Sort file:- Dover, May, 2023.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 23 May, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1862


Latest 1972

(Name to)

58 Maison Dieu Road


Grapes 1947

Above photo, 1947, just showing the corner of the pub. Kindly sent by Rosmany Wells.

Grapes 1952

Above photo 1952. Creative Commons Licence.

Grapes ledger

Thomspon & Son ledger. Creative Commons Licence.

Grapes, date unknown

Above photo kindly supplied by Jeanette Harper, c/o Jackie Bowles of the Louise Armstrong. Date circa 1960.

From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 27 February, 1864.


George Cook, a carter, was summoned for leaving a cart longer than was necessary for loading or unloading the same. Mr. Knocker appeared in support of this information also.

Police-constable Jones stated that he saw the defendant's cart unattended outside the "Grapes" public-house, Maison Dieu Road, on Thursday, from forty minutes past three till ten minutes past four. He had previously seen the horse and cart standing there for an hour and a half. Upon the defendant coming out of the public-house, he said he would move away as soon as he had "finished another game." - The Bench fined the defendant 5s., and 7s. costs which he paid.



The original was built in 1862 and it was sold together with four others belonging to Mrs. Harding in 1890. It realised 1,200. It had been built forward of the building line and created a danger by 1893. It was therefore removed and following a road widening was re erected further back.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10 September, 1869. Price 1d.


Jack Hicks, a labourer, was charged with assaulting a police-constable while in the execution of his duty on the Maison Dieu Road.

Police constable Nash said that from information he received he went to the "Grapes Inn," Maison Dieu Road, and saw the landlord, who gave a man into his custody on a charge of assaulting him and his wife. When he had the man in his custody, the prisoner threatened to punch his (the policeman's) head. On witness telling him to mind his own business, he struck witness a blow on the head, and witness took the prisoner into custody. He was very violent, and witness had to obtain the assistance of Police-constable Faith in order to handcuff him, and he was then taken to the station-house. The other man that witness had in his custody succeeded in getting away during the scuffle, and he then made good certain damage he had done, after which the landlord refused to give him into custody.

The Magistrates fined the prisoner 10s., and the costs 6d.; in default, fourteen days' imprisonment.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 22 October, 1869.


William Charles Wilson, landlord of the "Grapes" public-house was summoned on the information of Police-sergeant Stevens for having his house open during illegal hours on the 17th.

The defendant did not appear, but his wife  was present and said  he was unable to stand, and he could not be squared from his work.

Superintendent Coram having proved the service of the summons, Police-sergeant Stevens said: that on Sunday morning last, about half-past nine, he was passing the "Grapes," Maison Dieu Road, having just previously visited it, when he saw a boy named Collard come out of the house with a jug in his hand containing "half-and-half," newly drawn. In consequence of what the boy said, witness went into the house and saw the landlord's daughter, who admitted drawing the liquor. The landlord was also present when he spoke to the daughter, and he said he was very sorry.

The boy, John Collard, 15 years of age, living at Prospect Cottages, Charlton, said he went into the "Grapes Inn"  on Sunday morning last, to fetch some beer and porter. he went into the house and asked for it. The daughter of the landlord drew it and he paid one penny for it.

In reply to the Bench, Superintendent Coram said the house was very respectably conducted.

The Magistrates fined the defendant 5s. and the costs, 16s., which was paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 16 September, 1870. Price 1d.



The landlord of the “Grapes,” Mr. C. Wilson, had also been convicted of keeping his house open on the Sunday; but on being reminded of the circumstance he professed to have no recollection of it, and it was not till the date of the conviction was searched out by the Magistrates' Clerk that his memory was sufficiently refreshed to remember it. The presiding Magistrate regretted that Mr. Wilson had so faulty a memory, because it was probably that he would go away and forget what had occurred that morning, and what the Magistrates were now going to tell him. (A laugh.) This was, that if he again offended in this particular he would in all probability have his licence taken away; and although the applicant might have an imperfect recollection of what passed before the Magistrates, he might inform him that a record of their transactions was kept, and the recollection of the Magistrates themselves was not so defective. If there were any repetition of this complaint, and he (Dr. Astley) was upon the Bench, he should think it his duty to endeavour to withhold the licence.



