Page Updated ASH (Canterbury):- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.


Earliest 1851-

Crooked Billet

Latest 1998

96 New Street


Crooked Billet 1952

Above photo 1952. Creative Commons Licence.

Crooked Billet 1955

Above photo 1955. Creative Commons Licence.

Crooked Billet ledger

Thompson & Sons ledger. Creative Commons Licence.

Crooked Billet 1980s

Above photo kindly sent and taken by John Fagg in the 1980s.

Crooked Billet sign 1987

Above sign 1987.

Crooked Billet in Ash 1998

Above is shown the Crooked Billet in Ash in 1998.

Former Crooked Billet, Ash 2010 Former Crooked Billet, Ash 2010 Former Crooked Billet, Ash 2010

Above pictures taken from Google Maps 2010.

Ash map 1896

Above map 1896.

From the Kentish Chronicle, Saturday, 10 September, 1859. Price 1d.


On Sunday, Mrs. Price, wife of the landlord of the “Crooked Billet,” was sitting in her room, when a vein in her leg, near the ankle, burst. Medical aid was speedily sent for, but in seven minutes she was dead. Mr. Delasaux held an enquiry into the case on Monday.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 January, 1921.


Plans for alterations to the "Crooked Billet," Ash were sanctioned.


From the Dover Express 15 January, 1971


Slavonil and Mavys Janacek 1971

The "Crooked Billet" public house at Ash is the drinking place of many Czech airman.

Mr. Slavonil Janacek and his wife have taken over as licensees.

It is almost within sight of his last R.A.F. posting, Manston - where he served from No. 23 Squadron years ago.

Slavonil was one of many Czechs who escaped to England at the outbreak of war in 1930 and soon became a member of the then Wing Commander Max Aikens night fighter squadron.

This was a posting that earned him a Distinguished Flying Cross to add to his D.E.M. on the occasion when he shot down four German aircraft in one night during a raid on Liverpool.

It was during his wartime service he met his wife Mavys, formerly an art student and then a fighter plotter in the W.A.A.F.

It was with high hopes for the future that he took her back to his country in 1945 when he joined the Czech Air Force.

But like many others he found the Communist Country unacceptable. Three years later with Mavys as his navigator he "borrowed" a plane from the station at Chradime near Prague, and took off to England.

However good a wife Mavys may be her navigation was obviously slightly adrift. Running low on fuel and seeing a cricket match in progress they proclaimed that they had arrived. But on making a forced landing they found they were at St. Valerie near Somme in Northern France.

It was after this that Slavonil joined the R.A.F. for the second time.


We'll fight to keep village ale and hearty.

From the Dover Express 12 November 1998 by Sergio Nardone.


A DECISION on whether to allow the conversion of a former village pub into a house has been deferred by councillors.

The Crooked Billet, in New Street, Ash, closed in September after the owners reported a downturn in trade.

They say they tried to sell the pub but failed to find any interested buyers when they put it on the market.

Dover District Council's planning committee is dealing with an application to convert the pub and build two other homes behind it.

Planning officers cannot prevent the owners putting forward the proposals as there are three other pubs in Ash, The Red Lion, The Chequer Inn and The Volunteer.

But 75 members of the local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale signed a petition calling for it to be kept as a going concern.

They said there were few meeting places in Ash and the pub helped prevent people having to go outside the village for entertainment.

Neighbours said the development would be over-intensive, adversely affecting the area's special character.

Council officers are negotiating with the owners to change plans to include two bungalows rather than houses which would overlook nearby properties.

Ward councillor Mary Smith (Cons, Ash), welcomed the deferral as a chance to obtain more information.

She said: "I've no objections to the site being developed but I think the present plan is over-intensive and out of keeping with the surrounding area."

Councillors approved deferral and a tree preservation order.

Crooked Billet 1999

Above photo shows the "Crooked Billet" and sign in 1999, obviously closed. Photo copyright P E Blanche (permission to use on this site enquired, no reply to email.)

From the East Kent Mercury 14 January 1999.


The former "Crooked Billet" pub in Ash is being converted into a house.

District councillors granted planning permission for the changes at a meeting last week when they also agreed to two more properties at the back of the inn in New Street.

The eucalyptus tree in the garden is protected by a preservation order.

The pub shut in September after the landlord reported a serious downturn in trade. The property has been on the market since then with no interest from any prospective buyers.



The Dover Express of 1904, I believe called this pub the "Cricket Inn" by mistake, when the license was changed from Richard Ladd to his wife Harriett after his death. She being the executor.

This pub was just up the road from RAF Ash, the underground listening station.

The pub used to show (pre-1987) a splendid three-dimensional sign showing the crooked log.

In 1998 planning application /98/00735/ TR 296:581 proposed that the "Crooked Billet" at 96 New Street, Ash, Sandwich, Kent:- "Change of use from public house to 2 dwelling and erection of 2 dwellings."

15 comments were added to the Council Application web site, 13 objecting to the change of use and 2 being neutral. Unfortunately the comments are no longer viewable.



PARSONS Owen 1841+ (listed as farmer age 55 in 1851Census)

HUNT William 1851+ (age 39 in 1851Census)

PRICE Stephen 1859-61+ (listed as market gardener age 68 in 1861Census)

MANTLE Sarah 1881+ (widow age 62 in 1881Census)

LADD Richard 1891-Apr/1904 (age 51 in 1891Census) Dover Express

LADD Harriett Apr/1904+ Dover Express

WELLARD Thomas to Nov/1910 Dover Express

BELSON William Nov/1910-11 (age 40 in 1911Census) Dover Express

ATTWOOD George John to Feb/1923 Dover Express

REYNOLDS Richard James Feb/1922-Oct/23 Dover Express

HAMMOND Oct/1923+ Dover Express

RICHARDS Mr P 8/Apr/1945-52 Dover Express (of Ash)

NASH John R 1952-Feb/1954 Dover Express

SKILTON Herbert C 1954-56 Dover Express

SOUTHAM A G 1956-Oct/58

FRANKLIN J R Oct/1958-Feb/60

TAYLOR W J Feb/1960-63+

JANACEK Slavonil 1971+ Dover Express

Last pub licensee had BOOMER Larry Next pub licensee had 1974 Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co


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:-