DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Maidstone, March, 2021.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1932

(Name from)

Blue Door

Latest ????

(Name to)

Sutton Road/Stone Street

Maidstone

Blue Door 1937

Above photo 1937. Kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe.

Blue Door

Above photo, date unknown.

Blue Door 1955

Above photo, 1955, kindly sent by Nick Spurling.

Blue Door

Above Photo pre 1957. The old pub is on the right, the replacement is on the left.

Blue Door 1971

Above photo 1971, kindly sent by Barbara Williams.

Blue Door sign 1967Blue Door sign

Above sign left, 1967, sign right, date unknown.

With thanks from Brian Curtis www.innsignsociety.com.

 

I am informed that the pub was demolished in 1957. Further information says it was after the 1970s.

 

From the Kentish Gazette, 14 November 1843.

DEATH.

Nov. 2, at the "Blue Door Inn," near Maidstone, Mrs. Clapson aged 83.

 

From an email received 14 October 2014.

Hi,

My name is Barbara Williams and I was born in the "Blue Door" pub in Sutton Road, Maidstone (February 1971). My parents were Trevor James Williams & Rita Barbara Williams. Whether they were the licensees is unclear as they married in 1968 and ran their first managed pub at the "Nags Head" in Covent Garden (from there they went to The "Dandy Roll" in Bread Street near Fleet Street, London), ending up at the "Blue Door." When exactly they moved in is unclear but I will endeavour to find out (definitely there by February 1971, but by December 1972 they had moved as this was when my sister was born).

Not sure if any of this information is useful to you, but I wish you luck with your quest.

Best regards,

Barbara.

 

Local resident Alan says the following:- The "Blue Door," Sutton Road, Maidstone at its junction with Willington Street was known to me growing up in Maidstone. It was originally called the "Bell Inn," I suppose as it was in the area of Bell Shaw and Bell Wood and at sometime changed name to the "Blue Door."

It then changed its name several times, after refurbishments and to change its image from the cliental it attracted. These names were The "Blue Bell," The "Broadway Belle," The "Mulberry Bush."

As your site shows a bigger and modern Pub was built around 1960 when the huge council estate called Shepway was built but the new pub was demolished in 2007 to make way for an unsightly Private Residential Home called Ashley Gardens Care Centre.

 

From the Gazette, Saturday, March 20th 1937.

THERE’S A TAVERN IN THE TOWN.

No. 25 – THE BLUE DOOR, SUTTON ROAD, MAIDSTONE.

The Blue Door, although within the boundaries of the Borough of Maidstone, is unique in that it is the only Tavern in the Town, which is still lit by oil lamps. It has no gas, electricity or water supply. Water is still drawn from the well in the garden and to add to its rural amenities, the Blue Door is surrounded by fields and woods. But these things do not worry the host, Mr William Croucher. On the contrary, he likes them as do his many customers and friends, both those who motor to the Blue Door or those who walk there and who find in this tavern with its old-world atmosphere, wood fires, and country surroundings a place for pleasant relaxation.

The Blue Door is probably the only tavern in the country so called. But this was not always its name. It used to be called The Bell. And there hangs an interesting tale. Mr. Croucher has been landlord of the inn for about 19 years but before his time there was a landlord of pronounced political views.

POLITICAL RIVALS’ JOKE.

During an election this landlord awoke one morning to find the door of his saloon bar painted with blue stripes, blue being the colour of the political party to which the landlord was opposed. But the landlord was evidently a man who could see a joke, so he said “Very well, if my customers prefer the door that colour they shall have it.” So he had the door painted a nice light blue all over and it has always since remained that colour: all the rest of the doors in the tavern also being blue.

The name of the house remained The Bell until about seven years ago, when the brewers, found that everyone knew it as the Blue Door, so they had the name changed and put a new sign.

A fine pen and ink sketch of this tavern as it was years ago hangs in the saloon bar. It was drawn by Mr Gilbert Inwood, a nephew of Mr Croucher, when he was only a 15 years old.

FISH BAROMETER!

Here is another strange feature about the Blue Door. It is the only tavern which has a fish as a barometer!

The fish is a Sun Fish from Chinese Waters and hangs in the public bar, a fierce some looking object. But Mr Croucher claims it is an infallible weather prophet. When rain is due its prickles drip with water, but they soon dry up when the fair weather is about.

This fish used to hang in the Old White Hart in Maidstone, but when the licence of that house was done with it was transferred to the Blue Door.

Mr Croucher used to be in the market garden business at Rainham. His favourite sport is shooting. At one time those engaged in shoots on the surrounding estates used to make the Blue Door their resort.

The Blue Door is an ancient house and contains many oak beams.

 

LICENSEE LIST

AVARD William 1881+ (also farmer age 20 in 1881Census)

REEVES William 1891+ (age 35 in 1891Census)

Last pub licensee had CROUCHER William 1932-44 dec'd

Last pub licensee had HOLE Vic 1954-late 60's Next pub licensee had

WILLIAMS Trevor James & Rita Barbara Feb/1971+

http://www.closedpubs.co.uk/bluedoor.html

 

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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