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

Earliest 1962

(Name from)

Britannia

Latest 2008

41 Townwall Street

Above photo shows Townwall Street, with the Britannia pub on the right, before the road was turned into a dual carriageway.

The "Britannia" was built on the site of the "Wine Lodge," and the licensee of that continued to run this establishment when it opened.

 

From the Paul Wells collection.

Britannia 1960s

Above photo circa 1960s.

From the East Kent Mercury 23 March 1962.

Britannia

The 'Britannia' Opens Next Monday

"Britannia-Triumphant! The most decisive and glorious naval victory that ever was obtained since the creation of the world!" This 'headline from a broadsheet, published in 1805, announced Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. After 250 years the headline is still catching the eye, for the original broadsheet is now part of the decor at The Britannia, the new public house which Messrs. Mackeson and Co. Ltd., of Hythe, will open in Townwall Street, Dover, on Monday, March 26th.

Interesting Historical Exhibits

The broadsheet is one or many items of interest to be found in the new house. Its walls are lined with old maritime prints - many of ancient Dover - and there is a unique collection of vessels named Britannia through the ages. Ships of both the Royal Navy and the Merchant Marine are included. Although the exhibits are steeped in antiquity there is an acknowledgment to modern travel with a beautiful scale model of a B.O.A.C. Britannia.

Highlight of the decor of The Britannia is the scale model of H.M.S. Britannia, which was launched in October, 1820. This first rate ship of 120 guns. 2,616 tons. saw service in the Crimea. She was the flagship of Vice-Admiral J. W. D. Dundas at the bombardment of Sebastopol.

In the restaurant is an outstanding print of Dover Harbour as it was in 1739. Eight feet long and three feet wide. This magnificent mural shows the harbour of two centuries ago. The spire of St. Mary's Church is clearly visible.

Dover Harbour in 1739

Mr. Edwin Perry, licensee, and his son, Mr. Edwin Perry, jnr., who will be catering manager. Behind them is the magnificent mural depicting Dover Harbour in 1739.

Original Pub at Brussers Fair.

The Britannia takes it's inspiration from the famous pub of the same name which was specially constructed at the World Fair in Brussels four years ago. All the exhibits used in that reconstruction of a typical British hostelry have been included in Dover's Britannia. Patrons will be able to wander through the bars and dining room in much the same way as they would in an art gallery. And the brewers are encouraging this by issuing catalogues - but none of the exhibits will be for sale.

Specious Bars

The Britannia has two bars. The spacious Britannia bar - incorporating all the best from the Bar at Brussels - and the more intimate Trident Bar.

The Britannia Bar, panelled in Australian Walnut, is one of the largest bars in town. In adjacent Trident Bar - from where, at the moment, there is an unrivalled view of Dover Castle - there is a cold buffet bar.

A Special Beer

Britannia Bitter is a special beer brewed by Whitbreads and created for the World Fair at Brussels.

Since the closing of the British tavern at the World Fair the bitter has been obtainable only at the Sir Samuel Whitbread, Leicester Square. From Monday Britannia Bitter will also be on tap at The Britannia, Dover.

Continental Catering

Continental catering will be the speciality of the Britannia; which will have a Spanish chef and head waiter. The air-conditioned restaurant will have seating for 50 people.

The restaurant will be open for breakfasts at 7.30 o'clock for cross-Channel travellers - morning coffee, lunches and dinners. Morning coffee will also be served in both bars. The wine cellar is reputed to be one of the most extensively stocked in the area.

History and Contemporary Look Combined

Although the exhibits are steeped in history. The Britannia carries a contemporary look. This is well illustrated by lots by its bars, where beer comes from the most modern machines operated by the flick of a finger. Gone are the traditional pump handles. In their place a tiny lever that measures the exact amount of liquid at a touch.

And there is likely to be little beer spilled at The Britannia, as a new design beer mug is being used. Slightly larger than those in general use it will carry the Imperial Measure without the liquid coming right to the top.

The Britannia promises to be more than just another public house. Its rich nautical atmosphere becomes apparent when one notices its traditional inn sign - Britannia against the famous White Cliffs of Dover and it will add prestige to Dover, the busiest passenger port In the world.

