DOVER KENT ARCHIVES
PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1981

(Name from)

Arlington

Closed 2016

161 Snargate Street

The Arlington circa 1980

Photos are by Barry Smith. The one above is circa 1980.

Arlington 1993

Photo in 1993. By kind permission of Dover Library. ILL/4521.

The Arlington 1994

Photo by Barry Smith taken in 1994.

 

Formerly the "Perseverance" and the "Avenue", Paul Barrett bought the property and following alterations, reopened it as a free house with this sign in October 1981. Further alterations and extensions followed in 1983.

 

From information displayed on the wall at The Arlington.

The Official History of The Arlington.

This inn known by the name and sign of the Arlington was built in the 7th year of George I in 1721. Structurally the house remains much the same, however its appearance has altered greatly over the years by way of refacements and refurbishment.

Between the time of its founding and that of its first license the property was utilized for a number of things by tradesmen of varying descriptions. In 1721, it is described as the "New tenement of Joshua Ridley commonly called a cutler of the port of Dover". Ridley lived here between the years of 1721 and 1738 during which time he conducted his trade from the house since he is recorded as a cutler of Snargate Street throughout much of that period.

Joshua Ridley having died in that year of 1738, by the terms of his will, passed the house and all it contained including a number of edged weapons and long arms to his widow Naomi who at the time of receiving her inheritance is described as a maker of 'slops' which was one who traded in the manufacture of sailors clothes. The widow Ridley traded under that description and is recorded here in 1741, 1746 and 1751, the year in which she died and passed the house and her slops business to her daughter Jessica.

Jessica Ridley carried on her mothers trade until 1756 when she married Jacob Reuben, another slopsmaker of Dover and together they traded her until her death in 1773. In the following year, he sold the house and business to his brother Samuel who was also a slopsmaker. However, by 1776 the latter appears to have been running a marine chandlery from the house as well as conducting his original trade. This situation remained until Samuel Reuben's death in 1794 whereafter everything passed to his widow Susannah. In 1795, she sold the property as a "marine store with chambers over" to Ebeneezer Thornton a boat builder of Snargate Street over the sluice.

He died here in 1817 of no apparent heirs and the property passed into the hands of John Shipdem, notary town clerk, surrogate for the Cinque Ports and registrar and agent for Dover harbour, who was to act as trustee to the estate of Ebeneezer Thornton. In 1818 through Shipdem, this house was purchased by Robert Walker a brewer and maltster of Dolphin Lane, Dover. After carrying out alterations, Walker obtained an ale license for the house and hung the sign of the Perseverance. In November of that year with one, Richard Prebble installed as keeper the Perseverance opened for business and the first ale was sold here.

Prebble kept the house as a tenant until 1823 when in that year Robert Walker formed the company of Robert Walker and Sons and leased the Perseverance to Joseph Chambers whose trade by strange coincidence was that of slopsmaker. He kept the house and was recorded as a "slopsmaker of the Perseverance beer-house, 161 Snargate Street" until his death in 1845, whereupon his son was granted the tenancy by James and Thomas Walker. He served here until 1859 when George Watson took over. During the time that he kept the Perseverance his brother John kept an inn called the Golden Fleece at 56 Snargate Street.

In 1863, executors acting as trustees for the Dolphin Lane Brewery of James and Thomas Walker sold out to Leney and Evenden brewers who were part of the Leney brewing establishment at Wateringbury. In that year of 1863 after carrying out alterations to the house, a wine and spirit license was obtained for it and the Perseverance became a registered tavern. George Watson kept it until 1873 when he was succeeded by Charles Bliss, innkeeper of the Duke of Cambridge Commercial Inn in Snargate Street.

In 1881 Bliss was succeeded by James Gregory and he became the last keeper to hold a license here under the sign of the Perseverance, in 1886 Alfred Leney of the Phoenix Brewery in Dolphin Lane carried out further alterations to the house and upon the completion of these changed the name of the house to the Avenue. It was leased to William B. Mills a shopkeeper of 170 Snargate Street, however he died here after keeping the house for only a short period. In 1889, the tenancy passed to his daughter Mrs Amelia Reeves.

In 1890, she handed over to Alfred Thomas Dane who served here until his death in 1902 when his son William took over. He was succeeded in 1905 by William Norrington and he in 1907 by Edward Legrois who was here until 1926 when in that year Alfred Leney sold out to the Fremlin Brothers brewery of Maidstone.

