Sort file:- Canterbury, December, 2022.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 10 December, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Rory Kehoe

Earliest 1827

(New) Dolphin

Open 2019+

16 St. Radigund's Road


01227 455963

Dolphin 1910

Above photo, circa 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Showing Mr. & Mrs Alfred Sutton outside the original building.

Dolphin darts outing 1949

Above photo showing the ladies darts club outing in 1949. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Canterbury map 1874

Above location identified on the 1874 map by Rory Kehoe.

Dolphin 1965

Above photograph by Edward Wilmot 1965.

Dolphin drawing 1972

Above print from "City of Canterbury Streets and Buildings," drawing by John Berbiers. 9 July 1972.

Dolphin Dolphin Dolphin signDolphin sign 1992

Above photos and left taken by Paul Skelton, 19 May 2012.

Dolphin sign right 1992.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Dolphin inside 2010

Photo taken 20 October 2010 from by Jelltex.

Dolphin 2019

Above photo 2019.


Said to be probably the third with this name on the same site, but slight confusion due to there being another called the "Dolphin" situated in Burgate Street in 1689. However Stapleton's Guide of 1838 referred to this as the "New Dolphin."

1793 saw the property sold to the Mayor and Commonality of Canterbury, called "The Bath House and the Bath outhouses etc. in the occupation of John lade of Canterbury, Leather seller, deceased, the late owner and proprietor," and  the City Corporation owned the building till 1853, between which it was leased out to a number of people.


From the Maidstone Gazette and East Kent Courier, 4 September, 1827.

To be let by auction.

At the Guildhall of the City of Canterbury, on Tuesday, 11th day of September next, at 12 at noon, for the highest yearly rents the best bidders may be willing to give, (subject to such conditions as such be then and there produced) on leases for 21 years, to commence on the 10th day of October 1828.

Lot 5:- All that free public house, called or known by the name of the "Dolphin," (formerly the Bath House) together with an excellent piece of garden ground in front, containing, by measurement, 21 Perches, little more or less, and now in the occupation of Mr. James Large.

Lot 6:- All that messuage or tenement, adjoining the "Dolphin Inn," with the Workshops and Stables thereunto belonging, now in the occupation of Mr. Prentice, Worsted Manufacturer; together with a piece of garden ground, containing, said measurement, 14 Perches, little more or less.


Earliest mention of this premises as a public house was in 1827 with as licensee, and then George Pepperday in 1832 and Henry Bird in 1842 who purchased the property at auction in 1853 for 405. In 1853, John Washington Davey bought the Dolphin Inn in Canterbury (formerly St Radigund’s Bath) for 405 along with the land known as 'St Radigund's Garden. Some time after this, the Dolphin was moved to its present location, at 17 St Radigund's Street, on what had once been the formal garden. The bathhouse building was converted to residential use - 1 & 2 Cold Bath Cottages, which are not found in local directories after 1937. In 1960's slum clearances and many other older properties in the area were also pulled down, and the St Radigund's Car Park was built over a large portion of the Baths site.

In 1838 it was mentioned in a local directory as being called the "New Dolphin" indicating that there may have been an older or original one on the same site or perhaps nearby. However, further research states that it changed name to the "Dolphin" in 1827. A list in 1878 omits either a "Dolphin" or "New Dolphin."

George Beer bought the premises in 1865 with 2 cottages at the rear and the entire was demolished for rebuilding shortly after.

The "Dolphin" appears again in an 1888 directory, with Mr. H. Pocock as in-keeper and corn-dealer.

The pub seems to have disappeared again in 1902/3 when the address was given as Alfred Sutton, Laming and Sons, builders and undertakers.

Whitbread files state the building was rebuilt again in 1927 just after George Beer and Co amalgamated with Rigdens Brewery, and replaced the older property. The building today is situated on the site of the garden of the previous building which stood back a little from what was called Lock Lane in 1827.

