Sort file:- Dover, February, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 20 February, 2022.


Earliest 1871-

Esplanade Hotel

Latest 1944

18 Esplanade

Marine Promenade


Esplanade Hotel

Above photo, date unknown. Kindly sent by Paul Wells.

Esplanade Hotel 1900s

Above photo, circa 1900, kindly sent by Paul Wells. Hotel on the right.

Esplanade Hotel

THIS postcard view taken from the Prince of Wales Pier looking towards the Clocktower and the one-time Esplanade Hotel, in the centre, shows the railway track down which express trains steamed their way with passengers to and from Atlantic liners that used to berth at the pier from 1903. The picture was shown to Bob Hollingsbee by a Dover Express Memories reader. (Date unknown).

Esplanade Hotel

Another postcard of the "Esplanade Hotel" date unknown.

The ironwork between the two buildings, I have been informed was erected is there to support the two walls. The centre house being removed to allow trams passage along the pier.

Esplanade Hotel 1910

Above photo, circa 1900, kindly supplied by Paul Wells, who says he thinks the white to the left of the clock tower was caused by a cliff fall below St. Martin's Battery.

Esplanade Hotel

Above photo, date unknown, kindly submitted by Paul Wells.

Esplanade Hotel

Above photo date unknown. By the clock tower.

Esplanade Hotel

Above photo, date unknown. By the clock tower.

Car outside hotel in 1906

Above photo taken outside the "Esplanade Hotel, circa 1906. Originally by Georges Richard, by 1902 the cars were Richard-Brasiers and from 1904/5 when they twice won the Gordon Bennett Race they were Brasiers. This is a 1906 BRASIER tourer but fitted with a detachable hard-top roof and celluloid or canvas screens. We are told on the postcard that the chauffeur was Mr R. Clarke and the car was owned by Lady E. Vaughan.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 12 June, 1891. Price 1d.


Robert Hunter, a well-dressed person of gentlemanly appearance, was charged with being drunk and disorderly at the “Esplanade Hotel.” He was also charged with assaulting Colonel Lecke.

Colonel Lecke said: I am staying at the “Esplanade Hotel.” Yesterday evening between half-past seven and eight o'clock I was dining in the coffee-room at the “Esplanade Hotel” with my wife and a lady friend, when the defendant sprang up from his table, a little distance from ours, and stood behind our friend's chair, and in a very loud voice, addressing me said “I see that you are an Officer; come out here, I want to speak to you.” I declined, and said I was at my dinner, and would not do so. He then called out again “come out sir, come out here want to speak to you.” I again declined as I was at my dinner, and he went to his table. He was certainly not sober. Shortly afterwards, quite unexpectedly, he rushed round my side of the table and again said “leave this room, sir.” I simply said I would not, and asked him who he was. He then said “leave this room or I will turn you out of it, I will knock your brains out.” On this, he rushed at me, and seizing me by the coat said “I will turn you out,” at the same time he pushed me and I fell. My wife came to hold his arms back whilst he was over me, and we called for assistance, and the waiters came and took him away out of the room. I never saw him in my life before, or ever exchanged words with him. He was drunk and like a raving madman.

Mr. Cessford, who keeps the “Esplanade Hotel,” said that as he heard a great scuffling and screaming, he rushed into the coffee-room, and there saw the waiter endeavouring to get the defendant out, and with his assistance they succeeded in putting him outside the door. He sent for the Police, and gave him in charge.

Arthur Howell, waiter at the “Esplanade Hotel,” gave evidence as to assisting in putting the defendant out of the room.

Police-constable Morris gave evidence as to taking the defendant into custody. He was taken to the Police Station in a cab.

The defendant said that he had been ill for a fortnight, and he came here for a change of air, and being in a weak state, he took too much to drink on the way. He only came down by the boat express on Monday.

The defendant was fined 1 and costs 9s., and promised to leave the town at once.


From the Dover Guide 1892, by Cuff.

“Esplanade Hotel” for Families, Gentlemen and Tourists Pleasantly situated on the Marine Promenade, and near to Railway Stations and Steam Packets. Coffee, Reading, and Private Sitting Rooms. Dover. Wm. Cessford, Proprietor.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 3 November, 1900.


Mr. Sydenham Payne, the borough coroner, conducted an enquiry at the "Esplanade Hotel" on Friday afternoon respecting the death of Thomas Rumbelow, who was crushed to death at Union Road, whilst engaged in works of excavation. Deceased was an employee of Messrs. John Aird & Sons.

Mrs. June Graddon, of Newport, Monmouthshire identified the body of deceased as that of Thomas Rumbelow, her brother, who was a labourer, aged 42 years. he was a single man.

William Jackson, timber-man, employed by Messrs. Aird & Son, in their work of excavating for a gasometer, said he was working with deceased and another man on Wednesday morning. They were in what was known as a well-hole, when suddenly Brown shouted "Look out." Witness and Brown got clear. Two men were at the top of the well-hole, but were not disturbing the earth; they were going to lower a plank. They had had no earth slips before. Deceased was thrown by the earth into a corner and buried, only a little hair being visible. Witness and another man scraped the muck from his head and body, but he was dead.

Dr. W. E. F. Bird said he was called to the scene of the accident and saw deceased in a shed. He was quite dead. the left side of the face was covered with coagulated blood and earth, and there was a wound on the left ear. There was no other injury, and the most probably cause of death was suffocation.

The Coroner, in summing up, said it was undoubtedly a pure accident., and no blame could be attached to anyone.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.



A second inquest was held at the "Esplanade Hotel" on the body of a man named Samuel Hall, whose dead body was found floating in the Wellington Dock.

Elgar hall, 15, of 6, New Street, harbour labourer, identified the body as that of Samuel Hall, his father, aged about 46 years. he had no home, but had lodged at the "Gothic" Witness last saw him alive on Friday night in the "New Commercial Quay." Deceased was then not quite sober.

Robert Hill, second mate on the Calais Douvres, said that on Wednesday morning he was on the Calais in the Wellington Dock, and his attention was drawn to a body floating on the water. Witness went into a boat and picked up the body. The deceased had only one shoe on.

Frederick Richards, dock labourer, said he last saw hall alive between 8.30 and 9 on Sunday evening in the Market place. Witness wished him "Good-night," and he was sober then. Witness had been told that deceased had lately been sleeping in the slipway.

Police-constable Hughes said that the captain of the Bee brought witness a shoe after the deceased had been picked out. The show corresponded with the one deceased had on. The captain stated that he had found the shoe on deck. So far as witness knew deceased had not been employed on the Bee.

Dr. J. Ormsby examined the body of the deceased at the mortuary. The body had evidently been in the water four or five days. There was a slight scalp would on the left side of the head, which had probably been inflicted after death. There were no other injuries. Death was due to drowning.

The Coroner mentioned that the shoe was found on the Bee, and this suggested the deceased went on board. he might have been undressing when he fell overboard. Under the circumstances, it would be better to return an open verdict of "Found drowned."

The jury returned a verdict accordingly.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4 January, 1901. 1d.



On Friday afternoon the Borough Coroner held an inquest at the “Esplanade Hotel” on a market porter named William Goodburn, who on the previous day died in a cellar at 6, Adrian Street.

The evidence revealed that the deceased was in a shocking condition, and that an extraordinary state of affairs existed in the house.

Mr. Pointer was foreman of the Jury, and after inspecting the body at the mortuary, Mrs. Charlotte Goodburn, wife of the deceased, said that his age was about 49. he worked at the market, and had continued to do so up to the present week. Recently he had been suffering from dropsy, and was not very well. They lived in the basement of the house.

The Coroner: Is it not the cellar?

The witness said it was like a cellar. On Boxing Day her husband went out about ten in the morning and did not return until ten at night. During the night he was very restless. He asked for some water, but witness would not give him any. As soon as she could get it she got some beer for him, but he would not drink it, and afterwards she got some brandy, and he took that. He refused to have a doctor, and also go to the infirmary. He took nothing to eat on Boxing Day. He complained chiefly of his breathing. He got worse gradually, and died about 12 o'clock. He was insured for 7 in the Pearl Life Insurance Company.

