58 Peter Street
(St. Peter's Street)
Above early photo of Friend in Need, date unknown.
'The Friend in Need', one of Dover's many public houses. The
photograph is of the publican James Medhurst and his family, 1910. They
later moved to the "Grand Sultan" in
Snargate Street, then the town's main thoroughfare.
Photograph kindly sent by Margaret Francis, showing the Friend in
Need (after 1910).
Above two photos supplied by Barry Smith Circa 1980.
Its origin is thought to be 1838, eight years after the street began to
take shape. There is evidence though of another, with like name, in the pier
district as late as 1841. (Louis Pique, or commonly, French Louis).
In 1912 improvements were made in Peter Street, or maybe the pub itself
Alterations to two old cottages that year converted them into a pub,
after which there was no need to approach the house by steps.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 8 June, 1844.
Edmund May, cordwainer, charged by Mrs. Sarah Duff, of Charlton, with
Complainant stated that on Wednesday evening May came to her house,
(the "Friend in Need",) and called for a glass of beer. On taking it to
him he refused to have it, and began violent abuse. He then went out,
but returned in a few minutes, and thrust his hand through a pane of
glass. He had on previous occasions been very abusive and broken the
A witness deposed to seeing May wilfully thrust his fist through the
pane of glass.
May did not deny the charge, but said when he had too much beer he
was unconscious of what he did. Fined 7s., including costs, or, in
default, fourteen days imprisonment.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 30 August, 1845. Price 5d.
DOVER POLICE REPORT
Monday: Richard Gann, labourer, was fined 16s., including costs, for
assaulting James Horn, landlord of the “Friend in Need,” in Peter
Street, Charlton. He did not deny the charge, and was allowed a week to
raise the money, or to be imprisoned for 14 days.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 24
THE FRIEND IN NEED
Mr. T. Fox made application that permission to sell at the "Friend in
Need" might be granted to Thomas George Nash. A new license had been
granted to the new landlord, Mr. Gill, and he now applied that Mr. Nash
should be allowed to sell under that license until the next transfer
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 16 June, 1882. 1d.
REFUSING TO QUIT LICENSED PREMISES
William Howes, a labourer, was brought up charged with being drunk and
disorderly, in Peter Street the previous night, and also with refusing
to quit licensed premises.
Frank Sneller, landlord of the “Friend in Need” public-house, Peter
Street, said: The prisoner came into my house last night at about nine
o’clock, and called for a pint of beer which was served him, but he had
not been in the house but a few minutes before he began to use bad
language, and then I saw that he was already the worse for liquor. I
took the beer away from him and ordered him to leave the house, but as
he refused I sent for a policeman, who removed him. When outside in the
street the prisoner created a great disturbance.
By the Bench: The prisoner was the worse for liquor, but I did not
notice that he was so or I should not have served him. It is not the
first time that he has been turned out, and once before a constable put
him out of the house. The prisoner upset all the other customers, who at
Police-constable Ash said: Last night at a little after nine o’clock, I
was called by the last witness to the “Friend in Need” public-house,
Peter Street, where I saw the prisoner, who was swearing at the
landlord. The landlord asked the prisoner to leave the house, but as he
refused I pushed him out into the street, where he created a great
disturbance and used very bad language. I took him in charge, but had to
obtain the assistance of three other constables to help carry the
prisoner part of the way to the Police-station.
The prisoner said that he had been out of work for some time, and had
but little food, and the allowance given had overcome him.
The Bench fined the prisoner 5s., or in default seven days’ imprisonment
with hard labour.
The prisoner said he could borrow the money from one of his mates.
The money was paid.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 16 May, 1890.
