DOVER KENT ARCHIVES
PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1970

(Name from)

First and Last

Open 2017+

55 East Cliff now 57-58 East Cliff

01304 212571

First and Last First and Last

Above photo by Paul Skelton (18 Sept 2010). The former "Prince Alfred" and first "First and Last" can be seen two doors to the right with the hanging baskets.

First and Last sign
First and Last Bar
First and Last Bar

 

An old house with a new title and one taken from the house a couple of doors away.  In 1970 when the "Prince Alfred" sign, displayed since 1866, was taken down. That "First and Last" lasted about 6 years to 1976 when I believed it closed it's doors for the last time, it is now a private house. In the mean time, this premises was operating as the "Albion." Then in 1998 it closed, was renovated and when it reopened it took the name we know today, the "First and Last."

 

Dover Express July 1 1999

THE PUB WITH A FUTURE & PAST

First and Last
First and Last map

The First and Last is one of Dover's most famous and best loved hostelries.

SITUATED in one of Dover's oldest streets, directly under the famous White Cliffs, the First and Last has had its ups and downs.

There were originally two public houses in the road - The Albion and, a few doors away, The First and Last.

The original First and Last closed in the early 1970s and converted to a house.

The Albion on the other hand saw four landlords and landladies come and go before changing its name to First and Last in August 1998.

In its last few months as The Albion, the pub went through some tough times, with bootlegging being a major factor in its closure.

However the last landlord decided to change the pub's image and clientele.

The first alteration was structural - knocking a wall through to make one bar as opposed to two separate ones.

First and Last interior

But the other change - the type of customer the pub attracted - was more difficult.

It's traditional trade of freight and coach drivers never reached full potential. After eight months the owner decided to call it a day and another change loomed.

Paul and Melanie Perkins took on the lease last April.

They have committed themselves to making The First and Last into a publican's dream - a good, local pub.

Paul said: "The East Cliff and Athol Terrace residents deserve a local pub, a meeting place in the community."

Just three minutes from the Eastern Docks, The First and Last is probably the first pub in Britain and the last out of it.

Popular thought is that the name originated in the 19th Century when sailors would stop there on landing in Dover and again on departing.

First and Last advert

The pub now offers a good food menu from 10am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday noon to 9.30pm. Breakfast is served all day.

Snacks, lunches, evening meals and a three course traditional roast are all available together with vegetarian options.

The First and Last boasts a pool table and dart board as well as a juke box, Sky television and live music every fortnight.

Paul said: "If you live locally and are still unsure about the pub, come and judge it again for yourself - we think you will be pleasantly surprised.

"But wherever you live, if you fancy a change come and enjoy our hospitality."

As a special offer, take this feature along and get two meals and two drinks for an all inclusive price of just £9.99, or 50p off any drink. (Spirit singles only).

Offer available until July 31 1999.

 

OUR readers' VE Day memories have created a great deal of interest, as did the old pictures used to illustrate them.

East Cliff shelter

One picture which caught the eye of Mr Nick Sheppard, of Maison Dieu Place, was the photograph of Dover people pouring out of a cave shelter at East Cliff after an air raid or shelling attack.

In the front of the group Nick recognised his late mother, Ivy, pushing a pram, in which was his brother Terry, and carrying his eldest brother, Edwin, in her arms, while sister Maureen walked alongside.

Behind them was his grand-mother, Mrs Woollen and Mrs Livingston, of East Cliff.

But Nick, a maintenance staff worker at Dover College, missed all the "fun"! He is only 35 and wasn't born When the photograph was taken.

Athol Terrace, circa 1890

From the Dover Mercury, 1 August, 2002.

ANALYSIS by SIMON FINLAY.

Save our streets call at East Cliff.

First and last landlady 2002

The small collection of individuals who waved placards last Friday did so when their week's work was done.

It was a good-natured display of English bolshiness by the seafront cottages, complete with hanging baskets.

East Cliff is like no place on earth, marooned between the largest and busiest passenger port in Europe and more than a stone's lob from the rest of central Dover.

The focal point for its residents is the First and Last pub, which enjoys a unique position as the only one in its immediate area.

Its landlady, Mel Perkins, is a blunt Northern Irishwoman from a village not far from the province's port, Larne. She is not happy.

"No one asked us if we wanted more asylum seekers. Of course we're suspicious - wouldn't you be?

"We keep saying it and we hope someone will listen. We're not saying we don't want any or we want less. We just don't want any more."

Mrs Perkins pulls no punches and her County Antrim accent certainly underlines her annoyance.

