DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Faversham, July, 2021.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 20 July, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1750s-

Mechanics Arms

Closed Sept 2012

44 West Street

Faversham

https://whatpub.com/mechanics-arms

Mechanic's Arms

Above photo by David Anstiss, under the Creative Commons License.

mechanic's Arms 1980

Above picture showing the "Mechanic's Arms" next to the now demolished garage in 1980.

Mechanics Arms sign 1993Mechanics Arms sign 2010

Above sign left, 1993, sign right 2010.

With thanks from Brian Curtis www.innsignsociety.com.

 

 In the 1800s, the "Mechanic's Arms" stood opposite a forge, whose occupant was an enthusiastic patron of the pub, sending his ‘hoppo' across the road every day for a jug of beer. The pub dates from the 1750s and may have taken its name from various mechanics who came there from a foundry next door and the gunpowder works a short distance away.

 

South Eastern Gazette 12 September 1848.

FAVERSAM PETTY SESSIONS.

This was the general annual licensing meeting, when all the old licences were renewed. Two or three of the publicans were, however, reprimanded as to the manner in which they conducted their houses, and cautioned as to their future conduct.

William Collins the younger, of the "Mechanics' Arms," applied for a license to sell excisable liquors. Applicant stated his house had been a beer-shop for upwards of a year, and produced a memorial in favour of the license being granted, when the magistrates granted the application.

 

Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser 17 December 1913.

A WIFE'S APPLICATION.

Mary Anna Rapson, of Long Sutton, applied for an order under the Married Woman's Act against her husband George Rapson, of 38, Rock-road, Sittingbourne, Kent, carpenter, for desertion and not providing reasonable maintenance.

Mr. H. G. Wedd said that the parties were married in April 1888, and there was a grown up family. They were living together at Long Sutton with Mr. Redwood, Mrs. Rapson's father, her husband paying half the rent. In December last year Rapson went away to find work, and it was understood that she should follow him. They heard nothing more of him for some time, and she had had no money, and he had not provided her with a home. Enquiries made showed that he kept the "Mechanics Arms," Faversham, but had since left there. Applicant had gone there to see him, and he refused to take her in, and told her to "clear out." She went back to her father at Long Sutton. Finding that he still sent her no money she had taken out a summons, and he then sent her 7s 6d, and had offered to pay 7s 6d a week. As he was an expert carpenter, who had been a sub-contractor on the line, and the wife had heard since that he was earning 2 10s a week, she thought 7s 6d was not enough. Mr. Wedd now asked the Bench to make an order for 10s a week.- Defendant did not appear, but a letter was produced from him, and the Chairman asked if it was true, as defendant said, that she had only herself to keep?

Applicant said that all her children were grown up.

Mr. Wedd said that defendant was earning 2 10s a week, and had 100 when he left Long Sutton.

The Bench made an order for payment of 10s a week, and allowed a guinea costs.

 

 

The building was listed Grad II on 3 August 1972 and is described as early 19th century front to a 17th century probably timber-framed building; low steeply pitched tiled roof and north-south wing behind; east side roughcast. North side fronted with mathematical tiles. 3 storeys. 2 bays. Moulded eaves cornice. On both 1st and 2nd floors, sash windows 3 panes wide in reeded frames, ornamented with roundels in corners; painted brink voussoirs above 1st floor windows. Public house front with frieze and projecting cornice on ground floor; 4-light window flanked by doorway at either side. At right hand, doorway with frame similar to windows above [reeded frame with roundels in corners]. 6 nush panelled door in flush panelled reveals; very small rectangular fanlight over. Advertisement between 1st and 2nd floors.

 

From www.thisiskent.com 10 March 2012.

A TOWN-centre pub with more than 400 years of history has been saved from closure in a dramatic U-turn this week.

Shepherd Neame's plan to shut The "Mechanics Arms" in West Street left landlord of six months John Ralph scratching his head.

Mechanic's Arms licenses

RECOGNISE ANYONE?: Three eras of the Mechanic's Arms with Eddy and Betty Carty and the pub's two previous proprietors.

