25 Elms Vale Road
Above picture by kind permission of the "Crown and Sceptre" showing the
premises date unknown.
Crown & Sceptre circa 1987
Circa 1980 photo by Barry Smith.
Photos above and below by Paul Skelton (15 Sept 2007)
In 1900 Thompson and Son, brewers of Walmer, applied for a licence in
respect of a house they proposed building in Elms Road. The provisional cost
was £1,600. As an inducement they offered to surrender the "Duke of Connaught". That first request was refused but the following year a second
one found favour.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 30 August, 1901. Price 1d.
ANNUAL LICENSING DAY
AN ELMS ROAD APPLICATION
Mr. Rutley Mowll applied for a provisional licence on behalf of Mr. A.
J. Matthews in Elms Road. The application, he remarked, was before them
last year, and although they were then not of opinion that the time had
arrived when the licence should be granted, he hoped they would be no
longer of that opinion. There had been a number of houses built since he
was before them last year, and many of these had been erected almost
exactly opposite the plot for which he was asking them to grant a
licence. The house was situated undoubtedly in the very best spot that
could be found, and his client felt that it would be much better that
the premises should be erected as a public house rather than afterwards
convert them. Mr. Fry would show then the plans, which would show the
that the house would be erected on the very best possible lines. They
would, of course, give up a licence, and the one he offered was the
“Duke of Connaught,” Oxenden Street.
Mr. E. W. Fry produced a plan showing the district where houses were to
be erected, and also plans of the house, which would, he stated, cost
from £1,800 to £2,000 for the building alone, and included in the
accommodation would be a large clubroom. The nearest houses were about
700 yards away. The licence for which application had been made in Eaton
Road was about 300 yards away. Since last year 48 new houses had been
erected in the neighbourhood.
Cross-examined by Mr. Bradley. No houses were being erected beyond the
house on the same side, but the road had been widened by the Town
Council 40 yards beyond it, and they were erecting houses on the
opposite side beyond it. He had no knowledge that a lay stall was in the
Mr. Bradley: If you had been there in the summer time you would have
known it! (Laughter.)
Thomas Everett Kent said he had built houses in Elms and Eaton Roads,
and he thought the licence now being applied for should be granted. He
thought that the fact that people had to go down Folkestone Road with
the jugs to get beer at the “Grapes” on a Sunday was not a sight that
Cross-examined. He had no personal need as he lived in Folkestone, but
he objected to the sight of people going along the road with jugs to
Arthur Tapley, builder, of the firm Goldsmith and Tapley said he had
built houses in Eaton Road and Kitchener Road. He thought a licence was
needed at the site.
Mr. Bradley, in addressing the Bench in opposition to the
applications, said that he would deal first of all with the new
application, which would require very few words. He then came to the
three applications which were really a repetition of the applications
refused last year. They all had one objection, they were premature, or,
to apply an American term, they were previous. In each case they heard a
great deal about plots being sold. That showed the weakness of the
applications. It showed that the houses which were to be supplied had
not yet been built. It was time for the licensed top be granted after
the houses had been erected on the plots mentioned as having been sold,
and until then they ought not to be granted.
To Mr. Matthew’s application in Elms Vale Road there was exactly the
same objection. The fact was, that there was next to a scramble between
the brewers who should get the licence whenever a new district was to be
opened. There were plenty of instances, and in one case where a licence
was granted by an easily-persuaded Bench – not this one – there had
never been a brick laid since. (Laughter.)
Mr. Mowll said he did not think that that matter should be gone into.
His clients were willing top give an undertaking.
Mr. Bradley said he should think the Bench would be entitled to ask
that the locality should be fully developed, and then it would be better
able to judge the most suitable site. He was glad to notice that if
their opposition had produced nothing else, it had produced some good in
causing existing licenses to be offered to be given up for these new
ones. That was not always so; but he should like then to see that there
was a quid pro quo, and that licenses would be given up should in some
way balance the licenses asked for.
The Chairman remarked that they were hardly likely to get that.
Mr. Bradley agreed that they were not likely to get the most
valuable, but he thought the Bench might ask that it was the houses that
it was desirable to get rid of should be given up. One point he asked
them to remember, that the fact that a licence was offered to be given
up, was no ground for giving a licence where it was not needed.
