209 Dover Road
Above photograph kindly supplied by Jan Pedersen, 1978.
Above photographs of the former "Railway Bell". Taken on 6th July
2009 by Paul Skelton.
Above photo kindly sent by Phil Nicholson, 29 November, 2012.
Rumour has it that there was a pub on this site as early as 1843, built
the same time as the railway line was being constructed and supplied beer to
the workers, however, no evidence has yet been found to confirm this rumour.
What is known is that brewers Nalder and Collyer from Croyden obtained a
lease of land from George Holledge at a rent of £74 per annum for 99
years (quite a huge sum at the time) on 29th September 1862, and architect
Joseph Gardner designed the premises that opened shortly after construction
in February 1863. The house at the time was being advertised as containing a
large bar and bar parlour, tap room, parlour and club room, six bedrooms,
commodious cellars and the usual conveniences besides a walled garden.
The high rental at first discouraged anyone from taking on the pub and
staff from the brewery were forced to run it till 2nd January 1865 when
Joseph Moret became its first proper licensee.
From the Folkestone Observer 10 January, 1863. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
Monday January 5th:- Before the Mayor and John Kingsnorth, Esq.
Thomas Groves and George Cockson, privates in the 96th Regiment,
stationed at the Camp, were placed in the dock, and the following
evidence was given:-
Thomas Brown, K.C.C., was on duty at Hougham on the 2nd of January,
and at ten a.m., at the "Royal Oak"
in that parish, saw the prisoners, who were drinking in the tap room,
and told him that they had passes, but they had lost them. He approached
them as deserters, they being in uniform, but Groves had no military cap
on. He saw the chisel produced sticking out of the pocket of Groves's
tunic, and charged Groves with having stolen property in his possession.
While talking, the chisel fell out of the pocket, and witness picked it
up. Groves said he bought the chisel at Dover. Witness then asked Groves
for the hammer in his possession, which he had been offering for sale.
He at first denied having a hammer, but after a few minutes he gave it
up. He took them in a conveyance to Seabrook station, and on the way
they found Groves's cap. The prisoners were committed from Hythe as
deserters, and after they had been conveyed to Shorncliffe Camp he
apprehended them on the present charge.
James Quested Petts, builder in Folkestone, was building a house near
the railway station. The workmen and himself left their tools in the
house at night. The chisel produced was his property, and was in the
house at five o'clock on the 1st of January. At half past 7 the
following morning he missed several tools, but having no occasion to use
the chisel he did not miss it till the afternoon. That morning he found
a ladder against the back kitchen window, the window open, and a piece
of candle in the yard.
There being no evidence against Cockson the charges against him were
dismissed, but Groves elected to be tried by a jury at the Quarter
Groves and Cockson were then charged with a second offence.
John Allen, labourer at Hougham, saw the prisoners between 9 and 10
on the morning of the 2nd of January come out of a meadow near Steady
Hole (sic) on the road to Dover – Groves being without his belt, and
Cockson without his cap. When he first saw them they were standing in a
corner of the field, and he thought they had left something there, so he
went to look, and found the painter's basket, tools, and two coats, now
produced, which he took home, but he did not open it until P.C. Swain
came to his lodgings for it.
George Haynes, painter, was at work on the 2nd of January at Mr.
Petts's house, near the railway station. The basket, and the dust brush,
chisel, two punches, scraper, screwdriver, and nail claw, now produced,
were his property, and were left in the building at half past four
o'clock on the 1st of January. The hammer was also his property, and was
left in the basket. The tools were worth about six shillings. There were
two other articles in the basket.
The prisoner Cockson said he left the barracks about half past three
o'clock on the 1st of January, with two men who slept in the same room.
He went to the "Three Horseshoes,"
but did not remember leaving there. He supposed he went out about tattoo
until next morning, when he found himself lying in the Dover Road. He
had lost his waist belt and the number of his forage cap, and looking
about to find these articles he saw Groves. They went together to a
public house, where they had a pint of beer. They left that house, and
went on to the "Royal Oak." The
policeman came in there and took them into custody as deserters. He saw
nothing but the chisel and the hammer in the house.
The prisoners were then committed for trial at the Sessions.
Note: The tools were stolen from the then-nearing-completion of
the "Railway Bell." Jan Pedersen.
From the Folkestone Observer 14 March, 1863. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
To Be Let, with Immediate Possession, the "RAILWAY BELL INN," near
the Upper Railway Station, Folkestone. The house is just completed, and
contains large Bar and Bar Parlour, Tap Room, Parlour, and Club Room,
Six Bedrooms, commodious Cellars, and all the usual Conveniences,
besides a large Walled Garden.
For particulars apply to G. Holledge, Esq., White Post House, or Mr.
J. Gardner, Architect, Folkestone.
From the Folkestone Chronicle 4 April, 1863. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
Thursday April 2nd:- Before J.J. Lonsdale, Recorder.
A true bill having been returned against Thomas Groves and George
Cockson, two soldiers of the 96th, for larceny, they were placed in the
dock, and the following witnesses were examined –
George Haynes, sworn: I am a painter, residing in Folkestone. I
recollect the 1st of January. I was at work at the "Railway Bell," near
the upper railway station. I had a basket of tools with me. I put them
in an upper front room. I left them safe at half past 4. I missed them
next morning at 7. The room was not locked. The outer doors of the house
were locked. I saw the men closing them. The door was open when I got
there. I saw a back room window open. I don't know if it had been
fastened overnight. I have not seen the prisoners before. I saw some of
the tools next in the possession of P.C. Swain, and some with the county
Thomas Brown, sworn – I am constable in the K.C.C. On 2nd January I
found the two prisoners drinking in the "Royal
Oak" public house, in the parish of Hougham, about half past 10. I
asked them if they were on “pass”. They said they were. I asked for
their passes, and they both said they had lost them. I said I should
apprehend them as deserters. They said they were not deserters. I said
they were liable, as they were more than one mile from the camp without
a pass. They had been drinking. While I was speaking, the chisel
produced fell from the back pocket of the tunic of the prisoner Groves.
I asked him where he got it. He said he bought it at Dover. I then asked
him for the hammer. He first denied having one. When I told him, from
information received, I knew he had been offering them both for sale, he
then took the hammer from his trousers pocket. I was half an hour trying
to apprehend them, and to put the handcuffs on. The landlord and another
man assisted me after a while. I took them into custody, and conveyed
them to Seabrook, and gave them in charge of Superintendent English.
