Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 29 September, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1870

1998 (Name from)

Carriers Arm's

1991 (Name to)

Closed 2019

12 West Street


Carriers Arms circa 1987

Carriers Arms 1976 (Photo by Paul Skelton)

Carriers Arms 2015

Above photo 2015 by Chris Whippet Creative Commons Licence.


This appears as a beer-house on ordnance maps of 1871 and it would have been one of the last in the town to relinquish that role. George Dennis was licensee in 1871 but may have been there before that in 1870 as he was reprimanded for being convicted for an infringement of his licence in that year, but it may have been his previous pub. He is mentioned as being licensee of the "Windsor Castle" in 1851.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 16 September, 1870. Price 1d.


George Dennis, W. T. Bond, and W. Langridge, who had been convicted for some infringement of their license, were severely cautioned.


I have seen it mentioned as a beerhouse at the end of 1938. The census shown for that year puts the "Carriers Arms" in the parish of Charlton and the Municipal Ward of Castle. Tower Hamlets as we know it today was just beginning to develop around that time. A wine licence was obtained by Peter Beer in 1947. Applications for a spirit licence had been refused as long ago as 1880.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 25 August, 1893. 1d.


Mr. Beecham, of the “Carriers Arms,” was said to have died on Sunday, therefore the issue of the license was adjourned to Broadstairs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 September, 1910.



At the Dover Police Court on Monday, before the Mayor (W. Emden, Esq.) and J. L. Bradley, Esq.

Richard Beecham, 12, Douglass Road, a butcher, was charged with being drunk and refusing to quit the "Carrier's Arms" beer house, Tower Hamlets, when requested to do so, and further with breaking the glass panel in an automatic machine in the bar by striking it with a stick, doing damage to the amount of 6s., the property of George William Woodruff Waterhouse, the licensee.

Mr. L. B. Watson, who appeared to prosecute on behalf of Mr. Woodhouse, said for some time past it had been necessary to refuse to serve the defendant at the "Carriers Arms," but on Saturday last he went in there. Mrs. Waterhouse told him he could not get served, and he was not, in her opinion, in a fit condition to be served. She advised him to go away from the house, but he refused, and said he was waiting for some friends there. To occupy his time the defendant put a halfpenny in an automatic machine, but no ticket came out, and Mrs. Waterhouse offered to give him one in the place of the one he should have received. That, however, did not satisfy him, and he proceeded to knock the machine about with his stick, and eventually broke the glass. If the facts were proved to their satisfaction it was not desired to the prosecution that the defendant should be sent to prison or fined, but rather that he should reimburse the expense the prosecutor had been put to, and that the Bench should bind him over.

Mrs. Edith Whitehouse, wife of George William Woodruff Whitehouse, licensee of the "Carrier's Arms," Tower Hamlets, said: "The defendant came into the house on Saturday afternoon last. He was not served, and he has not been served for six months. He came back in the evening about 7.30, and at that time there was nobody in the bar. I went upstairs, thinking he would go, but when I came down again he was still there, tapping on the floor with his stick. I told him it was no use his waiting as he would not be served. I considered he was under the influence of drink. He said he was waiting for a friend, and he then put a halfpenny into an automatic machine in the room. The check did not come out, the machine failing to act properly. He started hitting it with his stick (produced), and I told him to desist, and that I would give him the value of the check. He refused, and said he meant to have the check from the machine. He then smashed his stick into the glass. I sent for my husband, and he sent P.C. Bond, who came in to the defendant. About five minutes afterwards my husband arrived and another police constable, and the defendant was given into custody. The amount of damage was 6s.

The Mayor: Has the defendant been coming constantly for the last six months? - Yes.

You have always refused to serve hi,? - Always.

The Clerk: We have no evidence that you told him to quit on this occasion? - I told him it was no use waiting; he would not get served. I did not tell him definitely to quit.

George William Woodruff Waterhouse, the licensee of the "Carriers' Arms," Tower Hamlets, said: I was sent for on Saturday evening, and I sent P.C. Bond over to the house to see what was the matter. I followed soon afterwards, and saw the defendant in the bar parlour, sitting down. I noticed that the glass front of the automatic machine was smashed, and I asked my wife how it happened. She replied that Beecham had broken it with his stick. The defendant was present in the room, but made no reply. I fetched another policeman, who took charge of the defendant, as P.C. Bond was off duty.

The witness produced a piece of the broken glass which was in plate, and splinters from the defendant's damaged stick.

