Sort file:- Herne, July, 2021.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 06 July, 2021.


Earliest 1833-

First and Last

Summer 2019

(Name to)

Canterbury Road / Herne Common


01227 364465

First and Last 1948

Above photo, circa 1948, showing a building company's outing, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

First and Last 1950

Above photo, circa 1950, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

First and Last

Above photo circa 1964.

First and Last

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent my Mark Jennings.

First and Last sign 1991

Above sign July 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

First and Last 2015

Above photo, 2015.


In 1828 William Holness was accused of being involved with smuggling and in 1831 was fined for concealing smuggled liquor on his premises. It's likely that William Holness took advantage of the 1830 Beer House Act and opened up his property as a pub, though there is no record of this house being called the "First and Last," the name not appearing in print until the 1880s.

Prior to 1833 the pub was owned by the Symond's Brewery of Ramsgate, but they sold the business and pub to Francis Cobb and Son, brewer also in Ramsgate that same year.

The premises still operated as a beer house until 1949 when it was finally granted a full licence.

In 1892 Gardner's Ash Brewery acquired the building and their tenant was a C Holliday, beer retailer, according to the 1894/5 Herne Bay Directory.

In 1898 Gardner's bought some adjoining land from the Holness family.

Pike's 1903/4 Directory has C Holliday still there as licensee but he'd gone by 1906, replaced by Robert Bailey, who didn't last long!

In June 1906 Robert Bailey was fined 10/- plus 1.17.0 costs for permitting drunkenness on licensed premises.

In July 1906 a new licensee, John Cobbett, took over.

The 1910 Blue Book lists Alfred Cleaver as licensee but by 1927 the licensee was Frank Thomas Hall, who remained at the F&L
until the 1940s. Tragically, his wife Beatrice and their young daughter, Hazel, were among 8 civilians killed on 31st October 1942, when a German aircraft opened fire on an East Kent bus in between Canterbury and Sturry.

After Whitbread's acquired/closed Tomson & Wotton (which merged with Gardner's of Ash in 1951) the "First and Last" traded for a few more years before being sold as a free house in 1976 to Alan and Sue Foot. The Foots extended the building to develop the food trade and eventually sold up in 1985.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 28 March, 1863.


On Monday, Mr. W. P. Callaway, deputy coroner, and a respectable jury, held an inquest, at the house of Mr. G. Holmes, the “First and Last” public-house, Herne, on the body of H William Carey, son of a labourer, who was drowned on Saturday.

Mary Ann Carey, the deceased’s mother, said that about a quarter before 10 o’clock on Saturday, the deceased was crying because she would not let him go where he wanted to. He then ran out to the back of the house, and about a quarter of an hour afterwards he was found quite dead in the pond.

Verdict, “Accidentally Drowned.”


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 2 March 1907.


The Magistrates objected to the renewal of this licence, Mr. G. T. Drury, instructed by Mr. Henry Fielding, appeared for the brewers (Messrs Gardner and Co., of Ash) and the tenant.

Superintendent Jacobs stated that the “First and Last” was situated on Herne Common. The tenant was John Cobbett, and the rent of the house was 18 per annum. The rates amounted to 5 12 s., and the assessment was 28. A general outside labouring trade was done. The tenant had been there since July 7th, 1906, and took the house from Robert Bailey, who was the tenant for some years, but who left after a conviction for permitting drunkenness. The present tenant was formerly a maltsmsn in the employ of Messrs. Gardner. There was no convenience for letting, and the home was in a bad state of repair. The distance from the “Prince Albert” to the “First and Last” was about 1,200 yards, and was about the same distance to the “Upper Red Lion.” The “First and Last” was on the main Canterbury road. It was opposite the Workhouse, and the people that used it were these who left the Workhouse. (Laughter.)

Mr. Drury, in addressing the Bench, said with regard to this house there was no question of it being within twenty or thirty yards of another licensed house, the nearest one being over a thousand yards away. He did suggest that if any house was to be referred to Quarter Sessions for extinction it was not to be the house that stood by itself on the high road, but rather one of the three clustered together in Herne Street.



In the summer of 2019 the pub changed name to the "Curious Cat," for some reason.



HOLNESS William 1828-31+

HOLNESS Charity 1847-55+

HOLMES Gaylor Mr (son) 1862-67+ (also wood dealer)

CHRISTIAN Henry W 1881-86+ (age 44 in 1881Census)


HEARST Thomas after 1887

HOLNESS Friend 1891+ (son of Gaylor age 22 in 1891Census)

BAILEY Charles 1899+

HOLLIDAY C 1894-1903+

BAILEY Robert to 7/July/07 (age 48 in 1901Census)

COBBETT John 7/July/1906-07+

CLEAVER Alfred to Nov/1910 Whitstable Times

BURCHETT Edward Nov/1910-11+ (age 57 in 1911Census) Whitstable Times

HALL Frank Thomas 1927-40+

FOOT Alan & Sue 1976-85


Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald



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