HMS Britannia

Model of H.M.S. Britannia, of 1820, This fine scale model is the highlight of the unique maritime collection at the Britannia. This model took three years to make, specially for this new Dover public house.

From the East Kent Messenger 30 March 1962.

Britannia opening

VICE-ADMIRAL SIR CONOLLY ABEL-SMITH opens the Britannia at Dover on Monday.

A BOTTLE of sparkling champagne "launched'" The Britannia - Kent's newest public house - at Dover on Monday. The ceremony was carried out by Vice Admiral Sir Conelly Abel Smith, one-time Flag Officer, Royal Yachts, who commanded the Royal Yacht Britannia from 1953 to 1958. Sir Conelly broke the champagne bottle against an outside wall.

The Britannia is unique among public houses in Kent. It houses a notable collection of maritime exhibits, prints and pictures of famous ships.

Among them are many of local interest. Most of famous Britannias which have formed part of the Royal Navy through the centuries are on show, including a fine model of the 1820 Britannia.

The exhibition includes pictures of various merchantmen which have borne the famous name, including the Britannia which carried the very first Royal Mails across the Atlantic to the New World.

CATALOGUE

A catalogue of the exhibits is given to every customer. This is a work of art in itself, it carries a foreword by Vice-Admiral Sir Conelly Abel Smith and an essay "Dover and Britannia", by Thomas Armstrong, famous novelist, who wrote "Dover Harbour".

Licensee of The Britannia is Mr, Edwin Perry, who has transferred his licence from The Wine Lodge upon the site of which the new public house has been built. His father had The Wine Lodge before and his son has returned from Canada to help him.

The Britannia has a fine restaurant and will be a boon to cross Channel travellers, especially with its early breakfast service.

Many distinguished guests were at the opening among them Mrs. John Arbuthnot, wife of Dover's M.P., whose forebear commanded a warship at the Battle of Trafalgal, and who is commemorated in The Britannia collection. Click here for Catalogue.

 

From The Brewing Trade Review, May 1962.

The Britannia, Dover.

Britannia 1962

Vice-Admiral Sir Conolly Abel Smith, C.G.V.O., C.B., a past Admiral Royal Yachts, officially opened The Britannia on 26th March in a traditional "Ship-launching" ceremony, breaking a bottle of champagne against the wall of the new house. It was in 1958 that Whitbread & Co. Ltd. built a British inn bearing the same name for the Brussels International Exhibition, which became a popular meeting place for many thousands of visitors to the exhibition. A valuable collection of pictures and models were available when the exhibition closed and some of these have been incorporated in the decor of the new house. A catalogue of this collection has been prepared with a foreword by Vice-Admiral Sir Conolly Abel Smith with an introduction by Thomas Armstrong, the author of Dover Harbour.

The accommodation consists of cellars, ground and first floor, The ground floor contains two bars, off-sales shop, store and toilets with rear tradesmen's entrance to the kitchen sited on the first floor. The first floor contains the restaurant, kitchen, staff toilets, tenant's flat of three bedrooms, lounge, bathroom and separate toilet. The new house occupies the site of a previous building which consisted of a small single-storey building dating back some 200 years and at various times appearing as a carpenter's shop, bake-house with ovens, and a coach house. The earliest record of it being a public house was in 1903. A portion of the site had cellars which frequently flooded owing to the nature of the ground and to the presence of the River Dour only 20 feet away. The new cellars have been constructed in reinforced concrete with internal waterproofing.

Britannia, Britannia bar 1962

The house has two bars: The Britannia in which the walls are panelled in Australian walnut and the seat recess lined with decorative laminate plastic. The bar fittings are formed out of English oak left natural with six panels with a design of the Whitbread House mark worked on a melamine plastic. The Trident bar walls are partly clad in white boards on a dark grey background and partly with a buff wall fabric. Sandblasted glass windows depict Britannia's trident with the present Royal Yacht Britannia to one side and an earlier Britannia on the other. The buffet counter in this bar, with bag shelf, has been formed with a laminate plastic finish with oak trims and fittings formed out of English oak.

