Sort file:- Dover, January, 2024.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 09 January, 2024.


Earliest 1950

Hotel de France

Latest 1970

New Bridge / 1-2 Snargate Street


Hotel de France building 1860s

The building in the centre circa 1860s was to become the "Hotel de France" before the area was developed and built up, kindly sent by Paul Wells.

New bridge map 1830s

Above map 1830s.

New Bridge 1880s

Above map 1880s.

Cuff Brothers Booksellers

Originally Batchellor's Library. In the image above it is Cuff Brothers bookseller, stationers and library. It has been Dawsons bookseller and Barrett and Sons stationers.


The premises became the "Hotel de Paris" in 1950.


Hotel de France

Hotel de France circa 1950, by kind permission of Dover Library. ILL/489.

Hotel de France

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Graham Butterworth.

Hotel de France

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Graham Butterworth.

The Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 March, 1950.



The number of coach parties going through Dover to the Continent and who have at present had to stay for the night as far away as Hastings and Ashford because of lack of hotel accommodation was mentioned at the Adjourned Annual Licensing Sessions held at the Town Hall on Monday. The application before the Bench was for an "on" licence in respect of 1 and 2, Snargate Street, Bartlett's old premises, which are shortly to be converted into a 30-bedroom hotel, named "The Hotel de France," by Autotels Ltd.

After hearing evidence, the Chairman (Mr. W. Hollis), announced that it had been decided to grant the application on the condition that there was no bar and no "off" sale of liquor, which was to be supplied only to residents and people using the hotel to obtain a meal.

Stating that it was intended to provide a good medium class hotel at the premises. Mr. W. Mowll said the application was made primarily for the use of people going to the Continent in coach parties. At the moment Dover was not receiving those people simply because of the lack of hotel accommodation and if the application was granted, by arrangement with the Dover Harbour Board it had been agreed to surrender the licence in respect of the Prince of Wales’ Pier.

George Ernest Graham-Lyon, proprietor of the "White Cliffs Hotel," stated that last year they had been able to accommodate a few coach parties in the Hotel Annexe, but they had been forced to refuse many more, and people had had to stay as far away as Hastings, Ashford and Maidstone, in order to be on hand to catch their boat. It was intended to turn the premises into a good class medium hotel with cheaper rates than those of the "White Cliffs Hotel."

Kenneth Gordon Powell, managing director, Blakes Tours, Plymouth, gave figures for the motor coach traffic through the town, saying that last year 30 of his firm’s coach parties had passed through whereas this year nearly twice that number had been arranged for. At the moment only a very small number of passengers could stay in Dover, but they had arranged to let a lot more do so if the licence was granted.

Richard Wildblood, Touring Manager for Barton’s Tours, operating from the Midlands, gave similar evidence, and said that 47 coaches had been scheduled to pass through the town this year, compared with 29 last year. At the moment, on the return journey from the Continent, passengers had to stay their first night at Ashford. Comparative figures were: in 1947, 143 incoming and outgoing passengers had stayed at the "White Cliffs Hotel." 197 in 1948 and 528 in 1949. For this year there were 822 seats available but on the return journey under present arrangements about 360 would have to be accommodated elsewhere.

Thomas John Anderson, Registered Architect for Messrs. Worsfold and Hayward, proved the plans of the premises, which, it was stated, had been passed by the Licensing Planning Committee. There were to be 30 bedrooms, some of which would be double, and a restaurant on the ground floor capable of accommodating just over 50 people.

In addition to granting the licence the magistrates approved plans for alterations to the "White Cliffs Hotel," and an application under Section 3 (2) of the Licensing Act in respect of the "Hotel de France" was adjourned until 20th March.

Another local application, which was granted was that by Mr. P. A. G. Aldington on behalf of the "Sugar Loaf," Biggin Street, for a music, singing and dancing licence from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. instead of the present music licence operating from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Frederick William Denton, husband of the applicant, Mrs. Florence May Denton, said that the application was made because it was felt that there was more scope offered by the granting of such a licence. There was also an increasing demand for tea dances, and occasionally, dinner dances.

Chief Inspector Young offered no objection on behalf of the Police, but suggested that the number using the first floor — the subject of the application — should be restricted to 70 people. If more than 70 did use it at one time it was felt that it would be difficult in case of emergency.

Plans for the alterations at the "Hotel de France" were approved by the Council's Works Committee on Tuesday, subject to amendment of details.


From the Dover Express, 9 June 1950.

Hotel de France 1950

Dover's New Hotel

The Hotel de France, which will open to its first guests to-day (Friday) coincided with the departure from Dover of competitors in the Veteran Car Rally in France. (Click for picture). It has been provided primarily to deal with the large number of tourists going to the Continent on motor coach tours.


Hotel de France 1950

Above, shows the same premises on May 3rd, the day before the builders began work on conversion. Standing almost derelict for ten years, it has made a remarkable improvement to this area, and is indicative of what can be done by private enterprise in a short time, given the requisite permission. [Photo: Lambert Weston].


From the Dover Express, 1 June 1951.

The Cafe de Paris

Dover's New Restaurant Opens

 A welcome addition to townsfolk's and visitors' amenities - the Cafe de Paris, adjoining the Hotel de France, opened its doors to the general public on Saturday.

During the previous evening a large number of guests, who included the Mayor and Mayoress (Councillor and Mrs. W. H. Fish) were enabled to pre-view the premises by invitation of Mr. Graham Lyon, the proprietor.

In addition to admiring the tasteful decoration and comfortable layout of the restaurant itself, the guests were able to inspect the ultra-modern kitchens with all the latest devices for the preparation and storage of food.


From the Dover Express, 17 August 1951.

