Sort file:- Ramsgate, April, 2022.

Page Updated:- Monday, 25 April, 2022.


Earliest 1871-

Alexandra Arms

Latest 1980s

(Name to)

79-81 (45) Alexandra Arms



The 1891 census described this as a beer house.

The name changed to the "Blazing Donkey" in the 1980s when Shepherd Neame bought the pub.


Thanet Advertiser - Saturday 17 July 1926.

50 years ago. From the Argus, July 15th, 1876.


On Saturday last while Mr. Harman, landlord of the "Alexandra Arms," Alexandra Road, Ramsgate, was engaged in his business, a barrel of beer accidentally rolled on his leg, causing much pain. On Thursday the injured limb seemed to have regained its strength, and Mr. Harman went into a field to cut some sanfoin. While doing so his leg suddenly snapped, and it was found that the small bone was broken.

[A bad job for Mr. Harman. By the way, how did the "Alexandra Arms" become to be familiarly known as the "Blazing Donkey?"


Thanet Advertiser, Saturday 3 October 1891.


The adjourned licensing sessions for the Ramsgate division of the county was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday morning. The following justices were present:- Mr. H. B. Hammond (chairman), Capt. L. W. Vaile, and Mr. H. Weigall.


The application for the renewal of the licence of this house again came on. It will be remembered that the renewal had been deferred from the annual general meeting to enable the Superintendent of Police to explain a required alteration in the house. The adjoining house being the property of the same owner, it had been let to the tenant of the "Alexandra Arms Inn," the yard being thrown open, but communication had not been made internally.

Mr. B. Twyman, in making the application, stated that the communication had only been deferred for convenience, but it was the intention of Mr. Fleet to make it, and he (Mr. Twyman) undertook that the alteration should be made within a specified time.

In reply to questions from the Bench, Supt Buss said he was satisfied with the undertaking given, and had no complaint to make against the house.

The Bench decided to allow a month for alterations to be made, and on Mr. Twyman giving an undertaking to this effect, the licence was renewed to the present holder, Mr. J. W. Setterfield.


Thanet Advertiser, Saturday 5 October 1901.


An Application Refused.

The adjourned annual general licensing meeting for the borough of Ramsgate was held on Monday, when the licensing committee consisted of the Mayor (Alderman H. H. Green), in the chair, Alderman W. P. Blacburn and P. S. Emett, and Messrs. H. B. Hammond, H. Weigall, G. Chapman and S. R. Wilson.

There was one application - made by Mr. Mark Taylor - for a license to sell spirits at the "Alexandra Arms," 79 and 81, Alexandra-road.

Dr. Hardman appeared in support of the application. Opposition was offered by Mr. J. Emery (representing Mr. Joseph Neale, of the "Shakespeare," and other licensed Victuallers) and by Messrs. E. J. Hobbs, F. J. Clements, and J. Pilcher. The three last-named gentlemen opposed on temperance grounds.

Mr. Emery having stated that he opposed on behalf of the Licensed Victuallers' Association.

Dr. Hardman said the association was a nebulous body, and could not oppose as such.

Mr. Emery: Very well, then, I appear fro Mr. Neale.