Britannia, Trident Bar 1962

The restaurant has walls partially panelled in American black cherry and partially covered in an oatmeal-patterned wall fabric. The centre portion of the carpet can be lifted to reveal a maple dance floor to cater for dinner-dances. A fine photographic mural of an old print of Dover dated 1739 dominates the room and food will be a speciality, with the menus specially prepared so that all the finest foods in Britain and many Continental dishes will be available. Travellers to and from the Continent will be able to enjoy breakfast in the restaurant from 7.30 a.m. until 10 a.m. or, if they arrive midmorning, coffee will be served in the bars.

There is a cold buffet available in the Trident bar and both here and the Britannia bar, Britannia Bitter will be available dispensed from the "Metron" dispenser. This strong draught beer was first brewed for the Brussels Exhibition and has hitherto only been available in this country in the Samuel Whitbread in Leicester Square, London.

The staircase in the entrance hall is formed out of teak treads with light steel framing, the walls being partially covered in white boards and Australian walnut panelling.

The kitchen has gas-operated appliances grouped in a central position with natural overhead lighting and ventilation, and all materials for floor, wall, ceiling and working surfaces have been selected to facilitate easy cleaning. A fully automatic oil-fired heating system has been included to provide all the domestic hot water as well as central heating through the building; it is thermostatically controlled with the assistance of electric fans. Air conditioning plant and the background music system have also been installed, with a public telephone kiosk acoustically treated in the main hall.

The landlord of the new Britannia is Mr. Edwin Perry, who has been tenant of the Wine Lodge since 1946, the house which formerly stood on this site. Builders of the house were R. J. Barwick & Son Ltd., the architect was Mr. H. J. Alger, staff architect to Mackeson & Co., Hythe.

From the Kent Mercury 13 January 1967

ITS NAUTICAL PRINTS AND MODELS ATTRACT THE OVERSEAS VISITORS

Edwin Perry and Son

MR. EDWIN PERRY, senior (right) with his son Edwin beside one of the nautical prints in the Britannia.

THE Britannia, Dover is one of the most famous public houses in the world. Every year thousands of overseas visitors visit the Britannia to see the unique collection of nautical prints and models.

The Britannia takes its name from the famous pub constructed for the World Fair in Brussels in 1958. And the collection - at least much or it - was originally on display at that famous Whitbread hostelry.

Focal point of the Britannia decor is the scale model of the H.M.S. Britannia, launched in 1820, a 120-gun ship which took part in the bombardment of Sevastapol.

In the spacious restaurant above the two large bars is an eye-catching print of Dover Harbour as it was in 1739. Eight feet long and  three feet wide, this mural evokes admiration from the travellers of the world.

So proud are the brewers of the collection that they have issued a magnificent catalogue, profusely illustrated, which carries a forward by novelist Thomas Armstrong, famous author of "Dover Harbour."

Licensee of the Britannia. Mr. Edwin Perry was born into the trade. His father took over the licence of the Wine Lodge, upon the site of which The Britannia is built, in 1926. Mr. Perry spent many years working at the famous London Palladium. His son, also Edwin, is manager of the spacious restaurant at the Britannia, which specialises in both Spanish and English dishes.

 

Photo below taken from http://www.dover.freeuk.com/town/townwall_street.htm.

Townwall Street circa 1970

The above photo shows the "Britannia" left, around the 1970s.

Taken below from http://s817.photobucket.com

Britannia mid 1960s

Above photo showing the pub and surrounding area from the mid 1960s.

From the Dover Express, 23 October,1970

New Landlord

New licensee of the "Britannia" in Townwall Street is Mr. Edward Perry, who takes over from his father. Mr. Edward Ernest Perry, licensee from 1946. He in turn took over from his father, landlord from 1926.

Born in West Kennington, Edward came to Dover in 1946 and began to help his father after seven years in the Canadian Army.

It was nine years ago that the "Britannia" took the place of the demolished "Wine Lodge."

 

Britannia and York Street 1977.

York Street 1977.

Britannia circa 1980

The Britannia circa 1980, photograph by Barry Smith.

 

Formerly the "Wine Lodge" which was taken down in March 1961. The larger premises were then erected and opened to the public on 26 March 1962. In charge of rum issues at the opening was Edwin Perry, who had kept the previous house for sixteen years and served for another eight here before handing over to his son in 1970. He in turn, handing over to his son in 1975.

