Sort file:- Folkestone, July, 2023.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 13 July, 2023.


Earliest 1843

Gun Tavern

Latest 1974

13 Cheriton Road


Gun Tavern

Above shows a funeral procession passing the "Gun Tavern" on the right. Date unknown.

Gun Tavern card 1953Gun Tavern 1953

Above card issued March 1953. Sign series 4 number 13.


Some of the directories show this as 19 Cheriton Road.


Maidstone Gazette 22 February 1848

Petty Sessions, Monday; Before Charles Golder Esq., Mayor, and W. Major Esq.

Thomas Cocks, beershop keeper, appeared to answer the information and complaint of Thomas Burvill, police constable, for keeping a disorderly house, on Sunday, the 7th instant, by which he had incurred a penalty of £5. It being his first offence, the Magistrates mitigated the penalty to 10s. and costs, which were paid.

A second information was laid against the said Thomas Cocks, charging him with selling beer during the usual hours of Divine Service, by which he had incurred a penalty of £5. The penalty was mitigated to 10s. and costs, which were paid.


Southeastern Gazette 19 September 1854.

Annual Licensing Day.

Monday: Before the Mayor, S. Mackie, W. Major, T. Golder, G. Kennicott, and T. Kingsriorth, Esqs.

Before renewing the licenses, the Mayor addressed the publicans, informing them that anew law was passed, explaining to them the particular features of the Act, and hoped they would adhere to it. The whole of the licenses were renewed, with the exception of the "Radnor Inn," "Oddfellow's Arms," and the "Engine Inn." Applications for new licenses were made for the "George," "Gun," and "Belle Vue Tavern;" the first only was granted, on the ground that it was a new house in the room of one pulled down.


Southeastern Gazette 10 July 1855.


An inquest was held on Tuesday, at the Gun Tavern, Cheriton Road, before S. Eastes Esq., coroner, on the body of John Minott, a labourer in the employ of Messrs. Jackson, the contractors for works at Shorncliffe.

Edward Jordan deposed that at 1/4 before 8 o clock on Monday evening, the deceased was on the top ot a load of timber near the Royal George Hotel; he was assisting to fasten down the binder, which is a pole about 8 feet long, and is used to bind down the timber. The deceased had fastened the ropes on the pole by 2 half-hitches, the usual way, and four others were pulling on to the rope, when the ropes slipped off the binder, which sprung up and struck the deceased under the chin and on the head, knocking him down to the ground; witness afterwards walked home with him, having previously called upon Mr. Tyson, a surgeon.

By a Juror: The deceased fastened the rope on the binder himself.

Mr. Wm. Taylor Tyson, surgeon, deposed: The deceased called upon me and showed me where he had been struck; he had received a severe blow on the head on the right side; there had been considerable haemorrhage from the inside of the mouth; the lower lip was cut through, and he was suffering from concussion of the brain. I desired him to go home and go to bed; he walked home, and did not require support, as he was in a club and attended by Mr. Moseley. I did not see him again until ½ past 9; he appeared then to be doing well. At ½ past 11 I found him dead. I have examined the body and found a small wound on the forehead ; there was no swelling or fracture of the bone. On removing the skull cap and the dura mater I found about 3oz. of clotted blood pressing on the brain, which was evidently the cause of death; the whole of the vessels of the head were gorged with blood.

The jury returned a verdict of “ Accidental death.” The deceased came from Norwood, and has left a wife and family.


Folkestone Chronicle 18 August 1855.

Saturday August 11th:- Before W. Bateman Esq. and James Kelcey Esq.

Charles Wapsher and James Gorham were charged with stealing one half sovereign and some silver from the person of Henry Underdown.

Henry Underdown stated that on Thursday night last, between the hours of 11 and 12, I was going home from Mr. Cox's at the Gun public house, to my home, New Zealand, in Folkestone. The prisoner Wapsher stopped me on the road, knocked me down, and took from me a half sovereign and some silver, about 8 shillings. When I was knocked down I called out for assistance, no-one came near but the other prisoner, Gorham, and another man who I do not know. Wapsher took the money from me and also a tobacco box. James Gorham, when he came up to me, put his arms round my neck, which he squeezed so tightly and forced me against the ground that I could not call out. The three men went away, and left me on the ground. I followed them down Tontine Street, and I met two policemen, and asked them to assist me in finding the two prisoners, but they did not find them, and I did not see the prisoners afterwards. The next morning I went with policeman Barry to a house in Mill Bay, where we found the prisoner Wapsher. I knew him at once, and he is the same person who knocked me down and took the money from me. I saw the other prisoner, James Gorham, last night, as I was walking down the street. I knew he was the same person who held me down, whilst Wapsher took the money from me. I knew the prisoners by sight before I was robbed. The prisoners were committed for trial.


Canterbury Journal 15 March 1856.

Assizes, Thursday, before Mr. Justice Coleridge.

Charles Wapser and James Gorham were indicted for assaulting Henry Underdown, and stealing from his person, with violence, 18s. in money, a purse and a tobacco box, his money and property, at Folkestone, on the 29th August, 1855. Mr. Addison appeared for the prosecution; Mr. Poland defended the prisoners.

Henry Underdown:- Was a labourer residing at Folkestone. He was out on the evening of the 29th August, and was drinking at the Sun (sic) ("Gun") public house. He left and went along to Darlington Place. He came back again and passed by the Bull Dog steps; he went across Mr. Stacey’s field and arrived in St. Peter’s Street. He knew Mr. Morford, the butcher, in that street, where he met the two prisoners, who asked where he was going. He had known them before by sight. He told them he was going home. They wanted him to have a pot of beer, and he complied if they went as far as Mr. Hayford’s (sic). It was shut up. They wanted him to go down town; he declined, but said he was going home, and directly afterwards Wapser knocked him down, and took 18s. and the “backer” box from his pocket. He put his knee on witness’s side, and put his hand in his pocket and took the money out. They ran away. He soon afterwards met the policeman, and made a complaint to him. The next morning Wapser was apprehended at his house – the other prisoner was taken in the evening. Was quite sure the prisoners were the men.