John Allen: I am a labourer. I recollect the 2nd January. I was going
along the Dover Road between nine and ten in the morning with a load of
manure. I saw the two prisoners in a meadow near Steddy's Hole. Thinking
they had left something behind them I went to look. They were stooping
down in a corner near the road. They then went away over the further
field – away from me. Stephen Burvill was with me, but he went on with
the horses. I found a basket with a quantity of tools hid under some
gorse, and two painter's coats laid over them. I saw prisoners look
round when I went to the spot. I live at Stephen Burvill's, at a cottage
under the cliff. I took the basket and coats home with me. The basket
produced was identified by witness. Burvill then went on to the "Royal
Oak" to pay a bill, and found Petts and P.C. Swain enquiring about
the things. I gave them up to Swain the same day. Witness continued – I
had passed the house building by Petts, from whence these things were
stolen, earlier in the morning. I did not see the prisoners again. I was
about 30 rods off when I first saw them, but I will swear to the two
prisoners being the same men – Groves, the tallest, had his belt and no
cap, and Cockson had his cap and no belt.
In answer to the Recorder witness repeated this – although when
before the magistrates he had sworn just the opposite, and when
cross-examined by prisoner Groves, had said he was not certain.
P.C. Swain deposed: From information received, he went up the Dover
Road and saw Burvill and Petts. I had heard two soldiers had been taken
with some tools. Burvill told me the last witness (Allen) had found a
basket of tools, and they were at his house. He went down the cliff and
brought them up to me.
The learned Recorder summed up as favourably as he could for the
prisoners, who were undefended; adverting to the contradictory evidence
of the principal witness, Allen, and the credit due to his testimony.
The jury retired for a short time, and returned with a verdict of Not
The learned Recorder discharged the prisoners with a caution and
admonition on the narrow escape they had had.
Note: This was during the latter stages of the building of the
"Railway Bell." Jan Pedersen.
From the Folkestone Observer 4 April, 1863. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
Thursday April 2nd:- Before J.J. Lonsdale, Esq.
Thomas Groves, 24, and George Cockson, 24, Privates in the 96th
Regiment, were indicted for stealing one hammer, one painter's basket,
one dust brush, one chisel, two punches, one scraper, one screwdriver,
and one nail claw, the property of George Haynes, at Folkestone, on the
1st of January last. Both prisoners pleaded Not Guilty, and a petty jury
being empanelled, Mr. Frederick George Francis being foreman, the
following evidence was called.
George Haynes, painter, was employed on the 1st of January last on a
house that was being built by Mr. Petts near the railway station. He
last saw the tools that had been stolen in that house on the 1st of
January, in an upper room, in a basket, where he put them at half past
four o'clock, and he missed them the next morning at seven o'clock. The
outside of the house was locked, but not the room. In the morning the
back room window was open. The articles were worth about 6s.
Thomas Brown, K.C.C., on the 2nd of January, found the two prisoners
at the "Royal Oak Inn," in the parish
of Hougham, at half past ten in the morning. The prisoners were drinking
in the tap room, and said they were on pass, but had lost their passes.
He then apprehended them as deserters. While talking with them a chisel
fell from the tunic pocket of Groves, who then said he had bought it at
Dover. Witness asked him for the hammer, saying that he had had
information of his trying to dispose of a hammer and chisel. At first he
denied having a hammer, but afterwards he produced it from his trousers
pocket. He then secured the prisoners, and conveyed them to Seabrook.
John Allen, labourer, saw the two prisoners in a meadow near Steddy
Hole, Dover Road, between nine and ten in the morning of the 2nd of
January. Suspecting something from their manner, when they went away he
went to see if anything was left behind, and he found a basket with a
quantity of tools and two old painters' coats. The coats were laid over
the basket, and the whole was under a piece of gorse. He took the basket
and coats in his hand to his lodgings at Steven Burvill's, where he put
them in the front room. Before he got to the place where the soldiers
were, he had passed by the house Mr. Petts was building. When the
prisoners were in the field they were about thirty rods from him, or six
times the length of that room, but he could swear to them. Groves had
his belt, but no cap; Cockson had his cap, but no belt. Burvill went to
the "Royal Oak," and between two and
three in the afternoon P.C. Swain came to his (witness's) lodgings, and
he delivered the things up to him.
P.C. Swain on the 2nd of January went to the "Royal
Oak" in company with Mr. Petts, where he saw Mr. Burvill, who said
that his lodger had got a basket of tools and two coats, and he went on
to Burvill's house under the cliff. Burvill went down to the house, and
returned with Allen and the basket and coats.
This was the case for the prosecution.
The prisoner Groves then said that he came into possession of the
hammer and chisel by picking them up in the Dover Road. He had been
drinking for two days, and when the policeman asked about the things he
was not in uniform, and it was on that account he told him he had bought
The Recorder, in addressing the jury, threw some doubt on the
testimony of the witness Allen, who gave positive evidence before the
magistrates as to the identity of the prisoners; afterwards, on
cross-examination, said he was not positive, and now again had become
very positive, but gave a description of the dress of the men differing
from that he gave before the magistrates. It was for the jury to say if
this was due to the confusion of mind of an ignorant witness.
The jury retired for a short time, and on returning into court gave a
verdict for both prisoners of Not Guilty.
There was a second indictment against Groves for stealing, at the
same time and place, a chisel, the property of James Quested Petts; but
as the case was supported only by the same evidence as that upon which
he had just been acquitted, the prosecution was dropped, and both
prisoners were strongly admonished by the Recorder, and discharged.
Note: The theft was from the nearly-completed "Railway Bell." Jan
From the Folkestone Observer 28 May, 1864. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
Hugh McMarth, a young man of very intelligent and respectable
appearance, who was recently in the employ of Mr. Peter Thomson, draper,
was charged on Monday with stealing a quantity of cloth and a variety of
articles, the property of Mr. Thomson. The prisoner had been apprehended
at Folkestone, and handed over to the Dover Police by the magistrates of
this borough. He was brought before C. Stein Esq. at Dover on Saturday,
and was remanded to complete the evidence for the prosecution.