 

With a Whitbread bar it occupies a corner with Mill Lane. Following redevelopment of the area post war, the new Townwall Street, with its dual carriageway is six times wider than its predecessor. Unfortunately, coupled with its residential accompaniment its effect is to separate the town from its seafront.

 

From the Dover Express, 28 August 2003. By NADINE MILLER.

Britannia landlady 2003 Sarah Webb

FUTURE PLANS: Sarah Webb outside the Britannia

Britannia hopes to rule the pub scene.

THE Britannia in Dover is under new management, and the owners have big plans for the future.

Sarah Webb has teamed up with Ian Ransley to transform the Townwall Street pub - and plans include a restaurant and a family bar.

Both areas are undergoing a major refurbishment and the first part of the transformation will be unveiled at a launch party on Friday October 3.

Sarah said: "We will open the new restaurant first and the downstairs area will be finished in February.

''All the meals will be homemade, nothing brought in, and the child-friendly fast food area will be downstairs.

"There are so many pubs which do not welcome them, but I think it adds to the overall atmosphere and there's usually less trouble.

"Very few restaurants ask how people like their vegetables but it's very important because everyone is different. I also want to use the cold stores in the basement properly so we'll order in half a cow or pig and prepare it on site to our requirements."

The name of pub comes from HMS Britannia, one of the major battleships at the battle of Trafalgar with a crew of 800 men.

The restaurant will reopened in October with a new fully functioning bar, totally refurbished kitchen and smartly dressed staff.

The downstairs bar is Open 2014+ for business, and Sarah has found a house DJ to take care of the music at the weekends.

For more information about the new restaurant and events planned for the Britannia, call 01304 203248.

 

 

Britannia charity

Found on the premises just before demolition.

From the Dover Mercury, 18 August 2005.

Pubs bid to open round the clock.

TWO of Dover's pubs and a 'supermarket' have asked for the right to serve alcohol 24 hours a day.

Under the Government's new licensing regime, all pubs, clubs and businesses serving alcohol and hot food after 11pm, and offering public entertainment, can ask for variations in the times they serve alcohol.

The Britannia pub in Townwall Street, and the Railway Bell in London Road, Kearsney, have applied for licences that would allow them to serve alcohol at all times of the day and night.

And Tesco in Whitfield wants to offer its shoppers the choice of buying alcohol whenever they visit the store.

Both licenses cite very different reasons for their applications, dismissing any thoughts of round-the-clock binge drinking.

Sarah Webb, licensee of the Britannia near the harbour, said: "We are looking to cater for people who work shifts and do not want to go to a nightclub. We know from our customers that many would like a quiet drink, outside normal hours."

Francis Gorham, licensee of the Railway Bell, said his application was not about keeping the pub open 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

He added: "This is about being able to decide, as responsible licensees, a suitable time to close the pub. One night that could be 3am, another 11pm."

Deadline

Following the August 6 deadline for licence applications, the district council has received 480 applications out of an expected 650 for the Dover district.

Many pubs have applied for longer hours, especially at weekends. The Flotilla and Firkin, in Bench Street, wants to close at 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, while the Old Endeavour, in London Road, has applied to stay open until at 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

From the Dover Express, 17 November 2005.

Topless dancing on way in Z4-hour drink plans.

TOPLESS dancers could be coming to a Dover pub when 24-hour drinking laws come into affect.

Landlady of the Britannia, in Townwall Street, Sarah Webb, 34, is planning to introduce regular pole-dancing nights in the new year.

The laws, which are due to come into effect on Thursday, November 24, mean the pub will be able to have live entertainment until 2am.

Britannia's Sarah WebbMrs Webb, who will be dancing herself, insisted the nights would not be sleazy, and offered to "invite the prudes down here".

She said: "We are the gateway to Europe - I think people who would object to exotic dancing in Dover need to wake up.

"It exists all over Europe, and in a lot of places around the UK.

"Very few of the clubs and venues have any problems, and there are a lot of girls that want to be dancers.

"It is also not sexist, as we will be having nights with female dancers and nights with male dancers.

