Sort file:- Dover, February, 2023.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 01 February, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1875

(Name from)

White Lion

Latest Sept 1996

19 Tower Street Pikes 1924

35 Tower Street


White Lion circa 1922

Above photo kindly supplied by John Langley, who says Percy Dawkins was his Great Grandfather and is pictured second from the left. The photo shows a pub outing circa 1922.

Following up, an email from Alan Goodwin says that his grandfather James Goodwin is 4th from left and Susan Hogben is leaning out of the window, top right, head only. Leaning out of the window, left, is Edith's sister, Ethel.

White Lion 1920

Above photo from the John Gilham collection, circa 1920.

White Lion circa 1987

White Lion circa 1976 (Photo by Paul Skelton)

White Lion sign 1993White Lion sign

White Lion sign left September 1993, sign right, date 1983.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

White Lion card 1951

Above aluminium card issued June 1951. Sign series 3 number 48.

White Lion

Above photo, date 1983 by Stuart Kinnon.

White Lion 1986

Above photo, 1986, kindly sent by Michael Lock.

White Lion 1996

Above photo, 1996, kindly sent by Michael Lock.


It already traded under this sign in 1875 but the number before 1928 was 19. It served Mackeson and Whitbread in the past but at its close it was owned by Shepherd Neame. In 1982 the bars were improved and general renovation was accomplished. Incidentally in 1874 a pub with just an address I know of, of Tower Street, called the "Victoria", was closed down due to serving beer to 2 soldiers at 4 p.m. I am going to suggest the "Victoria" was this pub in a previous reincarnation.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 24 July, 1891. Price 1d.


On the application of Mr. Spain, permission to draw at the “White Lion,” Tower Street, was granted to Albert Drayson Crisp.


Dover Express 18th May 1900.


William John Kennett landlord of the “White Lion” Inn, Tower Street, was summoned for keeping a dog without a licence.

Mr. A. E. Aldington defended.

Evidence was given to the effect that, on 21st February, a licence was issued to the defendant for one dog, but, on a visit being paid to the premises, it was ascertained that there were three dogs. It was pleaded by Kennett that one of these belonged to his brother and another to a man named Laslett. The latter was communicated with but could not be found.

In explanation it was urged that the defendant was corresponding with his brother with regard to the second dog and the licence was taken out. As to the other, it was admitted that a wrong address was given, but this was merely done to avoid proceedings against the rightful owner in case he had no licence. However, it was found that he already possessed one.

The Magistrates considered the case proved and imposed a fine of 20s including costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 29 March, 1901. Price 1d.


The landlord of the "Red Lion" Tower Hamlets Street, (obvious error by paper. P Skelton), asked the Magistrates to grant him a fresh certificate. he had had a full licence for the house, but until recently had only taken out a beer licence. Some alterations had been made to the bar, and he wished to take out a spirit licence now but had lost the certificate.

In reply to the Magistrates' Clerk, the applicant said he had kept the house for ten years and never had a spirit licence, as so far as he knew no permission had been granted by the Magistrates for the alteration.

The Magistrates said the matter had better stand over.



This pub was fully licensed by 1915 when redundancy threatened. Its sales averaged five barrels a week which was reckoned pretty good by the trade at that time so it can be said to have been saved by its own record.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 5 February, 1915.


The licence of the "White Lion," Tower Street, was next considered.

Mr. Mowll appeared and asked for the renewal.

The Chief Constable said that the "White Lion," Tower Street, was a fully licensed house. The owners were Messrs, Mackeson and Co., and the tenant Mr. P. Dawkins, who was also in the employ of the Dover Gas Co. It was transferred to him on 20th January, 1911, and the previous changes had been in 1909 and 1904. there were three licensed houses in the same street which with them consisted of 62 houses. he was instructed to oppose the renewal after the Committee of Justices had visited the area.

By Mr. Mowll: The tenant had been at the house four years, and had a family. The house was in the Tower Hamlets district which had a working class population of 4,000, which including billeted soldiers was now 4,350. There were eight licensed houses in the district and Messrs. Mackeson only owned this one. he could not tell what trade it did, and there was nothing whatever against the house.

Inspector Lockwood said that when he visited the house on Friday, January 22nd, at  10.25 a.m., there were no customers; on Saturday, January 23rd, at 3.45 p.m., fourteen customers; on Monday, January 25th, at 5.05 p.m., five customers; and on Thursday, January 28th, at 8 p.m., 16 customers; of the 14 nine were soldiers, and of the 16, eight were soldiers billeted in the district.

By Mr. Mowll: These were large figures.

Mr. Mowll remarked that he noticed before their inspector did not go on a Friday or Saturday evening.

Mr. Mowll called George Ashbee, who lives at 5, Alexandra Cottages, Tower Hill, a shoeing smith. he stated that he had been a customer of the "White Lion" for some years and found it clean and very well conducted. It was the only house in the district where one could get Messrs. Mackeson's beers.