Prosecutor deposed the prisoner was lately in his employ as
traveller. He gave him notice to quit on the 16th instant, and paid him
his wages at nine o'clock in the morning. He then asked the prisoner if
he had anything to be booked against him, and he replied “No”. He asked
the prisoner how many pairs of boots he had had from him since he had
been with him, and the reply was “Three”. He told the prisoner he had
only accounted for two pairs, and deducted for another pair from his
wages. He asked the prisoner if he had any goods to give up, and the
answer was “No”. The prisoner then went away. Between eleven and twelve
o'clock the same day he saw two of the boxes now produced taken from his
house and put into an omnibus. On the following Thursday he saw the
prisoner in Folkestone, carrying upon his back a packing box and leather
strap which belonged to him. They were in the prisoner's charge when in
his employ, but he had neither given him them or given him permission to
take them away. He stopped the prisoner and asked if he was going on
business for himself or if he was travelling for anyone, but he replied
“No”. He then took him to the "Railway Bell" public house, and after
they had had a glass of ale together he gave him into custody upon a
charge of stealing the packing cloth and strap. At the police station he
opened the pack, and found in it two pieces of calico, each six yards
long, two five yard lengths of skirting – the former bearing his private
mark and the latter matching with some in his possession. In the pack
were other things which he believed were his property. On Thursday
evening he went to the "White Horse"
public house, St. James's Street, and found three boxes, two of which he
knew belonged to the prisoner, and had been removed from his house the
previous Monday. The boxes were taken to the police station, and when
they were opened he found they contained a variety of things, some of
which he identified as his property – viz. – three sunshades or
parasols, a pair of Scotch tweed trousers, a flannel shirt, three pairs
of stays, a scarf &c. Those articles which he could swear to as
belonging to him he valued at £4, but he believed the whole of them were
Prosecutor, in cross-examination by Mr. Fox, said the prisoner
entered his service in April, 1863. The agreement between them was that
the prisoner was to travel for him for three years, if he conducted
himself properly, at £25 per year, and £30 if he suited him, and all
travelling expenses. There was nothing said about determining the
engagement by notice. He gave the prisoner a month's notice to leave
because he was not satisfied with him – because he rode about on
horseback and in flies, stayed out late at night, and because he
suspected his dishonesty, as he had lost things from his shop and could
not make out where they were gone. He did not verify his suspicions
until after he had discharged the prisoner, but he travelled a fortnight
endeavouring to detect his dishonesty. There were no other reasons for
his discharging the prisoner. He paid the prisoner his wages at the rate
of £25 a year. After deducting several items for clothes he paid him £8
19s 6d in cash as the balance due to him. The prisoner's duties were to
solicit orders and take goods for sale. The goods he took out he cut
from pieces in prosecutor's shop, and was supposed to enter them in a
book, but some of them he could swear the prisoner had not entered. To
the best of his belief the letters on the sunshades were in the
prisoner's handwriting, and the figures in his wife's handwriting, but
he could not swear to this. He identified the Scotch tweed trousers
because he was wearing a pair of the very same material. The prisoner,
when charged with stealing the packing cloth and strap, said they were
P.C. Ovenden, Folkestone, deposed that he had received the prisoner
into his custody at the "Railway Bell," Folkestone. Nothing was then
said by the prisoner, but at the police station he said “I know the
prosecutor has got an account against me for some things which I have
received and not accounted for”. The prisoner also asked him what he
could do in the matter, and he replied he could not tell him. The
prisoner said the things in his possession were all his own property.
Upon the prisoner he found a bunch of keys.
William Cheeseman, an omnibus driver, was called to prove that the
boxes found at the "White Horse" were
those he conveyed thither, from the house of the prosecutor to the
prisoner, but all the witness would say was that he took some boxes
there, but did not know how many there were, nor what they were like.
John Friend, landlord of the "White Horse,"
said the prisoner came in an omnibus with the three boxes produced, and
two of which had been identified by Mr. Thomson, to his house about noon
on the 16th inst., and left the boxes there. He afterwards showed them
to the prosecutor, who removed them to the police station.
Police sergeant Bailey said he received a bunch of keys from the
witness Ovenden, and with them he unlocked the boxes brought to the
police station by the prosecutor, and which contained the articles
Mr. Strood submitted that was the case for the prosecution.
Mr. Fox said the prisoner would reserve his defence.
The bench committed the prisoner to take his trial at the next
quarter sessions for the borough.
From the Folkestone Observer 2 July, 1864. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
EXTENSIVE ROBBERY BY A PACKMAN
The Dover Quarter Sessions were held on Monday, before the Recorder.
The case of chief interest was the following:-
Hugh McMath, 23, draper, was indicted for stealing a packing cloth,
strap, two pieces of calico, and a quantity of other articles, the
property of Peter Thomson, at Dover, on the 16th of May. Mr. Biron
(instructed by Mr. Minter) was for the prosecution; Mr. Channell
(instructed by Mr. Fox) conducted the prisoner's defence.
Mr. Biron, in opening the case, said the prosecutor was a draper
carrying on business in Castle Street, and for rather more than a year
previous to the 16th of last May the prisoner was in his employ as a
packman, in which capacity he used to travel round to neighbouring towns
and dispose of his master's goods. Upon making up his book, he ought to
have inserted a list of articles he was going to take away, so that his
master might have an opportunity of taking an account when he returned.
For some reason or another, the prosecutor gave the prisoner a month's
notice to leave, and on the 16th of May he left his employ. The
prisoner's wages were £30 a year, and he also had the privilege of
taking at cost price such articles of clothing as prosecutor kept in his
shop, and from time to time, as his wages were paid him, prosecutor
deducted any money which might be due on his account. On the 16th of
May, as the prisoner was leaving, they went into the accounts, and
prosecutor said “Have you got anything I am to charge against you?”.
Prisoner said there were three pairs of boots which he had had repaired,
and this was deducted from his wages with some other trifling charges,
and the balance, £8 19s 6d, handed over to him as his wages. But before
he left, prosecutor said “Have you taken anything else?”. Prisoner
replied “I have now accounted for everything I have had”. This
transaction took place about nine in the morning, and in the middle of
the day the prisoner came and fetched his boxes away, which he had
conveyed to the "White Horse" public
house in St. James's Street. In the course of the day the prosecutor
went over to Folkestone, and there he found the prisoner with a pack.
The oil-skin cover and strap belonged to the prosecutor, and ought to
have been given up before the prisoner left. On opening it, the
prosecutor found it to contain two 6 yard pieces of calico, two 5 yard
pieces of skirting, among other articles which he identified as
belonging to him. The prisoner was then charged with theft, and given
into the custody of the police at Folkestone. He was afterwards brought
over to Dover and taken to the "White Horse,"
when his boxes were opened, and in them was found a large amount of
property which had been taken from his employer. When apprehended at
Folkestone, prisoner said in reply to the charge “I know that I have
received property I have not accounted for”.