Henry Gray, licensee of the "Grapes" from circa 1876 to 1913 must have been involved with the demolition and building of the new pub as he spans the years of old and new. According to the Earl of Radnor County Estate Records, he was also owner of No. 2 Halton Copyhold, cottage garden & 3 roods meadow; pasture land at Chalksole Green, Alkham; in 1906 he pays 2s. 3d. quit rent. (Quit-rent is a form of tax or land tax imposed on freehold or leased land by a higher landowning authority, usually government or its assigns.)


1950 saw an application to "full" license approved, allowing the pub to sell beers and spirits.


Once an outlet of Bass Charrington but owned by Robert (Bod) Bowles since 1972 who declared it a free house, changed the sign to "Louis Armstrong" and provided music with his own band.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 31 May, 1872. Price 1d.


Mr. Coleman applied that Mr. George Moneylaws, recently carrying on a grocery business at Aldington, might be allowed to draw at the "Grapes Inn," Charlton, in place of the present tenant, Mr. William Charles Wilson, until the next transfer day.

Testimonials to character were handed in from the Churchwardens of Aldington.

It appeared that the present tenant, Mr. Wilson, had occupied the house for seven years.

Superintendent Sanders said there was one conviction against the house, about a twelve month ago; but he should raise no objection to the proposed transfer.

The Bench thereupon granted the application.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 3 October, 1890. Price 5d.


At the Auction Sale at the “Royal Oak Hotel,” yesterday, by Messrs. Terson and Son, No. 45, Seven Stars Street, sold for “165, and 58, Maison Dieu Road, sold for 205. The latter was bought by Mr. Thompson, who was also the purchaser of the “Grapes Inn.”

Yesterday afternoon Messrs. Terson and Son offered five public houses, the property of Mrs. Harding, for sale by auction at the “Royal Oak Hotel.” The “Grapes,” Maison Dieu Road, sold for 1,200.


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


At an early hour on Saturday morning, entrances were effected to the “Sportsman” and “Grapes Inn” at Charlton Green. From every appearance and certain information that the Police possess, there seems to be no doubt that these two robberies are part of a series of burglaries that were committed last week successively at towns between Dover and Chatham. The entrances were effected from the back with considerable skill, for at the “Sportsman” there was a god in the yard, and that was not even disturbed, whilst at the “Grapes” there were three dogs in the house, and these were also not aroused. At the “Sportsman” a sum of under two hundred pounds was taken, whilst at the “Grapes” under five pounds was stolen, and in addition a few articles were taken at the “Sportsman” in the way of a silver spoon, etc.

Two men visited both houses just before closing time, and finished up at the “Red Lion,” which they left when the house was closed, and they no doubt then secreted themselves and subsequently submitted the robbery. The Police are dealing with the matter.


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



On Wednesday evening the Dover Police made a capture that will probably break up a dangerous gang of burglars who have been committing a succession of serious robberies in East Kent. It will be remembered that some few weeks ago at the “Grapes” public house and the “Sportsman” public house in Charlton Green were both entered on the same night, and a quantity of money taken. The entrances were effected from the back, and of course as the Police have no access to that part, they had no chance of capturing the robbers red handed. However, when the matter was brought to their notice, they made very careful enquiries, and those enquiries had the effect of making the important capture that was made on Wednesday evening. It seems that one of the refreshment houses in Dover, 23, Snargate Street, it was reported that two men took rooms on this night, but they were absent all night, and did not return, saying that they were going to see a friend of theirs in the Buffs, named Rawlings. This aroused the suspicions of the Police, and on making further enquiries they discovered that there was no such man in the Buffs as Rawlings. One of the men had left at the refreshment house a black bag, and the Police asked the landlady in the event of the men returning for it, to at once inform them. On Wednesday night they came back and asked for the bag. The landlady at once went to the top of the street and told the Constable on duty there that the men had come for the bag, and the Constable, meeting them coming out, stopped the man with the bag; and two who were in his company walking on. The man not answering the Constable's questions satisfactorily, he felt justified in taking him to the Police Station. There nothing at first could be found to connect him with the Charlton Green burglaries, and he was put into the cells as a deserter because he was wearing military socks. Some keys that were found on him, and after found to have been taken from the “Grapes,” proved to be a very conclusive connecting link, and there is little doubt but that a most important capture has been made.