They leased to Henry Frederick Partridge who was here until 1937 when he was succeeded by William James Dolbear. On the 4th October 1940 the Avenue closed and remained so for the duration of World War II, this was due to its close proximity to the Docks and the danger of being shelled. In 1945, Fremlins re-opened the house and it remained in their hands until 1967 when the brewery merged with Whitbread Brewery to form Whitbread Fremlins. In 1980, they sold the Avenue as a Free-house and the name was changed to the Arlington. Today it is owned and kept by Jeffrey Reynolds.

The Arlington

Kent's Smallest Public House

The Arlington

161 Snargate Street

Dover, Kent, CT17 9BZ

telephone (01304) 206 201

 

From the Dover Mercury 25 February 1999 by Joe Harman.

Arlington

Tipplers choice

DOVER has been credited with having as many pubs as there are days in the year.

I was fortunate to pick up a licensing list dating from about 1870 when it was possible to say there were about 270.

Some were only beer houses, where the wife brewed the beer and the husband went out to work.

Snargate Street had at least 41 hostelries and the names changed over the years.

The Arlington is the last in a long line and it was formerly known as The Avenue, and before that The Perseverance which seems to date from 1861.

At the other end was The Mitre which is listed back in 1877. In 1929, it moved across the road when a large area was cleared to widen the road.

The trams used to turn at the end of Snargate Street into Strond Street which was always known as The George Corner.

It was some years later I discovered that at the turn of the century the old inn was demolished to improve access for traffic.

Joe Harman

 

From the Dover Express, 25 March 1999. By SERGIO NARDONE

Firemen praise landlord for stopping pub blaze.

FIREMEN praised pub staff for their actions in slowing the spread of a fire.

On Saturday morning landlord Jeff Reynolds, 57, was preparing to open his pub, the Arlington, in Snargate Street, Dover.

But a barmaid discovered flames and smoke pouring out from the third floor.

Mr Reynolds and a next door neighbour tackled the bathroom fire using extinguishers.

The pair were not sure whether they had put out the flames as they were forced back by black, noxious fumes.

They shut all doors and made sure electricity and gas were switched off at the mains before going outside to wait for firemen.

Two firemen wearing breathing apparatus went into the pub - the smallest in Kent - to check the blaze was out.

The officer in charge of the operation, leading fire-fighter Darrell Tonks, said: "The occupants did all the right things. Shutting the door starved the blaze of oxygen."

Firemen believe the incident started when a bathroom sewage compactor either burnt out or overheated. The bathroom was badly damaged.

 

Advert from the Dover Express, 27 February 2003.

Arlington Advert 2003

From an email received, 2 January, 2013.

Being someone who was brought up in Snargate Street, The "Arlington" and it's previous incarnation of The "Avenue" was well known to me. Indeed, The "Avenue" was my Dad's local and one of the first pubs that I had a drink in.

When Fred Dunster died in 1980, it closed for a while until taken over by Paul Barrett, as stated in your comments. My understanding was that the pub was bought for Paul by his father, a successful businessman from West London. I was curious as to the choice of name, associating it with the cemetery outside Washington DC. When I asked Paul about this he replied that the name had been chosen as the family home in West London was "Arlington" something (I can't remember if it was road, avenue or whatever) and they thought that this was a nice name, knowing nothing about the cemetery.

Another tale I heard was that, not long after reopening the pub when Paul was living there alone, he was disturbed in the night by what sounded like coins clattering against metal downstairs. Worried, he went down to the bar but found nothing untoward. It was only later when he mentioned this to another regular that he was told how Fred Dunster did not have a till as such but threw that money he took into a tin box behind the bar at the foot or the stairs to the accommodation above. Was this the ghost of the previous landlord.

Peter Addis, who took over from Paul Barrett who later moved on to be Landlord of The "Royal Oak" at Nonnington. I haven't looked to see if you have that already.

Regards,

Len Howell.

From the Dover Mercury, 21 August 2003

Arlington Carl Groombidge

TRANSFORMATION: Carl Groombridge, chef at The Arlington Ref: pd 4446117

Delighting in good cooking.

LEAVING Archers Court School, Whitfield, at 16, Carl Groombridge, now 28, became an apprentice in the kitchens of one of the grandest hotels in the South East - the Imperial in Hythe.