The Mayor: Was Beecham drunk when you saw him? - He was under the influence of drink.

Mr. Watson: Have you had to refuse to serve him with drink? - Yes; I have refused to have him come into the house at all, drunk or sober. He is a continual annoyance to us.

Defendant, in reply to the Clerk, said he admitted doing the damage.

P.C. Bond said: I was at home, off duty, at 8.15 on Saturday evening, when I was called to the "Carrier's Arms," West Street. I saw Mrs. Waterhouse there, and she showed me into the room adjoining the bar. The defendant was there on the floor, on his knees, as if he were looking for something. I saw the glass of the automatic machine was smashed, and Mrs. Waterhouse complained that the defendant had broken it by striking it with his stick. I asked him what he was doing on the floor, and he said he was looking for the top of his stick, and that when he had got it he would clear out. He was under the influence of drink. I detained him till the arrival of Mr. Waterhouse, who gave him into custody. Defendant admitted breaking the glass, and said he did it because the machine was empty. I was only partly dressed at the time, so .C. Roberts took him in charge, and afterwards we both brought him to the police station. He was later released on bail.

Defendant: I must contradict one statement you made. You don't suppose I should be crawling about when there was broken glass on the floor. I was stooping down with a box of matches.

The witness said the defendant was under the table  when he saw him.

Beecham denied this; but had nothing further to say.

The Mayor reminded the defendant he had been before the Bench on several previous occasions. It was a pity a man in his position could not keep himself free from drink. He should recommend him - as he did every man who could not take drink without losing control of himself - to take the pledge, or do something to prevent him from drinking to excess, because it only brought disgrace on himself and trouble on everybody else who had to deal with him. In this case it had been in a kindly spirited suggestion that the defendant should only be bound over, but the Magistrates were of opinion that he must also pay the amount of the damage and the cost of the summons. Defendant would therefore be bound over for twelve months, and pay the damage, amounting to 6s., and the costs, 8s.

Defendant, who was allowed a week to pay, or in default 14 days, was then formally bound over for twelve months in the sum of 10.


Incidentally, the Richard Beecham mentioned above is not the same one as once landlord of the "Carrier's Arms," as the landlord died in 1893. I do not know yet know whether they were related. P Skelton.


Dover Express 14 February 1913.


On February 13th, at the "Carrier's Arms," Tower Hamlets, Dover, suddenly, of double pneumonia, after a few days' illness, Frank, youngest son of the late George Waterhouse and Louisa Waterhouse, of Ticehurst, Surrey.

The George Waterhouse mentioned above was licensee George William Woodruff Waterhouse's father, so Frank was his younger brother aged 24.


It had closed its doors for the duration of world war two in September 1940 but it was the same Peter Beer who reopened in 1941.


From the Dover Express, 3 June, 1939.

The Magistrates approved plans for alterations to the bar and carvery and sanitary accommodation at the "Carriers Arms," Dover.


From the Dover Express, 13 September, 1940.


At the Dover Licensing Sessions on Friday last, the licensees of the following public houses were granted permission to close for the duration of the war:- "Carriers Arms," West Street; the "Royal Standard," London Road; and the "Granville Bars," Marine Parade. On Monday similar permission was given in respect of the "Admiral Harvey," Bridge Street.


Dover Express 07 May 1943.


On Sunday, 25th April, at St. Bartholomew's Church, Dover, by the Rev. J. Embry. Raymond William Beer, elder son of Mr. and Mrs. Beer, of the "Carriers' Arms," Dover, to Eileen Joan Amos, youngest daughter of Mrs. Amos, of 46, Widred Rd., Dover.


From Bob Hollingsbee MEMORIES. Thursday, September 27, 2001

Carriers Arms


DENNIS Beecham, of Elms Vale Road, Dover, was very interested in the picture of the "Carrier's Arms," in a recent memories page feature - and with good reason. His grandfather, Richard Beecham was the licensee for a number of years.

Richard and his wife Sarah had 13 children, and one of them, Reuben, born in 1889, was Dennis Beecham's father.

Sadly, when Reuben was four, his father died suddenly. A doctor was called when he was taken seriously ill and he died during an emergency operation, which, Dennis tells me, had to be carried out immediately in the public house.

Richard's sorrowing widow Sarah, left with young children, carried on running the Carrier's Arms for several years afterwards.

Dennis kindly lent me his autographed family copy of the paperback book on Dover public houses by Barry Smith, of Dover, called "By the Way - Local Observations by Rambler."