When her German shepherd dog, Sam, was run over at the weekend, the people of East Cliff grieved along with Mel and her husband Paul. No one could believe it.

It is that kind of place. Not so long ago, Migrant Helpline started using the cheap hotel accommodation to house asylum seekers and while that decision was hardly as welcome as a summer breeze, they have learned to live with it. Mrs Perkins makes a valid point when she says that Folkestone Road is a larger area in which to concentrate asylum seekers.

"Migrant Helpline says that they will be kept busy all day. Fair enough, what will they be doing at night? Where will they go to?

"It just doesn't seem to have been thought through. Yet we are the ones who might suffer."

In all truth, Migrant Helpline is on a hiding to nothing - damned if they do and damned if they don't.

It is very hard to imagine that the Home Office-funded charity has gone out of its way to deliberately irritate the 141 people who live there

Clearly, the situation on the Folkestone Road could not be allowed to continue, and any resolution to the problem - if you see it as one - is bound to cause conflict.

To take the 195 who may be housed in East Cliff to another town and the effect would have been exactly the same or worse.

When that point is made to the group's head of development Tony Fuller, a reasonable and personable New Zealander, he holds his hands up as if to concede it.

His responses were well prepared when a journalist from this newspaper visited the charity's headquarters on the day it exclusively broke the East Cliff story.

In fact, Migrant Helpline has been on a charm offensive - 'offensive' being the operative word, according to one East Cliff resident - of late. And there are many in the Priory and East Cliff areas who remain wary because of it. A long-suffering resident of Folkestone Road put it thus: "Don't trust 'em. On anything."

 

Dover and Deal MP Gwyn Prosser admits Migrant Helpline has 'not bad a good record when it comes to informing or consulting.

Which, one would suspect in the eyes of East Cliff residents, is a bit rich since Mr Prosser was informed of and consulted about their plans, but chose not to share them.

The conspiracy theorists have enjoyed an open season. One notion is that moving the asylum seekers out of a safe but beleaguered Labour area into a safe Tory area solves the problems.

The council seats up for grabs next May would be retained by Labour, and the MP can take some of the credit for sorting out a five-year problem in a Labour heartland while a Tory area picks up the problem.

It is unlikely such detailed social and demographic planning went into it.

It was more likely that three hotels were found near the dock in an area - with asylum seekers already resident - which happened to be Tory. The most vocal of the two Tory councillors.

Nigel Collor, seems content to stand on the sidelines while the residents make their point. He hopes to change Migrant Helpline's mind in some other way.

The residents can do little but hope that Migrant Helpline will relent to their wishes at the eleventh hour, but that seems unlikely.

 

From the Dover Mercury, 22 August, 2002.

ANALYSIS by SIMON FINLAY.

Meet the voice of the people

You take a volatile situation in a quiet residential corner of town, add a measure of fear for the future among the neighbours and stir in some rumours, you get a potentially dangerous cocktail. But don't worry, landlady Mel Perkins is around to keep things in hand, says SIMON FINLAY.

 

MEL Perkins life has always had a peripheral link with the sea and ports.

As landlady of the First And Last pub in East Cliff by the eastern docks she has become the unlikely leader of a group of residents not best pleased at the idea of 50 asylum seekers being foisted on her tiny neighbourhood.

But the link goes further back to her Northern Irish roots.

She was born in Leeds in 1973, but her parents moved home and eventually settled in the tiny village of Ballycarry, nor far from the province's biggest passenger ferry port at Larne.

"Larne is a very different place but I think I understand port people and it is probably why I feel so at home here in Dover. I love the people of this town."

She sees the redevelopment of Larne as a handy pointer to what can be done and is equally impressed by the work done in nearby Carrickfergus - which also boasts a seaside castle - to make full use of resources.

"The other weekend when the regatta was on, you could see the beginnings of a really good idea for somewhere like Dover. It is such a brilliant idea.

"If that sort of atmosphere could be extended through the whole of the summer, we'd get a lot more visitors and that would bring so much revenue to the town.

"The seafront is one of the best assets that we have and I just think that it could be used more."

Mel returned to England ten years ago and quickly found there was not the 'hassle' one might expect from life in Northern Ireland.

This is fairly typically understated shorthand that Ulstermen and women use as an extreme euphemism and something which must not be explored.

But, suffice it to say, Mel Perkins has suffered more than most.

"People say the English are reserved. In a way they are but that is true of every nationality I have ever met, so I think it is a misrepresentation.

"Go to any country in the world and you will find happy people, grumpy people and shy people. People are people."