The Magistrates then retired, and after an absence of three minutes
The Chairman said: The Magistrates have considered these
applications, and have come to the conclusion that they will grant the
application of Mr. Matthews, on condition that the houses proposed to be
surrendered be given up.
This was all the business.
The building was completed in 1902 and Stephen Belsey served during the
initial years. A Charrington outlet which passed to Shepherd Neame in
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 11
December, 1903. Price 1d.
An extension of one hour was granted to Mr. S. Belsey, at the "Crown
and Sceptre," Elms Vale Road, on the occasion of the "Self Help" club
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 12 May, 1905. Price 1d.
SUDDEN DEATH OF A WOMAN
An inquest was held at the “Crown and Sceptre Inn,” Maxton, yesterday
afternoon on the body of Mrs. Eliza Willson, aged 36 years, living at
42, Kitchener Road, who died suddenly on Wednesday morning. Mr. Edward
Packham was foreman of the Jury.
William Frank Willson, a crane driver, living at 42, Kitchener Road,
said that the deceased was his wife, Eliza Ann Willson, 36 years of age.
He last saw her alive on Tuesday morning, when he attended to her. On
the Monday his wife was quite well. In the afternoon of that day she
went out to do some shopping. She came home soon after four o’clock. In
the evening she again went out, and arrived back about 9.20, being quite
well. Between one and two o’clock in the morning he heard his wife, who
was out of bed, talking very strange, and making rambling statements.
She continued doing this for a time, and then he sent for a neighbour.
Mrs. Ratcliff came, and his wife seemed to get better. He remained at
home on Tuesday because his wife said she felt bad. She seemed very
thirsty, and drank a large quantity of water. She was unable to eat
anything, not having had a solid meal for many a day. After breakfast on
Tuesday she seemed better until late in the evening. She suffered from
continual diarrhoea. He wanted her to have a doctor, but she would not
have one. Between two and three on Wednesday morning she had a sudden
attack, being unable to stand or speak. The noise woke his little girl,
whom he sent for Mrs. Ratcliff. He then went for the doctor. On his
return his little girl told him that his wife was dead. His wife was
addicted to drink rather a lot off and on, drinking at times gin and
whisky. He fancied that his wife had been drinking more heavily
recently. She had a private income.
Mrs. Ellen Ratcliff, 7, Kitchener Road, said she had known Mrs. Willson
for about twelve months, but more intimately since Christmas. Recently
she had not been very well. On Sunday night witness saw her, when she
was quite well. She next saw her between two and three on Tuesday
morning, when she seemed very strange. About nine o’clock on Tuesday
morning she was better, only complaining of heat. She could eat nor
drink nothing. She seemed better during the day. Witness left her about
eleven o’clock, and she said “Good night.” About four o’clock she was
sent for, and the deceased was breathing rather heavily. Her feet were
very cold. She said that she felt very bad. Witness sent for a doctor.
The deceased seemed very shaky, and she was unable to hold her still.
All at once she pushed the head of the bed with her two hands, and made
a noise in her throat and died. The deceased had several times been the
worse for drink.
Henry Braund, assistant to Dr. Baird, said: I was sent for about 3.45 on
Wednesday morning. On my arrival I met a little child, who said that the
woman had passed away. I made an examination and found that the woman
was dead, death having taken place about half an hour. I have heard the
evidence, and think that death was due to acute inflammation of the
stomach and intestines, caused by the excess of alcohol.
The Jury, after a brief consultation, during which everybody except
themselves withdrew from the room, returned a verdict in accordance with
the medical evidence, the foreman remarking that it was a very sad case,
and they wished to express their condolence with the husband.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 25 January, 1907. Price 1d.
An hours extension was granted to the “Crown and Sceptre” public house,
Elms Vale Road, on the occasion of the annual dinner of the Self help
Club. It was stated that a similar application had been granted yearly
since the house was open.
A warm discussion took place on the Bench, Mr. E. Chitty apparently
objecting. Eventually, the Chairman said that the application would be
granted, the same as last year.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10
Mr. Hitchens, of the "Crown and Sceptre," Elms Vale Road, was granted an extension for
a smoking concert in connection with the Priory Loco Sports Club, on
Friday, February 10th.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17
February, 1933. Price 1½d.