Prosecutor was then examined. He spoke to the facts as detailed by
the learned counsel, and added that when he met the prisoner at
Folkestone with the pack he asked him whether he was travelling for
anyone or in business for himself. The prisoner replied “Neither” but
added that he must get a living. He then requested the prisoner to let
him see the contents of the pack, and subsequently took him into custody
for stealing several articles which it contained. The calico, stays,
sunshades, scarves &c., he identified by his private mark upon them, and
said they had never been accounted for by the prisoner. He missed some
stuff like that of which the trousers produced were made in January
last, and he asked the prisoner whether he had sold or taken any of it,
but he replied he had not. The whole of the stock which the boxes and
pack contained he believed to be his property, although he could not
swear to them from any distinct mark.
Mr. Channell cross-examined the prosecutor in reference to the
several articles named in the indictment, and endeavoured to identify
them with entries of goods taken and accounted for by the prisoner in
the day-book, but the prosecutor distinctly swore that he had been
through the books carefully from January last and found that the
articles which the prisoner was charged with stealing were not entered
and had not been accounted for.
William Cheeseman, an omnibus driver, stated that he removed the
prisoner's boxes to the "White Horse" at
his request on the 16th of May, and John Friend, the landlord of the "White
Horse," spoke to receiving them in his care for the prisoner.
Charles Ovenden, of the Folkestone police, took the prisoner into
custody, and at the police station prisoner said he knew the prosecutor
had something against him which he had not accounted for, and asked him
what he could do in the matter. He told him he did not know. The
prisoner also said the things in the pack were the property of Mr.
Police sergeant Bailey said he received the prisoner into custody
from the last witness, who also handed him a bunch of keys found upon
the prisoner, with which the locks of the boxes were unfastened.
Robert Smith, tailor, of Military Road, stated that he made the
trousers produced from cloth brought to him by the prisoner in January
Mr. Channell made a forcible address to the jury on behalf of the
prisoner, and said that the admission made by the prisoner to the
Folkestone policeman, that he had received some goods belonging to Mr.
Thomson and not accounted for them, far from operating against the
prisoner, was exactly the defence he was about to offer. There was no
doubt that the prisoner was in possession of these goods, but he would
ask the jury to take a charitable view of the case, and suppose the
prisoner had no intention to defraud the prosecutor, but that he was
selling them and would have paid the money over to Mr. Thomson as soon
as he had sold them. Assuming that this was the prisoner's intention,
the prosecutor's remedy would be in the County Court.
The Recorder, having summed up, and pointed out the fact of the
prisoner having retained the property of his master after all business
connection between them was at an end would constitute the offence a
The jury consulted, and gave a verdict of Guilty, but recommended the
prisoner to mercy.
The Recorder: On what grounds do you recommend him to mercy?
A Juror: Because we think the prosecutor did not take sufficient care
with his books.
The Recorder (to prosecutor): Have you any doubt that all or any of
the things belong to you?
Prosecutor: Not the slightest.
The Recorder: What is their value?
Prosecutor: About £42.
Mr. Biron: I am told there is also about £40 the prisoner has
received in January, which he has not accounted for.
Prosecutor: There are also about 110 yards of silk missing which I
can find no account of.
The Recorder, in passing judgement, said he had great doubts whether
it was not necessary to send the prisoner to penal servitude. This man
was receiving liberal wages, and yet carrying on a system of robbery
against his employer. He must therefore be treated with severity, and
stopping short of penal servitude, he must have the full extent of
punishment the law would admit. The prisoner would therefore be
imprisoned and kept to hard labour for 18 months.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10
SHOCKING ACCIDENT TO TWO FEMALES
On Sunday afternoon an accident of the most painful nature took place
on the South-Eastern Railway, in the long cutting between Abbott's Cliff
tunnel and the tunnel nearest to Folkestone. It appears that two young
women named Warde and Williams, the daughters of coast-guardmen
stationed at the Pelter station, of which is situate midway between
Dover and Folkestone, at the base of the cliffs, had been on a visit to
their friends and were returning to Folkestone, where they were living
in service. For the purpose in saving time they selected the railway
line, instead of taking their way by the cliffs. They had got near to
the entrance of the Folkestone tunnel when an up-train came along, and
before they could get out of the way they were struck down, the train
passing over their bodies and leaving them quite lifeless, and sadly
mutilated. It is believed that a third young woman, the daughter of
another coastguard, would have been in their company, and in all
probability shared their fate, had she not left some article of clothing
behind her at the house of her parents, whither she had returned at the
moment of the hapless catastrophe. The bodies of the unfortunate young
woman were removed to the "Railway Bell," at Folkestone, where an
inquest was held upon their remains on the following day by J. Minter
Esq., the coroner of the borough of Folkestone. The jury having been
sworn, were conveyed by special train in charge of the station master,
Mr. Willis, to the place of the accident which was inspected and the
bodies viewed. On the return to the inquest room, the inquiry was
proceeded with, the evidence in respect of the death of the female Wade
being first elicited.
Peter Mitchell deposed: I am a ticket-collector in the employ of the
South-Eastern Railway Company at the Folkestone station. The 4.15 p.m.
mail train, yesterday from Dover stopped at Folkestone Junction station
a few minutes late, and the driver told me that he had knocked down two
females dressed in black just beyond the first tunnel. I said I would
see to it, and the train went on. Having obtained assistance, I went to
the spot indicated by the train-driver, and there saw the deceased lying
upon the ground. Wade lay on her back at the side of the rails - between
the embankment and the outer rail of the up line - with her feet towards
the metals and her head towards the embankment.
George Mercer said: I am a carpenter. In company with a young man
named George Elliott. I was in the Warren yesterday afternoon at the top
of the embankment at the side of the South-Eastern Railway line. On
looking over into the cutting, I saw two females walking together - one
of them being in the 4ft. up line and the other in the 6ft. which
separates the two lines. At that moment I observed the mail train
approaching about thirty yards off. I shouted out "Missus, here's the
train close behind you," when they both rushed across the up line to get
out of the way. Before they cleared the line, however, the buffer or
some part of the engine struck them and knocked both of them down. I
immediately went down upon the line, and saw the deceased. Wade lying
with her clothes over her head on the up line. I lifted her up, and she
appeared quite dead. Elliott at the same time went to the deceased
Williams, and found she was also quite dead. Having laid the bodies upon
the ground clear of the lines, I went to the coastguard station for
By the Jury: I heard the whistle of the engine just before the
deceased was struck. The wind was blowing adverse to the direction in
which the train was going, and therefore the sound was carried away from
where the females were walking.
