Sort file:- Dartford, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Friday, 13 August, 2021.


Earliest ????


Closed May 2019

106 (73) East Hill


Woodman 1882

Above photo, circa 1882, kindly sent by Michael Norman.

Above photo 2014 by Chris Whippet Creative Commons Licence.

Woodman sign 1991

Above sign August 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


See Dartford Map 1905.


From the By Conor Shields, 23rd April 2019.

The Woodman Pub will close for good on May 25.

A popular Dartford boozer is to shut up shop next month as the owners say overbearing financial issues have become too bad for it to continue trading.

In an emotional statement posted on Facebook, owner of the The Woodman Pub, Toni Gilham, announced that their doors will close for good on May 25, much to the dismay of their loyal customers.

In her post, she explained that the pub "has never made a profit" and that the last two years have been extremely difficult "financially, physically and emotionally" as the pub continued to lose money week after week.

Toni and Rob Gilham 2014

The pub, known as The Woodie, was initially bought by Mrs Gilham and her husband Rob back in June of 2014 as they hoped to start their own successful family business.

However, almost a week after moving into the pub, Rob was tragically diagnosed with a terminal illness and later passed away the following September.

"We lost Rob very early on," said Ms Gilham.

"A week after we moved in he was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer.

"We were together for more than 20 years and I've never seen him take more than three days off sick, he was such a hard worker and rarely ill.

"It was supposed to be a family thing," she continued.

Speaking to News Shopper, a brave Mrs Gilham said that her desire to keep the pub trucking along was fuelled solely by naysayers who questioned her abilities following her husband's tragic death.

"People would say, 'what are you going to do now that Rob's gone?', and I think a stubborn side of me just kept saying, 'watch me'," she said.

However, as time went on it became clear that not enough money was coming over the bar to fund the business for the foreseeable future.

"It was our local, we had been drinking on and off there for about 20 years and we thought we knew the business," she added.

"We invested every penny that we had and had given up any possible holidays and our social lives as well.

"But after the third year, people just weren't spending enough money."

During the harder times, Mrs Gilham's son Jake had even given up his old flat to come home and help his mum with the day to day operations at the pub.

However, looking back at her five years with the pub, Mrs Gilham said that beyond the financial woes, she retains fond memories the many enjoyable nights behind the bar.

"Without a doubt, we can say we did it. We tried our best but sometimes you just need to know when to walk away.

"We’ve made good friends and met some lovely people and we were getting praise, but praise doesn’t pay the bills.

"Everything we’ve done in the last four and a half years has been for the customers," she said.

The Woodman Pub will be throwing one final bash on Saturday, May 25 with half price drinks and a live band playing the hits.


Update January 2020. Planning permission has been granted for conversion to residential accommodation.



APTED William 1874-91+ (age 70 in 1881Census)

LARNER Henry 1901+ (age 46 in 1901Census)

BYHURST Arthur 1903+ Kelly's 1903

GAMMON Thomas 1913-22

PILKINGTON Frederick 1930-38+

GILHAM Toni & Rob June/2014-May/19


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:-