DOVER KENT ARCHIVES
PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

 

Dover Arms

 

White Cliffs Experience

Dover Arms

 

I can guarantee that no one has ever drunk a pint in this pub, or is indeed likely to.

The Dover Arms was set up inside the White Cliffs Experience as a typical Dover pub in the war years. It looked like a pub from the outside and inside, smelt like a pub and even sounded like a pub from that era, including the clinking of glasses and the playing of a piano. That is until the air-raid sirens called you to the shelters and onwards to the next part of the show.

The Dover Arms was one of the very few pub names that Dover never actually had, although the frontage could well have been taken from blueprints of another local pub. If anyone reading this can identify which pub it could have been taken from, please let me know. There are plenty of photographs on this site with which to compare.

Chris Grimes suggests the "Criterion."

 

From the Dover Express, 1 March 2001. By TERRY SUTTON.

So what is going on with our old wartime street?

Secret meeting held to discuss treasure.

MYSTERY surrounds the future of the mock wartime street which stands at the now defunct White Cliffs Experience.

The former attraction had been sold to Plymouth for its 'dome' for £10,000 but publicity about the sale has sparked fresh interest in keeping it in Dover.

Many of the other items which remained in the Experience are to be handed on to the museum next door.

One idea put forward is that the wartime street, along with its sirens and exploding bombs, should be moved to Ladywell where there are proposals to convert part of the former South Kent College into a community centre.

Last week the council's Labour-controlled cabinet went into secret session to hear a report from Roger Madge, the director of economic development, on The White Cliffs Experience Wartime Street.

After the meeting official lips were sealed about what the cabinet is recommending to the policy and services committee, meeting on March 6, about the street's future.

Finance director Richard Bowditch did admit that the cabinet had made "recommendations" (in the plural) to the policy committee.

Mr Bowditch said: "One of these recommendations will be that the original decision to sell to Plymouth should be implemented."

The other recommendation, or recommendations, remain a mystery but no doubt will cause controversy.

The White Cliff Experience shut its door for the last time recently after a decade dogged by bad publicity and poor attendance figures.

There are no concrete plans for the future of the buildings or the site.

 

 

Since writing the above, a real "Dover Arms" has come to light. Found only the one reference to it to date, in 1846, somewhere in Oxenden Street.

 

From the Dover Express, 8 February 2001.

War time street

PLYMOUTH City Council has bought Dover's replica "wartime street" from the White Cliffs Experience for £10,550.

The blitzed street, walked by more than a million visitors in the last decade, will go into Plymouth's dome.

Plymouth was the highest bidder for the street and the city will have to come to Dover, dismantle it and carry it away.

There was some interest in retaining the street in Dover but it came too late, after the sealed bids were received.

 

From the Dover Express, 5 March 2001. By TERRY SUTTON.

Wartime street goes to Devon.

War time street

WARTIME MEMORIES: the recreated street at the White Cliffs Experience.

DOVERíS mock-up wartime street is to be taken from the now-closed White Cliffs Experience and will, after all, go to Plymouth to become a visitor attraction.

The final decision was taken last week by the district councilís policy committee, meeting in secret session.

Dover is sellingí the wartime street to Plymouth City Council for £10,550 despite last minute calls to retain the street in Dover.

Councillors had earlier made the' recommendation to sell to Plymouth but this move was held up following a late request by a group of businessmen who wanted the street for a proposed community centre in Dover.

But this was only after the district council had revealed the streetís sale price to Plymouth.

Law experts were called in by the council, talks were kept hush-hush for legal reasons and three options were given to the policy committee: to sell to Plymouth, to reject Plymouthís £10,550 offer, or start the disposal process all over again.

After receiving legal advice the policy committee decided to stick to the original decision - to sell to Plymouth.

Their representatives will now have to travel to Dover, take the street apart and transport it to Plymouth.

All costs associated with the movement of the street will fall to the local authority in Devon.

 

LICENSEE LIST

Never held a license to serve beer.

 

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

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