Dr. East deposed: Yesterday afternoon, about twenty minutes to five,
a message came to me that two females had been killed by a train in the
Warren, and that the station-master (Mr. Willis) was taking measures for
bringing the bodies to Folkestone. I hastened to the junction station,
and was taken in a trolley to the place in question, about a mile and a
half from Folkestone and there saw the bodies of the deceased. That of
Wade I first examined, and found that she had sustained a severe
fracture of the skull, through which considerable portions of the brains
had exuded. Her left leg was also torn off close to the knee, it only
then hanging to the body by the skin, and the foot was almost cut off.
From the injury to the skull alone, death must have been instantaneous.
William Peplar said upon oath: I am an engine driver in the service
of the South-Eastern Railway Company, and live at 3, Cooper's Road, Old
Kent Road, London. Yesterday I drove the engine of the 4.15 p.m. mail
train from Dover. We left Dover punctually at our time. Just before
reaching the Martello tunnel, I saw something dark in front of the train
upon the line. I could not distinguish what it was because it was dusk.
I went from the left to the right side of the engine, and then saw two
females attempting to cross the line just in front of us, I blew the
whistle; but the train was upon them in a moment, and they were knocked
down, although I applied the break and did all I could to stop the
train. I stopped the train at Folkestone and informed the ticket
collector of what had occurred.
By the Jury: The train was travelling at about 40 miles an hour at
the time of the accident. It is not my practise to blow the whistle if I
see persons upon the line, unless, they are actually upon the line which
the train is travelling upon, as it sometimes has a tendency to frighten
people and place them in greater danger; but I blew the whistle in this
instance because I saw the imminent peril in which the deceased were
upon the line.
The Coroner observed there was other evidence forthcoming, if the
jury desired it; but he thought it would be principally corroborative,
and as the facts appeared conclusive that the occurrence was purely
accidental, he proposed not to adduce it, unless it were the wish of the
The jury expressed themselves satisfied with the facts elicited and
returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
The evidence was then taken in the case of the poor girl Williams.
The testimony did not materially differ from the above given, and the
jury, in this case also returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
From the Folkestone Chronicle 10 December, 1864. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
An inquest was opened on Monday last at the "Railway Bell Inn" by
John Minter Esq., coroner for the borough, on the bodies of Margaret Ann
Wade, aged 17 years, and Mary Rebecca Williams, aged 16 years and 6
months, who unfortunately lost their lives in the cutting of the railway
in the Warren on the previous day, as detailed in the evidence given
The jury, having been sworn, proceeded in special carriage and train,
provided by the company, to the Coast Guard Station in the Warren, where
the bodies of the deceased lay, and on their return viewed the spot
where the accident occurred.
The first witness called was Peter Mitchell, ticket collector, South
Eastern Railway Company, upper railway station, sworn: At 20 past 4
yesterday afternoon the driver of the 4-15 p.m. mail from Dover stopped
the train at the Folkestone Junction, and said he had knocked two
females down just beyond the tunnel; they were dressed in black. Witness
immediately went down with assistance, and found the body of Margaret
Ann Wade, who was lying on her back on the up side of the line, between
the embankment and the outside rail,, her feet towards the metals and
her head towards the bank, about two hundred yards beyond the Martello
Tunnel; she was dead; identified the body as that which he found.
George Mercer, carpenter, Folkestone, sworn, deposed he was in the
Warren yesterday afternoon a few minutes after 4. Witness was just on
top of the batter on the up line side, walking towards the Coast Guard
buildings; George Elliott was with him; witness looked over the cutting
and saw two females walking, one was in the 6 foot and the other was in
the 4 foot, on the up line; witness at the same moment saw the train
coming on them; the train was not more than 30 yards off. Witness
halloed out “Missus, there is a train close behind you”. They both then
attempted to cross the line to the sea side, and witness believed they
both had their feet on the off metal when the engine struck them and
knocked them down. Witness then went down and found the body of Margaret
Ann Wade, who lay in the 4 foot of the up line, with her head towards
Folkestone and her clothes disordered. Witness then took her off the
rails and laid her on the bank; she was dead. The accident happened
about 200 yards beyond the Martello Tunnel. The wind was blowing towards
the train, and the whistle was blowing. The train struck deceased, but
witness could not hear the train coming.
Silvester Eastes, sworn, deposed he was a surgeon, practicing in
Folkestone. About 20 minutes to 5 yesterday afternoon a messenger came
to him from the station and told him that two women had been hurt by the
mail train in the Warren, and that Mr. Willes was sending down to bring
them to the station. Witness went down in the trolley to the Pelter
Coast Guard Station, and there saw the body of Margaret Ann Wade. On
examining it witness found she had received a most extensive fracture of
the upper part of the skull, through which a considerable portion of the
brain had exuded. The left leg was torn off close up to the knee, merely
hanging by the skin, and about half the right foot cut off. There was
also excessive haemorrhage. She was dead. He had no doubt that death was
William Pepler, engine driver in the employ of the S.E.R. Company,
residing at No. 3, Cooper's Road, Old Kent Road, London, sworn, deposed:
Yesterday, the 4th December, he was driving the 4.15 mail train from
Dover; left Dover punctually; and just before going into Martello Tunnel
witness's attention was attracted to the front of the train, where he
saw someone in black. They were on the down line. Witness went to the
off side of the engine and saw the person or persons cross over in front
of the engine towards the sea side. Witness blew his whistle and put on
his brake. Witness could not tell whether he had struck anything or not.
The train was brought up on the station side of the Martello Tunnel.
Witness started the train again into the station, where he stopped and
gave information to the ticket collector. The train was going at 40
miles an hour. When witness first saw them, it was impossible to pull up
the train. Witness did not whistle when he first saw them, as they were
clear of him, and blowing the whistle he considered might have the
effect of frightening them.
Mr. Minter then read a rule, dated 8th July, 1862, by the commander
of the Coast Guards:- “Whereas the railway master, Mr. Willes, had made
complaint that the women and children at the station were continually on
the line it is ordered that no person shall continue such practice, and
this is to be made known to the men, their wives, and children. This
order is to be retained at the Pelter Station, in case of any accident
occurring by the disobedience of it. T. Davies”.
The inquest on the body of Mary Rebecca Williams then took place.
Peter Mitchell, being sworn, gave similar evidence to that in the
previous case, but found the body lying about 30 yards from that of the
other deceased, in a similar position.
George Elliott, labourer, residing at East Cliff, Folkestone, sworn,
deposed he was with the witness G. Mercer in the Warren yesterday
afternoon. They were standing near the fence on the top of the
embankment of the S.E.R.; saw steam from an engine coming from Dover.