Cross examined: He was not drunk in the evening. The way by the Bull Dog steps was the nearest home. He had been in the public house all the evening; had not been drinking much; had only two pints in the evening. The night was dark. He had been in the company of the prisoners about five minutes before he was thrown down. He remembered taking to a coastguardsman at the time, but could swear he never said that he did not know who had robbed him. Never told William Colbert that he was robbed in the meadow. He would swear he did not. He had said he was robbed near the British School. Told the policeman he had been robbed of something under a pound. They offered to assist him home. Did not know where Wapser lived. He went to other places before he went there. The tobacco box had his initials upon it. Had seen the prisoners many times before. He (witness) was a labourer. Was out of work on that day. He never heard the prisoner say he was innocent, but the other had made a statement to that effect. He called after the men when robbed, and ran a little way but not far.

Hannah Lake:- Lived at No. 10, St. Peter’s Street, Folkestone. She was in bed at her residence between eleven and twelve when she heard a cry of “Stop, thief.” The noise lasted a great while.

Thomas Atkinson Davidson:- Was clerk to the magistrates at Folkestone. He produced the deposition of Edward Burry, a police officer at Folkestone. He died lately. Witness was present when it was taken. (It was put in and read, but it contained nothing of importance.)

William Gilbert:- Was a police constable at Folkestone. He had met the prosecutor on the night in question; he said he had been robbed.

Cross-examined: Prosecutor first said he was robbed in the meadow – afterwards on his way to New Zealand. He did not seem to know exactly what he was about; he was the worse for liquor.

Re-examined: The meadow is close to New Zealand.

This was the case for the prosecutor.

Mr. Poland addressed the jury for his clients.

The prisoners were acquitted.


Southeastern Gazette 18 March 1856.

Assizes, Thursday: Before Mr. Justice Coleridge.

Charles Wapsher and James Gorham, on bail, were charged with assaulting Henry Underdown, and stealing from his person, with violence, 18s. in money, a purse, and a tobacco box, the money and property of the said Henry Underdown, at Folkestone, on the 9th August. Mr. Addison prosecuted; Mr. Poland defended the prisoner.

Prosecutor, a labourer, deposed to having been at the Gun public house on the 9th August. About 11 at night he left the Gun, and went past the Shakespeare Inn to Darlington Place. Witness came back again, and went across Mr. Stacey’s field, and then went up St. Peter’s Street. When opposite Mr. Morford’s, butcher, prosecutor met the prisoners, whom he knew well by sight. They asked him where he was going, and he said he was going home. They then asked him to stand a pot of beer, to which he consented, butupon going to a beer shop they found it shut up. He then turned to go home, when the prisoner Charles Wapsher knocked him down, and took away the property named in the indictment. The other man put his arm round witness’s throat in order that he should not holloa out. Witness however, struggled very hard, and managed to call out. Prisoners then ran away; witness followed them, but could not catch them. He afterwards met a policeman, who apprehended the prisoners next morning. Witness was positive as to their identity.

Cross-examined: Was not sober at the time, but knew what he was about. Had been at the Gun during the greater part of the evening. Had one pint of beer only in the afternoon, and two in the evening. It was a darkish night. Was in the company of the prisoners about five minutes before he was thrown down. Recollected talking to a coastguardsman that night. Did not recollect telling him that he did not know who it was that robbed him. Did not say that he was robbed in the meadow. Witness said he was robbed against the British School. Told the policeman that he had been robbed of something under £1. Was not so drunk that he required to be assisted home. The tobacco box had his initials on it. Should know the purse again if he saw it. He had not seen it since. Had seen the prisoners scores of times. When the men ran off witness cried out “Stop, thief”, and ran after them, but could not run very far because he suffered from palpitation of the heart.

Hannah Luke, residing at No. 10, St. Peter’s Street, Folkestone, deposed to hearing the cry of “Stop, thief” about the time mentioned by the last witness on the night in question.

Cross-examined: The noise continued a long time. Witness was alone in her bedroom, and was afraid to go out.

By the Judge: The noise appeared to be made by a great many people.

William Gilbert, formerly police constable of Folkestone, deposed to having seen the prosecutor on the night of the robbery, about twelve o’clock, when he complained of being robbed.

Cross-examined: Prosecutor said he was robbed in the meadow; afterwards on his way to New Zealand. He did not seem to know exactly what he was about.

Other evidence of a similar character having been adduced, the prisoners, in defence, denied all knowledge of the occurrence, and stoutly declared that they were not near the place described by the prosecutor, on the night of 9th August.

Witnesses were then called, who gave the prisoners an excellent character. Acquitted.


Folkestone Chronicle 3 May 1856.

Wednesday April 30th :- Before James Tolputt esq., Mayor, William Major esq., Gilbert Kennicott esq., and Stephen Godden esq.

Thomas Cocks, landlord of the Gun public house, Cheriton Road, was summoned at the instance of police constable Lewis for keeping his house open at improper hours.

William Lewis, police constable – At half past 11 last Saturday night I found between 40 and 50 people drinking in defendant's house. There was also a good deal of drink standing about. Defendant was drawing beer. I told him it was past time. He said his clock was stopped. I referred to his clock which was 25 minutes past 11. I believe the clock was stopped when I was there.

Richard Kennett – I went in about 20 minutes past 9 last Saturday night, and stopped about 20 minutes and went away. The clock was stopped when I went in. I knew that by the pendulum being stopped. One of the men started it while I was sitting there.

Cross-examined by Steer – I am in the habit of going to the defendant's house. I am not in the habit of getting beer from the defendant's house on a Sunday.

Convicted in the penalty of 5s. and 8s 6d costs.


Folkestone Chronicle 9 January 1858.

Council Meeting Extract.

The special and monthly meeting of the Town Council was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening, Jan. 6th, 1858.

A letter from Mr. Ash, of Canterbury, was also read, respecting the drainage by the Gun public house, in the occupation of Mr. Cock, and the report of the surveyor with regard to the same was read, but which report was deferred on account of the great expense.


Southeastern Gazette 13 May 1862.

Local News.

On Sunday night week, a fire was discovered to have broken out in the lower part of the Gun beerhouse, Gun Terrace, Mr. Cock and the other inmates being in bed at the time. An alarm was immediately raised, the hose was quickly attached to the fire-plug, and the flames were extinguished before much damage had been done. The fire is supposed to have been caused by an accumulation of soot in one corner of the chimney becoming ignited.


Folkestone Chronicle 29 July 1865.