Louisa Page, the wife of a Colour Sergeant now at the front, said she lived at 6, Adrian Street. She last saw the deceased alive when he returned home about twenty minutes to ten. On the following morning, between eight and nine the wife came up to witness's room and tried to sell her an opera cloak. Whilst up in witness's room her husband died. Directly the wife went downstairs she called witness, who went down, and Mrs. Goodburn said her husband had died. Earlier in the morning she heard loud words between the woman and her husband, - that was a frequent occurrence. The deceased was lying on a flock mattress on the floor. Lately he had been suffering from bronchitis.

In reply to some questions, witness admitted that she might be mistaken in the time, and it might be after eleven when the deceased died.

Police Sergeant Fogg said that about 2.25 he was called to No. 6, Adrian Street, by a woman who lived there. He went to the cellar of the house, and saw the deceased lying on a mattress. The first witness said she had not sent for a doctor. Dr. Bird was sent for, and he ordered the body to be removed to the mortuary. The deceased was a market porter. The room was in a most disgraceful condition, and when he got there it was filled with seven or eight women, who were all talking at once. He had heard talk of an Irishman's wake, but this beat even the Irishman's wake, (Laughter.)

Another woman, the wife of a navvy, attended to give evidence. She was not sober, and during the taking of the previous witness's evidence, she constantly interrupted. It appeared that the opera cloak which Mrs. Goodburn had tried to sell belonged to this woman, and it appeared to be a particular grievance. She also remarked that she knew of what deceased died. It was pneumonia, and he died of dropsical affection. The other witnesses were d____ liars. (Laughter.) The Coroner allowed the woman to come forward, but did not swear her.

Dr. Bird said he was called about three o'clock by the Police, who informed him that a man was lying dead at 6. Adrian Street. Witness found the deceased lying in the basement in the corner of a room on some flock. He had only his shirt on. There were no marks of external violence, but the deceased was suffering from dropsy of the legs. There was nothing suspicious, and witness considered that death was due to natural causes, either heart or kidney disease.

The Coroner said that the evidence appeared quite clear. He was informed that the body was found by the Police in a room full of women, who each knew something the other did not, and to allay the peace of Adrian Street which was sometimes rather lively – (laughter) – he held this enquiry.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Death from natural Causes.”


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 16 February 1901. Price 1d.


The Borough Coroner (Mr. Sydenham Payn) held an inquiry at the “Esplanade Hotel” on Thursday afternoon respecting the death of a seaman named Percy Turner Johnson, whose body was picked up in the outer harbour on Wednesday morning.

In opening the inquiry the Coroner said he understood that deceased was one of the four unfortunate men who had lost their lives in making for the harbour from the S.S. Riftswoods on Sunday morning, January 6th.

The Rev. J. Martin, who attended the inquest, said the owners of the Riftswoode had sent him a sovereign to divide between the Coastguard McGuiness and Sergt. Lockwood, and knowing the Sergeant would be present that afternoon he thought the opportunity a good one to make the presentation. He then handed half a sovereign to the Sergeant.

Evidence of identification was given by the brother of the deceased, William Michael Johnson; and Sergt. Lockwood also gave evidence.
Several of the Jurymen commented strongly on the engagement of an unlicensed pilot by the owners of the Riftswoode.

Mr. E. Marsh, representing the owners, said he did not think such charges should be made until they had evidence to confirm them.

Dr. Ormaby said the body had evidently been in the water several weeks and was very much decomposed.

The inquiry was adjourned until April 10th.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 15 March, 1901. Price 1d.


On Friday evening, soon after seven o'clock, a labourer at the East Cliff section of the Admiralty Harbour Works was knocked down by one of the large locomotives and instantly killed. The inquest was held at the “Esplanade Hotel” on Monday afternoon by the Borough Coroner, Sydenham Payn, Esq. There were also present His Majesty's Inspector of Factories, Mr. Greenhough, of Messrs. Pearson and Son, and Mr. R. E. Knocker and Mr. Rigden, of Messrs. E. W. and V. Knocker, solicitors for Messrs. Pearson and Son.

The following were the Jury:- Mrssrs. John Chambers (foreman), Richard Morgan, J. Tanton, R. Pexton, W. Garland, J. Head, J. Wood, W. T. Grigg, W. Suffield, G. Sankey, H. W. Rolfe, W. Whitfield, H. Footner, and W. Clark.

Mrs Elizabeth Still said that the body was that of her husband, James Henry Still. He was employed by Messrs. Pearson and Son at the eastern section of the Admiralty Harbour. He was a general labourer, and was 35 years of age. He had been at work there about six months. He left home to go to work at five minutes past six on Friday evening. There were two children.

George Turner, and engine driver at the eastern section of the Admiralty Harbour Works, said: I was in charge of a locomotive engine on Friday night. It was about seven o'clock. I had come of the jetty with three tenders with blocks on them, and was going to the eastern arm. When getting to where the block yard is I gave three whistles. We were going about three miles an hour, and after getting past the concrete mixer I heard shouts from some men on the wall. I stopped as soon as I heard the shout, and got down and went back to se what was the matter. I found a man lying in the middle of the road. The other men were then around him, and he appeared to be dead or just dying. I never felt any jerk. I knew there were some men at work on the wall, but I saw nothing on the line. There was a red light on the engine, and a white light behind, burning brightly. The road is a straight one, and anyone can see the engine coming for a long distance. I think the deceased must have been walking in the goliath railroad, and hearing the engine coming, thought he was on the wrong road, and jumped on to other road in front of the engine, and was knocked down.

A Juryman asked whether it was usual to carry a red light in front and a white behind? It was the other way about on the railways.

Witness said he had always the lights in that way on his engine.

The Inspector said there was no regulation as to the lights that should be carried, except on the main line.

In reply to the Inspector, witness said: I came on at 6 o'clock in the evening. My sight is good.

Looking through the glass of the engine, how far can you see in front?

Only about five yards because of the smoke on that night.

The engine is covered with a tank, and that somewhat obscures your view. Can you see under 20 yards ahead?


The Inspector: We have tested it and find we cannot.

At what speed where you travelling?

About three miles.

Are there any instructions as to the maximum speed?

It is not to be more than six miles.

In reply to further questions, witness said that he pulled up in the length of the engine and the three trucks. He was on the lookout at the time. He had blown three times, and afterwards gave another blow. When he heard shouting he put on the steam brakes and reversed.

In reply to the Coroner, the witness said there were no marks on the engine to show that it had struck the deceased. He did not go under the wheels, as he was not cut to pieces. He must have gone under the cow catcher. It depended on how the road was made up as whether a man's body could get under the cow catcher.

Charles Henry Blanche, a ganger at Messrs. Pearson and Son's, said: On Friday evening 15 men, including Still, were turning a yard of concrete. They had just finished, and I had ordered the gang down on to the rocks. Having given the order to the men, I went to turn the Lucagen down, and heard the whistle blow three times. The next he heard was some of the 15 men calling out that a man was knocked down. The men were all near the Lucagen, which is about ten yards from where the man was picked up. I ran back to see what was up, and saw then men picking the deceased up from out of the four-foot way. The engine and tucks were quite close, about ten yards away. I saw the engine coming up; it was not moving very fast – about three miles an hour. There are strict orders for engines with these big blocks to go very slowly. The deceased, who died in three minutes, was placed on the engine and taken to the office, where he was placed on the stretcher and handed over to the Police. It is always customary for the engine in question to carry a red light in front.

In reply to the Inspector, witness said the engine was not going more than three miles an hour.

In reply to the Coroner, witness said that he believed the deceased was confused by the shouts to look out, and jumped off the goliath line, where he was in safety, to the railroad.