Witness looked down on to the line and saw two females in the 4 foot of
the upper line. Witness made a remark to Mercer “There are two women on
the line” and Mercer called out to them. As soon as Mercer spoke
deceased looked round and the buffer struck her and she was knocked
clean off the rails; heard the whistle blow before the girls were
struck. As soon as the train passed witness thought they were clear, but
Mercer said “No, there lies one”. Witness went down and found deceased
lying clear of the rail, about 18 inches from it, and dead.
Silvester Eastes repeated his evidence as in the former case, and
added that Mary Rebecca Williams had a most extensive fracture of the
right temporal bone, which extended to the base of the skull, causing
immediate death; also a compound fracture of both bones of the right
leg, with great laceration of the muscles, and a fracture of the left
The Coroner remarked that from the evidence adduced the accident was
purely accidental, and the jury, having shortly consulted, returned a
verdict of “Accidental Death”.
From the Folkestone Observer 10 December, 1864. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
TWO YOUNG WOMEN KILLED ON THE RAILWAY
A very dreadful mistake was made on Sunday by two young women,
daughters of coastguardsmen at the Pelter Station, and in the service of
Folkestone, by which they in an instant lost their lives. One of the
young women, Mary Ann Wade, would have been seventeen years of age on
Christmas Day next; the other young woman, Mary Rebecca Williams, was
but sixteen years and six months old, and was remarkably tall and well
formed. They had been on an afternoon visit to their friends, and were
returning to their places of service, having to be in by five o'clock.
As the girls were hurriedly getting ready, the father of one of them
advised them not to be in too much haste and get overheated. It was but
a quarter past four and there was ample time for them to get leisurely
into town. It was usually the case, we believe, that nearly all the
young folks in the coastguard colony accompanied the young women into
town on Monday afternoons, but on Sunday last Miss Williams entreated
them not to go with her – she would rather that they not go that
evening; and only one girl set out to accompany the two who were
returning. This young woman soon afterwards remembering that her own
sister, then at tea, had to go into Folkestone, and was afraid to go by
herself over The Warren, left her companions and returned home. There is
a footpath through The Warren (an old and extensive landslip from the
contiguous cliff) and running at first by the side of the railway, where
the railway is an embankment or open cutting. This path must have been
in good condition on Sunday, but the deceased appear to have intended to
take their way through the Martello Tunnel, for they got on to the line
soon after they had left the cottages, and after their companion left
them were proceeding along the down line, in quiet conversation, facing
any train that might be on that line, and so likely to receive an
intimation of any danger that might threaten. Very soon after they had
entered on the line the afternoon mail emerged from the eastern tunnel,
and came on with it's usual quiet rapidity through the gathering shades
of evening. The stoker of the train, observing some persons on the line,
drew the driver's attention to them and he looked out for them, keeping
them constantly in his eye, but refraining from sounding his whistle
lest he should alarm them, they being then safely on the down line. The
wind blowing strongly down the line, the young women did not hear the
approaching up train, but just as it neared them they were hailed from
the top of the cutting by a person who wished to put them on their
guard. That hail was unfortunate. One of the young women turned her
head, and rushed instantly, as all women do, into the peril which a
simple standing still would avoid. The fatal movement was seen by the
engine driver, and he quickly turned to his whistle and gave the alarm –
too late, alas! The shriek of the whistle was a shriek of the dead. Just
at the moment the whistle gave forth it's sound the buffer struck Miss
Williams on the back, sending her forward thirty yards – dead. Miss Wade
received her instantaneously fatal blow at the base of the skull, then
the wheels cut open the upper portion of her leg, smashed the bone and
flesh of the lower portion, and tore off half a foot. The men who had
hailed them from the top of the cutting rushed down to them, but found
them utterly dead. The unusual yell of the engine whistle alarmed the
coastguardsmen and they ran up to the rail, only to find dead beyond
recall those young friends who eight minutes before were in exuberant
health. The engine driver slowed his train to the Folkestone Junction
station, where ordinarily he does not stop, and reported the fatal
mishap; then a messenger was dispatched for surgical aid, and everything
prepared for service, should human service yet be of avail. But all was
useless. The bodies of the young women were borne sorrowfully to the
houses of their relatives, and every kindly attention paid to the
shattered remains to fit them as far as possible for the necessary
inspection by the coroner and his jury.
On Monday afternoon the borough coroner (J. Minter Esq.) held his
court at the "Railway Bell," and the jury having seen the bodies and the
locality of their death (the railway authority placing a train at the
service of the Coroner and jury), the following evidence was taken as to
the death of Mary Ann Wade:-
Peter Mitchell, ticket collector to the South Eastern Railway, said:
At twenty three minutes to four yesterday the driver of the 4.15 mail
train called me to him, and stopped the train, which does not ordinarily
stop at the Junction Station. He said he had knocked two females down
just beyond the Martello tunnel, who were dressed in black. I told him I
would see to it, and he proceeded with his train. I immediately got
assistance, and went down, and found the body of Margaret Ann Wade was
lying on her back on the up side of the line, between the embankment and
the outer rail, with her feet on the rail and her head towards the
embankment. The body was about 200 yards from the tunnel. Mary Ann Wade
was dead. I found the body of Williams about 30 feet from the body of
Wade, also between the embankment and the outer rail.
George Mercer, carpenter, Folkestone, said: I was in The Warren
yesterday afternoon, a few minutes after four, and saw the mail train
coming up. I was on the top of the cutting, on the sea side. I was
walking towards Dover in the company of George Elliott. I saw the
females before I saw the train. Elliott said to me “George, there are
two females on the line”. I looked over the cutting, and saw two females
walking, with the train coming. One was in the six foot and the other in
the four foot, the up line. There was no-one else with them. The train
was about thirty yards off when I saw them. I hallooed out “Mrs. There's
a train close behind you”. I could not see whether they were young women
or aged persons. Before the words were hardly out of my mouth the train
struck them. They both ran together, as if they were arm in arm. They
ran to get on the sea side. I believe they both had one foot on the
outside metal when the train struck them. The train knocked one of them
on towards Folkestone. Elliott said “I think they are clear”, and I said
“No, there one lies, there”. The buffer struck them. I first went to the
body of Mary Ann Wade. She lay on the metal, on the four foot, with her
head towards Folkestone – on the up rail, between the two rails, with
her clothes over her head. I pulled her clothes down over her legs and
picked her up. I held her a second or two in my arms, and found her head
drop on one side, and she had no use of her legs, and was dead, as I
thought, and I took and drew her on one side of the rails, and laid her
against the bank. The accident happened 200 yards the other side of the
first tunnel. The wind was dead against the train; I could not hear it
coming. The driver blew the engine, I suppose, as it was blowing just at
the moment the engine struck them, but the wind was blowing so hard I
could not hear it but then, and I could not hear the train. The young
women were in the act of crossing sideways before I spoke to them. They
were walking apparently close together, one with her foot against the
metal on one side and one with her foot against the metal on the other
Silvester Eastes, surgeon, said: Yesterday afternoon about 20 minutes
to 5 a messenger came to me from the railway station and said two women
had been run over by the mail train down by the tunnel, and Mr. Wilkes
was sending down to bring them up to the station. I had a carriage
waiting for me at the door at the time to take me to a patient who had
sent an urgent message some time before, and I sent word that as soon as
I had seen my patient I would come. I went on to the station soon after,
and was taken down on a trolley to the Pelter Station. I saw the body of
Margaret Ann Wade, and found that she had received a most extensive
fracture of the upper part of her skull, through which some considerable
portion of the brain had exuded. The left leg was torn off close up to
the knee; the bone was fractured in many places, and it only held on by
a piece of the skin. About half the right foot was also torn away. She
must have died instantaneously.