Died on Friday, the 28th instant, Mr. William Peel, Blacksmith, Gun Tavern, aged 33 years.


Folkestone Chronicle 25 August 1866.

Licensing Day.

A Special Sessions was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday, for the purpose of renewing old and granting new spirit licenses &c. The magistrates present were Captain Kennicott R.N., James Tolputt and A.M. Leith Esqs. There was a large attendance of publicans, some interest being excited in consequence of strong opposition being raised against the granting of several new licenses. The first business was to renew old licenses, and about 70 names were called over alphabetically.

The first applicant was Mr. Elliott for a license to the Gun beerhouse, in support of which he presented a petition signed by several householders residing in the vicinity.

The court was then cleared for a short time, and on the re-admission of the public Captain Kennicott said the magistrates had decided to refuse the application.


Southeastern Gazette 28 August 1866.

Local News.

Wednesday last was the annual licensing day, when the magistrates on the bench were Capt. Kennicott, R.N., J. Tolputt and A. M. Leith Esqrs.

All the old licenses were renewed. There were seven applications for new licences namely, Mr. Hogben for the Rendezvous, in Broad Street, (lately opened as a luncheon bar); Mr. Spurrier, for the Alexandra, in Harbour Street; Mr. Lepper, for a new house, the Raglan Tavern, in Dover Road; Mr. J. B. Tolputt, for a house in Bouverie Square; Mr. Elliott for the Gun, Cheriton- Road; Mr. Tite, for the Shakespeare, Cheriton Row; and Mr. Mullett, for the Star, in Seagate Street. The Bench granted licences to the four first-named, and refused the other applications. Mr. J. Minter presented a petition signed by all the publicans in the town against new licences, and appeared specially to oppose the granting of licences to the Rendezvous and Star.


Folkestone Observer 24 August 1867.

Licensing Day.

Wednesday, August 21st: Before The Mayor, Captain Kennicott R.N. and J. Tolputt Esq.

This being the day for granting certificates of publicans for renewal of licenses, or for new licenses, there was a large attendance of the “victualling” craft.

Mr. Purday, of Canterbury, supported an application for a certificate to Mr. Elliott for a house at Gun Terrace. A house there was for many years a beershop, it having come into the hands of Messrs. Ash, and they, seeing that the property in that neighbourhood was improving, built up the Gun Tavern. Adjoining it would be a blacksmith's forge, built in the same style as the house. The house had seven bedrooms, and it's stabling had accommodation for eight horses. In a line behind the house are eight new houses, and he understood that in a short time there would be twenty more houses there. Mr. Minter, he understood, was to oppose his application, and also to support another application for a house in that neighbourhood. He wished to say that he should not oppose his friend's application, for, in fact, he understood that monopoly had died out in Folkestone.

Mr. Minter said he was instructed on behalf of a near neighbour, Mr. Tite, to oppose the granting of a license to this house. It was hardly necessary for him to oppose the license if the Bench had determined that there should be free trade, but he argued that there was no necessity for additional public houses in that neighbourhood.

The Bench consulted together, and then the Mayor announced that the application was adjourned for a fuller Bench of magistrates to deal with.

Mr. Minter enquired if they were to go into fresh evidence at the next hearing. The evidence had been heard on both sides by the present Bench. A hint had been dropped about a fuller Bench of magistrates. He apprehended that other magistrates would not have heard the evidence.

The Mayor said the question was whether they should have free trade in licenses or not.

The Court was then cleared, and the magistrates deliberated in private. When the public were again admitted, the Mayor announced that the license was granted to Elliott and refused to all the others, so that gentlemen would understand that it was not exactly free trade.


Folkestone Express 18 May 1872.

Temporary License.

Monday, May 13th: Before The Mayor, T. Caister, J. Tolputt and J. Clarke Esqs.

The license of the Gun Tavern was temporarily transferred to Thomas Batt.

Note: No mention of Batt at the Gun Tavern according to More Bastions.


Folkestone Express 13 May 1876.

Monday, May 8th: Before The Mayor, T. Caister and J. Clark Esqs.

Stephen Ayres was charged with stealing a coat, value four guineas, the property of Edward Hunt. Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty.

Edward Hunt said: I am a fly driver, and live at the Gun Tavern. I know the prisoner. On Wednesday, the 26th April, he was in the stable. It was between six and seven o'clock. I left the stable for about three minutes and went into the house. When I returned prisoner was there, but left shortly afterwards. About five minutes after he left I missed the coat. I had laid it on the top of a corn bin. There was no-one in the stable but the prisoner when I went into the house. I did not see the coat again until Saturday, when I saw it at the police station. It was shown to me by Superintendent Wilshere.

In answer to the prisoner witness said that he (the prisoner) had been in the Gun Tavern for several days after the coat was missed.

Sergeant Reynolds said: I was on duty at the police station on Saturday evening when Superintendent Wilshere brought the prisoner in and charged him was stealing the coat produced.

Prisoner said he bought the coat from a man at Shorncliffe Camp and would know him if he saw him again.

Prisoner was remanded until Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 10th: Before The Mayor, T. Caister, J. Clark, J. Kelcey, and W.J. Jeffreason Esqs.

Stephen Ayres was brought up on remand charged with stealing a coat, value £4, the property of Edward Hunt.

The evidence taken on Monday having been read over, Mr. John William Baker said: I am a pawnbroker in Snargate Street, Dover. I believe the prisoner has lived in Dover. On Saturday last prisoner came into my shop and offered a coat for sale. The coat produced is the same. Prisoner asked me if I would buy it. He said he had given 15s. for it, and wanted to know whether I would give him that amount. He said he had bought it from a groom at the Camp. On going into the pawnbroking department I found that the coat had been stolen from Folkestone. I then communicated with the police. I left prisoner in the sale shop. When I returned he was gone, but he returned in half an hour, and I then accompanied him to the police station. I told him the coat was stolen. He said he did not wish to get in any bother; he bought the coat.

Superintendent Wilshere: On Saturday last, on receipt of a telegram, I went to Dover and found the prisoner detained at the police station, and I took him into custody on the charge of stealing the coat. Prisoner at Dover said “I bought it from a man on the Camp. I should know him again if I saw him”. I brought him to Folkestone, where he repeated the statement.

Prisoner, after being cautioned, said that Hunt and himself were the only persons in the stable, but the gates were opened when he went out and Hunt came out directly. I never went in the stable afterwards.

