Sort file:- Folkestone, August, 2022.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 06 August, 2022.


Earliest 1426


Latest 1700s

(Name to) 1997

2 George Lane


Cheker sign 1992

Cheker sign October 1992.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis


Previously the "George Inn" the name was changed to that of the "Cheker" by Peter Duffy in 1988. This name was actually its original, dating back to 1426 although then positioned in the Mercery, Church Street.

By the beginning of the 18th century it was renamed the "George Inn" and has been referred to as the "St. George" in 1729 when the local paper reported two mares being stolen from their stables, this probably indicating a coaching inn connection.

Whilst named the "George" the premises was relocated again to Rendezvous Street where the Merchant Chandler is today and the owners of the time (Marsh family) also owned the adjoining brewery.

In 1987 the house was closed for a short time and when reopened by Peter Duffy went back to its original name of the "Cheker."

1997 say yet another change of name, this time to the "Thistle and Shamrock."


Folkestone Herald 14 September 1990.

Local News.

Pub landlord Alan Drysdale lifted a hefty sackful of about 700 worth of coins with his mouth for charity – and lost three front teeth. Alan's disaster came after a challenge in his pub, The Cheker, Folkestone, to lift the coins, poured into a sheet, with the mouth or a single arm. He managed to pull the lot up about two feet – then the strain got too much and his front teeth fell out.

Barman Tommy Clarke said “I don't think he was in pain and he didn't draw blood. Everybody just laughed and he laughed with them”.

The cash was given to William Harvey Hospital children's ward and presented to staff nurse Mark Dolman.

The money had been collected since the spring in two outsize bottles of cognac and vodka. Alan, 36, said “I haven't been to the dentist yet – but it was a good night”.


Folkestone Herald 4 January 1991.

Local News.

Help will be given to a children's ward, thanks to generous pub-goers. Customers of the Cheker, in George Lane, have raised 500 in three months for the William Harvey children's ward. The money was collected by landlord Alan Drysdale in two gallon whisky bottles. Now Alan wants to raise money for the families of the six fishermen drowned at Inverness.


Folkestone Herald 2 October 1997.

Local News.

One of Shepway's oldest pubs is set for a relaunch offering people a taste of the Emerald Isle and Scottish Highlands. The Cheker, in George Lane, Folkestone, dates back to 1426, and has now been refitted and renamed the Thistle and Shamrock. Famous drinkers are said to have included Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells and William Harvey. Landlady Caroline Andrewartha, originally from Scotland, is looking forward to the opening. She added “There will be a fabulous atmosphere”. The new pub officially opens for business on Saturday, October 4.


Folkestone Herald 23 October 1997.

Advertising Feature.

On Saturday, 4 October, Folkestone saw the transformation of its oldest ale house (The Cheker) into The Thistle and Shamrock.

Since the successful opening, the customer base has grown, and landlady Caroline says ”We constantly see lots of new faces coming back for more”. The variety of live bands appearing, combined with the authentic Celtic atmosphere is obviously payi8ng off!

The history of the ale house dates back to 1426 when, as The Cheker, people used to come and pay their taxes. Failure to pay meant people would be locked in the cells below or even hanged. Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells and William Harvey are all supposed to have drank there.

Caroline moved to Folkestone from Scotland in 1979, and this is not the first ale house she's been in. With over ten years experience in the trade, she always dreamt of owning a free-house of her own. When The Cheker came up for sale last year, Caroline knew this was the pub for her, and could see so much potential and character in the building.

The Thistle and Shamrock, situated in George Lane (behind the Albion Bookshop) has been totally transformed and now boasts a wood floor and cable spool tables, together with a great selection of Celtic beers and spirits. Celtic bar snacks are available, which include Scotch Broth, Irish Stew, and Stovies, all served with crust bread ,and being ideal winter warmers.

Caroline has been overwhelmed by the positive comments from both old and new customers and feels that she is providing the public of Folkestone with what they need – a very comfortable and relaxed atmosphere where anyone can feel free to call in for a quick cup of coffee, especially when out on those often laborious Christmas shopping trips!

Caroline wants to encourage shoppers to take advantage of the open fire which is now being lit every day, and during the festive season will be serving home-made game soup, pheasant and grouse, original bar snacks, rabbit stew, etc. Each day in December will be like Christmas Day, with plenty of food, drink and music, and if you are a local band, Caroline is keen to hear from you!

If you still require an office Christmas Party venue and can't decide where to go, The Thistle and Shamrock could be the ideal place for you. Call Caroline, who will be only too pleased to inform you of her Christmas and New Year listings.



KENNETT Mr Mentioned 1525 Bastions

Name change to "George."

Back to "Cheker" again.

DUFFY Peter 1988-89 Bastions

DRYSDALE Alan 1989-94 Bastions (Also "Royal Standard")

DRYSDALE Alan & SHAW Jonathon 1994-96 Bastions

HILLS Kathleen 1996-97 Next pub licensee had Bastions


BastionsFrom More Bastions of the Bar by Easdown and Rooney


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



LINK to Even More Tales From The Tap Room