"You see worse on the BBC and Channel 4. It will be topless, but not fully nude."

The Express asked a number of Dover residents how they felt about the plans, and found the majority had no objections.

Cherry Behan, 40, from Buckland, called people who opposed pole dancing "prudish and narrow-minded".

Marian Howard, 56; from Brunswick Gardens, said: "I would be more worried about the binge drinking and anti-social behaviour that will come with 24 hour drinking."

Folkestone Road resident Margaret Bowles, 53, objected, arguing it was a sign of Dover "going downhill". She said: "Where do they think we are, Thailand? This was a decent town once."

 

From the Dover Express, 1 December 2006. By Phil Reilly.

ROUND THE CLOCK DRINKING: SPECIAL REPORT.

Punters raise a glass to Britannia's longer hours.

DRINKERS toasted the start of a new era at The Britannia pub in Townwall Street on Thursday night, as 24-hour drinking laws came into force.

Only one other pub, The "Railway Bell" in River, will be able to serve round the clock, although the landlord has said it will open only on special occasions.

Other licenses have been granted for the Tesco store in Whitfield, as well as two petrol stations - the BP filling station in Townwall Street, and the Esso garage at Buckland Mill.

Britannia landlady Sarah Webb, 34, said the new laws have been a long time coming.

She said: "I'm surprised more pubs haven't gone 24 hour, just for commercial reasons. It gives landlords the right to choose how late to open."

She dismissed concerns about increases in binge drinking and antisocial behaviour as "making a mountain out of a molehill".

She said: "It is still illegal to serve drunk people, so it's not like people will be able to drink more than they do now. They may pace themselves better though."

Among revellers enjoying the first night party at The Britannia was Castle Ward councillor Nigel Collor who had overseen the introduction of the new system across Dover.

He said: "Having done shift work for over 20 years at the port, I can understand how some working there would like to have a drink on their way home, even if it's just to help them sleep."

As expected, drinkers in the pub on Thursday night were overwhelmingly in favour of the new laws.

Barmaid Jamie MacDougal, 19, from South Road, said: "For me, because I work shifts, I haven't been able to have a drink after work unless it's Friday or Saturday. Even then it's only nightclubs so it will be nice to be able to come out."

Chef Colin Delamere, 19, from Tower Hill, added: "I'm definitely in favour of 24-hour drinking - I think only old people are against it.

"Things like binge drinking will carry on, but I don't think it'll be any worse."

 

Britannia 2007

Photos above and below by Paul Skelton 31 December 2007.

Britannia sign 2007
Britannia 2007

Above photo April 2007, by Yav Zare.

Above photo April 2007, by Yav Zare.

Above photo April 2007, by Yav Zare.

Above photo April 2007, by Yav Zare.

Britannia sign 1958

 

The pub sign shown has been taken from a set of Whitbread Inn Sign cards released 1958. The card was used to advertise the pub in
The Universal and International Exhibition Brussels 1958. It is printed on the front and back, size 75mm x 50mm.

If you have a similar card it was catalogued in Murray's at being worth 45 in 2009.

Britannia sign 1973britannia sign 1986

Britannia sign left, 1973, sign right, April 1986.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis www.innsignsociety.com and sign left from Klaus Schmidt from Germany.

From an email sent by Chris Murray, 25 February, 2009.

Attached image of Britannia Whitbread plate that the dinners used to be served on - has "Copeland Spode England" on reverse. I have a small book regarding the Britannia in Brussels with same image. Have been to the site of the 1958 expo in Brussels where the Atomium still stands.

Whitbread dinner plate

From an email sent by Roger Hurst, 13 August, 2009.

I have just read the entry about 'The Britannia' in Dover. As someone who grew up in Dover, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say how sad the building has become today.

I'm particularly interested to see the photo of the plate sent in from Chris Murray.

I have two Spode dishes which were part of the original collection made especially for the opening. On the reverse they both have "Created by Spode of England in bone china for Whitbread Britannia Inn Brussels Exhibition 1958".

The dishes are both in their original boxes which have "Whitbread The Britannia" and the Whitbread insignia of the time.

Fred Perry gave them to a close friend as a present at the time of the pub's opening.