An entry in Fremlin's 1950s publication called "Where shall we go," indicated the following:- Phone number - Canterbury 2064. Parking accommodation - Free Car Park opposite. Coached approximately 3/4 mile. Lunch - No (Sandwiches only). Tea - No (Sandwiches only). Remarks - Piano available. Large Club room, exceptionally fine bat and Trap lawn with nice garden. 2 minutes Cathedral.


From Kentish Gazette 27 March 1838.


Respectfully announces to his Friends, the Citizens, and Residents of the Neighbourhood, that his Opening Dinner will take place on Tuesday, the Tenth of April next, when the company of themselves and friends will be esteemed a favor.

Tickets, including waiters and dessert, 5s., to be had at the Bar.

Dinner on Table at Four o'clock.


From the Kentish Gazette, 1 May 1838.


HAS to offer for SALE by PRIVATE CONTRACT, all that PUBLIC HOUSE, and SPIRIT SHOP, in full trade, called the "Dolphin," and TWO COTTAGES and garden adjoining, situate in Saint Radigunds-street, in the city of Canterbury, held under lease from the Corporation of Canterbury, of which there were 23 years unexpired on the 25th of March last. The whole are in good repair and produce a clear income of 26, alter payment of all outgoings.

For particulars apply (if by letter, post paid) to Mr. Bind, auctioneer, Burgate-street; or to Mr. DeLasaux, solicitor, Castle-street, Canterbury.


From the Kentish Gazette, 29 September 1840.


The gentleman of the "Faversham Cricket Club" brought the season to a close on Wednesday last. After a friendly game, the members, accompanied by their friends, repaired to the "Dolphin," where they sat dawn to an excellent dinner, served up in that superior style for which Mr. Hodges has become so justly famed.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 11 December 1841.

Insolvent Debtor.

To be heard at the City of Canterbury in the county of the same City, on the seventh day of March, 1842, at the hour of 10 in the forenoon precisely.

Thomas Admans formerly of the "Crown and Anchor" public house, King Street, Canterbury, Kent, licensed victualler; next of the "Dolphin" Public House, St. Radigund's Street, Canterbury, aforesaid licensed victualler, before said of King Street; and late of North Lane, Canterbury, aforesaid, out of business and employment.

James Nichols.

No. 8, Cook's Court, Lincoln's Inn London.

For the Society for Relief of Debtors.


From the Kentish Gazette, 2 September 1845.


Pout:— August 20, after a few days illness, Jane Maria, wife of Mr. W. Pout, of the "Dolphin" public house, St. Radigunds street, Canterbury, aged 27.


From the Kentish Gazette, 12 September 1848.


Thursday being the annual licensing day of victuallers, in Canterbury, the magistrates were occupied some time in making the necessary preparations, and they granted licenses to a hundred and twenty-seven persons; four others being absent, will have theirs at a future sitting. There were eight fresh applications - two of them for restorations of the licenses to H. Gills of the "Dolphin," St. Radigund-street, and W Knott, "Plough," St. Peter's Lane, which were still withheld, and one by R. Pilcher Baggs, for a house No. 6, Castle-street, refused.


Kentish Gazette, 16 December 1851.



Friday, December 12. (Before William Delmar Esq.)

Henry Gillis, Thomas Streeting, and John Hudson, were charged with stealing six sacks of barley, on the 9th instant, the property of Thomas White Collard.

Mr. Ashenden, superintendant to Mr. Collard, deposed that some barley had been thrashed recently at Brotherhood Farm, Nackington. It was finished last Saturday; the prisoner Hudson was engaged there, with another man and a boy; it was being cleaned on Monday. It was the duty or Hudson to lock up the barn, and give the key to Saunders, at the house. On Tuesday morning the prisoner Hudson was cleaning the barley over the second time. I asked why they had not cleaned it all i one day. Langford replied, because it wanted so much chopping. From the appearance, I thought some of the barley was gone. The next morning I examined the heap, and knew some considerable quantity had beet taken. I then asked John Hudson how he had left the barn the previous night, and if he thought he had lost any of the barley. He said he had left it safe, and that he had not missed anything. I took a sample of the barley to Canterbury, when Oakenfull asked me if I had lost any barley; I therefore accompanied him to the station-house, where I saw six sacks of barley, which corresponded with the samples. I have no doubt of its being the property of Mr. Collard. (The samples were here produced.) It corresponded both in colour and quality; there were those kind of seed of weeds in the barley at the station-house which I had noticed in the barley at the barn at the farm. An entrance could be obtained into the barn by lifting up the bay boards without using any force.