ALLEGED ATTEMPTED SUICIDE
At the Police Court on Monday, Thomas Manning was charged with
attempting to commit suicide, at the “Friend in Need,” public-house, in
Peter Street. George Kinch, a labourer, living at 13, Peter Street. Said
he went into the “Friend in Need” on Saturday evening about 7 o’clock,
the prisoner was in there, he came over queer, and pulled out a bottle
of laudanum and said that had done for him. Witness called a man named
Peirce in while he went for a policeman. A policeman came back with him,
and the prisoner was taken to the Police Station. Superintendent Sanders
said Mr. Walters was the prisoner almost immediately after he was
brought to the Police Station. The doctor said he had not taken enough
to destroy life, no doubt the man was suffering from drink, he was bad
again on Sunday, and could not get any sleep, and sent for the doctor.
The prisoner said he had taken laudanum for the last four years but on
Saturday he took too much. He was discharged with a warning not to
attempt that kind of thing again.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 1
A temporary licence for the Town hall on the occasion of the smoking
concert in connection with the visit of Shepherds was granted to George
Latham, of the "Friend in Need."
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 6
PETER STREET PUBLIC HOUSE ALTERATIONS
At the Dover Police Court this morning, before Messrs. P. W. J.
Mackenzie (in the chair), W. Bradley, and J. Scott.
Mr. Steel made applications for building alterations to "The Friend
in Need," Peter Street. Two old cottages were to be converted into a
public house, and instead of approaching the public house by steps, the
floor was to be made level with the street.
The application was granted, subject to the screen between the
private and serving bars being made so as to allow of a better view of
the entry of customers.
PEACE TREAT STREET PARTY, PETER STREET, 1919
Above photograph kindly sent by Margaret Francis, showing the peace
treat party of 1919. I believe the "Globe"
can be seen as the house on the right of the picture. The "Friend in
Need" perhaps being the opposite side of the road just left of the
centre of the picture.
Margaret Francis goes on to say:- A street party was obviously held
to celebrate the end of WW1. One characteristic of my family from Dover
was their height and my great grandmother stands clearly head and
shoulders above her neighbours outside her house, as does my nan, who
appears quite clearly, holding two small children aloft in her arms.
(See photo below). I suspect strongly that these children are Bertie and
Vera Elms. Her own younger brother - the one referred to in the Mrs.
Armstrong tales (of "Royal
Hippodrome" email) would have been 3 years old by 1919 and these
children are mere babes in arms.
Picture below is a small portion of the above picture, showing
Elizabeth Keeler (circled right) (click
for extra Keeler history) with two small children in her arms,
who may be Bertie and Vera Elms, Mrs. Elms of the "Grapes'"
children, and circled left Margaret Fransis' Great Grandmother.
The photo below, showing the street party again and the snippet
below, again showing her nan probably holding Bertie.
Above photograph kindly sent by Margaret Francis.
By the way if it is of interest, my grandmother's family who lived at
22 Peter Street were the Rigden's. Fred Rigden (click
for extra Rigden history) married my great
grandmother after she was widowed and took on her three children. He had
a Carrier's business and they had stables at the back of the house where
they kept the horses. They went on to have a further four children, the
youngest of whom, Horace, went on to become - at 6ft 8inches - Kent's
tallest fireman. He was stationed up at Whitfield and there are many
photographs of him in the Fire Service Museum in Maidstone. A couple of
years ago we managed to locate his helmet, axe, belt and badge and have
donated it to the Museum as well......nothing at all to do with pubs -
Above photo again from Margaret Francis, showing a house on the
corner of Peter Street. Margaret goes on to say the following:-
Apparently the large house on the corner of Peter Street, according to
Joyce's elderly friend, was quite grand and further up the road where
the Rigden's lived they were rather poorer. Horace who was born 1926
played with someone called Farrier and they used to play in tunnels
under the stables at the back of number 22. There was also a Hay Loft to
the stables and gran Rigden lived in the basement of the house. The
family apparently moved to Peter Street about 1913 and they bought the
business which was a Coal Merchant and Carriers as a going concern. They
had four horses used for the business and when one of them died, the
piano was sold to buy a replacement horse! The house got bombed and that
was the reason, they moved up to Whitfield. Joyce's mother grew up in
Castle Cottages - just along the road from Peter Street.