Amongst the property found on the man, was a silver tobacco box, part of the proceeds of a burglary at Rochester, previous to the Dover burglaries, and, in addition, we understand that other property was found on him that was taken in some of the many other burglaries that have been startling East Kent, and one very serious one that took place at an important Kentish town only a couple of days previously. We understand that the other two men made good their escape by inducing the Railway officials to allow them to go on a special train that happened to leave Dover before the importance of the capture was realised. The Dover Police have undoubtedly made a very smart capture, due entirely to the thoroughness with which they pursued their original enquiries. The first hearing of the case took place at the Dover Police Court yesterday, before H. W. Thorpe and F. G. Wright, Esqrs.

Arthur Thomas, 22, who said that he was of no fixed residence, Mile End Road, a trimmer, was charged with being concerned with another man, not in custody, with breaking and entering the “Grapes” public house, Maison Dieu Road, during the night of the 17th of February, 1905, and stealing from the bar 4 in money, and a bunch of eight keys, value together 4, the goods and money of W. H. Gray.

William Henry Gray, landlord of the “Grapes Inn,” Maison Dieu Road, said: On Friday, February 17th, I shut up the house as usual at 11 o'clock. I did not go to bed till one o'clock, and then went round the premises to see that all was safe. Soon after I went to be I heard a noise, but thought it came from my neighbours, as we can hear noises plainly through the walls, and took no notice of it. I got up at eight o'clock, and found that the house had been broken into. The barmaid had just gone down before me, I went into the kitchen and found the window open. The lower sash had been forced up, the fastening having been broken. The spade now produced is my property and was kept in the garden by the tool house. It was found in the bar parlour, bent. The marks on the window corresponded with it. When I went to bed there were some large glass bottles on the kitchen table, inside of the window, and these were removed outside the house to enable a person to get through the window, which was four or five feet from the ground. On going into the bar I found that a drawer behind the counter was gone. It was found in the bottling place at the back of the bar parlour. The drawer, which was locked, contained about three or four pounds in money. There was half a sovereign and some silver in a bag. I had not counted the money. I had counted the bulk of the money, which I had carried upstairs with me, and had left this downstairs for the next morning. The coppers and the bag of money were gone when I found the drawer. The keys produced were amongst the coppers, and are my property. When I was shown them the other day I at once recognised them as my property. The drawer had been opened by forcing the bolt of the lock. The bar parlour, which also looks on to the back, was broken into. The glass by the catch had been smashed and the catch broken. In the parlour was the iron crowbar produced, two spades, and the garden fork. They had tried to force the door of the room leading into the passage, but had not succeeded, and then apparently went to the scullery window, which had been tampered with. The entry was then apparently effected through the kitchen window. There was a dog, a spaniel, asleep on the kitchen table all the time. Another was upstairs in the barmaid's bedroom, and another outside. The dogs had been doctored, and were not well for three or four days. Usually they barked when the Police came to try the house. There was not a whimper from them for three or four days. They had been out in the street after closing time, and had to be called in, a thing that is quite unusual. My cash box, which was on the dresser in the kitchen, was broken open. It contained some bonds, warrants for spirits, but they were shot out in the garden, and we found them blowing about the next morning. They were of no use to anyone, as the duty would have to be paid. There was ⅓ of a guinea in the box, and that was taken. Two strangers were in the house that evening, but I did not see them myself.

The Magistrates' Clerk: But you want strangers to come in?

Witness; Not the way these afterwards did. At the back footmarks could be seen. One of them had a large round India-rubber heel with a screw in the middle. There was also footmarks with a broad plain heel. There was also a narrow heel with half a clip. These three footmarks were all I could see. These we traced to a wall between Palmerston Terrace and the “Sportsman Inn.” The latter was broken into during the same night. Yesterday Sergt. Palmer showed me the keys produced, which I at once identified, and one I found unlocked a drawer in my musical box. It is an unusual key. Other keys fit locks upstairs.

