37 Woolcomber Street
15 Woolcomber Street
Above shows Mail Packet in Woolcomber Street circa 1910.
Above picture shows the house advertising Steven Marwick who was
licensee from 1905 to 1907, and that may well be him in the doorway.
From 1227 to 1467 channel packets would have obliged passengers from this
area. That ended following cliff falls and the silting up of the estuary so
that by the late fifteenth century, the Pent to the West was more
accommodating. This number in 1852 read 15. The end is a mystery. It closed
for the duration of hostilities in September 1940 but I found no evidence of
it being destroyed or reopening either. If not before, it would have been
removed in 1956.
Lorraine Sencicle has kindly pointed me to Roy Humphries book titled
"Dover at War." Page 156 states the following:-
Monday 5 April 1943.
The German long-range guns fired on Dover. Two
shells came over just before 01.00, one struck the rear of 60 Leyburne Road,
damaging houses in Harold Terrace, while the other failed to explode on
impact in the garden of St Ursulas Convent school, Castle Avenue. Fifteen
minutes later another shell took out the back of 15 Park Avenue. Then one
exploded on the foreshore of East Cliff. Half an hour went by before the
next one exploded in the Paddock, off Maison Dieu Road, partially
demolishing Nos 6 and 7, and injuring Miss Watson.
The shelling was intermittent. The next salvo
arrived about two hours later, wrecking the "Mail Packet" public house in
Woolcomber Street, and also Hoppers Bakery. A small group of army personnel
in vehicles had just arrived in Woolcomber Street when a shell exploded on
the already battered St James's Church. There were four military and two
civilian casualties. The last shell for the day arrived in the afternoon,
wrecking Whyam House, in Maison Dieu Road and blocking Ashen Tree Lane.
I think more or less sums up the demise of the pub and probably
fortunately by being closed from September 1940, the shell that finally made
the house unviable for reopening, as far as i am aware, also never injured
anyone, as it obviously would have had it still been serving.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer,
11 January, 1867. Price 1d.
William Saunders, a "mariner", was charged on suspicion with having
broken into the premises of Mr. Christopher Wood, in Clarence Place, and
stolen therefrom four fowls, his property.
Police-constable William Fahye said he was on duty about a quarter to
twelve on Saturday night, in Woolcomber Street, when he saw the prisoner
cross the road near the Marine Place in the direction of the "Clarence
Hotel" Gates and then go towards Marine House, and disappear down a
passage. He emerged from the passage a short time afterwards and went up
Woolcomber Street, witness meeting him near the "Mail Packet Inn."
Prisoner was proceeding in the direction of his own house, in Trevanion
Lane. Witness did not see him go into his house. He (Fahye) then went to
the spot where he had first seen the prisoner, and found near the gates
of the "Clarence Hotel" the two fowls produced. The fowls were warm and
bleeding. He immediately ran back after the prisoner, but prisoner was
not anywhere to be seen. He then took the fowls to the station-house and
afterwards went to the passage he had seen the prisoner earlier, and he
there found two more fowls, lying near the doorstep and about fifteen
yards from the fowl-house of the prosecutor. He subsequently examined
the fowl-house in company with police-sergeant Stevens. They found the
staple broken and the door open. Witness saw blood and feathers in the
fowl-house. He apprehended the prisoner, upon the Marine Parade on
Sunday, morning. On charging him with stealing the fowls, he said he
knew nothing about it. After getting to the station-house he examined a
guernsey the prisoner was wearing at the time, and found marks which he
believed to have been caused by blood. The prisoner said the marks were
produced by tar.
Prisoner declared he was in bed and asleep at the time the police
officer said he saw him in the neighbourhood of the fowl-house.
The witness, in reply to prisoner's questions, described how prisoner
was dressed - in blue guernsey, dark trowsers, and cap, with a muffler
round his neck.
By the Bench: The prisoner passed me within five yards of the
Police-sergeant Stevens gave corroborative evidence as to the
fowl-house having been broken open.