Prisoner was then committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions.


From the London Gazette, 27 February, 1877.


In the County Court of Kent, holden at Canterbury.

In the Matter of Proceedings with Creditors, by arrangement or Compensation with Creditors, instituted by William Hunt, of the "Gun Tavern," in the County of Kent, Innkeeper.

Notice is hereby given, that a First general meeting of the creditors of the above-named person has been summoned to be held at the "Gun Tavern," Folkestone, Kent, on the 9th day of March, 1877, at three o'clock in the afternoon precisely. - Dated this 19th day of February, 1877.

J. Minter, Folkestone, Kent, Solicitor for the said Debtor.


From the London Gazette, 27 February, 1877.


George Collard, of Canterbury, Wine Merchant, has been appointed Trustee of the property of the debtor. All persons having in their possession any of the effects of the debtor must deliver them to the trustee, and all debts to the debtor must be paid to the trustee. Creditors who have not yet proved their debts must forward their proofs of debts to the trustee. - Dated this 10th day of March, 1877.


Folkestone Chronicle 17 March 1877.


The Bankruptcy Act, 1869.


In the matter of proceedings for liquidation by arrangement or composition with Creditors instituted by WILLIAM HUNT, of the Gun Tavern, Folkestone, Kent, Innkeeper. George Collard, of Canterbury, Wine Merchant, has been appointed Trustee of the property of the Debtor.

All persons having in their possession any of the effects of the Debtor must deliver them to the Trustee, and all debts due to the Debtor must be paid to the Trustee.

Creditors who have not yet proved their debts must forward their proof of debts to the Trustee.

Dated this 10th Day of March, 1877

Walter Furly,



Folkestone Express 24 March 1877.

County Court.

Saturday, March 17th: Before G. Russell Esq.

Arthur Langton v William Hunt: This was an application for a new trial on a technical point. Mr. Minter made the application on behalf of the Trustee of Mr. Hunt's bankruptcy, and Mr. Worsfold Mowll opposed.

Mr. Minter said this was a case in which Mr. Langton, who carried on the business of the Imperial Brewery in Tontine Street, was the plaintiff, and Mr. Hunt, the landlord of the Gun Tavern, was the defendant. It appeared that he attended at the last court for the purpose of defending the summons.

Mr. Mowll: Defeating the execution.

Mr. Minter: Well defeating execution. This, in his opinion, could have been done very easily if the objection which he had to make on opposing the claim had been made. His attendance was simply to object to the sum of the account, and to apply for time to be granted. While he was in Court, the case was called on, but he did not hear it, and when the Court rose he was informed that it had been called on. The decision was accordingly given in favour of the plaintiff, and upon the Court rising an execution was immediately issued without any order being sent to the defendant for the payment of the money. At ten minutes past eleven the execution was issued and the defendant's goods were seized. There was no doubt that at this time the defendant was in difficulties and contemplating a division of his estate among his creditors, and there was also no doubt that this fact was known to the plaintiff by him issuing the execution immediately on the rising of the Court, his object being to get into the house before the filing of the petition so that he might have the priority over the other creditors, and make himself a secured creditor. It was in the name of the general body of creditors that he was about to make an application to re-hear the case.

Mr. Mowll: Are you instructed by the Trustee?

Mr. Minter: Yes. His Honour would find that the action was brought by Arthur Langton and Co., to whom the debt was alleged to be due, and therefore Arthur Langton had no right to sue unless he showed on the dace of the proceedings that he was properly the person to sue. It might be Arthur Langton suing under the title of Langton and Co.

Mr. Mowll: We admit that it is only Arthur Langton; that there is no Co.

Mr. Minter, continuing, said that the object of the application for a new trial was to set aside the execution and place the plaintiff in the same position as the other creditors.

Mr. Mowll said he did not know whether His Honour deemed it necessary for him to reply.

His Honour answered in the negative and proceeded to give judgement. It was, he said, a most peculiar application, because it was not exactly for him to grant a new trial, but to make an amendment which would in effect act prejudicial to the plaintiff to benefit the general body of creditors. The definition of the plaintiff did not appear to him to be inconsistent, because it was a daily occurrence for a man in trade to endeavour to gain additional importance by the application of Co. This being the case he did not think it ought to preclude the plaintiff from recovering the fruits of his judgement. The application would, therefore, be dismissed.

Mr. Mowll applied for an order for costs against the estate.

His Honour said he thought the application ought to be dismissed with costs, but he left it to the plaintiff whether or not he thought it worthwhile to go before the Registrar on the matter.


Folkestone Express 31 March 1877.

Local News.

On Saturday at the Police Court the license of the Gun Tavern was provisionally transferred from William Hunt to William Gills.

Note: More Bastions lists the transfer at the Gun to Giles.


Folkestone Express 21 April 1877.

Saturday, April 14th: Before The Mayor, General Armstrong, Colonel De Crespigny, W.J. Jeffreason Esq., and Alderman Caister.

Catherine Harrington was charged with being drunk and refusing to quit licensed premises.

William Giles, the landlord of the Gun Tavern, stated that shortly after eight o'clock on the previous evening the prisoner came to his house and requested to be supplied with some drink, but as she was in a state of intoxication he refused to do so. She then became very noisy and quarrelsome and he ordered her to leave the house, but she refused. He thereupon called in Sergeant Reynolds, who took her into custody.

Sergeant Reynolds having corroborated, the Bench fined the prisoner, who had been before them on several occasions, 10s. and costs, the alternative being 14 days' hard labour.


Folkestone Express 28 April 1877.

Tuesday, April 24th: Before Captain Crowe, R.W. Boarer and J. Kelcey Esqs.

The following provisional transfer of license was granted: The Gun Tavern from William Hunt to William Giles.


Folkestone Express 20 October 1877.

Monday, October 15th: Before General Armstrong and R.W. Boarer Esq.

Catherine Harrington was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Bouverie Road on Saturday morning.

Detective Hogben said he was ordered by Sergeant Reynolds to go up to the Gun as there was a woman there creating a disturbance. He found the prisoner outside the house screaming and abusing the landlady. She said she wanted her husband, who, in reply to witness, she said was on the Leas. There were a number of little children round her. He had to get the assistance of P.C. Knowles to get her to the police station.