The prisoner said he had no questions to ask; he wished to make his statement presently.

Police Constable Fred C. Jarvist said: Last evening at 8.15 I was on duty at the top of Snargate Street, and from information received I went to the coffee shop at 23, Snargate Street. I saw three men inside, and waited outside for about five minutes. Two men came out, followed by the prisoner, who was carrying a small black bag. They appeared to be together, but the other two men went down Snargate Street. I said to the prisoner, “I wish to speak to you. Where were you three weeks ago last Friday night?” he said, “At Bow.” I said, “Are you sure you were not here in Dover three weeks ago on a Friday, and left your bag at the coffee shop?” he stood for a minute and then said, “Yes, I think I did.” I told him that as he answered the description of a man who was wanted here about three weeks ago I should take him to the Police Station on suspicion. He said, “All right, I will come.” I brought him to the police Station accompanied by Police Constable Stanford. He came quietly, carrying the bag. At the Station Inspector Fox said he would like to ask him a few questions. He asked him where he stopped on the night of the 17th February. He said he went back to Bow. Inspector Fox asked him what time train he went back by. He said a train which left Dover about ten o'clock. Inspector Fox said there was no such train; the last train to London was at seven. “All right,” he said, “if you must know, I did not go back. I slept outside the barracks.” He was asked why he came to Dover, and he said “To see a chum in the Buffs named Rawlings.” He was wearing military socks stamped with the words “Rifle Brigade.” He was searched, and the bunch of keys produced found on him, also 18/5 in money, a silver tobacco box, and other articles, which I now produce. He had round India rubber pads on both heels. I went to make some inquiries, and returned at 11. Inspector Fox and myself then went to the cell. Inspector Fox cautioned the prisoner, and asked him how he could account for having the keys in his possession. He said he bought them. The Inspector cautioned him again, and told him that the keys were a part of the property that had been stolen with 4 in money from the “Grapes” public house on the 17th of February or the early morning of the 18th. He was then charged with being concerned with another man not in custody with breaking into the house. He said. “All right,” and did not deny it. He refused to give his name and address, saying he never had any, and they called him “Sam.”

At the request of Inspector Fox, who wished to call further evidence, the case was remanded till Monday.


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



At the Dover Police Court on Monday, before Messrs. H. W. Thorpe, J. L. Bradley, J. W. J. Mackenzie, and F. G. Wright, Arthue Thomas was brought up on remand charged with being concerned with another man, not in custody, with breaking into the “Grapes” public house, Maison Dieu Road, on February 17th, 1905, and stealing 4 in money and a bunch of keys.

The evidence given at the previous hearing was read over.

Miss Bessie Fuller said: I keep a restaurant at 23, Snargate Street. I first saw the prisoner four weeks ago last Friday, February 17th. He and another man came there about 8.30 in the evening. One of the two had a small black hand bag, the one now produced. They had something to eat and remained in the house half an hour. On leaving, I believe it was the other man who asked me whether he could leave the bag, as he wished to see a chum named Rawlings at the barracks, belonging to the 2nd battalion of the Buffs. I said I did not know him by name. I told them I did not think they would be allowed through as it was so late. They answered, “Oh yes, we can at our barracks.” I asked what barracks they were, and they said, “We belong to the rifles, and come from Chatham.” They were both in plain clothes, respectably dressed. They said they would call for the bag at half-past eleven. I waited up for them, but they did not come, so I went to bed. The next evening about a quarter to twelve at night, I reported the matter to the Police. On Wednesday night last, between seven and eight, the prisoner and two others came in. They were two fresh men, and one of them said he belonged to the Buffs. They ordered something to eat. I took their order. They paid for it all in coppers, the prisoner paying the 1/6 and asking for the bag. Previously he said, “Do you recognise me?” I did not reply, and he asked for the small black bag which he said he left there. I asked him why he did not come for it before, and he said he could not find my shop, and the next day he went to Bow. I handed him his bag. I had previously communicated with the Police that the men had called for the bag. All three left together. The Constable was outside then.

