Sort file:- Erith, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Jim Packer

Earliest 1865-

Locomotive Inn

Demolished 1967

99 (44) High Street


Locomotive 1954

Above photo, 1954.

Locomotive 1960

Above picture circa 1960.


The "Locomotive" was established about 1865 as a beer house and Colebrook Street ran down to the pier.

Further research tells me the pub was situated almost opposite the "White Hart" and a toy shop called Dorett and Dormans and used to be just up from the post office.

I am also informed by Jim Packer author of the "Lost Pubs of Bexley" that Richard Sargeant, a former coastguard, ran it from the start until 1883 when his grandson Herbert Sargeant Barham, a house decorator, took over for a few years.

In earlier years one of Richard’s daughters produced an attractive stitch-sampler which is now in the Bexley Museum collection.

The pub was short, very long and narrow. Plans of alterations carried out for brewers Messrs Charrington in 1905 show the pub only 16 ft wide. However it then had a public bar over 20 ft long followed by a glazed room which had a 14 ft long table.

The pub unfortunately closed as a result of the Erith town centre redevelopment in 1967.


From an email received 24 November 2018.


So wonderful to see your webpage and the photo of the Locomotive! Also to hear of the history of the building too. It brought back such memories of several years of my childhood in the Locomotive. My parents Les and Sheila Hawkins were the last licensees in approx 1965 when we had to move out due the redevelopment of the High Street. l was only 10 years old when we moved to Ramsgate where they took on the working men's club, swapping a clientele of men who worked on the river to that of Welsh miners. My father then moved over from being a publican to a milkman.

I can remember the beautiful long bar which stretched out in the long thin room of the Locomotive. l was allowed to polish it with Pledge at the weekends and place the cheese, pickled onions and peanuts out. At Christmas l was allowed a 'snowball' as a treat. The locals would put my favourite Cliff Richard records on the jukebox and play shove halfpenny and darts. They would also back the occasional horse for me too! There was the occasional fight and as a child l learnt a lot about life in the world of the public bar.

The picture rail housed a huge collection of matchboxes collected by the sailors from far flung corners of the earth. I used to enjoy looking at them when they were brought down for cleaning. There were paintings of locomotives on the walls and Toby jugs on display. The room upstairs which housed the spirits and cigarettes used to draw me in as there was some really eye catching advertising merchandise around then and as a child it was like entering an Aladdin's cave. The cellar in contrast was damp and cobwebby and smelt of stale beer, although I enjoyed watching the pavement opening up and the barrels being rolled down.

There was a cobbled yard at the back and a raised area with a patch of weeds where l used to play with our dog Gyp, from the Battersea dog's home, and my Guinea pig Guinness. The top floor of the building was quite dangerous and there were holes in the walls. I remember my imagination would run riot when thinking about this derelict area of our home.

I remember buying my Sindy dolls clothes from the toy shop opposite and my first transistor radio from Alibars next door but one. A numbers of our cat's litters were also passed to the pet shop next door.

Our pub was close to the "Running Horses," "Cross Keys" and "White Hart" l believe, although l may have this wrong as l have never returned to the area, living for the past thirty years in Cornwall.

The river was a huge draw too and l loved to wander down by the reeds and the foul smelling mud-flaps. I can remember finding a tenner in the street and handing it in to the police station across the road and, as a reward for my honesty, my sister and l were treated to a trip up the Thames in a police launch and we were also given the unclaimed tenner to share. The police were regulars in the pub as were the Sally Army ladies, from the establishment around the corner, selling their copies of War Cry to men who were too inebriated to say no.

I am not sure if this is of any interest to you but it has been good to reminisce.

Kind regards,

Shirley Carter.



SARGEANT Richard 1865-83 (age 76 in 1881Census)

SARGEANT-BARHAM Herbert (grand-son) 1883+ 

TALL John 1891-1901+ (age 32 in 1891Census)

THOMAS Albert 1911+ (age 24 in 1911Census)

BATEY Frank Stewart 1937+ (also haulage contractor)

BEECH Robert H 1938+

HAWKINS Les & Sheila 1965




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