Addressing the Bench in support of the application, Dr. Hardman said he thought he might congratulate himself upon the happy circumstances under which it was made. For this reason - the application stood by itself. A year previously he made a similar application, and at the same time made various other applications, which arouses very vigorous opposition, and in the end the committer meted out very stern justice by refusing them all. On this occasion he hoped to be able to convince their worships of the merits of the application. It was made by the tenant of a very old established beer-house, the "Alexandra Arms," which had been licensed for something over thirty years. The house was situated at the foot of Alexandra Road, at the corner of that thoroughfare and St. Luke's Avenue, being about 100 yards beyond St. Luke's Church. It was the only licensed house in St. Luke's Avenue, which had now become one of the principle thoroughfares of this part of the town and was about a thousand yards long. He welcomed the opposition, because it showed in itself what it was - and what it was not. His friend Mr. Emery was appearing in the interests of Mr. Neale, the tenant of the "Shakespeare," a house not a great distance from the "Alexandra Arms," was not the point their worships should entertain. The "Shakespeare" faced the railway station gates, and its natural and legitimate area was that part around the station. It was, of course, quite right that Mr. Neale should take steps to maintain his monopoly to be guided by. They had not so much to protect the business of a particular trader as to study the public convenience of the neighbourhood and its reasonable requirements. The remainder of the opposition was of a purely temperance character, and whether or not two of the gentlemen present lived in the neighbourhood he could not say, but he knew Mr. Hobbs did not. This temperance opposition he (Dr. Hardman) considered ill-timed; it was more fitting when confined to publication in leaflets or when stated at Band of Hope meetings. Anyhow, those who conducted such temperance opposition at licensed meetings should not come before the magistrates, who were practical men, and ask them to believe in the scheme. Whatever weight might be attached to the opposition it could not stand against the memorial signed by one hundred residents of the immediate neighbourhood of the "Alexandra Arms," in favour of the license being granted his client to sell spirits. The signatories he contended, were better qualified to judge of the requirements of the district than those who opposed the granting of all licenses. He believed that when the application was made last year the premises were not all that could be desired, and on that occasion his client gave an understanding that if a spirit license were granted him he would carry out certain structural alterations to better the character of the house. The landlord took the view that the alterations should be made in any case, and now they found a very different building to that in respect of which the application was made last year. He submitted a photograph, showing the entirely new front, but it was on the inside that the most important alterations had been carried out. The arrangements were extremely convenient. There were separate entrances to the four compartments, and the jug and bottle department had been railed off. During the last fifteen or twenty years something like four hundred houses had been built in the neighbourhood, the development of which was now practically complete. The character of the neighbourhood had now changed, and there was always a demand for spirits. In cases of emergency in a neighbourhood of this character it was often a benefit to be able to procure spirits quickly, but at all times there was an irregular demand for spirits. besides, the granting of this application would give the house a better character, for the police had found that a fully-licensed house was easier to control than a beer-house, and he (Dr. Hardman) had no doubt that view had influences licensing magistrates. Five years previously he had made an application for a full license in respect of a house only a few yards from the "Alexandra Arms, but now, he ventured to think, he was doing a right thing in asking the committee to take advantage of the existing licence instead of creating a new licence. In conclusion he asked the magistrates to take into consideration the improved character of the house and neighbourhood, the convenience the licence would be to the residents, the respectability of the present tenant (who had occupied the house for six years), and to accede to the application.
Mr. Mark Taylor, the applicant, gave evidence that he had been the landlord of the "Alexandra Arms" for six years. He produced a memorial signed by a hundred householders in the neighbourhood. He had witnessed the signatures to the memorial. Since he applied last year the house had been considerably improved by alteration, and greater convenience was now afforded customers. The bottle and jug department had been screened off. He produced the receipt of the last poor rate, showing he was rated at 30; that was the amount of his rent. A great many applications were made to him for spirits. nearly all the tenants of the houses in the vicinity let lodgings, and spirits were often required. He had to refuse from 12 to 25 customers a day. They had to climb a steep hill to get to the "Shakespeare." There was no other licensed house in St. Luke's Avenue. All the houses in the neighbourhood were let. There had been something like four hundred houses erected in the neighbourhood during the past fifteen years or so.

Mr. Emery cross-examined shortly, eliciting the fact that the memorial had been hung up for signature in the bar. The granting of the licence would increase the value of the house.

Mr. Hobbs asked a number of questions, several of which were ruled by the committee to be irrelevant.

Mr. Hobbs (to applicant):- Do you know that many good Christian templars have come to reside in the neighbourhood of the house?

Applicant was not aware of the fact, and could not see how it affected him.

Mr. Hobbs:- Are you aware of the good Mr. Whiting is doing here? Do you know that he is going to re-open the Institutes at the opposite corner?

Applicant failed to see how that concerned him.

At this point the Mayor intimated that it was not necessary to call upon the opposition. The application would be refused.




SANDY William 1881+

SETTERFIELD John William 1890-91+ (age 32 in 1891Census)

TAYLOR Mark 1895-03+

SMITH Edwin 1911+ (age 65 in 1911Census)

MAY William 1930+

COCKSEDGE Frank G 1938-57+




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