As unusual pieces which may be of interest to readers of this site, I thought that you may like to know that if anyone is interested in purchasing them, I would be happy to consider any reasonable offers.

Roger Hurst.

Britannis Spode Dishes

Anyone interested, let me know and I'll pass on email addresses. (Apologies, I have lost your email. If you read this please contact me again.)

 

From an email received, 10 February, 2013.

Not pictures of the Britannia pub, but of a Copeland Spode tankard, if you are interested you are welcome to add any of them to your site.

Best wishes, Ann Everitt

Copeland Spode TankardCopeland Spode Tankard Copeland Spode TankardCopeland Spode Tankard

 

From an email received, 10 February, 2013.

Yesterday, I picked up an attractive tankard in a charity shop window (photos attached). Noting the HMS Britannia and 1958 Brussels exhibition connections, I was intrigued to find out more about it and I stumbled into your website!

Britannia TankardBritannia Tankard

The tankard was rather dirty, but cleaned up rather well (I only noticed the dirt on the handle after taking the photos, but it wiped off easily). It now seems to be in mint condition noting the other one on your website, I wonder how many more of them are still surviving?

Regards,

Richard.

 

Closed Britannia 2009

Above photo by Paul Skelton, 13 August 2009.

 

The CAMRA branch meeting of August 2008 reported that the premises had been purchased by the Council.

 

From an email received 5 October 2010.

I've just found your email address in the Dover Kent Archives website, having discovered the site when searching for information on Whitbread's 'The Britannia' inn which was built at the EXPO58, Brussels.

I thought you might be interested to know that I have the actual inn sign which stood atop a post outside that exhibition inn. It is made of metal, enamel-painted on both sides, and I am pretty sure that it was made at Whitbread's signs shop at their London brewery; I know that Whitbread's sign shop at their Wateringbury brewery ceased production of their signs shortly before 1958. I acquired the sign just a few years ago from someone in Belgium living about 20 miles from Brussels. How he came to possess it I do not know, but it is safe in my hands!

I also have some plates and tankards from The Britannia.

Regards

Robert Greenham (Maidstone)

 

Did ask if you would be willing to send me some pictures, but unfortunately I haven't received anything yet. Paul Skelton.

Inside the Britannia

Above and below showing inside of the Britannia just before demolition. Photo kindly taken by Paul Isles.

Inside the Britannia Britannia window

Above showing one of the windows. Photo kindly taken by Paul Isles. http://www.doverlife.co.uk/

THE END

Britannia coming down

Kindly supplied by Terry Sutton. (Not the newspaper one.)

Former Britannia 2011

Site May 2011.

From an email received 21 August 2014.

Dear Sirs,

I happened to read your page about the "Britannia" Pub at Townwall Street Dover.

About twenty years ago, a Belgian driver who worked for "Stella Artois" brewery and frequently delivered in the Cornwall region, sold a hand-painted pub-sign to me that is looking exactly like the one you show on page 47.

My sign hangs in a frame of oak-wood. The Belgian driver, whom I asked wherefrom he had the sign, told me it was from a pub that had burned down in Cornwall (now I don't know, of course, if this information was true).

If you know anyone who might be interested in buying my sign (which is in excellent condition) please write a mail and make an offer (or call me by telephone: 0049-441-504321, that's in Oldenburg, northern Germany).

As the sign is regular size, transport could be a bit of a problem, but this should be solved easily by one of our transport-firms.

Thank you,

W. d'Alquen.

 

LICENSEE LIST

Last pub licensee had PERRY Edwin Ernest senior 1962-70 end

PERRY Edwin John senior 1970-75 end Library archives 1974 Fremlins

PERRY Edwin John junior 1975-78 end

RUDD Alan F 1978

BLACK D 1979

LARGE David 1979

WARNER J F or A J 1979

DIXON Paul 1983-87

LEVINSON R A 1987+

BUTTS Tony 1990 Next pub licensee had

BUTTLE Colin 1992

COLLINS Jeff 1993

WEBB Sarah 2003-2005+ Next pub licensee had

 

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

 

"Britannia." The next stage:- (Click here.)

 

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

TOP Valid CSS

 

LINK to www.DeadPubs.co.uk