DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Monday, 18 July, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1848-

Green Man

Destroyed 17 June 2021

Hodsoll Street

Ash Near Wrotham

01732 823575

http://www.greenmanpub.com/

https://whatpub.com/green-man

Green Man

Above postcard, date unknown.

Green Man 2015

Above photo 2015.

Green Man sign 1985Green Man sign 1985

Above signs, May 1985.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis www.innsignsociety.com.

 

From the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 4 April 1848.

Kent.

Valuable freehold Enclosures of Arable, Meadow, Orchard and Fruit Plantation, Public House, Beer Shop, Building Ground, Cottages, &c. situated in the parish of Higham, Shorne, Chalk, Meopham, Southfleet, Ryarsh and Ash.

Messrs. Hoggarts, Norton and Oakley, have received instructions to offer for sale, at the "New Inn," Gravesend, on Wednesday, 31st May, at 1 for 2 precisely, in lots.

The following desirable freehold properties, ......

The "Green Man" beer shop, in Hodsoll Street, Ash. ......

 

Information below from their web site 2015.

The Green Man was one of the names given to a leaf clad Mummer, origin approximately 1775-85. He was a Chimney Sweep who walked encased in a framework of wood or wickerwork which was covered with leaves and sometimes surrounded by a crown of flowers and ribbons.

He would dance on May Day and other pageants at the head of a procession to clear the way. Other Mummers would surround him and collect money from the crowd.

As time went on, The Green Man or ‘Jack' was accepted as a symbol of May Day celebrations.

 

From the https://www.kentonline.co.uk By Sean Delaney, 17 June 2021.

Fire at Green Man pub Hodsoll Street near New Ash Green.

The owner of a popular pub destroyed by fire says he's "lost everything".

Alex Brooks was speaking after a blaze ripped through the Green Man in Hodsoll Street near New Ash Green early today.

Green Man fire 2021

Photo of the pub this morning.

At the height of the incident, five fire engines, a height vehicle and a bulk water carrier were present.

Mr Brooks said: "I got the phone call about 3.40am from a neighbour and managed to get down here around 4am to find it all ablaze.

"I've lost everything – a laptop with all my business details and some family portraits going back 100 or so years.

"We've all busted a gut to get back up and running with everything that's happened this year and now this."

The 33-year-old said the past 12 months had been a struggle with the pandemic and problems finding staff because of Brexit.

Alex Brooks 2021

Pub owner Alex Brooks says he's lost everything after fire destroyed the Green Man in Hodsall Street last night.

The dad-of-two took over the pub in 2017 with his partner Steph and says they spent 25,000 to get it Covid compliant.

"It just seems to be one thing after the other," he said. "The roof round the back – we'd just had that fixed."

This morning, as fire crews battled the blaze, it is understood water from a neighbour's swimming pool was used.

As of 11am, a fire engine and a crew from the technical rescue unit remained at the scene.

They are checking for remaining hot spots and assessing damage.

Fire service volunteers are also in attendance to provide support to affected residents.

Green Man gutted sky shot

Drone footage shows the extent of the damage at the pub. Credit: UKNIP.

Green Man fire 2021

A picture of the blaze was posted on the Vigo Village Life Facebook page.

Neighbour Gary Stickings said the pub was at the heart of the local community.

"We go there twice a week, Wednesday and Friday crew supporting it all through Covid as much as we can but I don't know what is going to happen," said the 58-year-old.

"The village fete is meant to be next week. Just a big big shame."

Fire investigators say they have not yet determined the exact cause of the blaze but have said it is believed to have been started accidentally.

Reporting from the scene, Sean Delaney said the building had been totally gutted by the fire with the roof destroyed.

Members of the public have speculated the pub was hit by lightning, but this has not been confirmed at this stage.

Machinery – brought in to deal with the damage – is currently pulling guttering away from the building.

No casualties have been reported and the cause is not yet known.

 

From the https://www.kentonline.co.uk By Sean Delaney, 14 April 2022.

Countdown to save destroyed Green Man pub site in Hodsoll Street after it was struck by lightning near New Ash Green.