Mel worked as a chef to Channel Tunnel workers when she first arrived and saw the Queen when at the official opening in 1994.

She married Paul at Dover register office in May 1997 and their young son Billy was Christened in Ballycarry, largely to 'go with the flow' of her parents.

She observes: "Back home you've not really arrived in the world until you've been Christened."

Paul has the rather more dubious distinction of being remembered for breaking a leg jumping up and down on the garage roof opposite the pub when England beat Argentina in the World Cup this summer.

The Dover Express billboard poster to that effect is hung on the wall with no embarrassment whatsoever.

"I love him to pieces. We've been together for nine years now and I like his sense of humour and he's got a great personality. A great all-rounder."

Circumstances have thrown Mel into the spotlight and it is one she would rather not be in.

Her characteristic bluntness may not be to everyone's taste but there is never anything other than honest opinion if it is asked for.

She pays constant tribute to Christine Shrubb and Debbie Stephenson and other 'neighbours and friends' for their support - but she treats them all as equals in the fight against the plans to house more asylum seekers in East Cliff.

In fact, many of the most vociferous in the protest hardly fit the bill of rabble-rousers they are just normal people who feel their little corner of Dover will be changed for ever.

"I don't see myself as the leader because I am not the leader. I have merely let the pub be used as a meeting-place."

But it was Mel who tried, and succeeded, in calming tensions when an incident at one of the hotels recently led to false speculation spreading like wildfire around the neighbourhood.

Yesterday morning, Mel and three other residents were due to meet Dover and Deal MP Gwyn Prosser.

"People mustn't get the wrong idea of us. We were not consulted properly and have been totally railroaded into this. We feel we don't have any alternative but to fight our corner - what else can we do?"

 

From the Dover Express 24 July, 2008

SINGING DUO REUNITED AFTER CHANCE MEETING

Paul Quinn and Graham Mart

TWO crooners who performed golden oldies in pubs and clubs in Dover before losing touch, have luck to thank for their shock reunion after 13 years.

Now Graham Mart, 58, from Whitfield and Paul Quinn, 42, from East Cliff, who hooked up in 1990 to form Remember This, are to turn back the clock with a one-off gig at the "First and Last" pub in East Cliff next month.

The warblers started off covering hits from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s at Graham's now defunct pub The "York House" in Snargate Street, before performing across the region.

Mr Quinn, who works in customs clearance for J.F. Hillebrand, said: “I used to drink in Graham's pub when I was working in freight clearance. It was a real eclectic mix of people and good music. One night I got up on stage with Graham and we sang a couple of songs. It just seemed to click and some of the customers said we should get together.”

The duo entertained audiences with covers of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ray Charles, Van Morrison and Neil Diamond and tracks from films such as the Commitments and the Blues Brothers.

Dover-born father-of-three Graham, who was first XI captain of Dover Cricket Club from 1979 to 1986, said: “We had people coming from all over the town and in the summer with the marina opposite we would get the Dutch and Germans, who would then invite us back onto their yachts.”

They drifted apart in 1995 when Paul joined soul band Souled Out. He said: “My father Bobby was a professional musician and my love had always been with soul music. Graham was really supportive.” Graham, who now works as a police community support officer supervisor, continued to sing solo, but sold his pub in 1996 and became a director with greeting cards firm Noel Tatt.

After 13 years apart they unexpectedly crossed paths again last month, when Paul saw a poster for a forthcoming gig by Graham at the "First and Last" pub and got in touch with landlord Teresa Hopkins.

He said: “I thought it had to be him, so I told Teresa that if he called she should say to him: ‘Do you remember this because I knew if it was Graham, he'd get it.”

Unfortunately Graham didn't call Teresa before his performance, but Paul popped along to see if his long-lost pal was the man advertised on the poster.

Graham was singing on stage when Paul walked through the door, but he instantly recognised him. He said: “We caught up over a few beers, it was like old times. We've had a few more drinks since.” Paul said: “I used to have hair and no glasses when we were performing and I noticed that Graham had a lot more grey hair.”

There pair were encouraged to duet again by Teresa, and are now preparing for their gig on Saturday, August 2 from 8.30pm. Graham said: “There's been a lot of people since I left the pub saying they miss it. This will be a trip down memory lane.”

 

From the Dover Express 11 February 2010

LANDLORD APPEALS FOR OLD PICS OF PUB

Neil Cairnes of the First and Last

History: Neil Cairns, new landlord of the First and Last.

 

THE new landlord of the "First and Last" in Dover is asking people to help in his search for any old photos of the historic pub.