Acting Inspector Palmer said: Last Wednesday I was at the station when the prisoner was brought in by Police-constable Jarvest. The property that was found on the prisoner consisted of a watch, studs, and several other things, and the keys produced I took to the “Grapes” public house and showed them to Mr. Gray. He at once picked up the keys and said, “These are mine.” He selected one key saying, “This belongs to my musical box.” He went straight to the drawer and unlocked it. I brought the keys back to the station.

Police Sergeant Figg said: On the morning of February 18th I went to the “Grapes” shortly after eight o'clock. Mr. Gray reported that his house had been entered. I saw that the kitchen window had been forced, the fastenings being broken by pushing up the bottom sash with a shovel. There were some footmarks on the earth under the window. There was a plain sole and a broad heel, another heel mark with half a tip, and another with Indian-rubber pad quite round. I have seen the prisoner's boots, and he has similar pads on both heels that correspond with the marks. I measured them both, and they correspond. These marks I traced to a wall between the “Grapes” public house and the “Sportsman” bowling green. There were similar marks at the “Sportsman” where it had been entered. They came over a small dwarf fence over Mr. Bromley's builders' yard.

The prisoner said: I wish to plead guilty.

The Magistrates committed the prisoner for trial to the next Quarter Sessions.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 April, 1905. Price 1d.


William Quick, alias Arthur Thomas, 22, was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the “Grapes Inn,” and stealing 4, eight rings, and one key ring, on February 18th last.

The prisoner pleaded guilty.

He was further charged with being convicted of felony at the Thames Police Court in October, 1897, as Thomas Quick.

The prisoner denied this.

Mr. Croft said it was not correct. It was the prisoner's brother who had been so convicted.

The Recorder said that as the Grand Jury had found a true bill, it would be necessary for a Jury to return a verdict. No evidence need be tendered if it were wished.

Sergeant William Eustace, Metropolitan Police said that the man referred to was the prisoner's brother.

The Jury accordingly returned a verdict that the man convicted was not the prisoner.

Mr. Croft, in submitting the facts to the Recorder, said that on Friday, February 17th, the “Grapes Inn” was left securely locked up. The next day they found the house had been entered from the kitchen window, which had been forced open with a shovel that was found in the house. Money to the amount of 4 had been taken. Theer was also a bunch of keys gone. On the previous evening the prisoner and another man went to a restaurant kept by Mrs. Fuller, whose conduct had been extremely good. They left a black bag there, for which they did not return. Mr. Fuller communicated with the Police, and on March 15th the prisoner came again and asked for the bag. Mrs. Fuller handed him the bag, but gave information to the Police, acting with extreme propriety. The prosecutor identified a bunch of keys found on the prisoner as a bunch stolen from his house when the burglary was committed.

The Recorder said that there was a coin described as a third of a guinea taken. What was that?

Mr. Croft said that he did not know. He had never heard of such a coin.

Mr. Gray, the prosecutor, said it was a gold coin.

Mr. Croft said that there were footmarks of three men who entered the house found at the back, one of which was identified as that of the prisoner.

In reply to the Recorder, Mr. Gray said the conduct of the dogs, who were good house dogs were very peculiar on that night. They went out and did not return as usual. He did not notice anything peculiar with them when they did return, but did so the next morning.
Inspector Fox said that since the man had been in custody his finger prints had been taken but there was no record of his previous conviction.

The Recorder asked how long the finger print system had been introduced?

Inspector Fox said about six years. He stated that the prisoner absolutely refused to give any information respecting himself, but in consequence of an Army brush found in his possession, they had traced him to be a man named William Quick. This man had served in the 4th battalion of the Rifle Brigade, and was transferred to the Army Reserves on the 6th June last year. His Army character was indifferent, and his last address was Stratford. He had been committed for trial to the West Kent Quarter Sessions on Thursday last for offences committed at Chatham.

Detective-sergeant Eustace, of the Metropolitan Police, said that he knew the prisoner in 1895, he going into the Army twelve months later. He next came under their notice in November last at Bow. He had been living at Abbey Lane, Stratford, and a very large number of public houses had been broken into in the neighbourhood of Bow. The prisoner was put under observation, and he had himself seen him with two very dangerous men. One of these men, who lived at Bow at the time, had since been arrested for breaking into a public house.

