he brought me a prescription. I know that he used to go into dark places in order to inject the morphine, and occasionally I allowed him to use my private compartment. When injecting the morphine he would have to take the left part of his trousers down.

The Coroner: It was a pity that he got back to the habit.

Witness: In another three months he would have become a wreck again. He was a very nice fellow.

Albert Edward Pritchard, grocer, Biggin Street, Dover, said: At about 6.30 p.m. the deceased came to my shop and asked if he could have his two gods with me whilst he went to the King's Hall, saying that he would return for them about 8.30. he left, but did not return. He was a thorough gentleman, and I am sure he had no suicidal tendencies. He was always in good spirits.

Acting-sergeant Southey, of the Dover Borough Police, said: On Thursday afternoon I saw Mr. marshall in Kay's, the chemist, and also in Cuff's. he appeared to be in his usual spirits. He was well known by all the members of the force. As a result of enquiries from Mr. Craig, manager to Mr. Marcombe Cuff, I have ascertained that the deceased called at that shop on Thursday afternoon about 5.30 p.m., and asked for something to produce sleep, and complained of sleeplessness. Mr. Craig sold him a phial of 25 tablets.

Police-sergeant Hayden said that one of the tablets was missing.

Dr. Joseph Richardson, of Dover, and Poor Law Officer for Guston, said: I have examined the body and found that the top of the head had been carried away. The left thigh is almost divided. There are many cuts and abrasions on the body. I should think that the deceased was bending down and was so interested in injecting the morphine that he did not notice the train coming and was struck on the head.

Witness, in reply to the foreman, said he did not think that the deceased became dazed after using the drug; not with a man like the deceased. He would probably be oblivious to anything except what he was doing – injecting the morphine.

The witness Fortune, recalled, said the distance between the outer rail and the side of the tunnel where the body was found, was about three feet. By stooping over, the deceased's head would be above the rail and would be struck by the engine just below the buffers.

P.S. Hayden, in reply to the foreman, said that no marks had been found on any engine, or any report received from any driver as to anything unusual happening.

The Coroner, in summing up, said that it was quite possible that the deceased was so interested in the act of injecting the morphine that he did not notice the train approaching, and was therefore knocked down and killed. It was a very sad case, and it was also a very terrible thing to notice what a fearful hold these drugs took upon people.

The foreman said the Jury agreed that the deceased met his death by misadventure, and considered that as well as the deceased being so intent in his actions, the fact of there being a gradient in the tunnel would account for less than the usual noise caused by an approaching train.


Dover Express 08 January 1915.

L. A. I. O. O. F.

After having been closed for five months, the New Century Lodge, No. 14, L. A. I. O. O. F., at the "Chance Inn," Guston, will be reopened on Wednesday, January 13th, at a meeting at 7.30, on which occasion a good attendance of members is expected.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 February, 1922. Price 1d.


The report of the police on the licensed houses in the district, which was first presented at Wingham on February 2nd, and published at the time, were again read over.

Plane for the alteration to the “Chance Inn,” Guston, were submitted by Mr. F. G. Hayward, and approved, the improvement being an alteration to the staircase.



Nowadays the interior is decorated with a racing and golfing theme and as well as skittles being played at the elevated back garden, the pub also boasts a putting green.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 7 January 1938. Price 1d.

An extension was granted to the "Chance" at Guston till 10.30 p.m., on 29th January for the Thrift Club annual dinner.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 20 January 1939.

The licensee of the "Chance Inn," Guston, was granted an extension till 11 p.m. on January 28th for the Thrift Club annual dinner.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 21 March, 1947

Cross Country

Competitors in the Duke of York's R.M. school intermediate cross-country championship, crossing a field near the "Chance Inn," Guston, on Tuesday afternoon.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 9 October, 1953.

Chance Harvest Supper, 1953


Members and guests at the harvest supper held at the Chance Inn, Guston, on Saturday evening.



Chance skittle team 1984

Above photograph fro around 1984 shows the mixed skittles team of the "Chance."

From left to right are John Durrant, Alf Huntley, John Husk, Gary Ambrose, Tony Kember.

Women: Sandy Cribben, Lynn Reddings, Barbara Morris, Val Reddicliffe.

From the Dover Express, 21 May, 2009

Pub mystery fun

A MURDER-mystery evening is being held tomorrow (Friday) from 7.30pm at the Chance Inn in aid of St Martin's Church, Guston.


Roger Morris

Above photo showing licensee Roger Morris, circa 1980s. Sadly died 29 December 2020.



PRESCOTT Mary 1871+ (age 75 in 1871Census)

WHITE George 1891+ (widower age 75 in 1891Census)

COURT James to Feb/1895 Dover Express

HARRIS George Edward Feb/1895+ Dover Express

CROOK Thomas Henry 1901-June/1902 Next pub licensee had (also bricklayer age 38 in 1901Census) Dover Express

NORRIS William Stephen 1903-06+ Next pub licensee had Dover Express (Late spirit merchant's foreman) (age 47 in 1911Census)

FAGG James Mar/1912-Sep/13 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1913

MAXTED Mr G F Sep/1913+ Dover Express (Licensee from Oxfordshire.)

Last pub licensee had PARAMOR William Ralph Barron 1914-Jan/21 Dover Express (Extra history)

SCOTT William Jan/1921-Dec/21 Next pub licensee had Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1922

HARE Charles George Dec/1921-Jan/23 Dover ExpressPikes 1923

POOLE Christopher John W Jan/1923-24+ Dover ExpressPikes 1924

FRANKS George R 1932-50 (age 51 in 1938) Pikes 1932-33Kelly's 1934Pikes 1938-39Kelly's Directory 1950

RIDDEN Charles H F 1953-74+ Kelly's Directory 1953Kelly's Directory 1956Library archives 1974 Fremlins

MORRIS Roger to 29/Dec/2020 dec'd


Further information I have received from Ian Norris is from an entry on page 84 of the Guston parish register that states:- "Evelyn, daug. of William Stephen and Harriet Norris - Publican, Chance Inn - born 4th Sept 1906 - died 4th Oct 1906 - bap. 25th Sept 1906".


The Dover Express reported that James Fagg was from 9, Granville Street, Dover, late spirit merchant's foreman.


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

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

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

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

Kelly's Directory 1950From the Kelly's Directory 1950

Kelly's Directory 1953From the Kelly's Directory 1953

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:-