Thomas Langford, of Canterbury, in the employ of the prosecutor, deposed that he commenced cleaning the barley with Hudson on Monday morning; they run it through once. He commenced chopping it, which they finished on Tuesday. He thought there were about 8 qrs. done on Monday. Witness and the prisoner left together on Monday night, when both the doors were fastened up by the latter. It was light on Tuesday morning when he went. Hudson unlocked it. Saunders gave witness the key of the barn, when Hudson called him back, and told him there was no occasion to be in such a hurry. Witness slipped for a short time, and gave the key to the prisoner. They then both entered, and proceeded to finish chopping the barley.

James Saunders, living on the farm premises, foreman to the prosecutor, said I remember the prisoner Hudson bringing in the key of the barn about six on Monday evening; it was in my possession all night. The next morning, about six, I gave it to Langford. I was in the barn on Monday, and I thought there would be 9 or 10 qrs. of barley, after it was cleaned up. Hudson sleeps with the waggoner, in the house. They both left the house about seven on Monday night, and I do not know when they returned.

John Paten, the waggoner, left the farm with the prisoner after supper, and went to Canterbury to a public-house — the "Dolphin;" and left it about three o'clock the following morning; the prisoner went part of the way home with witness; to within about 20 rods of the farm-yard. Witness got a light, and went to his horses. The prisoner did not give any reason for stopping at the meadow. He joined witness at the stable about 20 minutes afterwards, and remained till breakfast time, five o'clock. The prisoner Gillis is the landlord of the "Dolphin;" he served witness with some beer at that house. Hudson went out two or three times, and was absent for about an hour one time. There were soldiers and other men in the tap room. Did not see the prisoner Streeting there.

Police-constable Epps was on duty in St. Dunstan's on Tuesday morning. Saw the prisoner Thos. Streeting about a quarter past 2 driving two horses. In about half an hour afterwards, witness saw him with a horse and cart empty in North Lane; there was no one with him. About a quarter past six he saw the same cart, with a quantity of sacks in it pass down Pound lane; it was going at such a rate witness could not distinguish the person it. He traced the cart to the "Dolphin," and saw a person take a sack out of it, and go into the "Dolphin." Streeting then drove the cart to his residence in Nott's Lane. Witness obtained assistance, and went to the "Dolphin," knocked Gillis up and inquired of him what had become of the sacks just brought in? He said what sacks? Witness then saw six sacks standing in the passage containing barley, and told the prisoner he charged him with receiving barley knowing it to be stolen. He replied that he bought it a fortnight before, and that he had not stolen it.

Police-constable Holloway, about 6 on Friday morning, went to the back of the "Dolphin" public-house to search, while Epps went to the front. He asked to be admitted at the back door, but Epps could not open it for the corn standing in the passage. The prisoner was told he must go to the station-house; he then took a pair of dry boots and went with Epps shortly after witness went down the cellar, and found the boots produced, with wet mud adhering to them; he had since examined the ground near the back of the barn, and found the footprints corresponded with one of the boots found in the cellar and also with one of Streeting's boots. He also tracked the cart from the "Dolphin" to the prosecutor's farm.

James Sampson, police-constable, went to Streetiog’s house at 6 on Tuesday morning, and asked him if he had fetched any corn that morning. He said he had not, and stated that the cart standing in the lane was his brother's, but admitted that he had just taken a horse out of it. He then then took the prisoner into custody. There were several cleaves of corn in the cart.