John Farrell said: I formed one of the gang working under the last witness, in which Still was working. We had been mixing concrete. Three men were wanted for another gang at the eastern arm. Still, and two other men, one named Martin went off up the line. Some little time afterwards there were some shouting, and the deceased was seen lying on the road. The deceased would require a shovel at the eastern arm, but not a pick, as they had that when they went away. There was a box near where the deceased was picked up where he would have gone to put his pick.

Blanche, recalled, said that Still at first volunteered for the job at the eastern arm, but only two were wanted, and Still remained behind with the others.

Police Constable Kirnes said that he was on duty at East Cliff. He heard that a man had been knocked down on the works, and at once fetched the ambulance from the hose reel house. The deceased was by that time brought up and handed over to witness. He took him to Dr. Richardson, who said the man was dead, and the body was taken to the mortuary. Dr. Richardson came and examined the body. Witness afterwards went to the works, and twelve yards to the west of where the body was picked up he found the cap of the deceased. Witness made enquiries of the men in the gang, but none of them saw the accident.

Dr. Richardson said that about half-past seven on Friday night the deceased was brought to his house on an ambulance. Life was extinct, and the body was taken to the mortuary. He examined it there. Death had only just taken place. The body was stripped and he found that the ribs on the right side were smashed. The collar bone and a number of ribs were broken on the left side. There was a scalp wound and a compound fracture of the nose. The heel was also injured. The heel on the right boot was torn off, and the boot burst open. The deceased had received a violent blow. And had been rolled over and crushed. The injury and the shock must have caused immediate death.

The Inspector said that he thought that at night time, seeing that it was impossible for the driver to see the line within 20 yards of the engine, some additional means of looking out should be adopted.

The Coroner remarked that it was the men who wanted to keep a look-out themselves.

The Coroner, in summing up, favoured the view of the ganger and the driver that the accident happened through the deceased jumping in front of the engine off the goliath line. They had, however, no evidence of anyone who saw the occurrence, but there was no doubt it was accidental, and no one was to blame.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 29 March, 1901. Price 1d.


On Sunday morning a man named George Appleton, formerly one of the drivers of Miller's pleasure brakes, and lately employed at Messrs. S. Pearson's, was found hanging under the viaduct of the S.E. Railway, having apparently hung himself the previous morning.

At the inquest which was held on Monday afternoon at the “Esplanade Hotel,” it appeared that the deceased, who had been engaged to a servant for some time, had lately been keeping company with another woman, and his former love on Friday told him to go back to her. The deceased had apparently been upset all the week in relation to the matter, and no doubt late on Saturday committed the rash act.

The Foreman of the Jury was Mr. R. Shepherd, and the other members were Messrs. W. Holmes, G. Madgett, D. Marjoram, A. Miller, W. Palmer, J. Moore, J. Lumbard, J. Wood, W. Whitford, W. Martin, J. White, J. Peake, H. Brooker, E. A. Wilcock.

W. J. Miller, pork butcher, and landlord of the “Crown,” 27, London Road, said: The body that mortuary is that of George Appleton. I have known him for seven years, and he has worked with us as a driver and conductor on the brakes. For the last two years he has lived with me. He was about 37 or 38 years of age. He has lately been working for Messrs. Pearson and Son, and getting good pay. I last saw him about five minutes to eleven on Thursday. He was not quite sober. Usually he was very steady and quiet man, but for the last fortnight he had given way. He had not been able to work for about a fortnight. On Friday he left the house about five minutes to seven. He had not returned since then. He had passed a few remarks about his young lady having thrown him up.

The Coroner: Was there more than one?

Witness: Yes, there are two young ladies. (Laughter.) He had eaten nothing all the week. He told me about it on Monday. They had a few words, and some more afterwards. He seemed a bit beery all the week.

Elizabeth Halliday, a domestic servant at Mr. Chitty's, 10 De Vere Gardens, said she had known Appleton for fifteen months. She was engaged to him during that time. There had not been any tiff between them. She last saw him on Friday evening at ten minutes past seven. As she had not seen him from the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, witness asked him where he had been during that time. He replied, “With some other woman.” Witness told him that as he had been with her he had better go back to her again. He did not make any answer to that. He shook hands with her and said he was going away. He was rather strange, and he seemed to have been drinking. She last saw him on Wednesday week before the Friday. She had not noticed any change in his manner. There was nothing said after she told him to go with someone else.

The Coroner: Did you receive this letter,

Dear Lizzy-

Just a few lines to let you know I am going on as well as can be expected under the circumstances, and I hope you are quite well. Please to remember me to all at home. I hope you will try and think of me kindly sometimes if possible, and for give me for the wrong I have done you. I must tell you I am truly sorry for it now I have come to myself. Will let you know more later on. Will write again in a day or two. Please excuse this writing. Kiss dear little Molly and Lily for me, and allow me to wish your dear self as (all) the good I can. Leaving me to remain your one true friend.

G. A.



When did you receive that letter?

Witness: on Saturday evening at a quarter to nine.

The Coroner: I see the postmark is Ashford 23rd. Did he say he was going to Ashford?

No, he did not.

Witness said there was nothing else beyond what she had told the Coroner. The deceased had been working with her father at Pearsons, and had been doing well.

Mrs Edith Grantham, 27, Adrian Street, said: I knew George Appleton, and last saw him alive on Wednesday evening last. He had been staying at my house since last Saturday week, except on the Monday he was not there. He had lodged with me two years ago. He had been in drink during the week. On Wednesday last he said he was going to tramp the Devonport. He bought two photos from his lodgings at Mr. Millar's and gave them to me.

Abraham Dyer, a mariner, 77, Clarendon Street, said that about eight o'clock on Sunday morning he was walking along the beach beyond the South eastern Station. When about a third of the way to Shakespeare Cliff he saw the deceased hanging from the sleepers of the railway viaduct. He hung by a piece of chord which was tied round his neck. Witness felt the man and found he was stiff. He therefore did not cut him down, but went for assistance. He told one of the platelayers, who went for the Police. Before they arrived one of the engine drivers cut deceased down. The deceased's knees were about two inches from the ground, he could easily have saved himself if he had wished. He had his cap on. The Police removed the body on the stretcher. The height of the viaduct was about nine feet, and deceased's head was about five feet from the beam above.

Police Constable J. Cook said that about twenty minutes to nine he was in Council House Street when he received information of the occurrence. About a third of the distance along the viaduct he found the deceased lying on the beach. There was a piece of chord round his neck and a part round the viaduct. The knot, which was a slip one, was under the ear. The body, which was cold and stiff, was removed to the mortuary. There were no letters or papers on the deceased.

Dr. J. Ormsby said that he was called to see deceased a little before nine. He saw the body in the mortuary, death had taken place some hours. There was a deep mark which the cord fitted. The tongue was protruding, and death was due to strangulation. Death would take place in about two minutes and a half, and unconsciousness in about half a minute. After the knot tightened witness did not think the deceased could have undone it. He might have got on his feet, but he would have fallen.

The Coroner remarked that there was no doubt but that the deceased took his own life. They had to consider the state of his mind at the time when he committed that act, and they could only imagine that he must have been out of his mind. His determination was very clear. He tied the knot in a very effective manner so that when once he put his weight on it he could not have relieved himself if he had wished. This love affair seemed to have upset him, and if they thought that the man's mind had lost its balance through it they would say so.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst suffering from temporary insanity.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 June, 1901. Price 1d.



About half-past four this morning P.C. Roberts was called to Burnap's Common Lodging House, Bowling Green Hill, and shown the body of a ma, apparently quite dead, crouched up at the foot of the staircase. He at once sent for Police Sergeon, Dr. Ormsby, who ordered the removal of the body to the mortuary to await an inquest. The man's name is unknown but it is stated that he had taken a bed for the night. Death was apparently due to a broken neck, and it is presumed that he must have pitched violently down the stairs. An inquest will be held at which the facts of the case will be fully enquired into.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 14 June, 1901. Price 1d.