Neil Cairns, 24, took over the management of the Shepherd Neame bar on Monday, February 1, and intends to introduce a traditional feel for customers.

Mr Cairns said: "Dover is a town absolutely steeped in history, from the castle to the visit of Sir Winston Churchill.

"We want to better pinpoint where we fit in to that. What we would really like are photos of the "First and Last" from the last 50 years to put up, so people can appreciate them while enjoying a pint or one of our lunches.

"When people go into pubs, they like seeing images from its past. It adds character. That is what we are trying to capture here."

Mr Cairns has worked in the industry since leaving school, and was manager of "Bar 26" in Margate before taking on the new role in Dover.

 

 

Information November 2011 tell me that the Fore Sale sign that was previously on the building has been removed.

 

From the Dover Express 1 December, 2011.

Report by Sam Inkersole

REOPENED PUB LIKELY TO PROVIDE JOBS CHEER

First and Last licensee, Danny McGhee

Above shows Danny McGhee, licensee from November, 2011.

 

AN HISTORIC pub in Dover that closed three months ago has reopened with a new landlord, bringing with it the prospect of six new jobs.

The "First and Last" pub in East Cliff Will be run by Irishman Danny McGhee.

The site backs on to a backpacker hostel for weary travellers who are about to cross the Channel or who have just entered the country ready for sightseeing.

Mr McGhee, 45, originally from County Monaghan in Ireland but now living in Folkestone, re-opened the pub three weeks ago and has had good business so far.

It was owned by Shepherd Neame, which still has the freehold. But Visit Journeys, which runs the hostel, now holds the lease for the pub as well.

Mr McGhee and his wife, Tanya, have invested what they say is a significant sum of money sprucing the place up and doing some essential maintenance.

Danny described the pub as the "first pub you will see when you arrive, and the last you will see when you leave."

He added: "The pub was only open sporadically, flitting between owners and wasn't really serving a purpose or boosting the local economy.

With the economy the way it is, there is a risk involved, but I am so happy to be able to provide the opportunity for employment for four full-time and two part-time staff at the pub.

"We have invested a significant amount of money so far sprucing up the pub and the hostel. There is still a little bit more to do so we don't have a final figure yet.

"It is not just about offering a service, it is offering some work to some people in an area that has traditionally struggled with the lack of jobs.

"Business has been good so far, and I am hoping it will continue for the future."

Rooms at the backpacker hostel start from £9.95.

 

From the Dover Mercury, 10 May, 2012. 80p

PUB CONVERSION

DISTRICT councillors are being asked to give retrospective planning permission for the change of use and conversion of the first floor of the "First and Last" public house at East Cliff, Dover, to tourist hostel accommodation.

 

From the Dover Express, Thursday, 17 May, 2012. 65p.

PUB IS SEEKING HOSTEL APPROVAL

DOVER: The owners of a Dover pub that provides accommodation for visitors is now seeking planning authority to allow part of the premises to be a tourist hostel.

The "First and Last" public house at 57 East Cliff has been providing a bed for visitors on the first floor since last November but now Stephen Holland of Bermondsey, London has submitted a retrospective planning application for a tourist hostel on the converted first floor.

Mr Holland, of Visits Journeys Hostels, says the hostel at the base of the cliffs is able to provide 30 beds in dormitory accommodation 24 hours a day.

 

 

Latest information says the pub has closed and is boarded up. Possibly pending retrospective change of use to a hostel.

 

First and Last May 2012

Above picture taken from Dover Web site. 11/May/2012.

 

October 2012 saw the pub change from closed to Sold/let.

 

From the Dover Mercury, 13 December, 2012. 80p.

A LOCK-IN AND THE PUB'S NOT EVEN OPEN YET

THE new landlord of a pub which is currently closed found himself locked inside the building yesterday (Wednesday) morning after someone replaced a padlock on the door.

The man had gone into the "First and Last" pub in East Cliff, Dover, to get on with some work to prepare for the reopening.

He unlocked the padlock and went inside. But someone walking past, who might have thought the door ought to be secure, locked the padlock again.

Trapped inside, the man called the fire service for help. Dover fire-fighters attended, and let him out.

The landlord called the fire service again shortly afterwards - to thank them for their help. He hopes it will be the first and last time he needs their services!

 

From www.Kentonline.co.uk 18 December, 2012.

Landlord calls fire-fighters after unwanted lock-in at The First and Last pub in Dover.

A new Dover pub landlord experienced an unwanted lock-in this morning - when someone padlocked his door.

The new manager of The First and Last pub, which is closed for building work, had to call the fire service at just before 7am.

