Sort file:- Walmer, February, 2024.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 14 February, 2024.


Earliest 1981

(Name from)

Thompson Bell

Open 2024+

335 Dover Road


01304 694241

Thompson Bell in Walmer Thompson Bell in Walmer Thompson's Bell sign 1987

Above sign 1987. 

Thompson Bell sign in WalmerThompson Bell sign in Walmer

Above photos by Paul Skelton 26 July 2008.

Thomkpsons Bell sign 1991Thompsons Bell sign 1991

Above signs, August 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Thompson Bell signs above, November 1994.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Thompson Bell sign 2020

Above sign, 2020, kindly taken and sent by Tony Wells.

Thompson Bell

Above photo date unknown.

Thompson Bell

Above photo, 2020.

Thompson Bell 2020

Above photo, 2020, kindly taken and sent by Tony Wells.

Thompson Bell inside 2020

Above photo 2020.

Thompson Bell inside 2020

Above photo 2020.

Thompson Bell inside 2020

Above photo 2020.


This pub was once a tied house to Thompson's Brewery of Walmer, and is probably how it got it's name as the brewery had a bell tower. Originally called the George and Dragon but changed name to the "Thompson Bell" after the brewery closed in 1981.

The brewery was demolished in 1981, but there are reports that the bell from the Brewery tower was removed when the brewing stopped in 1974 and was taken to this public house. Unfortunately, reports say that it was damaged in the move and no longer rings.

I do not know whether the bell is still on site.


From the East Kent Mercury, 17 November, 1988


Walmer publican Stefan Pollard was due in London yesterday (Wednesday) to collect a top award.

Mr Pollard, licensee of the "Thomson Bell" for nearly five years, was invited to the Regent Crest Hotel to collect the top district prize in the Charringtons Brewery Pub of the Year.

He beat hundreds of contenders from as far afield as London and Brighton.

"I am very proud to have got it but people must remember that it is pub of the year and not landlord of the year," he said. "I am receiving the award on my customers' behalf."


From the East Kent Mercury, 26 January, 1989


Hot passion punch is on the menu when Stefan Pollard celebrates his fifth anniversary as landlord of the "Thompson Bell" pub in Dover Road, Walmer. The punch will be available during the Valentine night on Saturday, February 11.

A Burns Night is planned for February 6 and on February 8 a black and white night will be held when customers are invited to wear any fancy dress costumes, providing the colours are only black and white.


Information below taken from Dover Express 9th April 1998.

Deidre Arms

CRY FREEDOM FOR DEIRDRE: Regulars at the renamed Thompson's Bell

You're the best  bar none, chuck!


A PUB has been renamed the Free Deirdre Arms as part of its soap-mad, regulars battle to free a character from jail.

Landlords Stefan Pollard, 47, and Dineke Vogels, of the Thompson's Bell in Dover Road, Walmer, were shocked when Coronation Street's Deirdre Rachid (Anne Kirkbride) was sent down for 18 months.

They have joined a campaign to free Deirdre - caged for a series of frauds carried out by her crooked boyfriend - by draping a banner over the pub's real sign.

They vow it will stay there until Granada soap writers write her release into the scripts.

Mrs Vogels, 34, said: "When Deirdre was arrested one of the regulars asked us if we were going to campaign for her release. We decided to rename the pub The Free Deirdre Arms until she's freed."

Kent radio station Invicta has launched a rival campaign to keep "the woman locked-up." DJ Neil Francis is leading the anti-freedom bid.


From the Dover Mercury, 5 July 2017.

Pub celebration helps to mark anniversary.

The first of up to 30 Music4Martha events celebrating three decades of the charity will take place at The Thompson’s Bell in Walmer.

Landlord and lady Ger and Anne Mulrooney will host the bash on Saturday, July 15, from 4pm until closing time. Children are welcome from 4pm to 9pm.

Entertainment includes music from Mixed Emotions, face painting by Hoppers Happy Faces, a raffle, tombola and barbecue.

Mrs Mulrooney said: “We decided we wanted to support the Music4Martha campaign as it is such a great cause.

“We will also be celebrating five years at The Thompson’s Bell that weekend.