You would like to see the licence renewed?

I have been used to it lately (laughter.)

The Chairman: He did not catch the question (laughter).

The Chief Constable: Are you an authority on beers Mr. Ashbee?

Some are better than others.

Mr. W. King, whom lives at 18, Tower Hill, a painter, said that he was the Secretary of the "White Lion" Slate Club. It had 43 members and there was no compulsion for members to spend and money or use the house when paying their subscriptions.

Mr. Mackeson, the chairman of Messrs. Mackeson and Company, the owners of the house, handed to the Magistrates figures showing the trade the house did for the last three years. A house doing a trade like that was reckoned in the trade a good house.

The Chairman said that the average was 5 barrels a week and he supposed that it was a great deal more at the present time.

Mr. Mackeson said that he believed so. It was the only house there they owned and they felt it would be hard lines if they lost it.

Mr. Mowll: Do you want to hear anything more about that house?

The Chairman: I do not think so.


The Magistrates then retired to consider their decision, and on returning the Chairman said that the Magistrates had decided to give a licence to the "Town Hall" for both music and singing on condition that free admission was given. The licence of the "Gothic" and "White Lion" would be renewed. The "Silver Lion," the "Black Horse," and the "Grand Sultan" would have to go to Canterbury.



For many years the name Dawkins was associated with this pub. He had served beer at this bar in 1910 for two old pence a pint, and still served, but not at that price, fifty six years later. He left this world, aged ninety, in 1966. The 1922 photographs show the pub to be tied to Mackeson's Hythe Ales. It is unknown when it changed to Shepherd Neame, but was serving their ales at its close around 1987.


From an email received 5 February, 2014.

Hi Paul, I was looking at the "White Lion" pub and all the detail to the pub, I was the last landlady of the pub till it closed in 1996.

We was ask by the brewery to run the pub till it was sold which was September 1996 we had it for 6 months, myself and ex husband names are Joanne & Lee Horn we took over from a Phil Brown can't remember his wife's name. Hope this helps to up date you records.

Yours faithfully Jo Graham.


Now closed and unfortunately again a private residence. (2007).


White Lion 2010

Above photo by Stuart Kinnon, 2010.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 December, 1910


At the Dover Police Court this (Friday) morning, before M. Pepper (in the chair), W. Emden, P. W. J. Mackenzie, Edward Chitty, F. G. Wright, H. W. Thorpe Esqrs., and Captain R. B. Cay.

The house of the "White Lion" was temporarily endorsed from A. G. Hooper to Percy Dawkins, formerly employed by the Dover Gas Company.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 19 August, 1938.


The Bench approved plans for alterations to the "White Lion," Tower Street.


From an email sent to me 29 June 2009.

Percy Dawkins

Above photo kindly sent to me from Alan Goodwin, showing Percy Dawkins at the pub, Christmas 1965. He says this photo was taken just a few days before he sadly died. And below, kindly sent by Lewis Woods shows him in 1900.

Percy Dawkins 1900

From an email sent to me 5 June 2011.

Percy Dawkins 90th birthday

Above photo showing Percy Dawkins taken at his 90th birthday party. Kindly sent by Lewis Woods.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 January, 1966.

Veteran Licensee dies aged 90

Dover's veteran licensee Mr. Percy Dawkins - he had been at the White Lion, Tower Hamlets, for 53 years - died on Tuesday, aged 90.

He was born in the little cottage at Lydden, known as the Travellers' Rest. He left school when he was 10 to work on a farm, and later came to Dover, where he was employed by the gas company for many years.

He took over the White Lion in December 1910 - when beer was two pence a pint. And, in those days, there were no licensing laws to worry about.

Among the other activities he was a keen member of the St. John Ambulance Brigade and had a keen following of Dover's football team.


From an email sent to me 29 June 2009.

James and Edith Goodwin

Above photo also from Alan Goodwin, shows his grandfather James Goodwin and wife Edith (centre), who were the next two licensees after Percy. Flanked on either side are left, Ethel Langley, (John Langley's mother) and right, Edith's sister, also Ethel.

Busy night at the White Horse circa 1966

Above:- A busy night in the public bar! James on the extreme left and “old” Ethel next left. The man behind the bar with his back to us is Edith and Ethel's brother Tom (He is the boy in the dark clothes to the right of the standing group in the 1922 photo). My father Ted, “young” Ethel's brother, is the man standing in front of the dartboard – his usual place!


From an email sent 3 October 2010.

I have just seen your page about the White Lion. My Grandfather was Stephen Dawkins, bother of Percy. Stephen was married to Mary Ann Jane Dawkins nee Hall. My mother was Edith Woods nee Dawkins.

In the 1940/50s I often visited the "White Lion. The last time I can recall visiting was in 1958 just before I started my military service.