The inquest on the body of the man who was found lying dead at the foot of the stairs of Burnap's Lodging House last Friday morning, was held the same day at the “Esplanade Hotel” by the Borough Coroner, Sydenham Payn, Esq. The Jury were as follows:- Messrs. T Baker (foreman), J. Green, W. Shoesmith, P. Chittenden, L. Braine, H. Lewis, L. Burton, W. Feist, T. Harwood, C. Langley, R. Morgan, R. Pexton, H. Meadows, and G. Hubbard.

William Barnap, model lodging house keeper, said deceased was Peter George Turner, and he had been staying at the house between three and four months. Apparently he was about 50 years of age, and was a hawker by trade. He saw the deceased the previous night about 12 o'clock on the stairs. He was then going to the closet, and said he felt rather queer, but would be all right presently. He came in again about five minutes later. Witness heard no more until he was called about 4 o'clock on Friday morning to a man, who was found dead at the foot of the stairs. Witness at once communicated with the Police, and the doctor was sent for, who pronounced life to be extinct, and the body was removed to the mortuary. Deceased the day before had complained of having diarrhoea, and had not been to work.

Thomas Harvey, a painter, staying at the model lodging house, stated he was going down stairs about 4 a.m., when he saw deceased lying at the bottom of the stairs in a cramped position. Witness saw the man was dead, and went and told some of the lodgers, and fetched the master of the house.

Walter Byers, a youth, who described himself as a hawker, said: I have known deceased for about two years. On Thursday afternoon deceased complained to me of pains in his chest and inside, and asked me to go and see a doctor and get him an order for the infirmary. I went, but could not make anyone hear. I went again about six, and Mrs. Patmore sent me to Mr. Hicks. I went there, but he was out. I went to Dr. Kent. I saw him, and he said it was not in his parish, and I then went to Dr. Osborn's, but I could not open the door so I went back. The deceased was still bad, and someone had taken him to bed, and that was the last I saw of him.

Police Constable Roberts said that he was called to the lodging house about 4.20 that morning, where he saw the deceased lying at the foot of the stairs. Deceased was only partly dressed. Dr. Ormsby was sent for, and on arrival pronounced life extinct. The body was removed to the mortuary.]

Dr. Ormsby, Police Surgeon, said he was fetched to the lodging house at 4.30 on Friday morning, where he saw the body of the deceased. Death had evidently taken place some time, the body being stiff and cold. There were no marks of violence. He had evidently suffered from acute diarrhoea. Deceased mouth was tightly compressed, and witness thought this was caused by the position he was in. No doubt he had fainted when he fell, and in consequence of the position in which he fell could not recover from the faint, and so was unable to breath.

The Jury at this stage expressed the opinion that some explanation was needed as to why the witness Byers was unable to obtain an order fro medical relief. Several of the Just expressed the opinion that had the man been attended to medically his life might have been saved.

It was decided to adjourn the inquest till Tuesday, so that Mrs. Patmore, whom the witness Byers saw, might be called.

In opening the adjourned enquiry, the Coroner said it would be recollected that at the last occasion they adjourned in consequence of the evidence of the lad Byers that at neither Dr. Kent's, Mr. Patmore's nor Mr. Hicks' was he successful in getting g medical aid. The lad had stated that he had tried to get into Dr. Osborn's, but found the door locked. The Coroner said from that statement he felt quite sure that the lad never went to Mr. Osborn's at all, but by mistake went to the stable door close by. The door of Mr. Osborn's was never locked. It appeared that when the lad went to Mr. Hick's, as he said, the fact was that he never saw anybody there. Whether he went there or not they could not say. In regard to Mrs. Patmore, it would appear that she did absolutely right. The boy was told by her to go to Mr. Hicks close by. He had no doubt that when she had given her version of the matter that they would find that there had been nothing wrong in regard to the duties of the relieving officer being carried out properly.

Mrs. Emma Patmore, wife of Mr. R. W. Patmore, relieving officer, of 6, Norman Street, said: The lad in question came to our house on Thursday evening about half past six. He asked if Mr. Patmore was in. I said, “No.” He said there was a man ill at Bowling Green, and he wanted a doctor's order. I said, “Oh, that's Mr. Hick's; you must go round to No. 3 in the next street.” It was not in our district, and as Mr. Hick's lives close I sent him there. He went away, and did not come back again.

The Coroner: Did he say anything about its being urgent?

No; he said, “There's a man ill at Bowling Green Hill, and he wants a ticket for the doctor.” I told him where to go, to Mr. Hicks, and the boy went.

Supposing he had said it was urgent?

If he came back from Mr. Hicks and said he was not in, I should have sent him to the doctor. If it was in our district I should have given him an order.

He only came once to your house?

Only once.

A Juryman (Mr. Feist): By the lad's evidence he came twice.

Witness: I heard someone telling somebody that Mr. Patmore was not in.

I was then at the top of the house attending to my son, who had met with an accident. Whoever it was went away, and if it was the lad he came back again, and I saw him.

A Juryman (Mr. Feist): Don't you think it was the relieving officer's duty to go to 3, Bowling Green Hill and see if it was a case for the doctor?

The Coroner: Don't you see that it was in Mr. Hick's district, and the boy went to his house.

The Juryman: In a case of life and death would it not be the duty of the relieving officer to attend to it? It is no reason that because a man lives in a model lodging house that he should not have medical assistance.

The Coroner: Of course not, it is for these people that parish aid is provided; but they went to the wrong people.

In reply to the Jury, the witness Byers said that he went to Mr. Hicks' and rang the bell several times, hearing it ring, but no one was in.

A Juryman (Mr. Meadows): Don't you think, Mr. Coroner, there ought to be assistance at the relieving officers' houses?

Mrs. Patmore: The boy (Byers) never came back again to me, or I could have done something.

Another Juryman: there was no negligence by any one party, but there is too much formality.

A Juryman (Mr. Pexton) said he thought they should adjourn for Mr. Hicks' evidence.

Mrs. Patmore: I think the fault lay with the proprietor of the lodging house. He ought not to have let the man lie there like that.

A Juryman (Mr. Burton): Why do you think so?

Mrs. Patmour: The man was in the house, and if he wanted a doctor so badly the landlord ought to have seen that he had one.
Mr. Burnap said he did not know the man was ill.

The Foreman of the Jury said it was no good wasting time putting the blame from one to another. All they could say was that there was something wrong with the system.

The discussion continued for a long time.

Mr. Feist suggested that it was time that there was one official always at an office in the town ready to give tickets for the doctor.

Mr. Pexton suggested suggested that assistance should be provided by each relieving officer; they could afford to pay them.

The Coroner: Our duty is to find the cause of death, but it would be presumption on our part to make any such suggestion. We are, however, quite agreed, I think, that all red tape should be thrown to the winds in such cases.

After a long decision, the Jury returned a verdict of death from misadventure, deceased having died from suffocation, having fallen down in a faint.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 7 March, 1902. Price 1d.


On Saturday morning as the one o'clock boat train was running through the Harbour Station on its way to the Admiralty pier, a young man named Roberts, who was a clerk in a meat agency at Folkestone, and had walked over to Dover earlier in the day, jumped in front of the train, and was cut to pieces. The inquest was held at the “Esplanade Hotel” on Tuesday afternoon by the Borough Coroner, Sydenham Payn, Esq. The Foreman of the Jury was Mr. Pointer, and the Jury was as follows:- Messrs. J. R. Adams, W. Shoesmith, L. Burton, W. Johnson, J. Haynes, J. Chapman, G. Phillips, F. Moody, H. Maslin, A. O. Tyrrell, B, Cunningham, H. Tarling, W. Ward.