A porter belonging to the South-Eastern Railway Company proved letting the prisoner Streeting pass through the gate at St. Stephen's, on Tuesday morning, about half past three, he had come in the direction of North Lane, Canterbury; the cart was empty. About half-past five he let the same cart pass back again with sacks in it; Streeting was not then with the cart, a short man was driving. Oaken full, constable, deposed to taking Hudson it to custody, on suspicion of having something to do with stealing the corn. He said he knew nothing about it, and that he could bring his mate to prove that he was in bed all night. Superintendent Walker examined the house of Gillis on Thursday evening, and produced a coat, which he found there, said by the prisoner’s housekeeper to be his property. After the usual caution had been given by the Bench, the prisoner Streeting said:— Gillis came and knocked me up on Tuesday morning, and asked me if I could hire him a horse and cart. I said mine was hired; but I had a horse out at grass near the railway, and my brother would let me have his cart and harness. I agreed to have them ready by three o'clock. Before starting I asked where he was going, and Gillis said to Whitstable. I drove a little way, as far as St. Stephen's Green, because I did not know whether the horse would go or not, and then returned home. About a quarter before six, Gillis returned with the horse and cart, and I assisted him in it, with the corn.

The prisoners were then committed for trial.

Application was made to be admitted to bail, but the Bench refused to accept it.


Kentish Gazette, 13 January 1852.


On Friday last these sessions were opened it St. Augustines, Canterbury, before J. B. Wildman, Esq., chairman, and the following magistrates:— Sir N. E. Knatchbull, Bart., Sir E. Dering, Bart, Sir Brook W. Bridges, Bart., W. O. Hammond, Esq., G. Gipps.. Esq., Rev. N. Toke, W. H. Carter, Esq., E. Jarman, Esq., Ed. Foss, Esq., G. M. Taswell, Esq., Wm. Delmar, Esq., Wm. Burra, Esq., T. H. Mackay, Esq., M. Bell, Esq., W. A. Munn, Esq., the Rev. J. Hilton. &c.


Henry Gillis, 35, Thomas Streeting, 35, and John Hudson, 26, for stealing three and a half Quarters of barley, value 4, the property of Thomas White Collard, on the 9th December, 1852, at St. Stephen's. A second count in the indictment charged the prisoners with feloniously receiving the barley, well knowing it to have beer, stolen.

Mr. Barrow, with Mr. Frances, prosecuted on behalf of the Society instituted for the Protection of Property.

Mr. Horn defended Gillis, and Mr. Dawson, Streeting.

Mr. Barrow minutely stated the case to the jury, and called the following evidence in support of his position:— James Ashenden, bailiff to Mr. T. W. Collard, at Brotherhood farm, Nackington, deposed that the prisoner, Hudson, was in the employ of Mr. Collard. On Saturday the 7th of December, there was some barley being thrashed at a barn on the farm. It was cleaned over once on Monday. It was Hudson's duty to close up the barn. On Tuesday morning they were cleaning it the 2nd time there appeared to he a less quantity then. There ought to have been 11 quarters of barley. On Wednesday, I inquired of Hudson how the barn had been left on Monday, and Tuesday evenings, and he replied all right. I then took a sample of the barley and proceeded to the station-house at Canterbury, where I saw 6 sacks of barley—that had only been cleaned once—there were the same sort of seeds of weeds in the barley at the station-house, as at the prosecutor's barn. I could not see that any entrance had been forced into the barn.

The front door was looked up—but the back was fastened up by an iron staple. The bay boards could be lifted up, and an entrance effected that way. Two or three of the men working on the premises were aware of this.

Cross-examined by Mr. Dawson. James Saunders—in the employ of Mr. Collard, remembered the 8th December. He resided on the farm. The key was in his keeping at night.

After he received the key on the night in question, the prisoner Hudson and the waggoner went out, and he did not see them again till the next morning at 5 o'clock.

Paten, the waggoner, deposed that he was in company with Hudson on the night of the 8th of December. They left the farm together about 7, and came to Canterbury, to the "Dolphin." They stopped there till about 3 on Tuesday morning, when they left for home. Hudson left witness when within 20 rods of Mr. Collard's farm. Hudson came to him about 20 minutes afterwards at the stable. While at the "Dolphin," Hudson left for about an hour. I did not see any one go with him. We had some beer, but I don't know who paid for it—or whether it was paid for at all.