Now out of print, this book packs in a great deal of information about Dover's hotels and public houses in its 70 pages, but there are no illustrations.

Barry Smith himself also phoned me about the Memories article, as did several other people. He told me he had gathered far more information than he could ever hope to include in a book during his researches.

These Included hours searching through the Dover Express files of bound newspapers which extend back to 1858.

Barry also told me he had deposited more up to date information, extending the account up to about 1997.

Writing about the "Carrier's Arms" in the book Barry said although the pub was shown on local ordnance survey maps of 1871, the earliest licensee for whom he could find a reference was Richard Beecham, whose link with it dated from 1877.

The book solves for me the mystery of why, in the old photograph sent to me by Dave Wybom, now living in Denton, Manchester, the pub had the painted sign "Waterhouse's Carriers Arms," as shown above.

Public houses myth

Evidently it is because George Waterhouse was licensee from 1903, possibly until 1932, when a Waterhouse was still listed.

Incidentally, consent was given in September 1940, to close the pub for the duration of the war if necessary, but Peter Beer obviously had other ideas. He took over in 1941 and stayed until about 1956.

As to the thorny subject of the sheer number of public houses the town once had - in Snargate Street and Commercial Quay, old photographs show it was not unusual to find rival establishments next door to each other!

Writer Joe Harman, of St Radigund's Road, whose memoirs have just been published, based on a lifetime in Dover, has presented me with a photocopy of an 1870 licensing list giving a total of 270 names of public houses, hotels and other licensed premises in Dover, taking in Buckland and Charlton. (I'd sure like to see that list as the maximum I have found is only 231 in 1870. Paul Skelton.)

That is the highest number at one time that he has been able to verify. That number was soon cut considerably, as Barry writes in his book, by the 1904 Compensation Act and the Licensing Consolidation Act of 1910, as steps were taken to cut down the number.

By 1919 467 Kent licences were abolished, 42 of them closing in Dover between 1904-19. Reader Andrew Palmer told me of a claim of 365 pubs in Mark Smith's Dover book published by Alan Sutton some years back.

It seems to be one of those myths, 'propagated' over a pint or two, perhaps, and given some apparent credence by appearing in print, that will probably never be laid to rest! (I'm doing my best. Paul Skelton. Click here for TIMELINE spreadsheet.)

"By the Way," intended not as a comprehensive history but "a brief history of pubs and hotels in Dover since 1970," nevertheless includes some interesting background information, including a summary of the early breweries that were set up in the town.

But that's another subject. Suffice to say, as Barry observes, that the town played no small part in making its contribution to the development of the Kent brewing industry, but, sadly, brewing in Dover ended in 1926.


From the Dover Express, 7 February, 1947.



TO: The Clerk to the Rating Authority The Clerk to the Justices The Superintendent of Police, and whom it may concern

I, PETER WILLIAM BEER, now residing at "The Carriers Arms" West Street, Dover, in the County of Kent, Licensed Victualler, do hereby give notice that it is my intention to apply at the Adjourned Annual Licensing Meeting for the said Borough to be holden at the Town Hall Dover aforesaid on, Monday the Third day of March next for the grant to me of a Justices' Licence authorising me to apply for and hold an Excise Licence to sell by retail Wine for consumption either on or off premmises situate at West Street Dover aforesaid and known by the sign of The "Carriers Arms" and of which premises Alfred Leney and Company Limited of Dover aforesaid are the owners of whom I rent them.

Dated this 5th day of February 1947.


19523 b7


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 5 November, 1954.

Tramps fancy dress, Carriers Arms, 1954


Some of the realistic entries in the "Tramp's" fancy dress competition at the "Carriers Arms," Tower Hamlets, last Thursday. The next 7 photos may well be from the same roll of film.

Carriers Arms photo 1950s

Photo 1. Above photo circa 1950s. Please email with further information.

Carriers Arms photo 1950s

Photo 2. Above photo circa 1950s. Please email with further information.

Carriers Arms photo 1950s

Photo 3. Above photo circa 1950s. Please email with further information.

Carriers Arms photo 1950s

Photo 4. Above photo circa 1950s. Please email with further information.

Carriers Arms photo 1950s

Photo 5. Above photo circa 1950s. Please email with further information.

Carriers Arms photo 1950s

Photo 6. Above photo circa 1950s. Please email with further information.

Carriers Arms photo 1950s

Photo 7. Above photo circa 1950s. Please email with further information.