John Butcher, meat salesman, 7, Newstreet, Folkestone, said: I have been to the mortuary and seen the remains of William James Roberts. His age was 22. he was a clerk in my employ. He had been with me since November last, but had been in the firm's employ for eighteen months. On Saturday morning I came over with the deceased to Dover. We had no business, and came over for pleasure, walking part of the way, and riding from the “Valiant Sailor,” arriving in the town about twelve o'clock. We walked about a little, but the deceased was very anxious to get home, and I saw him on to a tram car at the top or Northampton Street at 12.30. That was the last I saw of him. He said he was going home by railway. He seemed in his usual spirits. He was in bad health, suffering from consumption. He had no trouble in the business whatever. On several occasions when I have asked after his health he said life was a misery to him. He was always very quiet, and would sit for hours at a stretch and mope. I heard of the occurrence when I got back to Folkestone at 4.30, and at once returned to Dover and identified the remains.

William Bullock, a fireman on the S.E. and C. Railway, said: We were going through the Harbour Station running on to the Admiralty Pier at 12.49. When halfway through the station I saw a man standing on the edge of the platform with his hands in his pockets. I saw him jump down off the platform into the 4ft. way and put his head on the rail. The engine was then 25 yards away, and the engine, which was then travelling at six or seven miles an hour, ran over him. We did not pull up, but ran on to the Pier.

The Coroner: Do you think he tried to get down to go across to the other platform and tripped?

No, he jumped down and deliberately lay down and placed his head on the rail with his face to the engine.

By the Jury: There was no time to do anything when he put his head on the rail. We were only about five yards away then.

Thomas Ward, gateman at the Hawkesbury Street Crossing, said: About 12.50 I was down on the platform of the Harbour Station, and hearing the train get very close to me I stopped and turned round. As I turned round I saw a man jump down into the 4ft. way and fall across the rails.

Did he appear to fall?

Yes, he stretched his hands out and fell forward across the rail furthest from the platform.

Was it your impression that he fell, or jumped off the platform?

I did not see him leave the platform, but he settled down and then fell down.

Witness continuing, said: When I came down the platform the deceased was not on it, and must have come in at the door. The door is just opposite where the deceased jumped off the platform.

Do you think he was hurrying across the platform to get a ticket?

No, sir, he did not seem to attempt to go across; he settled on his feet and fell forward. The body was carried some 40 yards by the engine.

William Roberts, an hotel assistant, living at 25, Euston Street, London, said: the deceased is my son. He has been from hom since November 6th. He had been employed in London, and lived at home. Previous to coming to Folkestone he had been ill at home for three of four months with consumption. We wanted him to go into a convalescent home, and his employees gave him the chance of going to Folkestone, which was an easy place. I last saw him active at Christmas, and he was looking better then. He, a week ago, complained in a letter of suffering from shortness of breath. He had been very cheerful up till a year ago, and taken an active part in cricket and football. This he had to give up. I do not think my son is likely to commit suicide, as he has been religiously brought up, and had a fear of death.

Dr. J. Ormsby, Police Surgeon, said he was called on Saturday between one and two to the mortuary, and saw the body of the deceased. The head and the whole of the upper portion of the trunk was smashed up as if it had been put in a sausage machine. The legs and arms were smashed.

Police Sergeant Scutt said that on Saturday about one o'clock he was called by one of the railway porters to the Harbour Station. He found the body in the four-foot way on the down line. The head and neck were smashed in the points, and he had to get assistance of one of the platelayers to rake it out. The remains were collected and sent to the mortuary. On searching the clothes he found 5 17s. 4d. in money, a metal watch, and several smaller articles and papers.

The Coroner pointed out that the fireman's testimony was very strong presumptive evidence that the deceased went on to the line for the purpose of being killed. There was, of course, the possible chance that he rushed through the door to get across to the ticket platform, but the evidence of the stoker was very conclusive. If they came to that conclusion he thought that there was little doubt that the deceased knew of the position he was in, and that he had not long to live, and that was likely to have effected his reason.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst suffering from temporary insanity.”

The father, who did not seem to agree with the verdict, enquired if the deceased had a railway ticket.

Police-sergeant Scutt said he had not.

Mr. Lord, stationmaster, who was present, pointed out that there was no train to Folkestone for nearly an hour and a half.


From the Whitstable Times, 26 April, 1902.


The man, Victor Black, who was found in the trench on Saturday, the 12th inst., died at the Hospital on Saturday evening, a week after he was taken there. An inquest into the circumstances of his death was held at the “Esplanade Hotel” on Monday, before the Borough coroner, Mr. Sydenham Payn.

Bertha Black, living at 8, Church Street, widow of the deceased, identified the body viewed by the jury as that of her husband Victor John Black, who was 28 years of age. He was a labourer employed at Messrs. Pearson’s works. She last saw him alive before the accident on Wednesday, April 9th, a little before 8 o’clock in the morning. He sometimes went out for a walk when the tide was not right for working. Deceased was a little strange when he went out. He had been drinking rather heavily during the preceding week. Witness did not hear any more of him until Sunday morning, the 13th. She went and saw him twice a day when he was at the hospital. On the first day he was only half conscious but was fully conscious at times. He did not make any reference to the accident, and when she asked him he said he did not know how he got there. She was with him when he died. He had not been away like that before, and she began to be alarmed when he did not come home at night. Finding he did not come home the next day witness made enquiries at the works and had written to his friends at Canterbury, thinking he might have gone there. He had not threatened to take his life.

By the foreman:— Deceased got up about four in the morning but did not go out until about eight. He did not have any breakfast before he went.

By the Coroner:— There were two children. Deceased only went on the drink at holiday times and sometimes at week ends. They were always friendly together.

Evidence was given by several witnesses who saw the deceased on the morning of Wednesday, April 9th, when he appeared somewhat strange in his manner. One man noticed that deceased had a little blood on his neckerchief as if there was a cut on his neck, and witness asked him if he had been cutting himself, to which he replied "Ah, a bit."

Mr. Cresnell Burrows, house-surgeon at the Hospital, stated that he saw the deceased about 4.20 at the Hospital, on Saturday week. He was in a state of collapse and restoratives were being used. There was a compound fracture of both legs. In the evening it was found necessary to amputate both legs. Deceased did very well after the operation, but on Wednesday a further amputation of the left leg was deemed necessary, as mortification had set in higher up. Deceased progressed very favourably until Friday, when symptoms of tetanus appeared, which became much worse on Saturday. Deceased died about 9.45 that evening. Witness noticed two superficial cuts across deceased’s neck about three inches long, which must have been done by some blunt instrument. A flint stone was found in deceased’s pocket, bet there were no marks of blood upon it. Deceased had no notion of how he got into the trench.

The Coroner summed up briefly, and after some little deliberation the jury returned a verdict “that the deceased met his death by falling into the trench, but there was not sufficient evidence to show how he got there.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 March, 1905. Price 1d.



Yesterday afternoon about three o'clock, Mr. Arthur Houlden, son of Mr. D. Houlden, draper, of Snargate Street, met with a terrible death by falling over Shakespeare Cliff. It appears that a shepherd named Jones saw the deceased standing on the grass near the stile half way up the cliff on the Dover side. His back was towards the side of the cliff, and he was smoking a pipe. Suddenly, the shepherd saw the man fall down and roll over the side. He immediately gave the alarm, and the Police were informed by the Coastguards. Police Constable Vincent, to whom the report was made at 3.35, at once proceeded there in company with Police Constables Pierce and Roberts, together with the ambulance. On the way there they met Dr. Elliot, who accompanied them to the foot of the cliff. The body was found at the first lot of broken chalk behind a big rock. The head was terribly battered, and there was also a very big wound on the thigh, the body presenting a fearful sight, the worst, Dr Elliot said, he had ever seen. No one then knew who the deceased was. He was wearing a grey kid glove on one hand, and was well dressed, it being imagined that he was a stranger. The body was taken to the mortuary, where, on being stripped by the Police, it was found that nearly every bone had been broken, and on the shirt the name of the deceased was discovered. Mr. Percy Houlden, of Cannon Street, was sent for, and he identified the body as that of his brother Arthur, aged 33. Mr. David Houlden, with whom the deepest sympathy is felt, was afterwards informed. The deceased had assisted his father in his business at Snargate Street for many years. Just before Christmas he underwent an operation for appendicitis at Guy's Hospital, London, and, although the operation was satisfactory, he did not recover well, and was ordered six months' rest by the doctors, and it is possible that he was seized with a sudden spasm of illness when he rolled over.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 March, 1905. Price 1d.