A two-week countdown is on to save an historic 137-year-old pub from possible redevelopment after it was struck by lightning and destroyed in a fire.

The Green Man has been the beating heart of the community in the quiet hamlet of Hodsoll Street, in between New Ash Green and Vigo, for decades.

Green Man fire

An aerial photo of the gutted Green Man pub before it was demolished.

But tragedy struck last summer after it was hit by lightning and its timber frames reduced to crumbling piles of ash following a huge blaze.

At the height of the blaze in the early hours of June 16, five fire engines fought the flames and water was drained and pumped from a nearby swimming pool to help put them out. The building had to be demolished a few weeks later.

In the aftermath, residents rallied together to raise thousands of pounds for it and devastated landlord Alex Brooks, who had pledged to rebuild the popular boozer "as soon as possible".

But villagers say they now find themselves in a race against time to salvage their hopes of resurrecting the pub.

It comes after owner The Stonegate Group declared its intention to dispose of the site, prompting fears it could be sold off for housing.

Following a local-led campaign, Ash-cum-Ridley Parish Council registered it as an asset of community value (ACV) at the end of last year.

This provides the community with the opportunity to bid for the property in the event of a sale and gives them a six-month period to put together the necessary funding.

The Green Man Recovery Group was set up by the residents to explore all options to save the site, but it claims all attempts to engage in meaningful dialogue with the pub company have been ignored.

Local resident Sally Samuels, who set up the group, claims calls to discuss the viability of a local bid have been "stonewalled".

She said: "There is a small group of us who have got together and we are doing our best basically to get Stonegate just to agree to a meeting.

"But the problem we have is they have not agreed to that because there is still an active lease with the landlord."

That lease is now drawing to a close but time is now of the essence with less than two weeks for villagers to put together a bid before the ACV expires.

Green Man fire

A fire destroyed the Green Man pub in Hodsoll Street near New Ash Green and Vigo Village.

"It is really frustrating because we do feel like they are holding back until April 27," added Sally. "They have not given us any time at all.

"We can put a bid in but it does not mean they are going to accept it. A meeting is all we are asking for – a chat to see where it is going."

In the meantime, Sally says they could apply for an extension to the ACV moratorium but this would need to be explored with the council.

There are recent examples of pubs designated as ACVs being saved.

Nearby, the the "Plough Inn" in Trottiscliffe was rescued from property developers in 2020 after it was marked as a community asset and villagers dipped into their own coffers to save the pub.

Hodsoll Street has one of the largest concentrations of Grade II period properties in the Sevenoaks district.

Green Man site 2022

The Green Man pub in Hodsoll Street was demolished weeks after the fire. Photo: Katie May Nelson.

But the "Plough Inn" does not hold such status and unlike The Plough Inn, an existing building is not already in place to work with, explains Sally.

The local campaigner said: "The problem we have is we have nothing on the site. Anyone who has changed these sites around, they have a building to work with.

"So first we have to got to secure the land to say it is a community piece of land and we can do something, that is our step forward.

She added: "Raising funds is a huge ask but it is a long way off for us before we start anything."

At the time of the blaze last summer, residents were left shocked and devastated with some describing it as "horrific" and like losing an "old friend".

Landlord Alex Brooks said it was a focal part of village life, adding a lot of his regulars "were at a loss as to where to go".

Green Man support group

Nearly 100 people came out to support a campaign to save the Green Man Pub in Hodsoll Street from redevelopment. Photo: Sally Samuels/The Green Man Recovery Group.

On Sunday, nearly 100 people came out to show their support for rebuilding the pub and guarding against unwanted development.

Sally said she was "bowled over" by the turnout, adding: "We had a fantastic turnout of locals who came along to show their support, including dogs and two beautiful horses."

Ten months on she says the sentiment towards rebuilding the pub remains the same.

"Talking to people, it has been nearly a year since the pub burnt down and they still passionately and desperately want a pub," she said.

"One man said he used to come a couple of hours one afternoon because he lived by himself, and he really misses it.

"We are quite a small community, we don't have big shops or a high street and the pub was a place for a lot of people to get together."