Now he is chef at one of Dover's newest restaurants, which has been transformed from a pub that claimed to be one of the smallest in Kent.

Carl is installed at The Arlington in Snargate Street, having gained his qualifications at South Kent College and a three-year stint at The Fisherman's Wharf in Sandwich.

"It's a partnership with my brother Ian who's a builder and wanted a new project," said Carl.

"After gutting it, we now have a 16-seater dining room and rumours of a ghost in the cellar - but I've never met him!"

The diners he meets include ferry passengers on their first or last port of call on British soil. They are not all holidaymakers.

He said: "I've had a balloon salesman and a chap whose job was to go abroad and drive dead people's cars home."

Meals Carl delights in preparing include lamb cutlets with caramelised roast vegetables and a range of puddings.

"I've always liked making desserts, especially pastry, - and for the perfect-pastry you need time and patience."

His wife Agnes works as PA at a big hotel chain's London office.

Back home in Shepherdswell, Carl belongs to a car club and enjoys time trials. When it comes to cooking:

"Agnes and I like cooking meals together."

 

From the Dover Express 8 July 2004.

Arlington Karl Groombridge

TRADITIONAL FLAVOUR: Karl Groombridge hopes to entice people into the former pub for a good meal.

THE Arlington for many years was a favoured haunt for thirsty Dover Express staff, but a growing number of fans are discovering a great little restaurant. IAN READ met chef and the brains behind the venture. Carl Groombridge ...

 

STARTING up a restaurant in what was Kent's smallest pub is a daunting task when you have to start from scratch.

But 28-year-old Karl Groombridge is building the Arlington, in Snargate Street, up with the help of his family.

Karl is the culinary brains behind the former pub, which became a restaurant in March 2004, while brother Ian took care of the renovations to the building which dates from 1721.

He said: "My mum keeps the books and the rest of the family have their input."

But Karl has sole responsibility for deciding on the menus and setting the tone of the former pub overlooking Dover Marina.

"I am trying to have a traditional flavour to the food although I do experiment sometimes," he said.

"There is so much competition in the restaurant business that you have to ensure you give value for money.

"I love talking to customers so I can gauge what recipes work and how I can keep improving the food we serve.

"At lunchtime, I am the chef and the waiter so I'm able to winkle out their likes and dislikes. Your food has to keep evolving. You can't stand still in this business."

Karl's week begins on a Tuesday when he starts checking the meat and vegetables. The restaurant attracts yachties from the harbour and people having a slap up meal before going on the ferry; as well as locals.

He said: "Sometimes we get people in who don't realise we are not a pub any longer but hopefully we can entice them in for a meal. All my food is local the furthest I go is to Whitstable to buy my fish.

"I don't have time to do the Jamie Oliver thing of going down the market personally every time but I do like to see if there are any new ingredients around when I do go out."

Karl has been in the trade for 12 years, starting at the Imperial Hotel, Hythe, before going on to the Fisherman's Wharf in Sandwich.

It took two months to get the Arlington ready for business. The main bar had to be moved and the place generally renovated. The walls are covered in drawings of Dover scenes and Karl now wishes he had taken a bit more notice during his local history lessons.

He said: "We don't make enough of our surroundings. We have got the castle, but the town is in the midst of some of the most beautiful countryside in Kent. We must make more of our assets because there is a lot more to see around here."

When Karl and Ian renovated the pub they didn't find any hidden treasure - just a lot of woodworm. But everything is shipshape and Dover fashion. Now everything hinges on building a great reputation for the 17-seater restaurant.

He said: "Everything is steadily moving forward but we will have to wait for another five years to know if we have really been a success."

When Karl isn't in the restaurant he spends his time at home with wife Agnes in his home village of Shepherdswell.

He also does some time trial rallying around the lanes between Dover and Canterbury as part of a club.

Luckily, he has Sundays and Mondays off so he can have a bit of a break from the frantic life in the kitchen.

He said: "It is good to relax and do something different to unwind.

"I love working in our own place. We will never make millions, but if we provide people with good food and a nice experience I hope we can't go too far wrong."

Contact The Arlington on 01304 209444.

 

Arlington inside

Above photos of the inside of the Arlington circa 2007.