The inquest on the body of the late Mr. Arthur Houlden was made this afternoon at the “Esplanade Hotel,” by the Borough Coroner (Sydenham Payn, Esq.) the Jury were as follows:- messrs. T. V. Suimmonds (foreman), F. J. Isworth, R. Wood, R. J. Pexton, A. H. Pointer, E. A. Wilcox, A. L. Thompson, J. Tanton, A. Tyrrell, J. Cheeseman, J. R. Eaton, W. George, F. Farley, and W. H. Broad.

The Coroner in opening the enquiry, said that he was sorry to have to call them together to enquire into the death of the son of an old and respected townsman.

Percy Houlden, Draper, 16, Cannon Street, Dover, said: The body at the Mortuary is that of my brother, Arthur. He was 32 years of age last November. He was a draper assisting his father. I last saw him on Wednesday evening, when he spent the evening with us, and I walked home with him. Since he went under an operation for appendicitis at Guy's Hospital in November last he was gradually getting better. He was very weak when he came back just before Christmas. On the evening in question he was not al all depressed. He was not in a state of health to be very cheerful. The discharge from the wound had not finished, and it rather worried him. He never threatened to do anything to himself, and he was the last person we should ever expect to do so. Yesterday afternoon he left his house at 2.30 for a walk. He seemed quite cheerful then. As he went out he slapped his brother on the back and said he was going out to get some fresh air. His brother said, “That is right, go on the Admiralty Pier, and get some fresh air. Have you got plenty of tobacco?” he had no reason to worry, because he was told he must have six months' holiday and he could have had six years' holiday if he liked.

In reply to the Jury, witness said that the wound was not painful. The discharge from the wound was very slight indeed.

In reply to the Coroner, witness said he had never heard his brother complain of any giddiness.

William John Jones, living at Maxton, said: About 3.30 I was engaged on Mr. Broadley's farm near the stile on Shakespeare Cliff. I saw the deceased standing on the cliff close to the edge, about 20 yards from the stile, which is two-thirds of the way up. I was 50 yards from him and walking up to him. He turned round and lit his pipe, and then threw the match away. He then made a step round, and fell down and rolled over the cliff. The path is three or four feet from the edge, and the deceased was between the path and the edge. He did nit jump over, but fell down and rolled over. It is a very dangerous spot, as there is a hole where a post had been, in which he might have caught his foot. The cliff at this spot bulges out. The hole is two or three feet from the edge of the cliff. He could not see any marks in the hole, but he might have tripped over it. It was all done in an instant, and I could not say that the deceased tripped. He turned round quietly, and it looked as if he were coming away. I then told a passer-by that I thought a man had gone over, but he took no notice, I afterwards told a Sergeant who was passing, and the Police came.

The Foreman: Your distinct impression is that he caught his foot and tripped over?

Witness: No, I would not say that.

Mr. George: You are quite sure he did not jump over?

Witness: I am quite sure of that.

William John Pilling, Marine, Shore Staff S.E. and C. Railway Company, said: At 3.20 I was going up to my garden at Haycliff. I got as far as the Coastguard Station, and met a soldier sergeant going towards the Coastguards, who said that a man had gone over the cliff. I went down below nearly to the point and found the deceased lying on the rocks 15 yards away from the base of the cliff, which is sheer. I waved my hat to the cliff officer of the Coastguards, who was at the top of the cliff. I stopped there till the Police came and took the body away on the stretcher off the ambulance.

Police-constable Vincent, said: About 3.35 on yesterday afternoon I was in Strond Street, when the Coastguard informed me that there was a man over the cliff. Having obtained the ambulance, and accompanied by Police-constables Pierce and Roberts, I went nearly to the point, and there found the body as described by the last witness, some portions of the skull being some distance away. At the top of the cliff I fell in with Dr. Elliot, and he came down with me. The body was placed on the stretcher and taken to the mortuary. I searched the body and found some money, and two letters which had nothing to do with the occurrence. His name was found from the letters, and the name inside the shirt. Mr. Houlden was informed and he came and recognised the body. I went to the spot above, but could see no marks whatever. The hole was nearly grown over, and would not be seen by anyone walking along. There was not enough wind to blow anyone over.

In reply to a Juryman, witness said that the grass did not look as if anyone had tripped in the hole, but he might have tripped over it without showing any traces. The hole was not very wide, but of considerable length.

Dr. Elliot said: I was driving out to the Coastguard Station, and hearing that someone had gone over, I went down and saw the body. The skull was smashed in, the left thigh was broken, and the right leg and arm and some ribs on both sides. Death must have been instantaneous, and was due to the fracture of the skull.

The Coroner, in summing up, said that the evidence of Mr. Jones was that the deceased turned round suddenly, and probably caught his foot in the hole, and not being able to recover, went over. This was his impression, but if they thought that was not quite sufficient they might return an open verdict. There seemed to be no reason why he should take his life, and he did not think a man would have lit his pipe in the way the deceased had, if he had any intention of doing anything to himself, and it certainly seemed to be an accident.

The Jury at once returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

The Foreman asked the Coroner to convey a vote of sympathy from the Jury to Mr. and Mrs. Houlden, and the Coroner said he would do so, as he fully joined in their views.

Mr. P. Houlden expressed his thanks for the sympathy shown.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 24 March, 1905. Price 1d.


The funeral of the late Mr. Arthur Houlden, who met his death by falling over Shakespeare Cliff, took place at St. James's Cemetery on Monday afternoon. The cortege left the premises in Snargate Street at 2 o'clock, and proceeded to the Cemetery, which was reached at 2.30. there was a large crowd gathered at the graveside to witness the interment. The mourners were: Mr. D. Houlden (father), Mr. P. Houlden, Mr. W. Houlden, Mr. A. Houlden and Mr. R. Houlden (brothers), Mr. Walter Houlden and Mr. Harry Houlden (cousins), Mr. W. G. George, Mr. A. Tapley, and Mr. R. Jarrett. Those present at the graveside included Messrs. W. H. Fairbairn (Capt. Of the Dover Cycling Club, of which the deceased was a member). H. W. Durrant, F. Norton, W. H. Broad, R. Pexton, H. Masters, C. Marsh, E. W. Ewell, J. Webber, A. E. Pritchard, H. H. Goodwin, Farley, Britt, Smith, J. Gandy, W. License, and R. Morgan. The service at the chapel and at the graveside were conducted by the Rev F. P. Basden. The coffin was of polished oak, and bore the inscription of “Arthur Houlden, died 19th March, 1905, aged 32 years.” The floral tributes were very beautiful and numerous, the following being a list: To our dear son, Arthur: With fond love, from Percy and Nell: In loving memory, Walter, Archie, and Ro: To dear Uncle Arthur, from Douglas; With best love, from Fred; From his loving sisters, Sissie and Alice; With heartfelt sympathy, from the employees; With deepest sympathy, from his friend, W. J. George; With sincere sympathy, from L. Matson; A tribute of sincere sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Norton and family; With Mrs. Sydney Hipkins' sincere sympathy, Great Yarmouth; With deepest sympathy and regret, from Mr. and Mrs. A. Tapley; From Archie Knight, with sincere sympathy; With Mr. and Mrs. Delehave and family's deepest sympathy – Peace, perfect peace; With deepest sympathy, from Kitty Belcher; With sincere and condolence, from E. and l. Thompson; With deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs., and Miss Appleton; From his chum, W. H. Greenhaulgh, Dover Cycling Club; An old friend's tribute, W. H. Broad; With Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jarrett's and family's deepest sympathy and loving remembrance, Clyde House, Dover; With deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. John Ingleton and family; With deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. J. Gandy and family; Tribute of sincere sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Pritchard; With loving sympathy from the Officers, Committee, and members of the Dover Cycling Club; With sincere sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Falconer and family.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 9 June, 1905. Price 1d.


