Sort file:- Maidstone, September, 2021.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Monday, 06 September, 2021.


Earliest 1866-

Hare and Hounds

Open 2020+

47 (45) Lower Boxley Road


01622 920723

Hare and Hounds 1900

Above photo, circa 1900.

Hare and Hounds 2009

Above photo January 2009.

Hare and Hiounds sign 1990Hare and Hounds sign 2009

Above sign left, August 1990, sign right, 2009.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Hare and Hounds Whitbread sign

Above aluminium card issued May 1949. Sign series 1 number 24.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 4 August 1866.


On Thursday evening last a bed in an upstairs room of the "Hare and Hounds" beer-house, Sandling Road, Maidstone, was discovered to be on fire. Mrs. Baker, the landlady, and her daughter attempted to extinguish the flames, but in the effort the clothes of both caught fire, although the women were not severely burnt. Police-constable Drawbridge, with the assistance of several persons near, put out the flames before they had spread, the cause of the fire is a matter of conjecture.


From the Montreal Gazette, Friday, 26 September 1975.

Pub bomb injures 2 British bobbies.

LONDON - (UPI) - A bomb explosion demolished the front of a bar in the southern England town of Maidstone, 36 miles south of London last night and injured two policemen.

First reports indicated that the policemen’s injuries were not serious. There were no details of other casualties.

Witnesses said the explosion wrecked the front of the "Hare and Hounds" public house.

The policemen were checking a car near the bar, situated by an army barracks and the city hall, when the explosion occurred.

Extra police were drafted into the area to search for a second bomb they believed may be in the area.

The explosion, the seventh serious bomb explosion in Britain within a month, came hours after the outlawed Irish Republican Army accused Britain of violating the seven-month-old truce in Northern Ireland and said IRA action units had been ordered to retaliate.


From the 25 September 2015.

Maidstone's 1975 pub bomb: How IRA was thwarted by soldier.

Hare and Hounds 1975 bomb

The pub was a local for the Royal Engineers and was known to be a target.

When the IRA bombed a Kent pub - a local for the military - 40 years ago, it was only the quick thinking of one soldier that prevented any deaths.

The "Hare and Hounds" pub in Maidstone - close to the Royal Engineers barracks - was a known target, but then landlord Brian Wooster never thought anything would happen.

However, on 25 September 1975, a bomb was placed outside the pub.

Only by chance did 19-year-old Sapper David Campbell see the device enabling him to raise the alarm.

In the minutes before the explosion, police were called, the pub was cleared, nearby homes were evacuated and roads were sealed off.

Hare and Hounds 1975 bomb

Residents then heard "an almighty boom".

The bomb was in a holdall next to the landlord's car.

Seconds later, Mr Wooster saw glass, wood and debris everywhere, with his destroyed car against the neighbouring prison wall.

Hare and Hounds bomb 1975 inside

He remembers a scene of "absolute devastation".

But, despite a series of false alarms in the months beforehand, Mr Wooster was not unduly alarmed.

"We were scared, of course we were scared. But, being a little pub we only had one door open and we knew all the customers," he said.
"So, if anyone came in we would be on them straight away, especially if they were carrying a bag or anything.

"We felt quite happy that no-one was going to come in here and do anything, but as it turned out they didn't have to."

Brian Wooster

Above photo, Brian Wooster in 2015.

Brian Wooster said it was a little pub and staff knew all the customers

'I just ran'

Because of Mr Campbell's actions, no-one was killed, but two police officers were injured.

One of them, Mick Gray, was going to warn a driver and a pedestrian when the bomb went off.

There were about 20 people in the "Hare and Hounds" that evening.

"I just had this voice in my head say 'run'," he explained.

"I was facing that way and I just ran and I'd only gone a few yards when I was picked up and blown over and all this stuff came at me at the same time."

The uniform he wore that night is covered in holes where shrapnel penetrated his body. A notebook in his top pocket was the only thing that stopped a shard of metal entering his chest.

David Campbell

Nineteen-year-old Sapper David Campbell was commended for his actions.

Mr Campbell had served in Northern Ireland and was ready to react.

There were about 20 people in the pub that night.

Mr Campbell said it was pure chance he spotted the device, having gone outside to look for someone who had left their coat in the pub.

Having served in Northern Ireland, his suspicions were immediately raised on seeing a bag next to the landlord's car.

As the area was cleared, police officers shone torches through the gap at the end of the holdall zip and saw batteries, a clock and wires.

The bombers were eventually caught after a tip-off, which led to an armed siege in Balcombe Street, London.

They served more than 20 years in prison before being released under the Good Friday agreement.

The Hare and Hounds still stands on the same site in Maidstone.


From the by Suz Elveys, 25 September 2015.

Former Hare and Hounds landlord recalls when IRA bomb ripped through the Lower Boxley Road venue.

Forty years ago today, an IRA bomb ripped through a Maidstone pub, injuring two police officers as they desperately tried to evacuate the area.

Thursday, September 25, 1975, was a normal evening at the "Hare and Hounds" in Lower Boxley Road.

Soldiers from nearby Invicta Park Barracks were among about 40 people enjoying their drinks when one of their comrades burst into the bar.

Hare and Hounds bomb 1975

Bombing of the Hare & Hounds public house, Maidstone - 25th September, 1975.

Bombed car 1975

The bomb was left under landlord Brian Wooster's car.

Sharp-eyed Sapper David Campbell, 19, had seen a suspicious package outside and told landlord Brian Wooster to evacuate.

Recalling the terrible day four decades on, Mr Wooster, now 68 and living in Derbyshire, told the KM he was half expecting an attack, having been informed by police just weeks before that his pub appeared on a “hit list” confiscated from a man in Ireland.

But until a policeman shone his torch into a black holdall placed under Mr Wooster’s white J-reg Rover and discovered wires and mechanisms inside, he did not think it would really happen.

David Campbell 1975

Sapper David Campbell, who spotted the bomb.

Brian Wooster was landlord of the "Hare and Hounds" pub in Lower Boxley Road.

Half an hour later, at 10pm, the bomb exploded. The car, which the landlord had only owned for two weeks, was blown to pieces.

Two policemen were injured evacuating the pub and nearby homes. One witness reported seeing an officer draped over his patrol car with glass sticking out of his back.

Mr Wooster, who became a policeman after the attack as he no longer felt safe running a pub, said: “Anyone in there would have died without a doubt.

"One of the wheels from my car went through the front window of the pub and out the back window. The bonnet and steering wheel went over the prison wall.

“I had a two-year-old son, Paul. His mum took him down the road and sat in my mate’s car, thinking they’d be safe.

“The force of the blast blew the back windscreen in, but fortunately they weren’t hurt. The IRA claimed responsibility soon afterwards. I was really angry, but what can you do?”

Sapper Campbell was credited with saving the lives of the people in the pub and received messages of thanks from the Army, police and Mayor of Maidstone Cllr Horace Ashton.



BAKER Mrs 1866+

HEARNDEN Thomas Frederick 1882+

TIMMINS Thomas 1899+

PETTITT Edward 1903-04

PARKS Charles 1913-38+

WOOSTER Brian 1975+


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