William Pepler, residing at No. 3, Pepler's Road, Old Kent Road,
London, engine driver, in the employ of the South Eastern Railway, said:
Yesterday I drove the engine of the mail train from Dover, leaving Dover
at 4.15 punctually. Just before coming to the Martello Tunnel my
attention was attracted to the females on the up line. I took them to be
one female; my mate said there were two. It was very dark. I could
hardly tell who it was, man or woman. I could only see it was someone in
black. I passed over to the other side to see what it was, and no sooner
did I see them than they ran across to the other side. I stand on the
left of the engine, but no sooner did I go over to the right side than
they ran to the other side. They were first on the down side. I could
not tell whether it was one or more than one when they crossed. I blew
my whistle as hard as I could, and we both tried to pull up as quick as
we could. I never felt anything – whether we struck them or not. I did
not see anything afterwards. We could not stop till we came to the end
of the tunnel. Then we proceeded slowly to give information at the
station. My mate said to me “I believe there's two”. We were going about
40 miles an hour. I could not have pulled up the train when I first saw
them. They were standing clear, and I never like to blow the whistle
when I see persons standing clear. It alarms them.
The Coroner then pointed out to the jury the bearing of the evidence
towards an accidental death and read the following rule, that had been
constantly hanging in the public room at the Pelter Coastguard Station
to which all had access:- “Folkestone. 9th July 1862. Whereas the
Railway Station Master has spoken to me upon the subject of women and
children continually lying on the railway in the rear of the Pelter
buildings, it is my direction that they be not allowed to continue such
practice, and this is to be made known to the men, their wives, and
children. T. Davies T.C. This order is to be retained at the Pelter
Station in case of any accident occurring by the disobedience of it”.
The jury immediately returned a verdict of “Accidental Death”.
The inquest on the body of Mary Rebecca Williams was then proceeded
with, and Peter Mitchell, ticket collector, repeated the evidence given
in the former case.
George Elliott, labourer, living at East Cliff, said: I was at The
Warren with Mercer yesterday afternoon, standing against the fence at
the top of the cutting. I saw the steam from an engine coming from
Dover. I looked down on the line and saw two females in the four foot
between the rails of the up road that the train was running on. I should
think the train was from 20 to 30 yards off. I did not see the engine
till it struck the girls. I remarked to Mercer “There`s two females on
the road”, and he said “Yes” and called out “Look out, Missus!”, and the
train struck them. When he called out I think one of the two females
looked round, and then ran. She appeared to me to have hold of the other
one's hand, and stepped from the rail with the left foot. The buffer
struck her, and knocked her out of the rails, clear of the embankment.
That was Miss Williams that I went to. I heard the driver sound his
whistle before the girls were struck. As soon as I saw them in the four
foot I heard the whistle blow. We got over the fence and I made a remark
to Mercer – “I think they are clear”. He said “No, they are not. There
lies one”. That was Miss Williams. Her feet were about 15 or 18 inches
from the rail. She was dead.
Mr. Eastes said: I saw the body of Mary Rebecca Williams. I found a
most extensive fracture of the right temporal bone of the skull, which
extended through the base of the skull, and which caused instant death;
also a fracture of both bones of the right leg, great laceration of the
muscles, and integuments, and fracture of the right arm.
The Coroner briefly left the case to the jury, who in this case also
returned a verdict of “Accidental Death”.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 3 June, 1881. 1d.
SUPPOSED MURDER NEAR DOVER
In the early part of Wednesday there was a rumour in the town that a man
had been robbed and murdered near Folkestone. Inquiring as to the report
we went to the half-way house, the “Royal Oak Inn,” about three o’clock
in the afternoon, and there heard that an inquest was going to be held
on a man found dead with his head severely injured. The inquest was held
about four o’clock, before the County Coroner (Dr. Johnson), on the
body, which was in the shed adjoining the Inn, and which was identified
as that of Thomas Tickner, supposed to have been in the East Kent
Militia at Dover.
The Rev. T. Biggs was chosen foreman of the Jury, and the body being
viewed, the following evidence was taken:-
Henry Charlton, landlord of the “Railway Bell,” Folkestone Junction,
said: On Saturday morning at about quarter to eight, the deceased with
several other men came into my house all a little the worse for drink.
There were about six or seven in all, and they used the most filthy
language I have ever heard. Four or five left my house a little before
nine to catch the 8.40 train to Dover. The deceased and another man
remained a short time afterwards. The other man a few minutes after
picked up his things which were in an handkerchief, went out of the
door, and got halfway down the road towards the station, when the
deceased called after him and asked him to look after his kit. The man
came back to the house, undid his bundle, and asked the deceased if
there were anything there that belonged to him. He (the deceased)
answered that the pair of boots in the bundle were his property, but
were not marked, and as they were marked the other man put them back
into his bundle and again went towards the station, but returned in a
few minutes, very angry, as he had lost the train, and there were words
but no fight between the two men. I then got deceased to leave the house
quietly, but he returned in a minute or two, and then took up the other
man’s beer and drank it. I persuaded him to go once more, but he again
returned, picked up another customer’s beer and drank the contents off,
and also knocked over a pint of stout. I threatened to give him in
charge, so he left and was away about a quarter of an hour, when he came
in the private bar door on the other side of the house, and asked for
some drink, which I refused to serve him with, and at once commenced to
put him out, and the deceased held the sides of the doorway to prevent
me from putting him out, but just then a man named Clarke pulled his
hands away, and the deceased shot forward out into the street, turned a
somersault, and fell foremost on his head. The deceased’s face rubbed
along the ground. About a quarter of an hour after I saw the deceased
going to the railway station. The other man went to the back of the
house, and washed his face before he went away.
