From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 5 February, 1915.
ANNUAL LICENSING METING
THE MAGISTRATES DECISION
The Magistrates then retired to consider their
decision, and on returning the Chairman said that the Magistrates had
decided to give a licence to the "Town Hall" for both music and singing
on condition that free admission was given. The licence of the "Gothic"
and "White Lion" would be renewed. The "Silver Lion," the "Black Horse,"
and the "Grand Sultan" would have to go to Canterbury.
Mr. Mowll said that he understood the Chairman to
say he did not want to hear any more about the "Grand Sultan."
The Chairman: That is what the Bench told me to
Mr. Mowll: That surely cannot be right; it is an
elementary point in all procedure that the evidence is never stopped.
Mr. Chitty: I thought that Mr. Mowll said it was
not worth while for him to say anything more.
Mr. Mowll: I beg pardon. I should not say that I
should not, for instance, expect to convince you that any licence is
wanted. Naturally I should not attempt to do so.
The Chairman: Well, there it is.
Mr. Mowll said that he had some evidence to call
and he thought it would be well that he should call it now.
The Chairman: You will have the opportunity at
Mr. Mowll after having enquired said that his
witnesses had left. He then proceeded to address the Bench and
pointed out that the house was used by men employed in the coal trade.
The house opened at 6.00 whilst the "Royal Hippodrome" did not open till
9 o'clock, and the men could get coffee and tea, and if they liked a
little rum to put in it. He asked the Bench to recommend the matter.
There had been some misunderstanding as he understood the Chairman to
give a decision in his favour.
The Chairman said that he never intended to convey
Mr. Mowll said that he marked his papers
The Chairman said that they did not want and more
evidence as it was a question of trade. He pointed out that the licence
would continue until the end of the year and Mr. Mowll could tender any
evidence he wished when the case came up before the Justices at
Mr. Mowll asked if it was fair to his client to
put him to this expense when the object was if the houses had a good
trade Quarter Sessions should not be bothered with them.
The Chairman remarked that he thought he knew that
Mr. Mowll said that he did ask the Bench to renew
the licence. he did not want to flog a dead horse. (At this point Mr.
Chitty made some remark which was inaudible on the reporters' bench). He
knew that it was no use addresses Mr. Chitty.
Mr. Chitty: Mr. Mowll you are not justified in
making such remarks. I am here and give my opinion as a Justice and you
are not justified in imputing to me improper motives.
Mr. Mowll: I did not do so, but I do say, with
great difference you are not an unbiased person on the business.
Mr. Chitty: Is there any person unbiased.
The Chairman: I hope I am for one.
Mr. Mowll: You ask me-
Mr. Chitty: You are making very improper remarks.
Mr. Mowll: I have cross-examined you so often on
the very point.
Mr. Chitty said that Mr. Mowll had asked a
question of the Justices and he was entitled to give an answer. Mr.
Mowll asked if these men were to be deprived of an opportunity of
getting tea and coffee. He was aware that there were a number of places
in the immediate vicinity where they could obtain it.
Mr. Mowll: With rum in it? (Laughter.) I say if
they want some rum in it let them have it; that is where we differ.
The Chairman: I think this little question is
closed. We can do nothing further for you until Canterbury.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 9 July, 1915. Price 1d.
THE GRAND SULTAN
On Wednesday the question of ordering the “Grand Sultan,” Snargate
Street, to be closed and compensated in accordance with the Licensing
Act, 1910, came before the East Kent Compensation Committee, sitting at
the Session House, Canterbury, Mr. Plumptre presiding.
Prior to the Dover case being heard, Mr. Holler, K.C., appearing for the
“Bell Inn,” Sittingbourne, urged that at the present time the
Compensation Authorities should apply the money by investing it in the
War Loan. He declared that by “carrying on business as usual” the Court
were not realizing the very serious crisis through which the country was
going. The Committee, however, disregarded this appeal and ordered the
house to be closed and compensation determined.
In the two other cases remitted to the Authorities by the Dover
Magistrates, the “Silver Lion,” Middle Row, owned by the Dover Town
Council, and the “Black Horse,” Bridge Street, owned by Mrs. Sarah
Dennis of Tower Hamlets, there was no opposition to the cases going to
be compensated and the houses will accordingly be closed later in the
year after compensation has been determined.
Mr. Travers Humphries, instructed by Messrs. Mowll and Mowll, of Dover,
applied for the renewal of the licence of the “Grand Sultan,” Snargate
Street, the licensee of which was Mr. T. H. Weeks, and the owners
Messrs. Flint and Co., Canterbury.