Mr. Wood identified the fowls as his property. They were worth about
Superintendent Coram, in justice to the prisoner, asked that the case
might be adjourned, it being his impression, from the information he had
received, that there was a mistake in identity.
The prisoner repeated that he was in bed and asleep at the time
The Magistrates told him he had better not say anything then, and
adjourned the further hearing till Friday (this day), accepting the
prisoner's own recognizance's in £10 to appear.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 29 December, 1871. Price 1d.
The Borough Coroner, W. H. Payn, Esq., held an inquest yesterday
afternoon, at the “Mail Packet Inn,” Woolcomber Street, on the body of
Frederick William Gillespie, a labourer, who had resided at No.7.
Trevanion Street, and whose death had been caused by a fall at his
residence on Sunday, the 24th inst. Mr. James Phipps was chosen foreman
of the Jury; and the body having been viewed, the Coroner took the two
Mary Ann Francis Toombs, a married woman, and the eldest daughter of the
deceased, said: The deceased was a labourer, and resided in Trevanion
Street. He was living alone at the time of his death, as his wife was
out nursing. I last saw my father conscious at three o’clock on Sunday
afternoon. His health was then very good considering his age –
sixty-eight. At eight o’clock on Sunday evening I went to see how he was
getting on, as he was quite alone; and when I arrived at his residence I
found there was no light. I lighted a candle, and went into the back
room to search for him; but he was not there. I heard someone breathing
in the kitchen; and on going there I found the deceased lying on the
floor senseless, at the foot of the stairs. I washed him and laid him on
a couch. I did not send for medical aid then, as I thought in all
probability he would revive. I watched him during the whole night; and
as he did not revive I sent for Dr. Gill. He did not come, so I sent for
Dr. Duke, who came immediately. Dr. Duke told me that the deceased was
paralysed, and had pressure on the brain. He remained alive up to
yesterday morning, at half-past one, when he died. He was quite
unconscious from Sunday till he died. I think the deceased had been out
into the yard, and had fallen down in the kitchen on his way back. The
back door was bolted previous to my father’s going home; but it was not
bolted when I found him. The deceased had to go down the kitchen stairs
to reach the yard.
By a Juryman: Someone assisted me to carry the deceased up from the
kitchen. He was lying flat on his back when I found him.
Edwin Duke deposed: I am a surgeon residing and practising in Dover. I
was called to see the deceased on the morning of Christmas Day, between
eight and nine o’clock, at No. 7, Trevanion Street. He was lying on the
couch when I arrived. I examined him, and found an incised wound just
above the right temple, with a severe contusion of the right eye. He was
perfectly unconscious. I attended him at the time of his death, on the
27th inst. I attribute death to compression of the brain, caused by
injuries sustained to the head. Death was not caused by a fit.
By a Juryman: I was told that the deceased had fallen down in the
kitchen. When I first saw him he was suffering from contusion of the
brain, which ultimately led to compression, thereby causing death.
The Coroner then summed up; and the Jury, after some deliberation,
returned a verdict of “Death from a fall.”
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 1 March, 1878
THE CHARGE AGAINST A LAUNDRY WOMAN
Louisa Ford was brought up on remand charged with stealing linen.
Ellen Johnson, wife of Charles Johnson, said: I am a laundress, and
reside in Peter Street. The prisoner was in my employ eight months. I
have missed several articles, but did not suspect the prisoner. Last
Thursday, a woman told me something in consequence of which I sent her
on an errand across the field and looked into her basket. I found in her
basket a linen sheet. That was a sheet I had got to wash. When she came
into the laundry again I said, “Mrs. Ford you have put one of my sheets
in your basket, you will kindly take it out.” She went to her basket and
took out the sheet. I said, “Don’t you think you ought to be ashamed of
yourself to rob a woman as poor as you are yourself?” She said, “I did
not mean to rob you of it. I have wet my own sheet, and I am taking it
away to use to-night, and would have brought it back to-morrow. In
consequence of that, information was given to the Police by my husband.