David Whitehead, a smith, residing in Folkestone, said: At about 8
o’clock on Saturday morning I was in the “Railway Bell Inn,” with an old
mate, who stood treat to a pint of beer, which the deceased shortly
after came and snatched off the counter and drank without asking for
permission. The deceased used very bad language so I remonstrated with
him. The deceased being the worse for liquor, the landlord refused to
draw beer for him. He abused the last witness who turned him out twice
more and then the deceased came into the private bar, and was ejected
and fell as described by last witness. We afterwards took him to the
back of the house, and washed his face, and I said to him, “You
scratched your nose, old fellow, when you fell,” but he did not complain
of anyone ill-using him. I didn’t know the deceased was dead till
yesterday. His eyes at the time were blackened through his face going on
Thomas Butcher, a dairyman, living at Capel, said: On Saturday last
between nine and ten in the morning, I was passing the “Railway Bell,”
returning from Folkestone, when I saw the deceased lying in the road
just below the lamp about ten or twelve yards from the house. I stood
and looked at him for a minute, the deceased seeming to be senseless,
and then a man came out and turned him over, and went back into the
house, and returned with two others named Clarke and Whitehead, and they
took him inside. The other one, whom I don’t know, defied anyone to
touch the deceased till he fetched a doctor, and then went away. Clarke
and Whitehead then dragged him to the back of the house, as he could not
walk alone. I passed on up the hill, and that was the last I saw of him.
The deceased appeared to be one mass of blood, and there was a quantity
of blood in the road. I never saw any signs of consciousness although I
was there quite five minutes. On Monday morning about 20 minutes past 6,
I was with my master driving our milk cart through Downfield Lane,
leading to Capel, when I saw the deceased staggering along as if he were
drunk, first on one side and then on the other. I said to my employer,
Mr. Marsh, “that’s the man whom I saw at the “Railway Bell.”
By the Jury: The deceased was alone lying in the road on the Saturday
when I first saw him. I went into the public-house afterwards, and the
man I don’t know by name, but who was marked with the smallpox spoke as
to the ejecting of the deceased.
The Coroner: Where it that man?
The constable in charge: He has gone away by train.
Mr. Marsh corroborated the evidence of the witness Butcherm, and further
said when he saw him staggering along the road the deceased had a black
eye. That place would be about five minutes walk from the “Railway
Alfred James Clarke, labourer working in the Channel Tunnel, and living
at Pudding Hole, said: On Saturday evening, between nine and ten, I was
in the “Railway Bell” with others, when the deceased came in and drank
some of my beer. The landlord spoke to him about it and the deceased
abused him. Another man asked for a pint, and he also drank that without
permission, and he was then put out of the house, but returned, and the
landlord pushed him towards the door, which the deceased caught hold of,
so I unloosened his hands and the deceased fell over my foot violently
on to his face, about 12 feet from the door. There are two steps to the
door and the road is down hill. We picked him up and took him to the
back of the house and washed him. I did not hit him, nor did the others,
but the deceased was so drunk that he could not keep himself from
falling. At first he was unconscious, but when washed he became all
right and walked away. I didn’t see him again alive. He didn’t’ complain
of any undue violence. The landlord was very civil to him, but he would
not go out alone so he had to be put out.
By the Foreman: I asked him where he was going, and he answered that he
William Aird, landlord of the “Valliant Sailor” at the top of Folkestone
Hill, said: The deceased came to my house on Sunday morning, a little
before eleven o’clock, and asked for a ginger beer and brandy, which was
served him. I asked him how he came by the bruises and two black eyes he
had, and he answered that they were more than blows, they were kicks,
but he didn’t say where they were done. He had no hat, so my wife
fetched him one of my old ones. The deceased left soon after, going in
the direction of Capel. He didn’t seem to know much about how he come by
the bruises, as he was so muddled. My house is about one mile from the
James Hogbin, plumber and painter, living at Folkestone, said: On Monday
morning last about half past eight I was going along Capel Lane, with my
son, and on arriving at the opening he drew my attention to the
deceased, who was lying on a land roller. I immediately went up to him
and found he was quite dead, being black in the face and round the neck.
I went and got the assistance of Mr. Marsh, waggoner and another man
took the deceased to the nearest shed, and then went for a constable at
Hougham. There appeared to be no marks of struggling at the spot. The
deceased looked as if he had sat on the roller and had fallen back on
his head. His head was lower down than his body.
Instructing-constable Ross said he examined the body and found two
documents, one from an aunt of the deceased, and another from the War
Office, there were some pawn tickets for goods pledged in Dover. There
was a hole in the bottom of the trousers pocket.
Dr. A. Long said: I have examined the body in the shed, and find no
marks of violence except on the face and forehead. There was no fracture
of the skull or effusion of blood. I am of opinion that death was caused
through dislocation of the neck. The deceased would die immediately
after his neck was broken. It might have been done by falling heavily
back from the roller.
The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased was found dead with his
neck accidentally broken.
17th October 1940 saw a bomb hit the pub, shattering the upper story,
which was subsequently removed and service continued within a few weeks,
such being the resilience of people in such troubled times.
The 1950s saw a large family of more than 20 people called Durban
frequent the pub and the pub obtained the unofficial local nickname of the
The 99 year lease having run out in 1961, Ind Coope decided to flatted
the original building and a new one was built within the ground just behind
the original and built from natural hardwoods and Kentish Ragstone was
opened on 19th October 1961.
Shepherd Neame took charge of the house on 11th July 2002, but decided to
close the place some time around 2008. It is now boarded up if not
demolished. Local knowledge would be appreciated here, for me to be able to
update the page.
Latest news I have been informed about is the premises is now (November 2012)
operating as a Tesco Express.
MORET Joseph 2/Jan/1865-68
WILLOWS John 1868-69
FLUX Robert 1874
CHARLTON Henry 1881-82
COLLINS George 1886-96
SMILES Joseph J 1899+
TUNBRIDGE James 1903
SAUNDERS Joseph Sidney 1911 (Census)
HOARE George 1911-22
RICHARDSON Peter C 1928-35+
GUMBRELL George 1935-42
BARKER Leonard 1944-45
READER Harry 1945-75
HALLETT Edward 1975-86
From the Post Office Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From the Post Office Directory 1891
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1903
From the Post Office Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1922
From the Kelly's Directory 1934
From the Post Office Directory 1938
More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney
From the Dover Express