The prisoner, on being called upon, said he had nothing to say.

The Recorder said that this was a carefully planned burglary, and was not carried out alone. The sentence of the Court would be that the prisoner would be kept to hard labour for twelve months.

Mr. Crofts applied for 18/5 found on the prisoner to be handed over to the prosecutor.

The Recorder said that this was a month after the offence, and he did not feel that he could make an order that it should be handed over, or that the prisoner should now pay compensation to that amount. This remark was greeted with applause from the back of the Court, which was immediately suppressed.

The Recorder added that Mrs. Fuller seemed to have acted with great astuteness and propriety, and it was undoubtedly due to to her that the prisoner had been arrested.

Mr. Croft: No doubt.

The Recorder having called Mrs. Fuller forward, said that he was going to repeat to her what he had already said – that she had acted with great propriety, and in the way that a lady in her position would be expected to act. She had given the Police great assistance, and it was undoubtedly due to her that the prisoner had been brought to justice. The inhabitants of the borough of Dover should be grateful to her for acting with such promptitude as assiduity on that occasion.

Mrs. Fuller: Thank you.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 January, 1907. Price 1d.


On Tuesday morning, at 2.20, a neighbour looking out of his window at the rear of the “Grapes Inn,” Charlton Green, saw that the back of the premises was on fire. The alarm was immediately raised and a message sent to the Police Station. The curricle (a light, open, two-wheeled carriage pulled by two horses side by side) from the Police Station was at once dispatched in charge of Inspector Lockwood. On arrival it was found that a shed at the back, in which poultry and rabbits were kept had caught on fire, and the flames had extended to the roof of an outbuilding of the public house, in which bottles, etc. were stored. The standpipe was at once fixed in Maison Dieu Road, and a good supply of water obtained. The fire was extinguished by 3 o'clock, and another quarter of an hour's work made matters safe. In addition to the damage done to the sheds, the rabbits were all destroyed. The Superintendent and 10 firemen were present, and they had the aid of several willing workers, who promptly turned out to render assistance.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 20 June, 1913. Price 1d.


The "Grapes," Maison Dieu, was transferred from Mr. W. H. Gray to Mr. George Thompson.

The Chief Constable said that Mr. Gray, who is retiring from the business, had held the licence for 39 years, and that the house had always been conducted in a most satisfactory manner. he also thought that he was the oldest licensed victualler in the town. The Chairman congratulated Mr. Gray on the way he had managed the house for so long a period.


The Dover Tribunal 18th October 1916.

Mr. E. A. Dane, aged 37, landlord of the "Golden Cross", having been granted leave to appeal, applied for further time on the grounds of serious hardship owing to the illness of his wife. He admitted he had not been to the brewers since the last appeal. The Tribunal decided to deal with the cases of two other licensed victuallers before coming to a decision.

Mr. E. J. Le Gros, aged 36, married, landlord of the "Avenue", Snargate Street, also applied for further time. He said, in reply to the Military Representative, that he had not gone to the brewers to see what they would do. He had tried to get his father to try and keep on the business.

The Military Representative said that these men did not seem to have "crossed the road" to get rid of their houses. They seemed to be playing with the Tribunal.

Mr. A. E. Elms, aged 28, married, landlord of the "Grapes" also applied for further time. He stated that he spoke to the traveller the previous day and they were very loth to lose him. They were leaving the matter until they found out what time he got.

The Tribunal decided to refuse each of the three cases.


From the Dover Mercury 13 December 2007. By Lorraine Sencicle.

Louis Armstrong 1970

A magnet for musicians.

HISTORIAN Lorraine Sencicle looks at the history of the Louis Armstrong pub, and its tradition of jazz music.

Originally called The "Grapes", on what is now Maison Dieu Road, the pub first opened around 1862 but 31 years later it was demolished to allow the road to be widened.

The new pub, which we see today, was set further back.

AN outlet for Bass Charrington, The Grapes was taken over on September 14 1962, by Jackie and Bod Bowles who both had a love of jazz.

Jazz in Dover had been very popular particularly in the 1950's but subsequently declined.