The sheet now produced belonged to Mrs. Brett, of the “Mail Packet Inn.”
It was given me to wash about four weeks ago. I made it good. Another
sheet produced belongs to a Mrs. Gillispie; it was also given me to
wash. That was missing in June last. I had not replaced that. Here is
another sheet which I believe belonged to Mrs. Carpenter. The hem has
been cut off. I think it was hers, because it is like all others I have
from her house. The corner, where the name was, has been cut out, and
re-hemmed, being sewn with dirty whit cotton that has not been washed.
Here is another sheet which belongs to Mrs. Amos, of the Marine Parade.
The name has been picked out with scissors, and the hole sewn up. I have
not replaced that. This fifth sheet, which is produced, belongs to Mrs.
Payn, Buckland. It has the name on it, “30, Payn, 1845.” I ought to have
sent that home on Saturday, so she must have taken that the week before
last. The next article is an apron, which I missed three weeks ago. I
found the fellow one to this, and told her I had found the apron I had
lost, but I had not, for this is it. I had accused her of stealing it,
and she denied it. The apron I found did belong to the same person as
this one. She is a housekeeper at 4, Maison Dieu Road. I told the
prisoner I was sorry I accused her of stealing the apron, and told her
to come back to work, which she did. That was three weeks’ ago. I think
the sheets are worth about 5s. each.
By Dr. Astley: I did not make enquiries amongst the women, because I
thought it had been my own carelessness in sending them wrongly to the
people I washed for, and that they would send them back. I have enquired
of the people I wash for, and they said they had not got the things. The
value of the articles is above 25s.
Police-sergeant Hemmings deposed: I went with Mr. Johnson on Friday to
Mrs. Ford’s house. I saw the prisoner outside the door. She said “Come
in; don’t stand there.” We went upstairs into the prisoner’s room, and
Johnson said, “You know what we have come after.” She said, “I
acknowledge taking the sheet, and you forgive me.” I said, “There are
other things missing from Mr. Johnson’s laundry. Have you any objection
to our looking at your bed linen?” She said she had no objection, and
begun to pull the sheets off the bed. Nothing was found there. Mr.
Johnson said, “What pawn tickets have you got?” She went to a drawer,
and took out a quantity of pawn tickets. There were twelve. I then asked
what room was above the bedroom. She said it was a room that she
occupied, and she consented to our searching it. On our going into the
room, she picked up a sheet and carried it in front of her. This is the
sheet identified as belonging to Mrs. Brett. The prisoner said the sheet
belonged to her landlady. It was identified by Mr. Johnson as one his
wife had to wash. I then enquired of the landlady, and she denied the
ownership of the sheet. The prisoner then acknowledged stealing the
sheet, and begged me to forgive her. I then took the prisoner to the
Police-station. I then went to Mr. Long’s, and found nothing there. I
then went to Mr. Hart’s and found the other sheets and the apron. I
produce three of the tickets which I found amongst the twelve; they are
all three for sheets, one date 25th January, 1877, another 22nd August,
1877, and another 17th November, 1877.
The prisoner said she did not work for Mrs. Johnson until July, and that
the sheet pawned in June was her own.
Mrs. Cook, female searcher at the Police-station, said; I searched the
prisoner on Friday morning. I found in her pocket a purse, a farthing,
and two pawn tickets. The one relates to a pair of boots and the other
to a sheet. The one relating to a sheet is dated February 14, 1878. The
prisoner said the sheet belonged to the landlady.
Henry Walford deposed: I am assistant to Mr. hart, the pawnbroker in
Cannon Street. The prisoner has been in the habit of pawning things at
our shop. On the 26th June, 1877, she pawned this sheet for 1s. The
ticket is in the manager’s handwriting. A sheet was also pawned on the
22nd of August. I took it is. She pawned it for 1s. On the 6th January,
1878, she pawned an apron with a pair or drawers and a pillow case. We
lent 9d. on them. On the 14th of February she pawned another sheet. The
manager took it in. I was present. She had 2s. upon it. They were all
pledged in the name of Ford.
