Sort file:- Chatham, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1976+

(Name from)

Chequered Flag

Latest ????

(Name to)

301a High Street


Chequered Flag 2011

Above photo, date 2011, from by Ben Levick. Showing the former "Chequered Flag."

Chequered Flag match box

Above matchbox, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.


Above information from Ben Levick

Former "Old Barn"/"Chequered Flag" and "Shades Bar"/"Bar 21" 313a High Street, Chatham (at 189 High Street in 1874 and earlier, probably at 5 The Brook prior to 1756).


Sometime in the late 20th century the "Old Barn" changed its name to the "Chequered Flag" and "Shades Bar," then in 2001 its name was changed again, becoming "Bar 21." In 2006 it finally closed down and became a Chinese Restaurant.


The house used to be tied to the Courage brewery and changed name from the "Old Barn" some time after 1976.


From an email received 20 February 2015.

Dear Mr Skelton,

I was doing some research on Charles Dickens and by coincidence came across your website with a photo of our former home in Chatham.

My parents were tenants of this public house (Mr & Mrs Clifford, Albert Jones and Lydia, Sarah Jones) just before it became known as the "Chequered Flag." It was a courage house at the time. My father was quite active in the early days representing the local publicans interest at courage brewery meetings.

We lived there from 1966 until 1976 and it was called the "Old Barn".

The smaller bar to the rear of the property was not used by my father at the time. I often used to play there. It looked like time had stood still back there, lots of old wood, original beer pumps etc.

My parents have both sadly passed away in 2005 and 2008 and therefore, I can only ask my elder sister what else she can remember. I think my father also spoke of another name used for this pub was the "Coach & Horses" in the past. I know another "Coach & Horses" also existed they were further along from us towards Luton arches. Where Tescos now stands.

I would also be interested in finding out whether our pub was actually standing when Charles Dickens lived in the Brook after leaving 2 Ordnance Terrace. Sometime between 1812 and 1817. I know he often returned to Chatham, it brought back fond memories to him, as it does to me. The dockyard was still thriving in the late 60's early 70's and we were a naval pub. My father collected ship plaques (many hung behind the bar) and had a good relationship with the Navy customers.

Our home, the living area beyond the bar and upstairs had a special atmosphere for me. We had open fireplaces on every floor and sash windows. We would sit looking down on the high street from our bedroom windows on summer evenings enjoying watching the people passing by. Some of course commenting to us. We also watched Easter parades from the same windows. My bedroom, shared with my younger sister was the one on the right in the picture on the second floor. We used the first floor on this side of house as one big "Playing room" we had 2 pianos in it and some odd bits and pieces. The loft was quite spooky and I didn't much like going up the last flight of stairs. We even dared to sit on the roof sometimes again in summer with our cousin. Not that our parents knew of course. We climbed out a side window in the attic room to the left of picture and sat behind some concrete balcony posts. Extremely dangerous I'm sure. The cellar was absolutely spooky. My mother refused to go down into it on her own late at night. You could people pass by over the wooden delivery doors outside on the pavement.

I hope this information is of use to you.

Best regards

Jennifer Bichler.


Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

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.



???? Jean & Mossy ????


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