My Grandfather Stephen also worked in the Gas works, and died after being gassed in an accident.

Stephen Dawkins

Do you know what became of the two very large tortoises they kept in the back garden?

I am attaching a photograph that was sent to me, the lady who sent it to me said it was taken outside the White Lion but it is now believed to have been taken in Lydden, the tall girl on the left is her (Elizabeth), L to R Edith, Ethel, Percy, Albert & Thomas Dawkins.

Dawkins family



Lewis Woods.

From an email sent 22 June 2011.

It was wonderful to see the photos on the White Lion page from Mr Lewis Woods – and his information. A new relative to add to the family tree! Looking at the picture of his grandfather it could almost be Percy's twin – what a resemblance. Stephen was the next youngest after Percy, they were born two years apart.

Interesting to note that neither I nor any of my side of the family is in the birthday party photo, I wonder why that was?

Two points for you that you can pass on to Mr Woods. I think both tortoises died of old age at the pub, though John Langley might be able to help you there. His family had a tortoise that may have come from the White Lion. Also, I can confirm that the picture of the five Dawkins children is taken in the rear garden of the White Lion. The steps lead to the rear gate and the corrugated “structure” they are standing in front of eventually became the site of my Grandfather's Rabbit hutch shed!

Best Regards,

Alan Goodwin.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 14 February, 2013. 70p.


Different modes of transport used in its annual outings

White Lion outing 1950s

Above shows the annual outing leaving the pub in the 1950s. the photo at the very top of this page shows the horse-drawn outing of 1922.

THE Express's recent The Way We Were feature about closed pubs in Dover provoked a wave of letters from readers. Here, Ethel Langley recalls some of her memories...

TERRY Sutton, in these pages, asked for memories of pubs that have closed, and I hope the following may be of interest.

My grandfather, Percy Dawkins, was landlord of the "White Lion" pub in Tower Hamlets for more than half a century, from December 1910 until his death in January 1966.


Percy Dawkins

He was one of Whitbread's oldest and longest serving tenants, and I was born there in 1933, living there with my parents, Edith and Jim Goodwin, and four older brothers until I married in 1957.

When my grandfather died my dad took over until his death in 1969.

Edith then held the tenancy until 1972.

This article features photos of the annual outing taken 30 years apart, the earlier one taken about 1923 and the other one in the 1950s, and reveal the different modes of transport used at that time.

My happiest and best memory is of meeting my late husband, Bill Langley, there.

Sadly only my brother, Bob, who is now 85, and I are left to remember our earlier years growing up at the "White Lion."


From an email received 1 Feb 2023.

I am not sure if you already have this information but I was a teenager living opposite the "White Lion" pub in the latter half of the 1980's and remember the landlord and landlady then. They were Archie (Archibald Eric) and Beryl Rose who had a German Shepherd dog called Zara.

Hope this helps with your records.



From an email received 25 October 2017.


I notice you show the licensee for 1903 to 1909 as John Cartmell. My great great grandfather’s brother, John Cartmell, was living in Dover in 1901 as was his son of the same name. John Cartmell senior was living in Warwickshire by 1911 but I have lost track of the son. Both were musicians and John sen. was director of music on the pier and in the music hall at one time.

John Cartmell.


Phil and Alan Brown 1995

Above photo showing licensee Phil Brown and son Alan in the garden, circa 1995. Kindly sent by Alan Brown.



GOODE Charles Henry to Mar/1875

Last pub licensee had YOUNG George Charles Mar/1875+ Next pub licensee had Dover Express

MEDHURST Frederick 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

ASHBY George 1886-July/91 Post Office Directory 1891Dover Express

CRISP Albert Drayson July/1891+ Dover Express

KENNETT William John 1895-1904 end (age 37 in 1901Census) Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

KENNETT N 1901-03 end?

CARTMELL John 1903-09 end

HOOPER Alfred George Next pub licensee had 1909-Dec/10 Dover Express

DAWKINS Percy Dec/1910-66 dec'd Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922Pikes 1924Post Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33Post Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39Pikes 48-49Kelly's Directory 1950Kelly's Directory 1953Kelly's Directory 1956

GOODWIN James Benjamin 1969 dec'd

GOODWIN Mrs Edith 1969-72 end

BOOKER Reuben 1972-74 Library archives 1974 Whitbread Fremlins

NIXON Clive 1975 dec'd

NIXON Mrs Kathleen 1975 end

MACKINS James Frederick 1977-78

SEWELL Arthur 1980

ROSE Archie Eric 1987-89+

BROWN Phil to Mar 1996

HORN Joanne and Lee Mar/1996-Sept/96


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Pikes 1932-33From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Pikes 1938-39From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39

Pikes 48-49From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49

Kelly's Directory 1950From the Kelly's Directory 1950

Kelly's Directory 1953From the Kelly's Directory 1953

Kelly's Directory 1956From the Kelly's Directory 1956

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


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