That was until Bryn Lewis, a bandsman with the Staffordshire Regiment stationed in Dover, persuaded Bod and Jackie to allow his fellow bandsmen to play jazz at the pub.


It was agreed that Wednesday evening would be given over and quickly the news of jazz at The Grapes, spread.

That was 1964 and by the end of the following year, famous local jazz musicians including Ian Shawcross, Jeff Miller, Gunner Yates, Barry Cole, Paul Jury, Les Feast, Dave Corsby and Barry Judge were playing there regularly.

This motivated Bod, who played trombone, to form his own band which became a regular Sunday evening treat.

The original line up included Pete Stevens on drums and Pete Mercer on banjo, with their respective wives, Judy and Jean, helping Jackie behind the bar.

The reputation of the jazz at the Grapes was such that unless you arrived very early, there was little chance of getting into the overcrowded bar!

The popularity was such that in 1971, Jackie and Bod persuaded the brewery to change the name to Louis Armstrong, who had just died.

A new sign was commissioned, the pub redecorated, and the Louis, as the pub quickly became known, was opened in May 1972.

While the famous jazz musician Chris Barber played at the pub that night, an old Paris bus, with an open back platform, trundled around Dover.

The passengers - which included me - gave out Pernod to eager Dovorians, accompanied by Bod's jazz band on the upper deck.

Afterwards, we returned to the Louis, and joined an estimated crowd of 600 to hear Chris Barber, Pat Halcox, John Cracker, George Webb, and Johnny McCullam with some 20 other jazz musicians playing!

Jazz on a Sunday evening at the Louis was one of the town's main attractions and LPs 'were produced, by Ron Nunn, of live sessions.

The line-up of Bod's jazz band over the next few years included locals Bill Barnacle, Pete Stevens, Jim Beechy, Dave Fairfoul, Steve Mellor, Ian Turner, John Talbot, Mick Marsh, Arthur Collingson, Pete Mercer, Bruce Roberts and Colin Hodges.

One of the highlights of Dover's social calendar was the annual Boxing Day party featuring trumpeter Pat Halcox, who usually spent Christmas in Lydden.

A second "grand opening" took place in 1980 following the purchase of the Louis by Jackie and Bod who completely redesigned it as open-plan to give more room.

The famous clarinettist, Monty Sunshine along with Alan Gresty, Ken Bawton and the unforgettable Beryl Brydon, were there to ensure that the evening went with a swing.

Shortly after Bod's band broke up, but the Sunday evening sessions were given over to other local jazz bands, "particularly Bill Barnacle's band.

The pub remained a magnet for other musicians who would sit in on jam sessions, including Topper Headon of The Clash.

Chris Barber hosted the silver anniversary of the pub and five years later, the 30th anniversary was celebrated with a hog roast, in the company of Phil Mason's band, which included Trefor Williams who still plays on Sundays.

Bod and Jackie Bowles

WHEN Bod Bowles died in October 2000, Jackie organized a New Orleans jazz-style send off for him.

A black horse-drawn hearse followed by 20 to 30 jazz musicians and hundreds of friends and supporters walked from the pub to St Paul's Catholic Church. Jazz continued to be played both outside and inside the church.

The wake that followed, held at the Louis, was led by Pat Halcox, George Webb and many others paying their own tribute to Bod. Since then, jazz at the Louis has continued, with bands from all over the world, as well as Charlie Conner, Roger Howlett, Clive Fletcher and Robin Beams.


From an email received 13 September 2012


I would like to submit three photos taken in 1969 with the Bod Bowles Jazz Band. The pub was known as The Grapes later renamed the Louis Armstrong. I had the pleasure of playing with the band on Sunday Evenings when the regular Clarinettist Steve (Customs and Excise) was relocated.

Loyas Jazz band inside the Grapes 1969

I was serving as a Bandsman with the Loyals Regimental at Connaught Barracks. Two of the photo's I believe were taken at Shorncliffe Barracks Family Day, the other was taken in the pub before the alterations. The two outdoor photos depict Bod leading his Jazz Band.