May be of interest. Cousin Joyce has been to visit her articulate
elderly friend Joan (91) who used to live in Peter Street and remembers
some of the Rigden's. Armed with maps and photographs they have tried to
unravel some of the questions.
Apparently Joan lived in a house opposite to the big one in the
photograph above, between the river and Spring Place... it appears as a
pair of large semi's on on 1898 map. She saw the photo (from your site)
of the Globe and instantly recognised it as the pub across the road from
her house. She apparently said it was between the big house by the river
and the Rigden's - who lived across the road (at number 22) from her
too. If that is the case the address of the "Globe"
doesn't tie in. She said the "Friend in Need" was on the corner further
down the street.
Also when shown the picture of the
horse and cart,
she was very touched by it and commented, as we all have, on the way the
horse appeared to be presented. She said that they wouldn't have been
out in their finery like that every day, so she thinks it must have been
for some kind of special occasion. A further comment on that one though
from another of the cousins - was that Grampy (Fred Rigden) loved his
horses...this keeps coming through in the conversations. The stables at
the back of the house, had a hay loft and a basement and between them
the children seemed to spend a lot of their time around and about the
stables. It seems the house was pulled down but the stables remained
until they were bought up when an extension to the Engineering Works was
Hope this is of further interest.
This was closed by Whitbread in January 1988 and taken down in August the
same year. The wording displayed on the frontage showed that it had not
always been a part of the tied trade. Daniel Gill traded as a free house in
The last licensee, John Manley.
DUFF Mrs Sarah 1844-45 end
HORN James 1845
COWTAN William H 1854
GILL Daniel 1856-65
NASH Thomas George 1865-Jan/68
GILL Daniel Jan/1868-74
OVENDEN William 1874 end
PRICE Mr W M to July/1881
SNELLER Frank W July/1881-91+
(a carrier, of Dover)
SAYERS William May/1901-03+
ASHMAN Mrs 1905
LAWRENCE Edward John 1906 Feb-1907 June
ASHMAN E A 1907-09 end
BLACKLOCKS Harry 1908-Dec/09
MARKWICK Stephen Dec/1909-Sept/10
MEDHURST James Sept/1910
GILL William D 1912-14
PRYER Mr W T Sept/1914
HARRIS A H 1914-17
GURR Herbert junior 1920-Aug/27
PHILLIPS William Wallace Aug/1927-32
SELL Richard 1931-Aug/43 dec'd
SELL Mrs Esther Aug/1943-44 end
BILTON Joseph Thomas R 1944-58 end
MATTHEWS William John or J W 1958-71 end
MAXTED Mrs Irene M 1971-81 end
PLAYFORD Dennis (Plyford?) 1981-84 end
MANLEY John 1984-87
Stephen Markwick was previously from the Catherine Wheel, Canterbury, and
for some years a licensee holder at Dover.
the Post Office Directory 1862
the Post Office Directory 1874
the Post Office Directory 1882
the Post Office Directory 1891
Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895
the Kelly's Directory 1899
the Post Office Directory 1901
the Post Office Directory 1903
Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909
the Post Office Directory 1913
the Post Office Directory 1922
Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923
Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
the Post Office Directory 1930
Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
the Post Office Directory 1938
Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39
Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49
the Kelly's Directory 1950
the Kelly's Directory 1953
the Kelly's Directory 1956
From an email received 30 January 2008.
I cannot be certain of the full dates but in Feb 1906 and Jun 1907 I
have a Edward John Lawrence as a "Licensed Victualler" of 8 Peter
Street. Certainly by Oct 1908 he had moved back to London.
My uncle, who with his elder sister was born in Dover, always claimed
that it was The Friend in Need. Less charitable members of the family
have suggested that this might have been the reason for my fondness for