Permission was given to the "Esplanade Hotel" to supply refreshment at the Athletic Ground of Whit Monday.


Dover Express 12th July 1918.

The Dover Tribunal met on Wednesday afternoon at the Town Hall. The Mayor presided and there were also present Messrs. Robson, Barnes and Beeby.

Mr. R. Mowll appeared in the case of Mr. W. Hooker, Grade 11, manager of the "Esplanade" Hotel and the applicant was granted 3 months exemption and exemption from service with the Volunteers on account of his medical condition.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 September, 1925. Price 1d.


A distressing fatality occurred on Sunday afternoon when a little boy named Phillip Albert Blogg, of 29, Albany Place, was knocked down by a taxi-cab near the Drill Hall in Northampton Street. He died within a few minutes from fractured skull.

An inquest was held at the “Esplanade Hotel” on Tuesday afternoon by the Deputy Coroner, (Mr. E. E. Pain), who was assisted by a Jury.

The Jury was sworn in as follows:- John Williams (foreman), Charles Henry Smith, John Weir, Reginald Devonshire Carter, Charles Robert Millway, William Ernest Lee, and Henry Frederick Partridge.

Ernest Frederick Blogg, 29, Albany Place, porter for Mrs. Beresford Baker, at Tenterden, said: The body is that of my son, Philip Albert Blogg. He was three years old last October, and lived at home with us. I was not at home on Sunday until half-past ten and knew nothing about the accident until then. Mrs. Bloggs is unable to attend to give evidence, and I have brought a doctor's certificate.

The Coroner said that it was unfortunate as Mrs. Blogg would not be able to say what time the child left home.

Albert Henry Hogg said: I reside at 289, London Road and am a seamen of the S.R. boats. On Sunday afternoon about a quarter to five, I was coming from the Sea Front with my wife and two children. When I got by Dr. Best's house at the corner of Northampton Street, I was about to cross the road when a taxi came round the corner on the other side of the road from Bench Street, into Northampton Street. There was some baggage on top of the car which drew my attention to it. I passed a remark to my wife, “It's a wonder the baggage doesn't come off the way it is going round the corner.”

The Coroner: It doesn't matter what you said to your wife. You noticed the baggage?

Witness: Yes.

The Coroner: can you give any idea what speed the car was going?

Well, pretty fast in my estimation.

Pretty fast?

Yes, I should estimate 15 miles per hour.

Do you know what 15 miles per hour is? Have you means of judging?

Well, I can walk 4 miles an hour and I judge the trams go, on the straight at about 8 miles per hour, and I should say he was going double the speed of a tram.

That is your considered opinion?

Yes, by the distance the car covered whilst I was crossing the road. Continuing witness said: When I got to the other side of the road I heard some children cry out and looking down I saw a child lying in a heap in the road. Further on was the car.

Can you tell me the position of the car?

It was on the left hand side as I was looking down, the child was lying on the right of the car.

Is this the Snargate Street side?

Yes. Continuing, witness said: I went down. The car was well on the left, so that the child was in the middle. He was on his knees, with his head towards Snargate Street. I lifted the child, and there was no movement, only blood running from his head, I was making for Snargate Street, when someone said go to Dr. Best's. I was going to the first shop I thought would be open, and that was a restaurant. I took the child to Dr. Best's Surgery.

The Coroner: that accounts for the blood leading to Snargate Street?


Mrs. Eileen Spicer, of 8, Pretoria Terrace, said: I was proceeding from the Sea Front on Sunday about ten minutes to five. As I got past the National Provincial Bank on that side, I saw the car going from New Bridge into Northampton Street. I noticed it because it was well loaded with luggage on top and where the driver sat. It took my eye, and I watched it go down Northampton Street on the left hand side of the road. In my opinion, it was going at quite an ordinary speed. I am not a great judge, but I should say from six to eight miles per hour.

Ever been out in a motor car?

Several times.

Ever watched the speedometer?

Yes. The car I usually go in is a Ford. I don't know if that would make any difference.

Witness continuing, said: I also noticed the children – the little child in a blue jersey, the one killed, and, I think, a smaller one, and two boys who attend the County School, standing by the Jewish synagogue, Slip Passage. I saw the boy in the blue jersey deliberately make a dart across the road, making for the passage on the other side. The next time I looked – I thought the boy would have cleared the car – I saw a huddled heap on the tram lines, and drew my friend's attention to it.

The Coroner: You did not see the actual contact?


Continuing, witness said that the car had then drawn up by the Drill Hall – not more than the length of the car on, she should say.

A Juryman asked what pace witness was going at, if she was at the end of the National Provincial Bank when she saw the car going round the corner and was still able to se the child just in front of the car afterwards?

Witness said she was walking at an ordinary easy pace from the Sea Front.

The Foreman: You say the child dart across the road?


What distance was the car then?

I couldn't tell you, as I was right at the top of Northampton Street then.

The next witness was Frederick Goodwin, of 34, Kitchener Road, who the Police said was one of the County School boys referred to. He said: I am aged 15. I was coming from the Sea Front, and by Dr. Best's I saw the taxi-cab coming from Bench Street. It turned the corner and went down Northumberland Street at an ordinary speed – not more than six miles an hour, I should say. I saw two children over on the right hand side of Northampton Street., that is the Snargate Street side.

Questioned by the Coroner, the boy adhered to his statement that the boys were on the side of Northampton Street by Mr. Wood's shop.

The Coroner: You yourself were not standing on the Slip Passage at the time then?

No; and my chum who was with me is outside.

P.C. Taylor said that the boy was very much agitated at the time.

The Coroner said that he had written down: “I saw the motor car commence going down Northampton Street, and I saw the two children standing on the Northampton Street pavement, and I think it was Snargate Street side.”


The driver of the taxi was next called, and the Coroner warned him that as it was a case in which the question might arise whether he was criminally responsible if any questions were asked which he thought might incriminate himself, he was entitled to say that he did not want to answer.

Thomas Wright said: I live at 7, Victoria Park Mews, and I am a taxi driver, owning my own car. I was driving on Sunday afternoon with a lady and two little boys from the Priory Station to catch the Calais boat, I think, at about 6 or 6.15 p.m. I think it was about five o'clock when the accident occurred, but I really did not notice until I got to the Mortuary. I came down Bench Street, and had just turned the Northampton Street corner when as I got to the Synagogue there were three little boys who ran deliberately in front of my car. They were all about the same size and seemed to be together, and made a dash. They ran in front of the car. The left-hand mudguard hit one of the children on the head, knocking him down. I stopped my car directly and ran for assistance, with a gentleman on the other side of the road. I ran to Dr. Best's house and rang all the bells I could. I did not know what to do.

The Coroner: When you were coming down Northampton Street, I suppose it was pretty clear?

Yes, it was a clear road.

You know the ground very well?


Did you sound your hooter when you got to the cross-roads?

No, sir, I did not sound my hooter.

Do you generally?

I do generally, but I didn't on that occasion.

You have been down there heaps of times?

Yes, I am always careful at that corner.

What happened to the other children?

I did not notice.

They were all together?

Yes, it's a wonder I didn't knock them all over. Witness added: I hadn't got the heart to pick the boy up. He was just behind the car. I don't think I ran over him.

How far away?

Hardly a car's length.

Yet you cannot remember what happened to the other children?

They ran back on to the Slip Passage side, I think.

Police Inspector Fox: Was the deceased the leading boy?

Yes; I think so.

The Coroner: I understand they all ran together?

He must have been leading, or the others would have got it.

I suppose it depends on the speed you were going?

I was hardly going any speed.

Would you like to say what speed?

Six to eight miles and hour, not more.

Further questioned, witness said he was not sure if there were two or three boys. As soon as the accident happened he ran for assistance.

Inspector Fox: Where was the injured boy?

In the road.

You passed him to get assistance?