I congratulate you both on the work / information you have gathered particularly the names of people who have played and supported The Grapes / Louis Armstrong. There is one name I am very pleased to hear.. Jackie Bowles, the landlady, what a lovely person. I was Saddened to hear of Bod's departure, by the sounds of it Jackie arranged one hell-of-a send off, very fitting.

Bod's Jazz band 1969

The band members: if I recall correctly are:

Trombone: Bod Bowles (Landlord)

Banjo : Pete Mercer (Garage Proprietor)

Drums : Pete Stevens ( Pig Farmer)

Bass : Dave Fairfowl (A great guy: who was a flower power enthusiast)

Trumpets: Bill Barnicle who formed the Bill Barnical Jazz Band.)

Clarinet: Charles Dobson (Serviceman/Aerospace Buyer now a retired granddad)

In the interest of accuracy I suspect Jackie or the Pete's would know the names of the Bass & Trumpet players.

Bod's Jazz band 1969

Best Regards

Charles Dobson



SPILSTEAD Alfred 1862

PARSE John to Jan/1867 Dover Express

WILSON William Charles Jan/1867-May/72 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

MONNILAW/MONEYLAWS George May/1872-73+ LAWS George Money Post Office Directory 1874Dover Express

SCOTT 1873

GRAY William Henry 1876-June/1913 (widower age 79 in 1911Census) Post Office Directory 1878Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891Pikes 1895Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Pikes 1909Post Office Directory 1913Dover Express

THOMPSON George June/1913+ Dover Express

NOAKES H to July/1915 Dover Express (went back into Services)

ELMS A C July/1915-19 end Dover Express

ELMS Mrs 1919-22

DANE A E 1922 Post Office Directory 1922

RALPH George Arthur 1924-Aug/40 Pikes 1924Post Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33Post Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39

DREDGE Bertram Charles Aug/1940+ (Thompson & Son secretary) Dover Express

HOGG Thomas 1944-49 end Pikes 48-49

ANDERSON David M & HOPKINS Horace Wilfred 1949-17-Aug-51 end Kelly's Directory 1950Dover Express

HOWKINS George David (brewers district manager) & HOPKINGS Wilfred 17-Aug-1951-52 Dover Express

CASE Robert H 1951-53 Kelly's Directory 1953

PRICE M J E 1952-55

HOPKINS Horace 1951-53 (manager)

PINDER James C 1955-29/Mar/57 Kelly's Directory 1956

MAY Charles E 29/Mar/57-26/Oct/62

BOWLES Robert William (Bod) Grapes 26/Oct/1962-72 end Next pub licensee had


From the Dover Express, 17 August 1951.

(With regard to the above license transfer, Mr. G. W. Hardman (Magistrate) explained that the transfer was on account of Mr. Anderson, formerly Secretary of Messrs. Thompsons, the brewers, and the new joint licensee, Mr. Howkins, was Secretary to the parent Company, Messrs. Charringtons. Mr. Hopkins was the manager.

Similar considerations applied in the case of the "Golden Cross", St. James' Street, and the "Granville Hotel," Townwall Street - both of which licenses were in suspense - and the "Wheelwrights Arms," Drydren Road. In each of these cases, the licences were transferred from Mr. Anderson to Mr. Howkins.


From an email received 4 April 2010.

My grandmother, who was born in 1899 whose name was Elizabeth Keeler, lived in Peter Street and used to look after the twins who belonged to Mrs. Elms the licensee of the "Grapes." The children were called Bertie and Vera. One of the stories she used to relate was that she was so upset when little Bertie died from diphtheria (age about 3) that she herself became really ill. From the Licensee names and dates in your list, it appears that Mrs Elms took over the pub from her husband, so I am thinking maybe she was widowed in 1919, when the twins would have been not much more than babies, which would have made little Bertie's death even more poignant. (See photo of "Friend in Need" 1919 peace treaty.)

My grandmother went on from there to work at The "Valiant Sailor" as a barmaid and that, I think is where she met my grandfather, her future husband Denniss Driscoll... who was no doubt one of her customers!

Maggie Francis.



Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1878From the Post Office Directory 1878

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

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

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Pikes 1909From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

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

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

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

Pikes 48-49From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49

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

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

Kelly's Directory 1956From the Kelly's Directory 1956

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


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