Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 07 September, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1891-

Why Not

Latest 1896

Worthington Street (Worthington's Lane)



The "Why Not" would have been on the left hand side about half way down, directly opposite Messrs. Wood and Sons ironmongery store.


Little is known of the pub itself, the licence of which was allowed to lapse in 1896. Its removal became necessary during a street widening so obviously Dover Corporation would be in the picture. I have no details but if I were asked to suggest a name for a pub, what could be better?


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18 September, 1891. Price 1d.


Messrs. Terson and Son had an important sale of property, at which there was a large attendance, at the “Royal Oak Hotel,” Dover, yesterday afternoon, when the following were the prices realised:- ……. The “Why Not Beer House,” Worthington's Lane, 410; Store, Worthington's Lane, 110, ….. We have not seen so large a company at an auction sale for a long time in Dover. It was thought that the Corporation would have bought the Worthington's Lane property for street improvement, but it was secured by Mr. Rubie.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 14 July, 1893. 1d.


George Harris was charged with stealing from the till of the “Why Not” 1s. in bronze coin and also with cutting and wounding John Vallentine of Belgrave Road, and Edward Patterson of 1, Clarendon Gardens.

Mrs. Anne Farlie said that her husband kept the “Why Not” public-house in Worthington's Lane. About five o'clock the prisoner came into her house. He called for half a pint of beer. Witness served him and left him in the bar drinking the beer. He sat by the side of the bar. There was no one else in the bar and on returning there witness saw the prisoner behind the bar with the till drawn out and the money in his hand. Witness took the money from his hand and put it back in the till. It was about 1s. Witness asked him what he was doing behind the bar. He said he did not work for his living. Witness called to Mr. Ramsey and he caught the prisoner as he went out of the door. A policeman was sent for, but in the meantime the prisoner rushed out, and was followed by Mr. Ramsey.

Henry Ramsey, 5, Worthington's Lane, said he was called into the “Why Not” by the last witness who said the prisoner had been robbing her till. Witness took hold of the prisoner and said the best way was to send for a policeman. When he said this the prisoner tried to get away and witness went through a window. The prisoner got outside and struggled till he got away. Witness followed him down Pencester Road and up Taswell Street. He then pulled a knife out of his pocket and opening it said “if you do not leave me alone I will knife you.” There were several other people present. A young man got behind him and threw him down. Two lads tried to get the knife away. He cut them and witness then held him down and got the knife away from him. A policeman came and when they held him up against the wall he said he would serve him the same. They had a rare job with him before they got him to the station.

John Vallentine, 8, Belgrave Road said he was a painter, and lived at home with his brother. He was in Mr. Ramsey's shop when he was called across to the “Why Not.” Witness saw the prisoner get away and followed him. When the prisoner pulled the knife (produced) out of his pocket witness was asked to assist in getting it away, and in doing so prisoner made a splash at his face or chest and witness put his hands to guard off the blow and got stabbed in the fingers. They bled a good deal and witness had to go to the Hospital. The doctor said it was a bad cut but not serious.

Edward Pattison, a boy working at the “Duchess of Kent” said he assisted the last witness to take the knife away from the prisoner when he slashed witness's left thumb. Witness went to the Hospital and had it dressed.

Police-constable Reilly said that he took the prisoner into custody in Taswell Street. On the way to the Station the prisoner said he was not going to be b_____ well starved so long as he could get his living by thieving.

The charge of stealing was only proceeded with, and the prisoner pleaded “Guilty.”

The Magistrates said that men of prisoner's stamp were a public nuisance and it was fortunate for him that the question of stabbing was not proceeded with, as he would have been liable to three years penal servitude. The prisoner would go to Canterbury for two months.



FARLIE Mr 1893+


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