Mr. Grey of the "Crown and Sceptre," Elms Vale, was granted an extension
for an annual club dinner and concert on February 13th.
From the Dover Express throughout the war years.
"Miss Kathleen Elks (A) I.S.T.D. (B.B) (N.A.T.D.) Teacher of ballroom
dancing. Begginers' classes
Tuesday evenings, practice dance every Thursday, at "Crown and Sceptre,"
Elms Vale Road. 7-10 p.m. Admission 1/-. Private lessons by appointment.
Phone: Dover 274."
Miss Kathleen Elks was in fact, Mrs Kathleen Page. Her
husband Ernest Page was a Private in the army and died in Aug 1942.
The pub is one of the Dover public houses that has an outdoor skittle
alley at the back.
From the Dover Express, 19 June, 1970
A party of 43 from the "Crown and Sceptre" public house who were
received at Clacton on Sunday by the chairman of the local authority,
Mr. Ernie Stanley, who is a former Dover man. The previous week a party
of mentally handicapped children from Dover were also in Clacton for
five days and were also received by Mr. Stanley.
From the Dover Express, 18 July, 2002.
Above shows Sharon & Alan McHattie and Emma-Lee Yarwood.
The "Crown and Sceptre" pub in Dover celebrates its 100th birthday on
Saturday. A whole day of events has been planned for the hostelry on
Elms Vale Road, including a brass plate dedication, skittles challenge
and live entertainment.
Staff at the pub, a previous winner of the Shepherd Neame Small Pub
Garden of the Year award, have been busy this summer preparing the patio
for a day fun.
On Saturday the current tenant, Alan McHattie, will be joined by
landlords from the past in the celebrations.
He said: "It'll be a great day and we've all manner of things going
"One of the unusual attractions will be four generations of one
family who live on Elms Vale Road. I'm also trying to get landlords from
the past to come and join in."
Above photo showing their 100th year celebrations in 2002.
Above photos kindly supplied by Sharon McHattie, showing herself and
Alan outside the pub and in the award winning garden. Circa 2004.
A former winner of Shepherd Neame's "Small Pub Garden of the Year" the
garden shown above June 2011, is currently being re-landscaped and
landlord Matthew Birchenough says he's hoping to be able to apply it for
that competition in the future.
Photo showing the skittle alley.
Above photo showing landlord Matthew Birchenough (left) and barman
Paul Reid, (right).
Above 3 photos taken by Paul Skelton 1 June 2011.
Above showing a charity function to be held 7th August 2011.
After extensive renovations during 2012, the pub is currently closed
again as from April 2013. At present the pub appears to be being emptied of
furniture and rubbish, so hopefully getting ready for a new licensee.
MATTHEWS A J 1901-02 end
BELSEY Stephen 1902-May/05
SIMMONDS Charles Ernest May/1905-Aug/10
CORLESS Joseph Aug/1910-13+
CORLESS Mrs Edith Ann 1922
HITCHENS Mr A J 1922-24
GRAY Percy F J 1924-June/41
RYAN Mrs E E June/1941-55 end
MORRIS Reginald E 1955-59
TAYLOR William 1959 end
DAWES Edward C 1959-75
Thompson & Son
SAUNDERS Mel 1975-83 end
GRIDLEY Derek 1983-85 end
CROFTS John F & Di 1985-95
BESSANT Peter 1995-97
HARRIS G 1997-99
McHATTIE Alan & Sharon 1999-2007
MILLEN Ms K 2007 (temporary licensee)
MULHERN Bryan Sept 2007 (temporary licensee)
HUETSON John 2007-09
STRATFORD Andy & Helen 2009-Oct/2010
BIRCHENOUGH Matthew 1/Oct/2010+
Joseph Corless was from Canterbury and a licensed victualler.
Matthew Birchenough is the son of Paul Birchenough formerly of the "York
From the Post Office Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1922
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
From the Post Office Directory 1930
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
From the Post Office Directory 1938
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49
From the Kelly's Directory 1950
From the Kelly's Directory 1953
From the Kelly's Directory 1956
Library archives 1974
From the Dover Express