“We have been made to feel so welcome in Walmer from all our customers. We would love everyone to come and celebrate with us and raise money for Martha Trust.”

The charity’s fundraising and events officer Kerry Rubins said: “We are so grateful to Ger and Anne for coming on board with our Music4Martha campaign and it is always brilliant to have a new business involved with Martha.

“I hope to see lots of you there. It will be a very busy weekend as we have the iconic Sandwich Prom the very next day.” Tickets for the raffle are already on sale at the pub.


From the Dover Mercury, 19 July 2017.

Couple still happy to ring the changes at Thompson bell.

Transformations inside and out, successful charity events and the expansion of their sports teams are among the things the managers of The Thompson’s Bell have achieved in five years at the pub.

Ger Mulrooney and Anne Clifford opened the doors as the new licensees of the Walmer drinking hole on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

The couple say they never expected to stay so long but were tempted because of the “lovely people”, who are now their regular customers and great friends.

Looking back over their half a decade at the establishment, they have achieved so much including improvements both inside and outside of the building - yet they still have plenty in the pipeline.

Mr Mulrooney said: “When we arrived the rear garden was full of stones, which was not only an eyesore but impractical as children had no safe play area.

“We decided it should be grassed over and with help from an army of customers, we collected bucketfuls of stone and finally seeded grass.

“Now we have a garden - still with our iconic boot-slide and picnic benches - for customers to sit and enjoy the sunshine.”

The interior has also been transformed with new tall benches, a sanded antique wooden floor and fresh neutral decor.

Their sports teams plays a central role in pub life and the couple encourage competitions.

Besides inheriting a women’s pool team and men’s darts team, both still going strong, Mr Mulrooney and Ms Clifford have introduced another men’s darts team as well as a women’s team, two mixed pool teams and two men’s pool teams.

Other features pulling in custom include their three television screens, quiz nights, speciality nights, monthly rock and roll bingo and Saturday night entertainment.

Among the families who continue to go back for more are those who take their annual holiday in Walmer, staying at the nearby caravan park.

Ged Mulrooney & Anne Clifford

Since the pair took over, the pub has held numerous charity events including a weekend of fancy dress and an auction that raised more than 2,000 for Kent Air Ambulance.

In April this year, the pub hosted a month of events that brought in 3,400 for Theo’s Mission to Walk, a campaign to help five-year-old Theo Knott, from Deal, who has cerebral palsy, to undergo a life-changing spinal operation to help him walk.

On Saturday, they hosted an all-day music event in aid of the Martha Trust - a local charity for adults with profound disabilities.

The pub has also been the proud sponsor of the Royal Marine’s Christmas panto for the past four years, because they enjoy it so much.

Looking towards the future, the couple have plans for a new pub sign.

Its design represents the original bell from the bell tower of the Thompson’s Brewery, which is said to be the origin of the name of the premises after the brewery closed in 1981.

Mr Mulrooney said: “We are very excited about this design.

“Another new addition in the near future is to open our gin store that will offer a wide and varied selection of gins.”

The pub is also keen to continue to work with nearby micro-bar the "Freed Man" and pizza cafe Hayman’s Kitchen to boost the economy in Walmer.

He added: “We must thank all our staff, past and present, who have helped build up this wonderful environment for your comfort and pleasure, especially our son Wayne.

“Anne and I could not succeed without your hard work and enthusiasm.

“We would like to thank all our friends and customers too that have helped make the Thompson’s Bell what it is today.

“We look forward to the next five years and welcoming new customers and regulars to our establishment.”


In May 2018 the owners changed from Punch Taverns to Star (Heineken Ltd.)


From the East Kent Mercury, Wednesday 4 March, 2020. By Eleanor Perkins.

Pub's big plans for 275,000 revamp.

More than a quarter of a million pound upgrade will breathe new life into a pub.

Work has already began on a 275,000 renovation at the "Thompsons Bell" in Dover Road, Walmer.

Thompson Bell 2019

The internal and external refurbishment is aimed at transforming the venue into top-quality family and dog friendly local, serving all-day fresh food and drinks including barista coffee.

It plans to reopen in May, creating 11 new jobs.

The work has been commissioned by Star Pubs & Bars and new licensee Artur Matyjaszczyk, who also runs the "Crown Inn" in Eythorne.