Daniel Bourne—I am a gatekeeper on the S. E. Railway Company—at the St. Stephen's crossing—On Tuesday morning, the
9th of Dec. last, about half-past 3, the prisoner Streeting went through with a horse and cart,—the latter was empty; he was going away from Canterbury; at half-past 5, I let the same horse and cart go back again—it was driven by a short man. There were 5 sacks in the cart, filled with something.

James Epps, police constable:— On Monday night, the 8th of December, I was on duty; and on the the morning of the 9th, I saw Streeting, about a 1/4 past 2, with two horses, going towards his own house; at a quarter past three, I saw him again coming from the same direction with a horse and cart, and drive down North-lane, towards St. Stephen's. About a quarter to six, I saw the horse and cart again, but can't say, who drove it. I followed the cart to the "Dolphin," and saw a sack of something taken into Gillis' house. I was in time to see the last sack taken in from the cart. Streeting took the cart away to Nott's lane, near his own house. I afterwards examined the cart and found some barley clevels. I then obtained assistance, and went to the "Dolphin," and knocked Gillis up; he came down without his shoes. I asked him where the sacks were that
had just been brought into his house. He said what sacks. I then saw the sacks standing. After cautioning him, he said "I bought the barley a fortnight ago. I did not steal it." I then took him to the station-house. (Samples of the barley were here produced.) Gillit put on a pair of Wellington boots, clean, to go in.

James Sampson, another policeman—went to Streeting's house a little after 6 on the morning in question. I found him dressed. There was a cart in the lane, which I asked if it belonged to him. He said no—it was his brothers, and he said he had just taken a horse out of the cart. There were several clevels of barley in the cart.

Charles Holloway, police constable, assisted in searching the prisoners Streeting's and Gillis's houses. At Gillis' house I found a pair of boots in the cellar, wet and dirty—at the station-house, I took Streeting's shoes off, they were wet and muddy. Near Mr. Collard's barn were some boot marks, which corresponded with the boots taken from Streeting and Gillis. (He described how he compared the boots with the prints.)

There is another way from Mr. Collard's farm into Canterbury, besides coming through the railway gate at St. Stephens.

Thomas Oakenfull deposed to apprehending Hudson on the 10th Dec. He said he knew no thing about the barley, and that he was at home on the Monday night; he expressed a wish to have the waggoner, who could prove that he was at home. I told him that was the man I was going to get against him.

Superintendent Walker searched Gillis's house, and found the coat produced.

Bourne was recalled, and deposed that the coat produced by the last witness was something like the one the prisoner Gillis wore on the morning in question.

Thomas Langford, said, on the Monday, I thought there were about 8 quarters of barley in the barn.

Mr. Dawson then proceeded to address the jury for the prisoner Gillis, and was followed by Mr. Horn, on the part of the prisoner Streeting, who called a witness, who gave the prisoner a good character.

The Chairman summed up, and the jury found all the prisoners guilty.

A previous conviction (16 years ago) was proved against Streeting, who was sentenced to be transported for 7 years; the other prisoners were sentenced to 6 months' imprisonment each.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 12 September, 1863.


Notwithstanding the existence of 160 licensed houses for the sale of spirits in Canterbury, at the city annual licensing day, on Thursday, there were seven applications class= class="address"made for new licenses, three only were sanctioned, viz., to the “Tally Ho,” Notley street; “Dolphin,” St, Radigund’s street; and the “Bricklayers’ Arms,” Sturry-road. The old licenses were all renewed, those parties who during the year had been summoned for misconducting their houses being cautioned by the magistrates.


 Sussex Agricultural Express - Lewes, East Sussex, England 24 February 1891.


Sentence of five years penal servitude was passed on William Benson, 62, publican, and Frederick Benson, 28, labourer, for setting fire to their house, the "Dolphin Inn," with intent to defraud, at Canterbury on the 23rd January.


The official record stated:- William Benson, 29th January, 1891, Publican, Feloniously setting fire to a house in his possession, with intent to defraud at canterbury, on the 23rd of January, 1891.


Dover Express 16th July 1948.


