DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1869-

Fox and Hounds

Closed July 2019

Chart Road

Toys Hill

01732 750328

https://whatpub.com/fox-hounds

Fox and Hounds 1908

Above postcard, 1908, kindly sent by Debi Birkin & Rory Kehoe.

Fox and Hounds 1916

Above postcard, circa 1916, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Fox and Hounds 2006

Above photo, 2006.

Fox and Hounds 2010

Above photo 2010 by David Anstiss Creative Commons Licence.

Fox and Hounds sign 1993

Above sign, June 1993.

With thanks from Brian Curtis www.innsignsociety.com.

 

I have also seen this addressed as at Brasted Chart.

I have reference to another "Fox and Hounds" in Romney Street, and addressed as Shoreham Hill. Local knowledge required please.

 

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser 24 December 1890.

MESSRS. CRONK.

Have received instructions from the Right Hon. Earl Stanhope to sell by auction on the ground on Friday, January 9th, 1891, at 2 o'clock precisely, about 85 Capital Beech Trees (numbered 1 to 85), and 21 Excellent Oak Trees (numbered 1 to 21), situate on Brasted Chart, near the "Fox and Hounds" Inn, Toys Hill, of useful dimensions, near good roads, and which may be sold in convenient lots.

May be viewed any day previous to sale and catalogues obtained on application to Mr. George Smith, Toys Hill. Catalogues may also be procured at the principal inns and hotels in the neighbourhood, of Mr. J. McMonies, Chevening Park, Sevenoaks, and of Messrs. Cronk, Land Agents and Surveyors, Sevenoaks, Kent and 12, Pall Mall, London, S.W.

 

From the https://www.independent.co.uk By Rowan Pelling, Sunday 16 December 2001.

Time, mother, please: a toast to the landlady of the Fox and Hounds.

 Toys Hill village hall was packed to the rafters. People were standing on the stage and on chairs, and spilling out of the back door down the steps. I had never seen anything like it, not even for the annual horticultural show. An official count put the figure at around 250, jammed into a Victorian structure designed to take 100. The two barrels of beer ran dry in no time. At the hub of it all, my mother, with her Judi Dench hair, wire-rimmed specs and size-eight Echo flatties; head cocked as she listened to the speeches and the tribute songs. This was her surprise leaving party from the pub where she has spent more than half her lifetime. Except it wasn't a surprise at all. Toys Hill is a hamlet and news spreads faster than the wind through the surrounding woods.

When my parents took over the tenancy of the Fox and Hounds, Toys Hill, Kent, they had three children under three-and-a-half, two puppies and two kittens. My father had undergone a couple of days' training in landlord skills in Romford. My mother had never been behind a bar in her life. But for the next 34 years she would do little else. My father notched up a mere 20 years before he wore himself out – but then he was 78 and, hospital visits aside, the only time he left the Fox for more than a day was when they carried him out in his coffin. Behind the romantic notion of running a pub lurk some pretty grim realities. There's the hefty duty on alcohol, drink-driving laws, cheap booze in supermarkets and foot and mouth restrictions, all of which wreaked havoc on country pubs.

Many landlords have the added burden of aggressive breweries – though my mother's lot, Greene King, have been exemplary. Not so Inde Coope, the previous owners, who wanted to evict my family in 1986 and turn the bar into a Victorian theme pub and diner. The locals staged an Ealing Comedy-style coup and "persuaded" the brewery to back down. My mother also coped with a routine that saw her lugging barrels, mowing lawns, sweeping chimneys, chopping wood and unblocking drains. Her calloused hands suggest hard labour in Siberia. Hardly surprising that neither I nor my four siblings have any intention of ever running a pub.