The prisoner pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to be imprisoned for two
months’ with hard labour. The Mayor said he hoped it would be a caution
to the prisoner for the future.
The property was ordered to be given up to the owners.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 8 April, 1887. Price 1d.
William Marsh, a labourer, living at 3, Trevanion Lane, was charged with
being drunk and refusing to quit licensed premises, the “Mail Packet
Inn,” Woolcomber Street; and also with breaking a pane of glass, value
£2 5s., the property of Mr. Baker.
Henry Baker, landlord of the “Mail Packet,” said: On Saturday evening,
about nine o’clock, prisoner came into the bar and asked for a pint of
beer. I refused to serve him as he was drunk at the time and had been
fighting. He then started quarrelling with some customers in the bar and
I asked him to leave, but he refused to do so. He was taken home by one
of the customers, but afterwards came back and began fighting. He then
struck the pane of glass and smashed it. He used very bad language and I
had him taken into custody.
Edward Nicholls, a fish hawker, stated that he was outside the “Mail
Packet” on Saturday evening and saw Marsh creating a disturbance.
Witness saw him break the pane of glass.
Prisoner, who had been previously convicted was sentenced to one month’s
imprisonment with hard labour.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 10 June, 1938. Price 1½d.
Application was made for approval to plans for alterations, mostly
internal, to the “Mail Packet,” and the “Town Arms.”
The Magistrates’ Clerk said that it would be advisable if the plans were
first approved by the Town Council.
The plans were agreed subject, to the approval of the Town Council.
From an email sent 14 August, 2011.
I have just found out that my aunt's father Charlie Fiddler was the
landlord of the "Mail Packet" just before
the war. Charlie had previously been the Landlord of the “Lads of the
Village” in Woolage Village about 7 miles south east of Canterbury,
Kent. His wife went by the name of Nellie. (Can
anybody help me with this one? I haven't heard of a "Lad's of the
Village" pub before. Paul Skelton.)[Just solved, it's not Woolage,
but Woolwich in London.]
I am enclosing two photos, the wedding photo is of his daughter Joy.
She married Edward Dawkins, Edward was the nephew of Percy of the
"White Lion." Charlie’s son was called Sonny and has not been heard for
over 50 years.
Joy has given permission to use these photos; she is hoping someone
will know where Sonny is. (Again, can anybody
help? Above photo shows Charlie Fiddler.)
From an email sent 17 January, 2012.
Just to let you know that Joy Dawkins Nee Fiddler passed away
yesterday the 16th January.
BARRY Richard ????
MOATES John 1852 end
BRETT Henry 1854-74
WICKS William 1873 ?
BROMLEY William 1882+
BAKER H C 1889+
TWIGGS John 1991-95+
QUESTED Edward William 1899-Dec/1903
BATTEN Thomas W Dec/1903-05 end
MARKWICK Stephen 1905-07 end
SUTTON Edward Henry 1907-Apr/26 dec'd
SUTTON Mrs Agnes Sarah (Widow and executrix) Apr/1926-Aug/27
HOBBS Herbert Edward Aug/1927-29 end
CLARK George Arthur 1929-32 end
BOTLEY Norman/Newman 1932-Sept/32
PARKER Mrs Elizabeth Ann Sept/1932-Dec/35
JARRETT Frank Dec/1935-37 end
Cranbrooks, Mersham, near Ashford, a market gardener.
FIDDLER Charles 1937-39 end
GASSON Charles Albert 1939+
According to the Dover Express, 1935, Frank Jarrett used to be a market
gardener from "Cranbrooks," Mersham near Ashford before becoming the
From the Post Office Directory 1855
From Melville's Directory 1858
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From the Post Office Directory 1891
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1901
From the Post Office Directory 1903
From the Post Office Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1922
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
From the Post Office Directory 1930
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
From the Post Office Directory 1938
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39
From the Dover Express