The man found himself locked inside the East Cliff venue when he went to get on with some work to prepare for the re-opening.

Someone walking past, who might have thought the door ought to be secure, locked the padlock while he was inside.

Trapped inside, the man called for help and Dover fire-fighters let him out.

The landlord called the fire service again shortly afterwards - to thank them for their help.

 

 

After the pub was put up for sale again in December 2012 it remained closed, but I am informed in June 2016 that it has reopened its doors again. I believe the owner is Paul McMullan of the "Castle."

 

From the Dover Express, 11 February, 2016.

SHEPHERD Neame denies causing “damage” to a historic Dover pub recently bought by Paul McMullan.

First and Last 2016

The "Castle Inn" owner was the highest bidder at a recent auction for The "First and Last," once called The "Albion."

But he says signs were taken off by Britain’s oldest brewer and interior damage caused.

Shepherd Neame says it acted in accordance with a contract of stated items that could be removed, including the signs.

The "First and Last" was put up for sale by the Faversham-based company at the end of last year.

Mr McMullan told the Express “beer coolers, cellar buoys, fridges, T-bars and pumps” were removed by workers hired by Shepherd Neame.

The former News of the World journalist said: “With nothing there to dispense beer with and with the place reduced to looking like a terraced dump with holes in the wall, there is little chance of custom.

“Shepherd Neame put back the First Last letters this week but they were badly scratched by their earlier removal and there was no sign, literally, of the hanging ‘yacht’ emblem.”

He added: “Not a good start to a new venture but hopefully things can only get better.”

A Shepherd Neame spokesman said: “The terms of the auction were clear to all parties.

“The contract explicitly detailed any items that would be removed from the pub, including all beer dispensing equipment and branded signs. These were removed in accordance with that contract and we refute any allegations to the contrary.”

 

From the Dover Mercury, 13 October, 2016, by Sam Lennon.

It’s just one thing after another.

First and Last 2016

A pub that only reopened in July after its roof had collapsed was closed again a month later by the fire brigade.

Its owner Paul McMullan said it’s been one thing after another.

Now Mr McMullan, a former phone hacking row journalist, has applied to have the fire prohibition order lifted so trade can again begin.

But the Kent Fire and Rescue Service said that more work was needed and closed the pub down just a month after it had first reopened. Mr McMullan now says: “It has been one thing after another.”

Roof damage

The roof and some internal ceilings collapsed in February, shortly after Mr McMullan bought the pub, filling the building with plumes of 100-year-old attic dust.

New bunk beds at the boozer - which nestles at the foot of the White Cliffs of Dover - were also covered in a mix of chalk and it had crumbled away.

“Every slate along the ridge cracked in two and the rain was just pouring in. Two internal ceilings collapsed and we had to act fast or we risked the whole lot coming down. I stood in the main bar and could see rain water running down the walls and ending up in pools on the floor.”

The pub, which was once called The "Albion," had been closed for two years. Mr McMullan believes minor cracks in a few slates had been left unnoticed until reaching the point of collapse.

“I picked up quite a few pebble-sized lumps of chalk off the kitchen roof extension which is right underneath Admiralty Lookout above us. If you stay quiet at night you can hear stuff falling on the roof, most of it is just little bits of chalk and debris disturbed by nesting seagulls.

“Over the years this has to have resulted in a few cracked tiles, I can think of no other explanation. The whole kitchen was destroyed by a major cliff collapse in the Seventies, so I guess it could have been worse.”

Paul McMullan on roof

Mr McMullan and a team of roofers worked into the night to secure the structure but once finished the fire brigade called in to view the work and demanded six new fire doors and fire resistant safety glass be installed.

The pub had first reopened in July after the work that Mr. McMullan ordered had been completed but KFRS imposed the closing order on August 24 and it remains in force.

SAFETY WORRIES.

Sacha Taylor, spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The prohibition notice was issued due to significant fire safety deficiencies.

"The reasons were firstly inadequate means of detection and means of giving warning to safeguard relevant persons in the event of fire.

"Secondly, there were inadequate emergency routes and exits.”

Mr. McMullan also owns the "Castle" pub in Russell Street, Dover.

 

LICENSEE LIST

(This pub used to be the "Prince Alfred.")

PERKINS Paul & Melanie Apr/1999-2002+

RICKARD Helen 2007+

HOPKINS Mr G 2008-09+

CAIRNS Neil 1/Feb/2010-Aug/2011

MANAGER The (According to Shepherd Neame web site) Nov-Dec/2011+

McGHEE Danny Nov/2011-May/12

McMULLAN Paul Sept/2016+

 

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

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