Superintendent Wilshere said the prisoner was drunk and helpless, but after she got to the station she kicked at the constables and her boots had to be removed.

There were seven previous convictions against her and she was now sentenced to one month's hard labour.


Folkestone Express 28 July 1883.

Saturday, July 21st: Before R.W. Boarer and F. Boykett Esqs., and Alderman Banks.

Henry Webb was charged with being drunk while in charge of a horse, and George Sider with being drunk. Sider pleaded Guilty.

P.C. Knowles said on the 12th inst. he saw the two defendants in a pony and trap at the bottom of Shellons Street. They were both drunk. They drove on to Rendezvous Street and stopped opposite the Prince Albert. He followed them with Sergeant Pay. Sider either got out or fell out of the cart. He took him into custody, and afterwards went back to help Sergt. Pay bring Webb to the station. He had received complaints previously about them. They were both incapable of taking care of a horse and cart.

Sergt. Pay said he saw Sider come out of the Gun Inn, get into a cart, and drive up the Bouverie Road, and afterwards return. He stayed about five minutes, and then went to the Shakespeare Inn, leaving his cart outside the Gun. He saw the two defendants afterwards, about nine o'clock, in the cart, coming up Grace Hill. They were both drunk.

Sider was fined 5s. and 8s. costs, and Webb 10s. and 10s. costs.


Folkestone Chronicle 20 May 1893.

Wednesday, May 17th: Before Mr. J. Fitness, Mr. Ward and Mr. Brook.

William Giles, of the Gun Tavern, was summoned for selling adulterated whiskey.

The case was proved by Mr. Pearson, who bought a pint of Irish whiskey, which was found to be diluted with 6.4 per cent water.

In answer to Mr. Hall, who appeared for the defendant, the inspector said they only commenced to prosecute when the adulteration was over five per cent.

Mr. Hall said there was only 1.4 per cent of water more than usual, and he pleaded for a mitigated penalty, stating that the defendant had been in the trade 30 years and had never appeared before the Bench before.

A fine of £1 1s. and 19s. costs was imposed.


Folkestone Herald 20 May 1893.

Local News.

On Wednesday last at the Folkestone Police Court, before Messrs. Fitness, Ward, and Brooke, the following case of alleged contravention of the Adulteration of Food and Drugs Act, brought at the instance of the Inspector, Mr. Pearson, was adjudicated upon. Mr. Haines conducted the prosecution on behalf of the prosecution.

W. Giles, of the Gun Tavern, was charged with selling whisky adulterated with 6.4 percent of added water. Mr. Hall appeared for the defendant.

The Inspector said that on the 2nd May he purchased a pint of whisky at defendant's premises, for which he paid 2s. 8d. He told the barmaid it was to be analysed. It had subsequently been found to be adulterated with 6.4 percent of added water.

Mr. Hall, in defence, said he had advised his client to plead Guilty to a technical offence. Defendant was allowed, under the Act, to break down spirits to the extent of 25 percent, and it could be well understood how a slight mistake like this could have been made. Defendant was not new to the trade, and had always conducted his business well. Really the adulteration only amounted to 1.4 percent. Under these circumstances he asked their worships to inflict a nominal penalty.

Fined £1 19s. and 10s. costs.

Note: There was another case against Maestrani for selling adulterated milk. At the end of the report on these cases there is the intriguing footnote: The editor regrets that, in connection with one of the cases reported above, and attempt was made to induce our representative to suppress his report. A monetary consideration was offered to him, but he very properly declined to lend himself to such a transaction. It was an attempt to bribe the reporter, and for our part we shall do our best to stamp out such a demoralising system. Whenever the details of a case are of interest to the public we shall do our duty by publishing the facts, however obnoxious it may be to the individuals concerned. Any future offer of “hush money” will be resented by publishing the name and address of the party from whom it emanates.


Folkestone Chronicle 17 March 1894.


Under Entirely New Management, Gun Tavern, Cheriton Road. Ash and Co.'s Celebrated Canterbury Ales in the primest condition. London Stouts and Porter. Wines and Spirits of the Finest Quality. Choice cigars. C. Norman, Proprietor.


Folkestone Chronicle 21 April 1894.

Local News.


The following transfer was granted at the Police Court on Wednesday: Gun, Cheriton Road, to I. Norman. (sic)


From the London Gazette, 3 May, 1895.


List of Aliens to whom Certificates of Naturalization or of Readmission to British Nationality have been granted by the Secretary of State under the provisions of the Act 33 Vic., cap. 14, and have been registered in the Home Office pursuant of the Act during the Month of April, 1895.

NORMAN, Christian; Germany, 18th April, 1895. Folkestone, Kent, the "Gun Tavern," Cheriton Road.


Folkestone Herald 15 November 1902.


The Gun Tavern, in Cheriton Road, has changed hands, after several years. Mr. Norman, the former proprietor, was a native of “the Appy Fatherland”. He served with the German Army all through the Franco-Prussian War, and after acting the part of Boniface, is now seeking the peaceful shades of retirement. The new proprietor is an Englishman amongst Englishmen. He both looks and acts the part. Mr. Straughan's associations with Folkestone are many, and not the least interesting feature in his career is the fact that he was a disciple of Caxton for a very considerablt time in the printing office of the Folkestone Herald. Strawney, as he was termed, was classed as one of the best, and when he departed to take over the proprietorship of the Wheatsheaf Hotel at St. Lawrence, general regret was felt. Now our friend has returned to his old love – Folkestone, and all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance will wish both himself and his amiable partner every success. The proprietor of the Gun is one of those characters that deserve to succeed.


Folkestone Chronicle 20 December 1902.

Wednesday, December 17th: Before Alderman J. Banks, Messrs. Wightwick, Swoffer, and Herbert, and Lieut. Col. Hamilton.

The following transfer of wine, beer, and spirit licences was granted: The Gun Tavern to Mr. H. Straughan.


Folkestone Express 20 December 1902.

Wednesday, December 17th: Before Alderman Banks, Lieut. Colonel Hamilton, W. Wightwick, W.G. Herbert, and G.I. Swoffer Esqs.

A transfer of the licence of the Gun Tavern was granted to Mr. Straughan.


Folkestone Herald 20 December 1902.

Wednesday, December 17th: Before Alderman Banks, Lieut. Colonel Hamilton, and Messrs. Herbert, Wightwick, and Swoffer.