Cafe de Paris

The above shows an advert in the Dover Express, showing the Cafe de Paris adjoining the Hotel de France.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 28 March, 1952.


Council Defer Consideration

A Planning Committee report on the application of the proprietor of the Hotel de France for a full licence for the hotel was put before the Town Council at its monthly meeting on Tuesday.

The Committee stated: "The Town Clerk reported that Mr. Graham Lyon has applied to the Licensing Justices for an Order for the transfer of himself of the unrestricted licence in respect of the Grand Hotel and for the removal of the licence to the Hotel de France.

The report continued that the Town Clerk "drew our attention to a clause in the lease of those premises precluding the sale of intoxicating liquor on or from the premises other than to persons residing therein or bona fade using the restaurant unless the Corporation's consent is first obtained.

The Committee stated that they had been deferred consideration of the matter pending the outcome of Mr. Lyon's application.



No Transfer from Grand to Hotel de France

The Licensing Planning Committee have refused the application of Mr. Graham Lyon for a certificate authorising the removal to the Hotel de France of the unrestricted licence held by the former owners of the Grand Hotel.

This information was contained in a report put before the Town Council on Tuesday by the Planning Committee who also stated that they had approved an application on behalf of Mr. Graham Lyon for permission to carry out alterations at the hotel to provide a lounge in part of the basement.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 June, 1952.

Hotel de France advert 1952

Showing an advert 1952 that appeared in the Dover Express.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 30 January, 1953.

Licence Transfer Refused

An application by Mr. Graham Lyon, of the "White Cliffs Hotel", for the removal of the full licence of the "Grand Hotel" to the Hotel de France was refused by the Local Licensing Planning Committee on Wednesday.

Objections to the application were lodged by Messrs. John Lukey, owners of the "Shakespeare Bars", represented by Mr. Christmas Humphries, Q.C., and by the Dover Licensed Victuallers Association, represented by Mr. S. J. Moss.

Sir Sidney Littlewood, of Messrs. Wilkinson, Howlett and Morehouse, of London, appeared for Mr. Graham Lyon.

The Committee gave a certificate of no objection to an application by the "Trocadero", Snargate Street, for the removal of the full licence of the "Pavillion", Customs House Quay (in suspense owing to war-damage). The "Trocadero" has only a six day licence.

The application for the actual removal of the licence has to be made to the Licensing Justices.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 March, 1953.


Counter-Allegations Before Bench.

ALLEGATIONS were made at the adjourned Brewster Sessions at Dover on Monday that many of the things said by the opposition at a recent meeting of the local Licensing Planning Committee were "grossly unfair" to Mr. Graham Lyon. These allegations were made to Dover magistrates by Sir Sydney Littlewood, who appeared on behalf of Mr. Graham Lyon in an application for a renewal of the "term licence" for the Hotel de France.

Counter-allegations were also made that alterations had been carried out in the hotel without proper authority.

"So much was said before the Licensing Planning Committee which was obviously unfair. Whether it affected the result I have no way of telling," said Sir Sydney.

The application by Mr. G. Lyon of the "White Cliffs Hotel" for the removal of the full licence of the Grand Hotel to the Hotel de France was refused by the Licencing Planning Committee in January. Objections to the application were made by Messrs. John Lukey, owners of the "Shakespeare Bars," represented by Mr. Christmas Humphreys, Q.C., and by the Dover Licensed Victuallers' Associaion, represented by Mr. J. S. Moss.

The Press are not admitted to meetings of the Licensing Planning Committee.

Mr. Graham Lyon did not further his application for the Grand Hotel licence before the magistrates, but was successful in his application for the re-granting of the "Term licence" he now holds - on more favourable conditions. Now, residents of the hotel will be able to treat their guests to drinks, which had hitherto not been allowed. He licence was renewed at a monopoly value of 210 over a period of three years. There were no objections to the application.

At the opening of theapplication Supt. H. A. Saddleton stated that the Police had no objections, but he would like to point out to the magistrates that on January 1st Insp. Wilkinson paid a visit to the hotel and saw considerable alterations in the basement.

Referring to these alterations, Sir Sydney submitted that nothing in that was done required the magistrates' approval. All that had happened was that the dinner facilities were improved.

Sir Sydney added that had Mr. Graham Lyon spoken to him before the alterations were made he would have told Mr. Lyon that, in his view, the Police only had to be informed of the courtesy.

Sir Sydney said that he had heard it said "outside" that nothing was done about the alterations because when it was noticed it was outside the period which a summons had to be issued for a summery offence.

"From what I know of the Police, I am sure that information would have been issued had it been thought that the matter should be brought before the Justices," he said.

He pointed out to the magistrates that nothing was done to keep the fact of the alterations quiet, as the Rotary Club used the premises, photographs were exhibited outside the establishment and advertisements inserted in the local press.

Continuing with the application for the renewal of the licence, Sir Sydney asked that residents should be able to offer their guests a drink without having to buy them a meal.

At the conclusion of the hearing Supt. Saddleton said, "I would like to point out to Sir Sydney that the reason no action was taken over the alterations was because the Police could not get down to the date of the alteration. The papers were submitted to my prosecuting people who found it inadvisable to prosecute."


Hotel de France

Hotel de France, date unknown.

Hotel de France, circa 1970

Hotel de France circa 1970, by kind permission of Dover Library. ILL/1125 above and  ILL/1149 below.

Hotel de Franca circa 1970
Hotel de France 1970s

Above photo, 1970s, kindly sent by Paul Wells.


The building was demolished around 1970 for the road widening to connect the docks to the new York Street.



Last pub licensee had LYON George Ernest Graham 1950-53+ Next pub licensee had

FULLAGAR Mrs D M 1954-59

ADKIN William 1963-68 Next pub licensee had


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