Eddie and Betty Carter

SETTING THE BAR HIGH: Eddy and Betty Carty manned the pub in the 70s and 80s.

Old and new licensees 1984

A BARREL OF LAUGHS: Eddy and Betty Carty hand the pub over to new landlord and lady, Ray and Kay Leslie, in 1984, after 13 happy years.

 

Customers vowed to leave wreaths at the doors next Friday, March 16, on the day they were to be closed for the last time.

But the brewery has decided to give the pub another chance.

Mr Ralph says he has been offered a 26-week contract, which will keep the pub going until at least September.

He said: "I was given a temporary tenancy after last year's Hop Festival but when the contract came up for renewal this month they said they wanted to close the pub.

"The months after Christmas are always slow for the pub trade but obviously the brewery didn't want to see the pub close. After a bit of negotiating, and with help from some of the regulars, we have decided it is feasible to keep going. I think it should work.

"It would have been soul destroying to see it close because this is a community pub. A lot of people use it, from workers dropping in after clocking off to people on shifts who come in the afternoon.

"We have families who drop in with their children at weekends after shopping. There's a real mix."

The pub was named after the men who worked at the nearby gasworks.

Pub regular David Carty, 70, remembers his parents Eddy and Betty running the watering-hole in the 1970s and 1980s.

He said: "There was a rumour that Hollywood star Marlon Brando planning to live in Faversham. A man came into the pub and was drinking Jack Daniels. We weren't sure at the time but looking back I do believe it was him!"

When his parents took over in 1971 the rent was 364 and a pint was 10p.

Mr Carty said: "They loved it here but it was hard work even then. When Sheps put the rent up my dad would go to Robert Neame, throw his keys down and say: 'You try and run it then.' Then they would negotiate.

"In those days there were 52 pubs in Faversham. You could drink in a different one each week of the year! But if this one had closed there would have been less than a dozen.

"It is fantastic news the pub is staying open. I think the brewery is doing the right thing. It is great that the landlord will have some more time to turn things round."

Shepherd Neame spokesman John Humphreys said initially deciding to close the pub was a difficult decision but it had not been "economically viable."

He said: "We are now pleased we have managed to find a way to keep the pub going. It is due to a change of circumstances but we can't comment on the details."

 

 

The Shepherd Neame web site June 2013 says that the pub has closed, but the following passage from www.thisiskent.com tells a different story. However the extension was for just 6 months from March 2012, so I guess it has now closed. At least I am saying it is, local knowledge need here please.

Yes, unfortunately I am informed that the pub did indeed close in September 2012. It has since been sold at auction with a restrictive covenant and was rebuilt/repaired for future unknown use.

 

LICENSEE LIST

COLLINS William jun. 1848+ South Eastern Gazette

BEACON Mrs Sarah 1851-62+ Post Office Directory 1855Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862 (age 58 in 1861Census)

BEACON Thomas 1871-82+ (also carpenter age 49 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

BEACON Mrs A 1888+ Swinock's Faversham Directory

BEACON William E 1891+ (listed as carpenter age 24 in 1891Census)

LARKIN Walter 1901-03+ Kelly's 1903 (age 42 in 1901Census)

ROGERS R W 1908+ Guide to Faversham 1908

ROGERS Eliza Ann 1911+ (age 47 in 1911Census)

RAPSON Mr pre 1913

GAY William 1913+ Post Office Directory 1913

FOAT Mrs E A 1922+ Post Office Directory 1922

SKINNER Chas Skinner 1930-39+ (age 41 in 1939) Post Office Directory 1930Post Office Directory 1938

???? Dennis 1980s-90s

ANNARD Marie & Chris 1998-2000 Next pub licensee had

OWEN Mrs N pre Sept 2011

RALPH John Sept/2011-Sept-2012

https://pubwiki.co.uk/MechanicsArms.shtml

 

Post Office Directory 1855From the Post Office Directory 1855

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

CensusCensus

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Swinock's Faversham DirectorySwinock's Faversham Directory 1888

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Guide to Faversham 1908Guide to Faversham 1908

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

South Eastern GazetteSouth Eastern Gazette

 

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

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