This was a special sessions for the transfer of licences.

Mr. B.R. Straughan made an application for a temporary licence for the Gun Tavern. For a considerable period this applicant had been landlord of the Wheatsheaf, at Ramsgate, prior to which he was a member of the staff of F.J. Parsons Ltd. Application granted.


Folkestone Chronicle 16 April 1904.

Wednesday, April 13th: Before Mr. W.G. Herbert, Lieut. Cols. Westropp and Fynmore, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, and Mr. J. Stainer.

Alterations to the Gun Tavern, Cheriton Road, were approved.


Folkestone Express 16 April 1904.

Wednesday, April 13th: Before W.G. Herbert Esq., Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Lieut. Col. Westropp, G.I. Swoffer and J. Stainer Esqs.

The Magistrates agreed to slight alterations at the Gun Tavern being made.


Folkestone Herald 16 April 1904.

Wednesday, April 13th: Before Ald. W.G. Herbert, Lieut. Colonel Fynmore, Mr. J. Stainer, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, and Lieut. Colonel Westropp.

Permission was granted for alterations to be carried out on the following premises:- The Gun Tavern.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 2 July 1904.

General servant wanted; permanency for clean, willing girl (no bar work); man kept for rough work. Apply Mrs. Straughan, the "Gun," Cheriton Road, Folkestone.


Folkestone Herald 5 November 1904.

Monday, 31st October: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Alderman G. Spurgen, Alderman T.J. Vaughan, Lieut. Colonel Fynmore, Mr. W.C. Carpenter, and Mr. J. Stainer.

Edward Arnold Palmer surrendered to his bail on a charge of assaulting the police.

P.C. Johnson said that at 10.20 the previous evening he was called to Broadmead Road, near the Darlington Arch. There he saw the prisoner fighting with another man. Witness separated them, and while he held the accused the latter struck him several blows on the right hand with a stick (produced). Mr. Straughan, landlord of the Gun Tavern, was passing, and assisted witness to take the stick away from Palmer. He was then taken to the police station and charged. He replied “I am sorry, old chap. I didn't intend to do it”. Prisoner was sober.

Bernard Straughan stated that he saw prisoner strike the constable. He tried to hit him over the head with the stick, but the constable only received the blows on the arm.

Prisoner, in defence, said that two of his acquaintances had been down to Hythe. He tried to get them home as they had had rather too much to drink. An altercation took place between these two and some other men. Near the railway arch one of his companions was struck and knocked over the railings. The assailants then struck at him, as the result of which he got a black eye. He then could see nothing but stars, and struck out, as he thought, at the man who had assaulted him, but he afterwards found out that he had been striking the constable.

The Bench fined Palmer £1 and 5s. 6d. costs, or 14 days' imprisonment. The money was paid.


Folkestone Herald 27 April 1907.

Saturday, April 20th: Before The Mayor, Alderman T.J. Vaughan, Councillor W.C. Carpenter, and Messrs. E.T. Ward, T. Ames, and R.J. Fynmore.

Mr. Straughan, of the Gun Inn, was granted an occasional licence to sell at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening, on the occasion of an Oddfellows' gathering.


Folkestone Daily News 3 May 1907.

Thursday, May 2nd: Before The Mayor, Messrs. Herbert and Stainer.

Patrick McCarty was charged with placing himself in the public highway for the purpose of collecting alms, and also with being drunk.

P.C. Rew said he saw the prisoner in Cheriton Road asking for alms. He saw him place himself in front of a gentleman and take hold of his coat. Witness went across to him and found he was drunk. He then took him into custody.

Thomas Copus said he lived at 18, Cheriton Road, and saw the prisoner in front of the Gun Hotel. Prisoner came to him and asked him if he would buy something he had in his pockets. Witness replied “No”, and then prisoner held up his fist as if to strike him.

Prisoner said it was the first time he had been in the town, and would leave the town if the Magistrates let him off.

The charge of drunkenness was dismissed, and he was sentenced to twenty one days' hard labour for begging.


Folkestone Herald 6 February 1909.


Those Guns.

Under this heading, a week or so back, I made an enquiry in regard to those guns which stand muzzle downwards outside the Shakespeare and Globe Hotels. I asked “Where did they come from? Who placed them there?” Those queries did not escape the eagle eye of our esteemed frien, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, of Sandgate, who writes me on the subject as follows:- “Dear Felix, As to the guns, we want an artillerist's opinion of them, then evidence of old inhabitants as to when they remember them being placed there (if within recollection). I should say that they have been placed where they are since the Crimean War. I have newspaper scraps dated 1881, 1899, and 1905 enquiring about them. What are the dates of the Gun Brewery and Gun Tavern? Of course, they would be named after the gun was put there. The matter should be elucidated. As I said, first we want an expert to say whether they are Waterloo or Crimean guns. If the latter, surely there would be a record in the Corporation books as to when they were given. After all, they may have been discarded from the old battery.” Now it is rather strange. On Sunday morning, during a short stroll over the hills, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Tite, the respected father in the partner of Tite and Roff. This gentleman mentioned that he had read my note about the guns, and added “I am now seventy eight, but they have stood in their places as long as I can remember”. Mr. Tite's relative, the late Alderman Ham Tite, I believe at one time owned the Gun Brewery, and that was many years ago. Perhaps some of my old Folkestone friends can throw a little light on these old pieces of ordnance.


Folkestone Daily News 9 September 1909.

Saturday, September 4th: Before Messrs. Ward, Vaughan, and Fynmore.

George Heath was summoned for causing an obstruction in Gloucester Place.

P.C. Prebble said he saw defendant's barrow standing in Gloucester Place for about twenty minutes unattended. Defendant was in the Gun public house.

In defence, defendant said it was raining very hard, and he went in the public house out of the wet.

He was fined 2s. 6d., including costs.


Folkestone Express 11 September 1909.

Saturday, September 4th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Alderman Vaughan, and Lieut. Colonel Fynmore.

George Heath was summoned for causing an obstruction. He admitted the offence.

P.C. Prebble said on August 24th, from a complaint he received, he went to Gloucester Place, near the Gun Tavern, where he saw a barrow, laden with greengrocery, standing outside. He kept observation on it from 5.20 to 5.50, when defendant came out. Witness told him he should report him, and defendant replied that it was wet outside.