Inspector Fox said that according to the witness the boy was knocked down in the gutter, but according to the first witness he was lying on the tram lines.

Witness: He was in the gutter.

The Coroner: There was a good deal of blood about two or three yards from the gutter. Your idea is that he was towards the gutter?

Yes; he ran right in front of me.

Have you any idea where he was when you first saw him?

I should say two yards off the curb.

The Coroner: Well, that is about it. Did you drag him?


You hit him where you found him?

Yes. If I had dragged him I should have gone over him.

A Juryman asked if the witness sighted the children before they dashed out?

Witness: No, sir; when they were nearly on my car. I had no warning, or I could have stopped within a yard.

The Foreman: Is your car insured against third-party risks?

No, sir.

Did the luggage impede your view?

No. I had only one trunk and another little bit beside me.

The father of the deceased said that witness had said he was only going six miles an hour. When did he first sight the boys?

Witness: not until they were on top of me.

The Father: Where was your car when the boys rushed out?

Nearly on to the Slip Passage.

You never saw those boys walking from the time you came round the corner?

I never saw the boys until they were on top of me. If I had seen them, I should have avoided them.

Where was his mind when he got to both those openings? He says he never sounded the hooter.

The Coroner: The Jury can come to their own conclusion as to that. I have asked him the question.

Mr. Hogg, the first witness of the accident, said he would like to ask the driver if he drew up more to the left after he knocked the boy down?

Witness: No, sir, I pulled up straight away.

The Coroner: You might have pulled to the left?

Yes; but I didn't notice when I knew what I had done.

Another gentleman in the Court, referring to a brother of the deceased said: Was he one of the three boys?

Witness: Yes; he was.

The Coroner called the boy forward. His name is Stephen Ernest Blogg, and his age five years. The Coroner said he did not propose to put him on his oath, and the Jury could do as they liked in regard to asking him questions. He had seen the boy, and in his opinion it was quite impossible to get from him any real version of what happened. He had told one story to one and another story to another. He had been told that he had been to Salem Sunday School that afternoon and went home, he and his brother, and he imagined his mother, who was not able to get out, and his father being away at Tenterden, said they could run along to the Sea Front. They were probably on the way home, and his own opinion was that they were running across from Slip Passage. The boy said on one occasion he was going the other way, so they would see how difficult it was to find out the truth, but he had no doubt in his own mind what happened. They could see from the boy's appearance that he was quite capable of looking after himself in the streets.

The Foreman said that the Jury had decided not to ask the boy any questions.

Dr. Matthew De Lacy, assistant to Dr. Best, said: I was informed of the accident at about ten minutes to five, and saw the deceased at the back entrance to Dr. best's house. He was lying on the ground, and died just as I reached him. I should say it was within three minutes of the accident. He had been bleeding both from the ear and the mouth, and examination revealed a shallow groove on the right side of the head behind the ear. The skull had been broken at this point, and death was due to shock following a fractured skull. The injury might very well have been caused by an accident such as he had described.

The Coroner, addressing the Jury, said that he thought the facts were fairly clear. He did not think they would have any doubt that the motor car ran into the boy and that the cause of death was a fractured skull, but the real question for the Jury was: “Was there anything in the way in which Mr. Wright was driving which was negligent or improper or of a furious nature which may have caused the death of the boy?” Even if there was no negligence or fault on the part of the driver, they would also have to consider whether there was any negligence on the part of the child. That is to say, whether the children contributed to the accident out of the ordinary way, which relieved the driver from the liability to which he otherwise would be subject. The real question for the Jury to decide was whether this was a case of misadventure or whether the running down of the child was through the fault of the driver, and if it was they must make up their minds as to what extent, because if he was guilty of negligent conduct such as furious driving, and it was not contributed to by the other party, then, they were aware, he was liable to be committed for manslaughter. The points he wanted them to decide were: - First of all, about which there was no difficulty, that the motor car ran into the child; that death came from a fracture of the skull which was caused by being run into; and, thirdly, whether it was by misadventure or by any fault, and if so to what extent, on the part of the driver.

The Jury retired, and after a few minutes returned and asked to re-examine the first witness. The Foreman said that they would like Hogg to verify the statement he made as to where he picked up the boy. The evidence of the other witness was that he was lying near the path.

Hogg said that was the reason he asked the driver if he pulled in after the accident.

How far from the curb were you when you picked up the boy?

Practically in the middle of the road.

When the Jury returned again, the Foreman said they found the boy had met his death by misadventure. They thought the driver wrong in not sounding the hooter, but could find no criminal neglect to prefer a charge against him. They would like to express their sympathy with the parents. They also threw out the suggestion that no hackney carriage vehicles should be licensed unless they were covered for third-party or full insurance.

The Coroner made a note of the rider, which the Foreman asked should be sent to the Town Council.

The Coroner recoded a verdict that the deceased was accidentally run over by the motor car, and the cause of death was a fractured skull due to being so run over.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 12 August, 1932. Price 1d.


Yesterday, at 2.30 p.m., a man was seen to fall into the Medway near Springfield Mill, Maidstone. The body was recovered, and has since been identified as that of Mr. W. Hawkes, who for the past 25 years has been Manager of the “Esplanade Hotel,” Dover. He has recently had a nervous breakdown, and had gone to Maidstone to stay with friends. The inquest will be held today.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 14 January, 1938. Price 1d.


The "Esplanade Hotel" was granted an occasional licence to supply refreshments at the annual meeting and another at the Kent Council of Meat Trades to be held at the Town Hall on January 24th.


The Birmingham Mail, Saturday, 4 March, 1942.

Esplanade Hotel, Dover. Sale by tender.

The Directors of the "Esplanade Hotel," (Dover) Co., Ltd., having closed the hotel portion of the premises, are prepared to sell the contents, and invite tenders for purchase of the same as enumerated in inventory. Sealed tenders to be received on or before noon on Wednesday March 25th, 1942.

Inspection can be arranged by appointment.

Form of tender including inventory price 5s. can be obtained from. E. M. Worsfold, Chartered Accountant, Swattenden Lane, Cranbrook, Kent.

The Directors do not bind themselves to accept the highest or any Tender.


Esplanade Hotel demolition 1950

Taken from the Dover Express 20 January 1950


For many years, well-known to visitors as well as townspeople, the Esplanade Hotel, opposite the entrance to the Prince of Wales Pier, is being demolished. It was closed about the beginning of 1941, and subsequently suffered war damage. The site is needed by the Harbour Board in connection with their quay-space improvement scheme.

Further information indicates it was still operating in August 1944. Paul Skelton.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 20 January 1950.


Called to one fire at the docks on Wednesday evening, Dover firemen discovered another in adjoining premises.

They had been called to Messrs. Crow, Catchpole wharf, where electric wires at the base of a ballast elevator had fused and caught fire. After dealing with this the firemen smelt smoke in the vicinity, and found a quantity of rubbish alight in a basement room of the Esplanade Hotel, which is being demolished. This too, was quickly extinguished.



CESSFORD William (proprietor) 1871-Mar/1902 (age 39 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1878Post Office Directory 1882Pikes 1889Post Office Directory 1891Kelly's Directory 1899Dover Express

MANN Robert James Mar/1902+ Dover Express (Secretary of the Esplanade Hotel Company, Ltd.)

HOOKER W Mr 1918+

ORPIN William S to Feb/1923 dec'd Dover Express

SAUNDERS Herbert J Feb/1923+ Dover Express

HAWKES Mr W 1923-Aug/1932 dec'd Pikes 1923Pikes 1924Pikes 1932-33

MARTIN Wilfred (secretary to Messes George Beer & Rigden Ltd. Brewers, Faversham) Dec/1936+

SAUNDERS J A 1938+ Pikes 1938-39

SAUNDERS H J Mr to Aug/1944

KNOTT S J Mr Aug/1944+


Post Office Directory 1878From the Post Office Directory 1878

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Pikes 1889From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

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

Pikes 1923From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

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

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



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