From the Mercury, 19 August, 1999.
By David G. Collyer.
WAR HIT FAIR MAID TRADE
Above photograph shows "Fair Maids" outside the "Fair Maid of Kent
Hotel" in 1944, these 'Mar-Wrens' (Royal Marine Wrens) served in the
nearby South Barracks as clerks, typists, drivers and cooks. (Photo:
South Eastern Newspapers Ltd.)
The Wellington Court flats at the junction of Dover Road and
Liverpool Road were once a popular stopping place for both motorists and
golfers, known as "The Fair Maid of Kent Hotel."
There was originally only a public house on the site, "The Royal
Standard," as depicted on the 1876 Ordnance Survey map, with an
ornamental garden shown to the northern side.
However, by 1906 there had been additions built either side during
the expansive years preceding the First World War. These were most
probably apartments with servants, accommodation, known today as service
By 1925, the Deal Guide carried an advertisement for "The Fair Maid
of Kent Hotel," A Chadwick, the proprietor, offered 'luxury without
extravagance' at this 'high-class residential hotel.' Comfort was
guaranteed and the cuisine - a la carte or en pension - had a reputation
of high excellence. The establishment was registered with the AA and RAC
and was a popular venue for those who wished to enjoy playing our local
In 1938, Kelly's Trade Directory lists Miss A. Chadwick as
proprietress of the hotel, but like so many of the local hotels and
boarding houses, by May, 1940 when the post-Dunkerque evacuation order
was issued, the guests had all departed.
being situated opposite the Royal Marine South Barracks, it was not
long before the building was requisitioned for accommodating the
'Mar-Wrens' (Royal Marine Wrens). Among these were some 'Boom Defence
Wrens,' supposedly attached to Dover, but in reality involved with
launching propaganda leaflets, by gas-filled balloons, from Kingsdown
After bomb damage had been repaired, the "Fair Maid of Kent" had
re-opened for business by 1948, but gradually declined in popularity
until ultimately converted into flats around the early 1960s.
MARINES IN COTTAGES
Although some accommodation for married Royal Marine officers and
NCOs was provided within the barracks, when the establishment was at full
strength, other property around the town was rented by the Admiralty. As
well as private houses leased on "short term lets" permanent
accommodation was shown on a copy of an old Ordnance Survey map (dated
1914, but updated c 1940). One portion of The beach backed onto King
Street, Walmer, is overprinted "RM Married Quarters" as is HM Coastguard
Station on The Marina. I understand, that as the Deal Station
establishment declined, the Admiralty rented the old Coastguard Cottages
to the Royal Marines.
Above photo shows five "Mar-Wrens" in the garden of Brunswick House
which was used as their accommodation before the "Fair Maid of Kent
Hotel" was requisitioned (Photo: Mrs E. Turton).
From the Kent Mercury 16 September, 1999
I was delighted to see the photograph of the Wrens in the garden of
Brunswick House. I understand that 48 Wrens lived there.
Many years ago I owned the house, at 12 The Beach. before the war it
was the retirement home of Lady Twinning.
The photograph was taken in the front garden. The back of the house
is almost on Liverpool Road. I had the house about five years then sold
it, in the early 1980s. It had been knocked about quite a bit, and had
been converted badly into six flats and a cottage.
It became far more than I could handle and I was pleased to leave,
but I have fond memories of it. I hope the girls have good memories of
living there too.
It was named after the son of Queen Victoria, the Duke of Brunswick.
Queen Victoria owned it and her staff lived in it when she visited