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has also expressed his preference for the pub to be rebuilt but expressed doubts.

"It would be wonderful if we could achieve that but it will be difficult," the Tory said in reference to the long-term trend of permanent pub closures.

Despite this, Mr Johnson hoped a deal could be struck so that some form of community asset could be built in its place.

A spokesman for Stonegate Group said: “We understand the frustrations arising from the delay regarding progress at the Green Man, however the discussions with the current tenant have not been concluded and therefore we cannot progress the future outcome of the pub at this stage.”

 

From the https://www.kentonline.co.uk 18 July 2022.

Historic Green Man pub site in Hodsoll Street near New Ash Green listed for sale.

The site of a fire-ravaged country pub which burnt down after being struck by lightning has been listed for sale.

A devastating blaze ripped through the Green Man in Hodsoll Street last summer reducing much of the bricks and mortar to dust.

It had overlooked the green in the quiet hamlet between New Ash Green and Vigo for more than 130 years and was described by villagers as the beating heart of the community.

At the height of the blaze in the early hours of June 16, five fire engines fought the flames and water was drained and pumped from a nearby swimming pool to assist. The building had to be demolished a few weeks later.

In the aftermath, the 7,000-strong community rallied together to raise thousands of pounds for it and devastated landlord Alex Brooks, who ran the pub for more than four years with wife Steph and had pledged to rebuild the popular boozer "as soon as possible".

But a tricky post-pandemic pub landscape and the upcoming expiry of the lease meant this was no longer feasible.

The Stonegate Group then declared its intention to dispose of the site, prompting fears among residents it could be sold off for housing.

Following a local-led campaign, Ash-cum-Ridley Parish Council registered it as an asset of community value (ACV) at the end of last year.

The site has since been fully cleared and has now been listed for sale as a potential residential development, subject to planning permission.

According to the listing by property specialists Drake & Company it has been instructed to invite "unconditional offers" for the benefit of its "client’s freehold interest with vacant possession".

Meanwhile, the Green Man Recovery Group, which was set up by residents to save the site, is exploring its options.

Local resident Sally Samuels, who helped set up the group, said: "We are in the process of putting together a community bid. We're not there yet but working our way towards it."

She has spoken previously of the campaign's struggles to engage with the owners, The Stonegate Pub company, and says approaches have so far been "stonewalled".

However, there are recent blueprints for pubs designated as ACVs being saved.

Nearby, The "Plough Inn" in Trottiscliffe was rescued from property developers in 2020 after it was marked as a community asset and villagers dipped into their own coffers to save it.

Hodsoll Street has one of the largest concentrations of Grade II period properties in the Sevenoaks district.

But The Green Man does not hold such status and unlike The "Plough Inn," an existing building is not already in place to work with.

At the time of the blaze last summer, residents were left shocked and devastated with some describing it as "horrific" and like losing an "old friend".

Former landlord Alex Brooks said it was a focal part of village life, adding a lot of his regulars "were at a loss as to where to go".

Neighbours speak of their devastation at the fire.

In April, nearly 100 people gathered outside the site to show their support for rebuilding the pub and guarding against any unwanted future development.

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has also expressed his preference for the pub to be rebuilt but expressed doubts.

"It would be wonderful if we could achieve that but it will be difficult," the Tory said in reference to the long-term trend of permanent pub closures.

Mr Johnson hoped a deal could be struck so that some form of community asset could be built in its place.

Elsewhere, another of the Dartford's historic pubs has recently closed with no immediate plans to re-open.

The "Welsh Tavern" in London Road, Stone, has been around since 1827 with the current building erected around the 1870s on what was a former toll road.

It is another of Stonegate's pubs where a decision was taken not to renew the lease and the keys handed back to the owners.

A closing date for offers on The Green Man site has been listed as September 21.

The Stonegate group was approached for comment.

 

 

LICENSEE LIST

BENNETT Robert 1874+

ANTRIM Richard 1891-1922+ (age 48 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1903

GRIFFITHS Herbert Edward 1930+

REDWOOD Levi 1938+

BROOKS Alex 2017-21+

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

 

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

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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