Heath said it was raining hard, and he was standing out of the wet. He was half wet through.

Fined 2s. 6d., the costs being remitted.


Folkestone Herald 11 September 1909.

Saturday, September 4th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Lieut. Colonel Fynmore, and Alderman T.J. Vaughan.

George Heath was summoned for causing an obstruction in Gloucester Place. Defendant pleaded Guilty.

P.C. W. Prebble deposed that on the 24th ult., owing to a complaint, he went to Gloucester Place. Outside the Gun Tavern he saw a barrow loaded with greengroceries. Witness kept observation on it for half an hour, and then the defendant came out.

Defendant said it was raining hard at the time, and he went into the Gun Tavern for shelter.

Fined 2s. 6d. without costs.


Folkestone Express 18 September 1909.

Monday, September 13th: Before Messrs. W.G. Herbert, J. Stainer, and R.J. Linton.

George Fitzgerald was charged with stealing a rosary from the Roman Catholic Church, the property of some person unknown.

James Betts, of 13, Black Bull Road, said he was a motor driver. At about twenty minutes past eight the previous evening he was in Gloucester Place on the motor stand, when the prisoner came up and asked for assistance. Afterwards he produced a rosary, which he said he had found on the beach. He also asked if it was worth a penny. On looking at it, witness was asked by the prisoner to give twopence for it, which would make up his night's lodging and a penny over. He gave him 2d., and took the rosary. About two minutes after the man had gone, he saw P.C. Sales and handed the rosary over to him.

P.C. Sales said at 8.15 the previous evening, from information he received, he went to Gloucester Place, where he saw the last witness, who handed him the rosary produced. In consequence of what he told him, they went in search of the prisoner and saw him in the Gun Tavern. On coming outside witness said to the man “You have sold this rosary for 2d. just now?” He replied “I sold him it for a pint. I picked it up between half past five and six in the shelter on the beach. It is not worth anything. If you don't believe, me take me to the police station”. Witness took him to the police station, where he was detained for enquiries to be made. He later charged the prisoner with stealing the rosary from the Roman Catholic Church, the property of some person at present unknown. He replied “I did not go in there until after the benediction. Do you think I would steal things like this? I am a Roman Catholic myself. I went there to see Dr. Scannell for assistance. The rosary I have worn for 27 years”.

The Chief Constable said that was as far as he could take the case that day. There was no doubt that the prisoner went to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Chairman, after a consultation with his colleagues on the Bench, said there was some sort of shadow of doubt about the case, but precious little. Prisoner, however, would be discharged.

The Chief Constable said the rosary would remain in the possession of the police for a little time, and if it was not claimed he would hand it over to Betts. He did not think the prisoner was a very good Roman Catholic, or he would not sell his rosary for a pint.


Folkestone Herald 18 September 1909.

Monday, September 13th: Before Messrs. W.G. Herbert, J. Stainer, and R.J. Linton.

Geo. Fitzgerald was charged with theft.

James Petts said that he lived at 13, Black Bull Road, and was a motor driver. The previous evening, at 8.20, he was in Gloucester Place. The prisoner came up to him and asked him for assistance. Accused showed him the rosary (produced) and said he had found it on the beach, and asked whether it was worth a penny. Witness looked at it, and prisoner asked witness 2d. for it. Witness gave him 2d. for it, and took the rosary with the intention of informing the police. Witness then saw P.C. Sales and handed it over to him, and told him what he knew about it.

P.C. Sales deposed that about 8.15 the previous evening, from information received, he went to Gloucester Place and received the rosary from the last witness. From what he heard he went into the Gun bar, where he saw the prisoner. Witness called him outside, and, cautioning him, asked him whether he had just sold a rosary for 2d. Prisoner replied “I sold it to him for a pint; I picked it up on the beach at 5.30 this evening. It is of no value. If you don't believe it, take me to the police station”. Witness subsequently brought him to the police station, and charged him with stealing the rosary from the Roman Catholic Church, the property of some person or persons unknown. Prisoner replied that he did not go in there till after the benediction. He would not steal a thing like that. He was a Roman Catholic himself, and went in there to see Dr. Scannell for assistance. He said that he had worn the rosary for 25 years.

The case was dismissed, as there seemed to be some doubt about the matter.

The Chief Constable remarked that the prisoner could not be a very good Catholic, or he would not sell his rosary for a pint.


Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, Wednesday 3 January 1912.

Funeral. Mrs Mary Jane Straughan.

The funeral of Mrs. Straughan, wife of Mr. H. P. Straughan of the "Gun Hotel," took place at the Cemetery on Friday, and there was a large gathering a friends of the deceased at the interment. The officiating minister was the Rev T. J. Johnstone, and the funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Prebble and Spain. The oak casket in which the remains were placed bore a brass plate with the inscription. Mary Jane Straughan, 26th December, 1911, age 36 years.

Among the many reasons, etc, sent by following sorrowing friends were the following:-

In affectionate memory of a true wife and loving mother, from Leslie, Bernie, and Dad.

In loving memory of our dear sister, Nem and Harry.

With deep sympathy, from Bertha and Ralph.

With deep sympathy, from her Auntie and Cousin at Ipswitch.

With deepest sympathy, from Mary and Cis.

In loving memory, from George and Nell.

With loving sympathy from Will and Lizzie Baxter (Cleethorpes).

With all true sympathy from Mr. and Mrs. Lester and Mabel.

With deepest sympathy from Bill and Nell.

Loving sympathy, from Miss Pearson.

With loving regret and sympathy, from Ruby, Harry, and Titch.

With deepest sympathy, from Captain, Mrs. and Jack Baxter (Grimsby).

With sincere sympathy from the members of John Jones Romney Marsh Coursing Club.

With deepest sympathy, from Cann's Motors Staff.

With deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs Stay.

With heartfelt sympathy and kind remembrance, from Harry and Edward Francis.

With deepest sympathy, from C. and J. Huntley.

With all the sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Milne Gray.

With sincere sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Ashby.

Kind remembrance, from the Manager and Employees of Folkestone Motors Limited.

"Kit", in loving memory, from "Dad" and "Mum" Swain.

Loving sympathy, from Emma Frances.

With deepest sympathy, from the Misses Hayer and Broad (nurses).

With sincere regret and sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. A. Hart.

With sincere sympathy, from Bert Valder.