Within five minutes walking distance were the "Eagle", "Friend in Need", "White Lion", "Dewdrop", "Havelock Arms" and "Imperial Crown" so it is remarkable that the establishment kept its head above water to 1988. On 1st October that year Fremlin decided to close. Its last licensee was Brian Porter.


Following extensive alteration and renovation it reopened under a new sign, "The Battle of Britain", on 6 July 1991. Barry Norman and Les Holness.


It is now again trading under it's original name of "Carriers Arms". (2007)


Carriers Arms circa 2005

From the Dover Express, 26 March, 2009.

Pub has been taken on by beer expert

Report by Yamural Zendera

Mike & John Townsend

Expert hands: New landlord John Townsend, right, and his son Mike outside the Carriers Arms.


THE family running the newly-reopened Carriers Arms say they are equal to the task of ensuring it does not join the list of small pubs to have gone under in recent times.

Many independent boozers have folded since the smoking ban came into force, or are struggling in the face of stiff competition from supermarkets and off-licences and are now having to deal with the recession.

But the brutal economic climate has not put off father and son John and Mike Townsend from buying the lease of the Tower Hamlets pub from Admiral Taverns.

The West Street venue had been closed all this year.

Father-of-five John, 60, who has made a career out of reversing the fortunes of ailing pubs for breweries and landlords, said: "The pubs we have recently managed for holding companies have been challenging.

"Working for holding companies was a nomadic existence and it was time to go it alone."

The former P&O Ferries employee, who is living above the boozer with son Mike, 28, feels the government could do more to help small pubs survive.

He said: "We would like a level playing field with supermarkets, as they can afford to sell alcohol as a loss leader.

"Every pub has to sell alcohol responsibly but people can go to a supermarket or off-licence and buy as much as they want. It makes things tough for us."

The widower, who has lived in Dover since 1970, said he hoped having three closely situated pubs in Tower Hamlets would encourage local residents to go for a drink in the neighbourhood rather than in town.

He said: ''This is a community pub and needed to be opened again.

"There's no reason why the pub should not succeed if we give a good service."



Information received November 2011 tells me that the leasehold is sale for as yet an unknown amount, but the pub is Open 2014+ for business. December 2011 the for sale sign was removed.

Seems to have closed, as yet reason unknown at the start of 2019. April 2019 it was up for sale and stated as "Suitable for other uses." So guess this is the last of this one.


Carriers Arms 2019

Above photo 2019.

Carriers Arms inside 2019

Above photo 2019.

Carriers Arms inside 2019

Above photo 2019.

Carriers Arms inside 2019

Above photo 2019.

Carriers Arms back garden 2019

Above photo 2019.



Last pub licensee had DENNIS George 1871 (age 49 in 1871Census)

BEECHAM Richard Gravett Hall 1877-Sept/93 dec'd Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891

BEECHAM Sarah Hall Mrs 1893-1903+ Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

GRANT W W 1909 Pikes 1909

WATERHOUSE George William Woodruffe 1909-32 (age 33 in 1911Census) Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1918Post Office Directory 1922Pikes 1923Pikes 1924Post Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33

STEWART William John 1932-Oct/38 (beerhouse) Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39

BATTERSBY Harold Robert Oct/1938 Dover Express

BEER Peter William 1941-57 Next pub licensee had Pikes 48-49Kelly's Directory 1950Kelly's Directory 1953Kelly's Directory 1956 (Granted music license 6 Mar 1942)


BRYANT 1957?

BRYANT Edith 1957?

SMITH Sidney late 1950's

BARKER George 1962-67 end

MARSH Michael 1968-72 end

WOOD Francis W H 1972-74+ Library archives 1974 Fremlins


SMITH David 1983

PORTER Brian V 1985-88 end


Last pub licensee had TOWNSEND John Next pub licensee had Mar/2009-Jul/2009

TOWNSEND Pete July/2009+

WICKER Peter & TAYLOR Carol Dec/2012+


According to the Dover Express, Harold Robert Battersby was from 10, Tillington Terrace, Clive Vale, Hastings, commercial traveller.


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's Directory 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Pikes 1909From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Pikes 1923From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Pikes 1932-33From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Pikes 1938-39From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39

Pikes 48-49From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49

Kelly's Directory 1950From the Kelly's Directory 1950

Kelly's Directory 1953From the Kelly's Directory 1953

Kelly's Directory 1956From the Kelly's Directory 1956

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express



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