Which is a shame, because growing up in a pub is the best childhood anyone could ask for: the friendly punters; the visiting exotica such as Morris dancers, Hell's Angels and the local hunt; the open bar door leaking the exotic scent of beer, tobacco, and pork scratchings. Best of all are the conversations pregnant with adult mystery, wafting through the floorboards and open windows. My father in full flow was an added bonus. He could never reconcile himself with the need for customers at all. People would come to the pub with a tacit desire to be told to "Bugger off! Don't you people have homes to go to?" This attitude disconcerted the unwary, such as anyone who asked for coffee. "Coffee?" my father would explode, "Don't be so bloody silly." No one dared point out a large sign outside the pub which stated "Afternoon Coffee Served". And I vividly remember one poor man trying to exchange a pint which had an enormous spider floating on the froth. My father stared at the glass and declared there was "nothing there". The man nodded and bore the pint off looking slightly shell-shocked.

When my father died my mother took on much of his eccentricity. Notices appeared above the fire saying "No illegal stoking". Mobile phones were also banned and she stocked Hello!, Country Life and Private Eye on the bar counter. The firmer she was the more the punters loved her and her 14-year reign has seen the Fox and Hounds appear in all the best pub guides. The party turnout reflected her popularity as a landlady, matchmaker and amateur social worker – as did the huge cheque she was presented with. Even as you read this my mother will be pulling her last pints. It seemed like the end of an era. But the stop-press news is that the new tenant is a romantic soul who has never run a pub in his life and comes complete with anxious wife and three children. We expect great things of them.

 

From the Sevenoaks Chronicles 1 April 2021.

The day when going to the pub meant taking your chainsaw.

Fox and Hounds 1987

It has been a rollercoaster ride for all the locals attempting to save the "Fox and Hounds" - but it has ended in sadness. The pub, the highest in Kent, loved by its locals, cyclists, walkers and all those visiting the Toys Hill woodlands, will be converted into residential use.

The decision was made on appeal, the application having been refused by members of Sevenoaks District Council who argued that the "Fox and Hounds" should remain as a community hub once the pandemic had passed.

The news comes as a bitter blow for locals who had waged a campaign to save the pub and had actually found a buyer. All to no avail. The inspector appointed by the Secretary of State says the pub has been closed for two years and he believed business there would no longer be viable.

For the people of Toys Hill it is all very sad. The "Fox and Hounds" was the pub completely cut off from the outside world after the great storm of October 1987 devastated the woodlands. The then owners lit their candles, collected wood for their log fires and wondered when they would again see a customer.

The answer was opening time that evening. The locals, scores of them, climbed the fallen trees and made their way to the pub, many carrying chainsaws. "The floor was sawdust, end to end," said Hazel Pelling, the landlady. "There were torches of every sort and flamboyant headgear.

Every hand that lifted a pint was grimed from the manual exertion of crawling through the undergrowth."

The "Fox and Hounds" was the pub that made national history again when Ind Coope, the brewers gave Ron and Hazel Pelling notice to quit. The locals launched an unlikely campaign to save the couple. They wrote a thousand letters, lobbied Parliament and won the day. In the brewing world and, around the country, it was an astounding victory.

The "Fox and Hounds" was the pub where customers manned the bar when Ron Pelling died. The locals took it in turns to serve drinks and food and wash to glasses in order to give the landlady an evening off. And when she died in 2005, more than 1,000 attended her funeral at Brasted parish church.

The "Fox and Hounds was the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value. Sevenoaks District Council supported its importance to the local community. And only a few months ago a local businessman made a firm offer to buy the pub at the asking price if the appeal failed.

The inspector considered all these points and a lot more. He admitted there would be "a significant level of local opposition to its loss" but came to the conclusion that it should be converted into a private house.

There will be a funeral. Locals are busy planning the day.

 

 

LICENSEE LIST

SHARMAN S E 1869-70+

SHARMAN John 1862-71+ (age 69 in 1871Census)

LYE Sarah Miss 1874+

BARNES James 1881+ Census

BARNETT James 1881+ (age 35 in 1881Census)

Last pub licensee had LEIGH William Thomas 1891+ (age 44 in 1891Census)

MARCHANT Henry 1901+ (age 45 in 1901Census)

WHITE John 1903-Oct/1906 Kelly's 1903

MORETON George Henry Oct/1906+

PARTRIDGE Charles 1913-22+

PELLING Ron 1967-87 dec'd

PELLING Hazel (widow) 1987-2001

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

 

CensusCensus

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

 

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

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