Two Snowdown Colliery miners, James T. Parkinson (28), of 6 Old Park, Aylesham, and John C. Morris (38) of Zealand Road, Canterbury, at Canterbury Quarter Sessions on Saturday, pleaded guilty to being concerned together in breaking and entering the booking office at Canterbury East Station about 16th April and stealing a trunk containing clothing and an ATS girl’s kitbag and suitcase, also containing clothing etc., and 3s 10d from a platform ticket machine; and breaking and entering Cadbury’s depot at Canterbury East on May 15th and stealing chocolates and cocoa to the value of 10s 7d.

Both also admitted being concerned in breaking into the “White Hart”, Canterbury and stealing 4 5s from the till and breaking and entering 3 Worthgate Place, Canterbury, and stealing about 4 5s belonging to Arthur Shrubsole. Parkinson further admitted breaking into the “Dolphin”, Canterbury, and stealing money and breaking into "Aylesham Working Mens’ Club" and stealing bottles of spirits and cash to the total value of 39 14s 5d.

Mr. J. S. Daniel, prosecuting, said that it was due to the vigilance of PC Hutchings that a wages slip was found beneath the open window at Cadbury’s and all these cases were unearthed. The paper led to Morris and on to Parkinson and, in each of their homes, some of the stolen property was found. Morris admitted that he had “done the job” after he had had some beer.

The Recorder (Mr. Eric Neve KC) said it was a very commendable piece of work on the part of the constable.

DC Packman said Parkinson was before a juvenile court on four occasions for larceny and shopbreaking and had been sent to an approved school. He served in the Forces and in the Palestine Police and was discharged with a very good character. He had earned up to 11 weekly at the colliery and was married with three children. Morris had no previous convictions and had been at Snowdown since 1943, was an excellent worker and earned about 10 weekly. He had seven children.

The Probation Officer reported that Parkinson was a good worker and had been in no trouble since 1936. He had stated that he was off work and was short of funds. He did not seem to realise his serious position. Morris had looked after his children well, but was of the type easily swayed after a few drinks. He had had a really bad fright over that case.

The Recorder asked Parkinson if he could give any reason why he should not go to prison for twelve months, and the prisoner replied that, if he went to prison, his wife and children would be the obvious sufferers.

Morris attributed the offences to stoppages and strikes which did not enable him to provide for his wife and family.

He was told to watch his step. The Court would take the lenient course of binding him over for three years.

The Recorder told Parkinson that they were going to make him care. He should have been sent to prison for a long time, but he would be remanded on bail until October, when the course then taken would depend on the reports on him that the Court received.


Ladies' Bat and Trap Champion. 1960.

Mrs G Delo 1960

After a very close on exciting contest Mrs. G. Delo of the "Dolphin," won the ladies' singles bat and trap tournament at the Gas and Water Sports Ground, Canterbury on Tuesday.

She beat Mrs. P. Fairbrass, of the Gas and Water, by two games to one. On her way to the final, she beat the "Sportsmans Arms" and the "Old City" representatives, whilst the runner up the beat those of the "Maidens Head" and the R.A.F.A.


From the By Marijke Hall, 9 August 2019.

Popular Canterbury pub The Dolphin is up for sale.

One of the city's most loved independent pubs is up for sale - but the landlord insists its customers have nothing to worry about.

Peter Mickleburgh, who runs The Dolphin, has confirmed he is selling the popular boozer in St Radigund's Street after 15 years behind the pumps.

But he says it will remain a pub and expects little will change.

Dolphin 2019

"You wouldn't get change of use on this so it will stay as it is," he said.

"It will be sold as a going concern and I would very much hope it will go to somebody who will keep things exactly the same."

He says he is likely to be there until at least Christmas, so customers can still make table bookings.

The Dolphin, which has a big enclosed beer garden - one of the largest in the city - is decorated with 1950-1970 memorabilia, with not a single television screen in sight.

'Things will stay the same and hopefully once it is sold people won't notice any difference' - Peter Mickleburgh

It is highly regarded and named among the top pubs in Canterbury on TripAdvisor and was previously CAMRA's pub of the year, all while under the helm of Mr Mickleburgh.