Mr. Shewell Cooper appeared for the Dover Justices in opposition to the
renewal of the licence. He said that the renewal was opposed on the
grounds of redundancy. In Dover there was one licence to 242 persons, so
that it was difficult to say how it could be said that by closing a
public house anyone would be injured I regard to obtaining facilities
for drink. The house had an entrance in Snargate Street and also another
in Northampton Street. The house was practically in two parts, and the
part in worst repair was that with the entrance in Northampton Street,
which was disused, and served only as an entrance to Snargate Street
part from Northampton Street. There were four fully licensed houses in
the neighbourhood. The “Gothic,” next door, a similar house and doing a
good deal larger trade; the “Invicta,” opposite, ten yards off; the
“Avenue,” also opposite, and only twenty seven yards off; and the “Royal
Hippodrome” bar, twenty five yards away. There had been four transfers
since 1906, which was prima facie evidence that it was not
Edward A. Jackson, clerk to Mr. Hayward, architect and surveyor, said
that he had inspected the premises. The portion of the premises facing
Northampton Street was disused and not in good repair. The sanitary
arrangements for the public were poor.
Cross-examined. He supposed that by not using the Northampton Street
part of the premises the landlord could give better supervision, as
otherwise he would have to leave them without supervision or else employ
two separate people. The Northampton Street premises required doing up.
Re-examined. The sanitary arrangements were poor from the point of view
of requiring repairs and also from a sanitary point of view. Its present
state was insanitary.
Chief Constable D. H. Fox said that the figures given as to the
percentage of population per public house was on the 1911 census. There
was at least 12,000 additional floating population in Dover. The licence
was transferred to Mr. Weeks in August, 1913; and there were changes in
1911, 1907, and 1906 (twice). The nearest house was the “Gothic,” next
door, which had an entrance both in Snargate Street and Northampton
Street. As regards the trade of the two houses, since the War there had
been a great number of troops in Dover, and this was a street frequented
by them and also the Navy, and the licensed houses in the street were
frequented very much all the evening by these men, and it was difficult
for him to say which was doing the better trade. Before the War the
“Gothic” was doing the better trade. In his opinion, there were
sufficient facilities for the public if this licence were extinguished.
By Mr. Travers Humphries. A very brisk trade at times was done in
connection with the coal boats at the back of these premises in
Chief Inspector Lockwood gave evidence of visits to the house on January
22nd, at 10 a.m., there were no customers; on Saturday, January 23rd, at
3 p.m., there were seven customers; on January 25th, at twenty minutes
to five p.m., there were three customers; and on Thursday, January 28th,
at 7.45 p.m., there were 33 customers.
By Mr. Travers Humphries. Both the “Grand Sultan” and the “Gothic” were
doing a very large trade, and if the licence of the “Grand Sultan” were
taken away the trade might be thrown into the house next door. He did
not think that the “Gothic” would be too full. There were other houses in
the immediate vicinity.
Mr. Travers Humphries said that the house was considered, as the report
of the Renewal Authorities stated, in conjunction with the “Gothic,” and
it seemed to be assumed that either one of the licenses should be taken
away. But he contended that there was no reason to take away either
licence. It was a fallacy to say that where there were two houses next
door one was redundant. It depended on the neighbourhood. It was a great
fallacy, as was shown when there was a discussion as to restaurants in
Piccadilly Circus, and it was then said by those who had most knowledge
that a restaurateur always welcomed someone of the same sort coming
close to him, because when the place became known as a centre people
came there. In this case they had two houses close together who did the
same class of trade, having always catered for the very large number of
men employed in unloading coal, and the houses were open for them from 6
o’clock in the morning, and it was desirable that they should have a
house that was convenient for them. The figures of the trade before the
War showed that the “Grand Sultan” was doing a substantial trade that
was not accounted for it merely by passing traffic of Snargate Street,
and which came from the coal yards. At present the hours were limited.
