Sort file:- Peckham East and West, August, 2023.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 19 August, 2023.


Earliest 1935

(Name from)

Merry Boys

Open 2020+

The Pound / Snoll Hatch

East Peckham

01622 871249

Merry Boys 1960s

Above photo 1960s.

East Peckham map 1968

Above map 1868.

Merry Boys 2013

Above photo 2013 by Malc McDonald Creative Commons Licence.

Merry Boys 2015

Above photo 2015 by Chris Whippet Creative Commons Licence.

Merry Boys sign 1993Merry Boys sign 2022

Sign left, April 1993. Sign right 2022.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Merry Boys Whitbread signMerry Boys card 1949

Above aluminium card issued May 1949. Sign series 1 number 41.


The original "Three Merry Boys" was situated on the Addlestead Road and is now a private dwelling still called the same. The licence being transferred to the current pub above.


Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 5 May 1933.



The story of how illness and resultant depression caused a man to take his life was related to the Coroner for South West Kent, Mr. A. H. Neve, at the inquest he conducted at the "Merry Boys Inn," East Peckham, on Monday on Alexander Baptie, who was found drowned in the Medway at Wagon’a Bridge, East Peckham, on Saturday.

Emma Baptie, of Small Hatch, East Peckham, identified the body as that of her husband, who was a general labourer aged 64 years. His health had not been good for three years as he had been suffering from muscular rheumatism, which made him very depressed. Several times the dead man had threatened to do himself harm, but she did not think he meant it. He was sometimes bad tempered and worse when he was in drink. He last threatened to do himself harm about three or four weeks ago and said he was going to hang himself. He was sober then but there had been a slight quarrel. Witness believed it was due to ill-health that he was quarrelsome. On Friday he seemed all right in the early part of the day and saw Dr. Cotman. He said nothing when he came back and ate very little dinner. He went out at 12.00 p.m., but did not say where he was going or when he would be back. She did not believe he was in a temper then.


James Barnden, of Small Hatch, East Peckham, a farm labourer, stated that he had known the dead man for several years. He noticed that he had been very depressed. The dead man had complained to him that he felt unwell and that his nerves were bad. He had never spoke of committing suicide. He saw Baptie last about 4.30 p.m. on Friday at the Wagon Bridge, where he was looking over the parapet. Witness was talking to him for about half an hour and then left him still on the bridge. Baptie asked him during their conversation what depth of water there was in the hole in front of the bridge, to which witness replied that there was probably 8 to 10 feet, as the river was low. The next morning witness heard Baptie was missing and went down to the river, and after searching near the bridge found the body in the water.

The Coroner thanked Barnden on behalf of the public for the assistance he had given to the police.

Dr. J. S. Cotman, of East Peckham, stated that he had known Baptie since 1931 and had attended him for very nearly the whole of that time. In 1931 Baptie suffered from severe rheumatism and after 1931 lumbago and sciatica, and since March, 1932, Baptie had been continuously under his care. Witness had never seen any suicidal tendency in him or heard of these threats to commit suicide. He saw Baptie last on Friday. On Saturday he was called at about 12.30 p.m., when the body had been found, and examination showed that the symptoms were consistent with drowning. He thought it was probable that Baptie's mind was unstable at the time.

P.C. Wilson, of East Peckham, stated that about 11 a.m. on Saturday he went to Wagon Bridge, where he found the body, which, with assistance, he recovered from about 14 feet of water. It was probable that Baptie had been dead about twelve hours. Among the things witness found on the body were two lengths of rope, the longer piece having a noose, and a razor in its case.

The Coroner returned a verdict of "Suicide whilst of unsound mind," and expressed his sympathy with the dead man's relatives.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 27 April 1951.


Visitors to the "Merry Boys Inn" tread very quietly in one passage to avoid disturbing the pair of robins who have made their nest in a basket on a shelf. Mr. J. Elliott the licensee told the Courier that there are now four eggs and the nest and they are waiting for them to hatch.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 19 December 1975.

Pub couple have sea background.

Mr. David Lawrence, 31, and his wife Janet have recently taken over the "Merry Boys" pub at East Peckham.


David and Janet Lawrence 1975

The couple who married 4 years ago, met when they were both serving aboard the Edinburgh Castle, a Union Castle liner, on trips to South Africa.

He was second head waiter and Janet a waitress when they decided to marry and find themselves a pub in the country.

After leaving the Merchant Navy they took over the "Railway Bell," at Maidstone. Now they have moved to the "Merry Boys," where they are hoping shortly to add to a small restaurant.

David whose home is a Mongeham, near Deal, and who started life as a face worker at Betteshanger Colliery, spent six years at sea progressing to ocean liners by way of Cross Channel Ferries.

He says of his time at sea, "I shall never forget it. Those were good years in my life because I saw the world and got paid for it."

Still waiting to join the couple at East Peckham is there talking parrot Charlie.

Charlie, whom they bought some years ago in Nigeria, is still waiting to be moved from the Maidstone pub.

"He's a good talker and we need him to cheer on the darts team in February," David said.



STOLTON Edward 1903+ Kelly's 1903

ELLIOTT James E 1938-51+

Last pub licensee had LAWRENCE David & Janet 1975+


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph


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