DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Maidstone, February, 2022.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Thursday, 24 February, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest ????

Forester's Arms

Latest 27 Sept 1940

13 Kinghtrider Street

Maidstone

Forester's Arms

Above photo, date unknown.

Forester's Arms pre 1940

Above photo pre 1940.

Foresters Arms destroyed 1940

Above photo 1940 kindly submitted by Chris Buckingham.

 

The pub was destroyed by a delayed action bomb on Friday 27th September 1940, and unfortunately killed the bomb disposal crew.

 

From the Dover Express, Friday 11 October, 1940.

OLD MAIDSTONE INN DESTROYED.

The old “Foresters’ Arms,” in Knight-rider Street, Maidstone, one of the oldest inns in the district, is now a heap of rubble, having been demolished by a time bomb. It was a typical English inn, with low ceilings, and a wealth of oak beams. The time bomb, which destroyed the tavern, landed in a corner of the private bar, and knocked several customers off their feet. Had the bomb gone off then, there would have been heavy civilian casualties. As it was there was none. When it exploded, dust, debris, timber and bricks shot high into the air, and when they had settled what had been the tavern was little more than a heap of rubble. Property all round was severely damaged, and glass was shattered as far away as shops in Stone Street.

Forester's Arms site 2020

Above photo showing the site circa 2020.

 

On September 27, 1940, the Foresters Arms proudly stood on Knightrider Street as one of the oldest alehouses in the district and part of town brewer Fremlins extensive stable.

But all that was to come crashing down.

"An unexploded bomb fell on a little old pub in Knightrider Street and the residents around there had to evacuate, while the Army tried to defuse it.

"The time bomb, which destroyed the tavern, landed in a corner of the private bar, and knocked several customers off their feet. Had the bomb gone off then, there would have been heavy civilian casualties. As it was there was none. When it exploded, dust, debris, timber and bricks shot high into the air, and when they had settled what had been the tavern was little more than a heap of rubble. Property all round was severely damaged, and glass was shattered as far away as shops in Stone Street," reads the Dover Express from the time.

But tragically the article would prove premature.

Royal Engineers, Lance Corporal Frederick Appleton and Sapper James Orr, died when the device exploded as they tried to defuse it two days later.

Sylvia Kibblewhite would recall in a 2018 Kent Messenger article how at the age of eight she was living nearby when the bombs started to fall.

"One particular Friday the siren went off during the day and mum took the three of us down into our cellar.

"We could hear the planes over-head, then the whistling noise which the bombs made as they came down. Then several large explosions.

"I could hear bricks falling and thought it was our house that was hit, but mum said: 'No duck, it isn’t!'...

"We had dad’s barber and his wife, Mr and Mrs Collick, who lived opposite the pub, stay with us for two nights until sadly the bomb exploded."

The day-time bombing raid saw a number of devices rain down on the county town.

It was thought the German plane responsible may have been damaged following a raid on London and in an effort to lighten its load would drop its deadly cargo over Kent as it raced back to the continent.

Those bombs that did explode during that fateful day had already killed some 22 people across the town.

 

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.

 

LICENSEE LIST

MARTIN William 1858-67+ (age 57 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1867

MARTIN George Francis 1874-82+ (age 60 in 1881Census)

MARTIN William L 1891-1903+ (age 45 in 1901Census)

BURGESS William 1911-22+ (also gardener age 43 in 1911Census)

GOODBODY Frederick Stephen 1930-38+

https://pubwiki.co.uk/ForestersArms.shtml

 

Post Office Directory 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867

CensusCensus

 

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

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LINK to http://www.kentphotoarchive.com/