36 Lower Road, River
Above photo taken in 1960 and kindly sent by Terry Wheeler of the Ramsgate Historical Society.
Royal Oak, River circa 1980 by Barry Smith.
Above and below photos Royal Oak, River circa 1990 by Barry Smith.
Above photo by Paul Skelton 8th Sept 2007.
Photo above by Paul Skelton 2007.
Royal Oak sign left April 1986, sign right September 1993.
Above with thanks from Brian Curtis
A beerhouse for many years but fully licensed by Shepherd
Neame today. On 19th August 1927 at the Licence Transfer Sessions the "Royal
Oak beerhouse," River was transferred from Stephen Smith to Thomas W.
Marlow, of the "Royal Oak," River, manager of the above. The full licence was applied for in 1949, and the following
year, the full licence of the "Hotel de Paris" was transferred here. The old
beer and wine 'on', was then surrendered. It had closed on 11 October 1940
but must have reopened because I note that the wine licence was granted in
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 11 March, 1944.
WINE LICENCE GRANTED
At the Dover Licensing Sessions on Monday, before Messrs. W. L. Law
and H. T. Hawksfield, Mrs. Morecroft and Mrs. Binge.
Mr. A. C. Gardner, representing Gardner and C., Brewers, applied for
a wine licence for the "Royal Oak," River.
Evidence was given that there was a demand for wine amongst woman
customers. No objection was raised by the Police.
The application was granted.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 17 October, 1952.
CRICKET CUP WINNERS
Mr. Dan Borrett, Chairman of the Dover Cricket League, presenting the
League Cup to Mr. Ken Smith, captain of the River Club, during a social
at the "Royal Oak," River, on Saturday evening. It is the first time
River have been League Champions.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 19 December, 1952.
The full transfer of Justices licence of the "Royal Oak," River, from
Mr. Walter Richard Munt to Mr. John Dennis, was granted by Dover
magistrates on Friday.
Mr. N. W. S. Mitchison, making the application, reminded the
magistrates that last Friday Dennis had been convicted of being drunk
and disorderly, but added that the brewers were still putting forward
Dennis as the licensee. "They feel that he made one mistake," said Mr.
The structure is one of flint, giving the impression of
age and the door, up to 1983, still carried the message 'Taproom'. I belong
to the group of people who appreciate horse brasses, polished furniture and
a parrot in the corner. That was the picture that year.
It was a great disappointment to Barry when he could only
trace it back to 1907.
People assured him that it is older but he unfortunately didn't find the evidence.
Further research by me (Paul Skelton) has since unearthed the following
report from the Dover Express, showing its existence in 1889.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 14 June, 1889.
ALL AMONG THE ROSES
Henry Hanson and Henry Gill were on the same day charged with stealing
roses at River. This was a county case heard before Mr. Alderman Finnis,
J.P. Mrs. Files, of River, living in one of Mr. Pain’s houses adjoining
the “Royal Oak,” said that Mr. Pain had a garden there. She saw the two
defendants and two others get over the iron fence and begin picking
roses. She went and said they must leave off, and they replied “Mind
your own business; we shall have as many as we like.” After they had
paid Mrs. Files a domicilary visit and wanted to fight her son. The two
men who were not present broke off the branches with roses on. They
afterwards went towards Dover. Mr. Pain, the owner of the garden,
afterwards saw the four men all carrying roses. The defendants were each
fined 17s., including costs, or in default 14 days’ imprisonment.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday,
20 December, 1929.
SUDDEN DEATH OF LICENSEE
About six o'clock on Thursday evening, Mr. Thomas William Marlow, aged 49
years, the licensee of the "Royal Oak Inn," River, died suddenly. Dr.
Adamson, who had been attending Mr. Marlow for some time was sent for, and
found life extinct. The facts have been reported to the Coroner, but Dr.
Adamson is giving a certificate.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday,
17 June, 1949.
Plans for construction of staircase from bar to kitchen were approved by
the Magistrates on Friday.
1983 saw it closed for alterations and during that process
the cottage next door was incorporated.
It is now (2007) the meeting place for The 69 Club, a band of
motor-cyclists who regularly meet there on Sunday's after 7.30 in the
From the Dover Mercury, 21 May, 2008.
Much-loved biker vicar dies at 89.
by Graham Tutthill
MOTORCYCLISTS are expected to turn out in force next month for a
memorial service for Fr .Bill Shergold, who died on Sunday aged 89.
Fr Bill, affectionately known as Farv, was a keen motoryclist
himself, and set up both the 59 Motorcycle Club in London and the 69
Motorcycle Club in Dover.
He last visited Dover in 2006 for a Pentecost service at Charlton
Church, where he was Rector more than 30 years ago.
It had been hoped he might have been able to attend the 69 Motorcycle
Club's 40th anniversary service and party on June 20.
Born in October 1919, Bill Shergold went to St Chad's College in
Durham and gained a Bachelor of Arts degree.
He trained for the ministry at the College of the Resurrection at
Mirfield, was made a deacon in 1942 and a priest in 1943. He was Curate
at All Saints', Poplar, in the east end of London from 1942 to 1949,
then served as Vicar of Hanworth until 1958 when he was appointed to
Hackney Wick, and then in 1964 to Paddington until 1969.
Described as a pleasant, cultured and quiet man, he became the
unlikely champion of motorcyclists and established the 59 Motorcycle
Club in 1959.
When he moved to Dover in 1969, local motorcyclists were quick to
make contact and he agreed to form the 69 Club.
