Drinking in Deal


Andrew Sargent, Drinking in Deal: Beer, Pubs and Temperance in an East Kent Town 1830 - 1914 (BooksEast, 2016) Hardback £25 (ISBN 978 1 908 304223) and softback £20 (978 1 908 304209). 288 pages, over 80 photographs and 5 maps.

Available from Ropers in Deal High Street, Amazon or send an e mail to bookseast@btinternet.com.


Historian’s book is toast to town’s golden age of beer

A book on the history of pubs in Deal has been launched at the Deal Maritime and Local History Museum.

Historian Andrew Sargent’s book is called Drinking in Deal: Beer, Pubs and Temperance in an East Kent Town 1830-1914.

It is illustrated with a large number of contemporary photographs, and tells the story of pubs and beer houses in Victorian and Edwardian Deal and the men and women who ran them and drank in them.

The book is the result of many years of research and draws on reports published in the East Kent Mercury.

Drinking in Deal looks at brewing, beer consumption, pub life and temperance in Deal, and describes who used the pubs and how they were managed and policed.

Bob Acton, speaking on behalf of the trustees of Deal Maritime Museum, said he was delighted the venue could host the launch of the book.

Many of the photographs used in the book are from the museum’s collections.

Mr Sargent, who lives in Nelson Street, Deal, said: “Many of the boatmen whose pictures hang on the walls will have known the pubs they drank in almost as well as they knew their boats.

“Many of them were even part-time publicans.

“Victorian Deal had a huge number of drinking places, even compared to other seaside towns in Kent.

“At one stage there were almost 100 pubs and beer houses - roughly one for every 100 people. They were used by boatmen, by marines from the Walmer barracks, by workmen, lodgers and visitors. But not of course by members of the many temperance organisations which also filled the town - their story is well worth telling too.

“My friends Steve Glover and Michael Rogers have already written a great book on the history of individual pubs.

“Drinking In Deal does something different. It looks at what pubs were for, what went on in them, why there were so many, how they were regulated and policed, and why they began to close after 1900.

“There are now far fewer pubs in a town three times as large.

“But Deal still has some fantastic pubs and bars.”

Drinking in Deal is published by BooksEast, and includes more than 85 pictures, maps, and a family tree, as well as lots of information about current and 'historic pubs.

Mr Sargent will host a book signing at Roper’s, Deal High Street, on Saturday, from 10am until noon. Hardback copies cost £25 and paperbacks £20, both available from Roper’s.


"...a well researched, thoroughly annotated but far from dry exploration of the factors and decisions which determined pub life in this east Kent seaside town... it illustrates the evolution of the Victorian and Edwardian attitude to drink not only in this country but worldwide... Best enjoyed by the serious student of the history of beer in Kent, with a pint of best bitter to hand; a Kent bitter of course" (Journal of Kent History)


"beyond the enjoyable quirky stuff, this indexed, 288-page book is a scholarly work with detours into Deal's history and municipal and magistracy affairs, placing developments in their regional and national contexts" (Bygone Kent)


"when you read this book you get more than just a history of Drinking in Deal...it is a comprehensive account of the development of the town, the expansion of it commerce and the interplay of its people and their moral views...I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to learn more of this town on the very edge of the British Isles." (Journal of Brewery History)


Andrew Sargent