Artur Matyjaszczyk

He has more than 21 years' experience in hospitality with eight seasons overseeing hospitality for the Ducati Moto GP Team working with French and Italian chefs to provide top quality food for VIPs, journalists and the Ducati team.

He said: "We very much want to create a pub for the whole community and to offer great food at affordable prices.

"The pub is large enough to cater for everyone, from villagers to walkers, parents with their children and businesspeople looking for somewhere to meet locally which has good wi-fi.

"We’ll have highchairs and space for buggies too. Dogs will be more than welcome with treats behind the bar and even their own Sunday lunch."

The works include moving the bar counter to create more space and creating designated areas for pool and darts. An outside extension that has been used for pool is to be incorporated into the pub increasing its capacity. There will be new lighting, furnishings and an area for private functions.

Mr. Matyjaszczyk’s plans also include hosting monthly live music nights, quizzes and live sport plus summer barbecues and all-day hog roasts.

Dugald Macer, Star Pubs & Bars regional operations director, said: "The investment in the "Thompsons Bell" and Artur's new vision for the pub will give the local community the quality and facilities on their doorstep that previously necessitated travel to enjoy.

"We’re delighted that Artur is taking on the "Thompsons Bell" as he’s a popular and experienced local licensee who understands the local market and the role a village pub needs to play. He knows what people want, and more importantly can deliver it."

Thompson Bell new look 2020

How the pub will look after its 275,000 upgrade.


From the By Beth Robson, 19 October 2020.

The Thompson's Bell in Walmer reopens as family and dog-friendly pub after 275,000 refurbishment by Star Pubs & Bars.

Locals had to wait even longer than expected for the only pub in their village to reopen after its 275,000 revamp.

The Thompson's Bell in Walmer near Deal was finally reopened at the weekend by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and new licensee Artur Matyjaszczyk.

Thompson Bell staff 2020

Jobs have been created through the refurbishment. Manager Artur Matyjaszczyh with his staff: Elea Clay,Tara Taylor, Katelyn Kirkwood, Shannon Swaine and Britney King.

The pub, in Dover Road, had been closed since February 23 and was originally due to open in early April following an extensive refurbishment.

But the pandemic halted the work, leaving customers waiting a further eight months before getting their first glimpse of the sympathetic upgrade.

Now visitors will see the reconfiguration has created more space, making social distancing easier. An outside extension has been incorporated into the pub and the bar has been moved to increase capacity.

The pub will serve classic pub food and show Sky sports. It will also begin monthly quizzes from November. Plans for live music, darts and pool teams are on hold for now until the Government gives the go-ahead for these activities to start again.

Mr Matyjaszczyk said: “We’re really excited to be opening at last and welcoming local residents across the threshold.

"The reopening of The Thompson’s Bell has been a long time in the planning, but it is well worth the wait. It is now a stunning family and dog-friendly pub.

“I am delighted to be creating local jobs especially at this time. As for trade, we are lucky in that our original design was already quite socially distanced.

"Walmer is, in my opinion, also likely to be affected less than other parts of the country with more people working from home and staycationing in the area and a new housing development nearby.”

Dugald Macer, regional operations director at Star Pubs & Bars, said: “The Thompson Bell’s refurbishment has made the pub ideal for the new socially distanced world we’re living in.

"It’s now a fantastic traditional family and dog-friendly village pub, and with more people eating and drinking locally, I anticipate it will be a great success. I wish Artur and his team well.”

The Thompson’s Bell will open from 11am every day.

Covid compliant measures include a one-way system, multiple hand sanitisers, table service only, point-of-sale to remind customers about social distancing with Test and Trace barcodes to use, an enhanced cleaning regime, Covid safety staff training and Covid-safe-to trade certification by independent hospitality experts. Customers are also asked to book in advance.



FAGG Frederick C 1974+ Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co

POLLARD Stefan & VOGELS Dineke 1984-2012

FENNEY Jim 2012-Apr/15 ?

CLIFFORD Anne Apr/2015 ?

MULROONEY Ger & CLIFFORD Anne Next pub licensee had 11/July/2012-19

MATYJASZCZYK Artur Oct/2020+


Library archives 1974Library archives 1974


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