From the Dover Express 26 May 2011. Report by Yamurai Zendera

CATHIE AND TRACIE LOOK FORWARD TO THE COMPETITION.

Arlington West Bistro

Sisters-in-law open new restaurant "The Arlington West Bistro"

IT IS a well-worn saying that you should never go into business with friends of family.

But that has not stopped sisters-in-law Cathie Arthur and Tracie West teaming up to open Dover bistro The Arlington West in Snargate Street.

Cathie, 56, said: "I wanted to do it but never had the opportunity. I had it in my head that I was fed up going to different places to eat where I found the food not very good and overpriced, I thought I could do better."

Prior to the business, Cathie was working as a waitress in Whitfield, while Tracie, 48, continues to double up as a secretary at an electrical firm.

Mum-of-three Cathie said: "We started looking for premises and we saw this place. It had been a restaurant before so everything was there for us. We thought go for it it's either now or never."

Cathie concentrates on front of house and Tracie on the accounts. They employ two chefs.

Cathie said: "I love what I do, interacting with people. We both knew it would be long hours initially. When the restaurant starts establishing itself we'll have time off."

The women say they are not afraid of competition.

Cathie said: "I wish there were more restaurants here because you'd get a few more people wanting to come to the area. Competition is good, if you're slightly different it's not a problem. It's when you try to just copy someone there are problems."

 

 

After closing as a public house in 2004 the premises operated as a restaurant/bistro till 2012 or thereabouts. It then closed and remained dormant for a few years and finally opened as a micro-pub in September 2014.

 

From the Dover Express, 5 June, 2014.

Pub history.

DOVER: Former pub licensee Pauline Crawley is soon to open a micropub at 161 Snargate Street - but before then she hopes readers of the Dover Express will help her with the history of the property.

She believes the premises were built about 1740 when it was used for the manufacture of fishing nets.

Later it became The "Avenue" pub and then The "Arlington," the name she will retain for the micropub.

 

From the Dover Express, 26 June, 2014.

Arlington sign to be reinstated.

DOVER: A hanging sign will return outside a Snargate Street pub, if the landlady gets her way.

Pauline Crawley aims to open a micropub in the former "Arlington" premises and says she intends to reinstate the original "Arlington" sign.

She said: I am curious about the name on the sign as it has a depiction of a sailing ship on it.

Im wondering if there was a vessel of that name sailing into or out of Dover at any time.

The pub was once called the "Perseverance," the name of a ship that sailed to America carrying migrants to the New World.

 

Arlington 2014

Above photo kindly supplied by Graham Butterworth.

 

LICENSEE LIST

BARRETT Paul 1981-83 end

ADDIS Peter 1983-87 Next pub licensee had

REYNOLDS Jeff 1987-91

Changed to a restaurant March 2004

Karl Groombridge 2004

Closed as pub till September 2014

Last pub licensee had CRAWLEY Pauline Sept 2014-Mar/15 dec'd

CRAWLEY Russell May/2015+

 

From an email received 20 March 2015

Pauline Crawley died last weekend in Ashford hospital.

Apparently she went to St Savious hospital (Hythe) for a hip replacement op - which as far as any knows went well - but she was being sick after the operation - she was taken to Ashford hospital and had to have an emergency operation on her bowels from which she never recovered. I was told that significant parts of her bowel were 'dead' (whatever that means) and it was not possible to do any sort of repair.

There is apparently going to be an inquest and they don't think the hip operation had anything to do with her death.

Graham Butterworth.

 

From the Dover Mercury, 14 July, 2016.

Tiny pub to go under the hammer.

What is described as Kents smallest pub is going for auction.

The "Arlington," at Snargate Street, Dover, comes with a two-bedroom apartment upstairs.

The business was formerly called the "Perseverance" and the "Avenue."

It closed in 2003 to reopen as a restaurant and then in 2014 it became a micro-pub. It is now closed.

It is one of 154 lots listed for sale by Clive Emson, the land and property auctioneers, ahead of its next sale on July 26.

It is being offered with a freehold guide price of 85-90,000.

Kevin Gilbert, auctioneer, said: It is considered that these premises might be suitable for a variety of future uses subject to all necessary consents being obtainable.

It has a cellar, small courtyard and the living accommodation has views of Dover Marina.

We understand the premises have a full licence and could re-open as a pub.

 

 

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

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