They would have crowded into one house a very large trade if this
licence were taken away. At the present time Mr. Weeks was doing just
seven barrels a week, and the “Gothic” according to the evidence before
the Justices, was doing eight, so that if the enormous trade of fifteen
barrels a week were crowded into the “Gothic” there would not be very
much time for the sale to take place, and he questioned if it would be
in the interests of anyone to take the licence away. As regard the name
of the house, it was not connected with any Sultan with whom they were
at war (laughter). It might possibly be in their minds of the Justices
that the reason it was taken away was because of that (laughter), but it
was named after the Sultan of Zanzibar (laughter). The trade before the
year 1915 was an average of three and a quarter barrels a week, but it
was most unfortunate to take this average, as for the week that Mr. Weekes went in the trade increased. For the year from November, 1913, to
November, 1914, the barrels sold numbered 234, and the spirits 178
gallons. From November, 1914, to June, 1915, the number of barrels sold
were 228, which worked out at 334 barrels per annum. No doubt some of
that was due to the soldiers and sailors in Dover, but a great deal of
it was due to the trade that Mr. Weekes was doing before the War. He
said that he also wanted to deal with the little misunderstanding which
might have been the cause that the “Grand Sultan” found its way to
Canterbury. Mr. Mowll appeared for the licensee, and when he stated the
trade the Chairman of the Licensing Magistrates said that they did not
wish to hear anything more. Mt. Mowll interpreted that as meaning that
the Bench had made up their minds to renew the licence and did not want
to hear any evidence, and it was one of the things that Benches did and
also Judges in the High Courts when they were satisfied and meant to
decide in one’s favour. The Magistrates then heard other cases,
including the “Gothic,” and came back and gave their decision against
this house without having heard any of the evidence to be called on the
part of the owners. The Magistrates most fairly said that the evidence
could be called when this was pointed out, but Mr. Mowll having marked
his papers, “Renewed,” let his witnesses go, so that the facts of the
case, through that misunderstanding, were never put before the Justices
at all. He would call that evidence now.
T. H. Weekes, the landlord, produced his books containing the day’s
takings since he had gone into the house. In October, 1913, the week’s
takings amounted to £16 17s. 6d. last week the takings were £44 10s.
9d.; and the previous weeks’ were £42, £38, £44, £48, £41, £50 and £48.
He was doing a very big trade now, and a substantial portion of it was
from the coal men, with whom a good trade was done from 6 a.m., all day
long, till 5.30 p.m. he did this trade before the War broke out as soon
as he begun to know the people. From that time the trade increased. It
was not entirely due to the War. Last week he did close on eight
barrels, and yesterday he did nine barrels, 40 dozen small bottle, and
20 crates. One of the barrels he had to buy in Dover not from his
Mr. Shewell Cooper said that from £16 in October, 1913, the weeks
takings only appeared to have increased to £18 or £20 in April, 1914.
Did he suggest there was any material increase before the War?
There was £5 a week; that is very nice.
Mr. Shewell Cooper; And now we have £49.
Re-examined: he was getting a very good living and was anxious to stay.
He was making a good living from the trade he did before the War or else
he should have asked the brewers to find him another house (laughter).
Mr. Kempton, a representative of Messrs. Flint and Co,. said that,
including the bottled beer, the trade done was from November, 1911, to
November, 1912, 101 barrels; 1912 to 1913, 155 barrels; 1913 to 1914,
234 barrels; and from November, 1914, to June, 1915, 228 barrels.
Mr. Barron, clerk to Messrs. Mowll and Mowll, said that the spirit book
showed that the spirits sold in 1911 were 36 gallons; 1912, 20 gallons;
1913, 62 gallons; 1914, 178 gallons; and for the five months to May this
year, 149¼ gallons.
Mr. J. Ingleton, secretary and manager to Messrs. Bussey and Co., coal
merchants, Northampton Street, said that he had known the neighbourhood
43 years, and lived in Northampton Street, 29 years. The coal trade in
Northampton Street employed 200 or more men, and the “Grand Sultan” and
the “Gothic” were the two houses used by these men. He thought that the
trade of these men would support two houses. They were also used for
lavatory purposes. They were allowed a quarter of an hour off at 10
o’clock and at 3 o’clock to get refreshments. It was desirable that they
should have these houses to go to close to their work, or otherwise they
would have to go after them to find them (laughter).
Mr. Cooper: Do you seriously suggest that if this licence were
extinguished there was not accommodation for these men in the “Gothic”
and “Royal Hippodrome” bars?
The “Royal Hippodrome” bar does not open till 9 a.m., and if 100 men
were to go into one house at one time there would not be much chance of
them being served in a quarter of an hour.
Re-examined. It was very desirable to keep them men in Northampton
Mr. Hatcher, hall porter at the “Burlington Hotel,” said that he resided
at Folkestone, and used the house when he arrived in the early morning,
and he found that the house was used almost entirely during the daytime
by the coal men.
The Chairman, after consulting for a short time with the Committee, said
the application for the renewal was refused. The house will be closed.