He was vicar of the former St Hart's Church in Templar Street until
it closed and then became Priest in Charge of Charlton, and Rector of
the parish, until 1978. He moved to Tunstall, near Sittingbourne,
retiring in 1984. Returning to London, he was honorary curate at Poplar
for the next eight years, retiring, again, to the Chichester Diocese and
finally moving to Wells in Somerset in 2000, continuing to officiate at
The link between the motorcycle club and Charlton Church has
continued with the current priest, the Rev Colin Johnson, who is also a
keen motorcyclist. During the winter months club members have
refurbished and redecorated the church hall.
Mr Johnson said: "The service on June 20 will now take the form of a
memorial and thanksgiving service for Fr Bill's life, work and ministry.
"One of his last wishes was that we should have bikes in church ...
lots of them! We shall be obeying his request."
From the Dover Mercury, 25 June, 2009.
Revved up to remember Farv
by Graham Tutthill
FATHER Bill Shergold would have loved it!
A long line of motorcycles outside the church, several strategically
placed inside the building, and the current parish priest, Father Colin
Johnson, riding his bike straight down the central aisle ...
The service, held at Charlton Church on Saturday, was originally
intended to mark the 40th anniversary of the 69 Motorcycle Club in
But when the club's founder, Father Bill - affectionately known as
Farv - died last month, aged 89, members decided to turn it into a
service of thanksgiving and remembrance to mark his life and ministry.
they did him proud. Some bikers travelled from London, where Father Bill
originally set up the 59 Motorcycle Club, to take part in the service.
And a former member of the 69 Club, Dover Mayor Cllr Sue Jones, was
there too, complete with her chain of office over the leather jacket she
used to wear in her motorcycling days, emblazoned with the 69 Club
Bikes of all descriptions were parked outside the church as their
owners took their seats in the church for the service,
recalling the life of an extraordinary man.
Former club chairman Dick
Pascoe, who was unable to attend, sent a message saying how he and
fellow biker Mick Ray went to see Father Bill in 1969 when he arrived in
Dover to ask about setting up the club.
"Farv had a calm, peaceful
outlook on life but with an extra quality that enabled him to reach out
to young people," he said.
"A quiet and unassuming man, he had a calming influence on those who
might have been trouble makers and he was well respected by all the
members, no matter what background they came from."
Father Colin said
Father Bill never forgot that he was a priest. "He welcomed motorbikes
into his church, which was previously unheard of," he said.
heard this service
was being planned to mark the 40th anniversary of the club he said we
had to get as many bikes in as possible."
As well as riding his bike
through the church, Father Colin blessed the bikes and the
Mayoress Ronnie Philpott read one of the lessons. A party to celebrate
the club's anniversary was held on Saturday evening at "Crabble Corn
Father Colin Johnson rides his bike into church at the start of the
Please click here for The Bikers National
Burgen Run Sept 4/5th.
Information received in November 2011 says the pub is for sale and the
leasehold is £14,500.
Latest news I have heard 18 February 2012, for sale signs on their web
site have been removed.
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 29 March, 2012. 65p. Report by Sam Inkersole
RIVER PUB GIVEN NEW LEASE OF LIFE
CHEERS: New Royal Oak pub landlord Steve Waymark (left) with chef Sabi Sztanko
Landlord quits chain to run the Royal Oak
PUBGOERS in River are toasting to the future after a new face took
the reins of a well-known public house.
Steve Waymark is now running The "Royal Oak" pub in River after leaving
his position at the "Eight Bells" pub in Dover after seven years of loyal
Mr Waymark, 56, said that he fancied a change of scenery and that the
opportunity to have a more of a say in running the pub, rather than
working for a major chain, was a factor in his move across town.
The father of two used to work on cruise ships before entering the pub
industry. He says if you have been in any pubs across the county, he has
probably been either behind the bar or connected to it in some way.
Mr Waymark said: “I think
one of the only places I haven’t been involved with a pub is around
“I am really looking forward
to working here in River - it is a great pub and the regulars I have
already met are fantastic. “Regulars are very important
to pub owners and I am going to make sure they always enjoy their time
“They are happy to see a new face behind the bar.”
Mr Waymark added: “Running the "Eight Bells" was fun but I have a lot more
freedom here to do what I want, when I want, which can only be a good
He describes The "Royal Oak" as being “like a country pub but in a big
He added: “It has got great character but we do have some plans in place
to spruce the pub up a bit.
“We will be arranging fundraising events to help us along but I
obviously need permission from Shepherd Neame before any work can be
“The pub trade is dwindling in the UK but there is still a good core of
pubs, particularly around Dover, that are doing well and I want to
continue that success here in River”
BROCKMAN Edward James 1889-1899
SMITH C 1899-1900
SMITH Stephen 1907-Aug/27
retailer (Beer house)
MARLOWE Thomas William Aug/1927-Dec/29
MARLOWE Mrs Elizabeth Jane (Widow) Feb/1930-32+
GOOCH Victor Sidney 1937-40 end
PRITCHARD L V 1945
BOWLEY Alfred William Philip to Feb/1948
WILLIAMS Thomas Feb/1948-50 end
MUNT Walter Richard 1950-53 end
Full license approved Aug 1950
DENNIS John 1953-Feb/54 end
PERCIVAL Fred James Feb/1954-83 end
WHEELAGHAN John 1983-87+
RUSSELL Paula & MILNER Jodie 2000-03
SALTER Pauline 2003
CLARK Mr John 2003-Mar/12
WAYMARK Steve Mar/2012+
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1890
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1891
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1896-97
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1898
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1899
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1899-1900
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49
From the Kelly's Directory 1950
From the Kelly's Directory 1953
From the Kelly's Directory 1956
Library archives 1974
From the Dover Express