Speaking about the pub's popularity earlier this year, he put it down to being independent.

He added: "People can come in and don’t have to compete with the noise of the football or loud music.

"We’ve also got about 25 to 30 different gins, and we serve good food.”

Peter Mickleburgh 2019

Peter Mickleburgh, landlord of The Dolphin, pictured in 2004 when he took over the pumps at the popular boozer.

He would not go into detail about his plans for the future, but says he'll be in the pub for the coming months.

"I don't want people to think that we will be closed," he said.

"Things will stay the same and hopefully once it is sold people won't notice any difference."

The pub's leasehold is for sale for 195,000 plus stock at valuation.

The sale includes the first floor private living accommodation.

"We've been on the market for two months," he added.

"We haven't got a buyer yet."


From the By Jack Dyson, 19 April 2020.

Coronavirus Kent:

Landlord of "Old City Bar," "Black Griffin," "Seven Stars," "Dolphin" and "Thomas Becket" in Canterbury racks up 115k debt amid pandemic

A city pub magnate has described his finances as “critical” after already racking up 115,000 of debt since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Businessman Charles Smythe is faced with the hefty bill after being left unable to pay rent or invoices from big suppliers while his five Canterbury bars are closed.

Charles Smythe 2020

And the 50-year-old - who runs the "Old City Bar," "Black Griffin," "Seven Stars," "Dolphin" and "Thomas Becket" - believes his outstanding payments could rise above 200,000 in the next two months.

Despite this, the tavern tycoon insists he will not close any of his watering holes.

“I won’t get rid of my pubs,” he maintained. “Cash flow is pretty critical.

“My outstanding debt at the moment is 115,000 - and that’s going up each week.

“I’ve paid off my little suppliers - like my cleaners and butchers.

“But with the big companies - like the breweries and major suppliers - I’m saying to them, ‘you’re not getting any money until I get some in’.”

Brewery Shepherd Neame, which owns the "Old City Bar," has suspended rent for its licensees during the Covid-19 crisis.

But Mr Smythe says the landlords of his four other pubs want him to pay all outstanding rent in full once he is able to restart trading.

“Lots of them have not cancelled the rent,” he said.

“Punch Taverns and EI Enterprise still want the full rent, but they want to collect it after we’ve reopened.

“If the rents aren’t waived, my debt will be over 200,000 in the next six to eight weeks.”

In addition to this, Mr Smythe says he has a total of 8,000 of opened and unopened beer stored in casks in the cellars of his pubs.

Despite being able to claim back duty on out-of-date beverages from the government and send a selection of untouched barrels back to breweries, he expects this to leave him more than 5,000 out of pocket.

Meanwhile, Wetherspoon says its entire stock of beer across its sites in the area is sitting in cellars unable to be used.

Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The pubs closed without warning, so there was no opportunity to do anything with their beer supplies.

“The pubs are closed and locked up, so the state of the beer is not a major concern.”



LARGE James 1827-28+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

PEPPERDAY George 1832+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

FRAMPTON David 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34 (Mill Lane)

Last pub licensee had ADMANS Thomas 1838 Stapletons Guide

FOREMAN George B Mar/1838+

WALL George 1840+ Pigot's Directory 1840

COLLYER Jesse 1841+ (age 40 in 1841Census)

BIRD Henry 1842-53+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

GILLIS/GILLS Henry 1847-51+ (age 36 in 1851Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847

STEVENS John 1861+ (widower age 49 in 1861Census)

OGLE J 1867-68+ Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

OGLE Dinah Mrs 1874+Post Office Directory 1874

RUCK Henry Thomas 1881+ (also hay binder age 42 in 1881)Census

POCOCK Mr H 1882-91+Post Office Directory 1882Edward Wilmot CanterburyPost Office Directory 1891

BENSON William to Jan/1891

SUTTON Alfred George 1903-22+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922

LEPPER Thomas 1930-38+ Post Office Directory 1930Post Office Directory 1938

MICKLEBURGH Peter 2004-19

SMYTHE Charles 2020+


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988


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