With deepest sympathy, from a few Friends and Customers of 19, Cheriton Road.

With deep sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Jones.

With deepest regret, from May, Jack, and Fred.

With deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins.

With deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Root.

With sincere sympathy, from George and Jos.

In sincere sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Tuomer, Folkestone Club.


Folkestone Express 15 April 1922.

Local News.

The licence of the Gun Tavern has been transferred from Mr. H. Straughan to Mr. Donald Cook.


Folkestone Express 17 August 1929.

Tuesday, August 13th: Before Alderman T.S. Franks, Mrs. E. Gore, Mr. W. Smith and Mr. R.J. Stokes.

Donald Cook, the landlord of the Gun Tavern, Cheriton Road, was summoned for serving intoxicating liquors during non-permitted hours on August 3rd, and also for aiding and abetting Harry Gosney in the consumption of the drink. Harry Gosney was summoned for consuming intoxicating liquor on the licensed premises on August 3rd during non-permitted hours. Mr. A.K. Mowll appeared for the defence, and pleaded Not Guilty.

Inspector Pittock said he was on duty on the 3rd August at a quarter past eleven, when he was with P.S. Hollands outside the Gun Tavern. He saw lights in the window and heard voices. He got on to a short wall, and looked into the fanlight, where he got an uninterrupted view of the bar. He saw defendant, Mr. Gosney, sitting on a chair at the right of the bar. Sitting next to him was his wife on the settee, and seated next to her was a Mrs. Mayne, and her husband was standing at the end of the settee talking to defendant. There was no serving bar in this room. Mrs. Cook and her daughter were standing by the door leading through the private bar to the premises. That was the total number of occupants in the room. On a table, which was in the centre of the room, were two glasses containing amber coloured liquor, apparently ale. They were half full, and there was froth on the top. They were opposite Mr. Mayne and his wife. There was an empty wine glass opposite Mrs. Gosney, on the table, and a stout glass, half full, was opposite defendant Gosney. Witness gave certain instructions to Sergt. Hollands, who looked through the fanlight,, and then went and knocked at the door, while he (witness) again took up his position at the fanlight. Miss Cook made some remark, and immediately snatched up the two ale glasses and carried them with the contents into the adjoining bar. The man Mayne bolted out the back of the premises. Defendant Gosney immediately took up his glass and consumed practically all the contents. He then placed the glass between himself and his wife. The door was locked. As soon as it was opened by Mr. Cook (it was opened in two minutes at the most), witness immediately went to defendant Gosney, and said to him “Where is your glass?”, and he made no reply. Witness looked down between Gosney and his wife, and saw that the latter was holding a stout glass in her left hand, well concealed by her skirt. He took the glass from her and said to Cook “I have been keeping observation on this room during the last five minutes through the fanlight, and when I saw the Sergeant knock the door your daughter took two glasses containing ale from this table into the bar, and it appeared to me to be freshly drawn”. He asked him where his clock was, and he switched on the light, and the time by the clock was 11.23. Mr. Cook said the clock was five minutes fast. There were two barmen in the bar clearing up. He took the names of those present, and said to him “Where is Mr. Mayne? I saw him talking to you just before I entered”. He replied “I do not know. He must have gone out”. P.S. Hollands searched for him, but could not find him. He tasted the contents of the wine glass, but was unable to ascertain what it contained. He tasted the contents of the stout glass, and found it to contain stout. Mrs. Cook said “That is Guinness. It was served before ten thirty. He pointed out to Mr. Cook the froth on the top of the remaining stout, and told him he was of opinion it had been recently drawn, and Mrs, Cook said “It will be the same in the morning of you take it away”.

The Clerk (Mr. J. Andrew): Did you not avail yourself of the offer?

Inspector Pittock: No.

The Chief Constable: Is that your experience about the stout?

Inspector Pittock: No.

Witness, continuing, said he then said to defendant Gosney that he would be reported for consuming liquor on licensed premises during non-permitted hours, and also told Mr. Cook that he would be reported for aiding and abetting in the consumption of the drink. He further said that he would probably be reported for serving intoxicating liquor during non-permitted hours. Gosney made no reply, and Mr. Cook said “There has been no offence committed here”.

Inspector Pittock, in reply to the Clerk, said he told the girl that he saw her with the glasses, and she replied that she was “doing” the glasses.

In cross-examination, Inspector Pittock said that day was probably one of the busiest days of the year. The barmen were engaged in washing up the glasses in the bar, but there was no light on when he entered the bar. While he was looking through the fanlight the door opened.

P.S. Hollands said he was with Inspector Pittock practically the whole of the time. At 11.15 he heard voices in the saloon bar, and Inspector Pittock looked through the fanlight. He also looked through, and he saw the people mentioned by Inspector Pittock. What the Inspector had said was correct. He tried the door as he knocked, and found it was locked. It was opened as quickly as possible. He corroborated Inspector Pittock.

In reply to the Clerk, the Sergeant said he saw no consumption by anyone. He saw the glasses containing intoxicating liquor.

Questioned by Mr. Mowll, witness said the defendant from the first denied that he had committed any offence.

Mr. Mowll said he did not propose to call any evidence at all. In his view they had some evidence which the Magistrates might say or might not think sufficient to convict Mr. Gosney of consuming some stout during prohibited hours. The evidence had been quite fairly given by the police. He did not attach the slightest importance to the allusion that there might be froth on the glasses. The answer was not supplying to A, B, or C, ale or wine, but supplying to Gosney some glasses of stout. There was no evidence whatever that would justify the Magistrates in holding that the licensee was liable to be convicted for supplying, for the only evidence, if it could be called such, was that they had a momentary glance through the fanlight by those officers, who said there was froth in the glass. The only offence with which he really had to deal, so far as the licensee was concerned, was whether he aided and abetted the consumption. He would like to point out there was scarcely more than a small portion of Guinness in the glass on that occasion. What happened was that those people were friends of Mr. Cook, and they were in that little room. The bar was in the next place. They were all sitting down. As they had heard, the barmen were busy at work washing up the glasses. That Saturday was the one day in the year when licensed victuallers could make a little money, because it was the Saturday before August Bank Holiday. Most of the houses were full of people. Those people, who were friends of the landlord, stayed behind after the house closed. Of course, they were perfectly entitled to have drinks supplied to them before half past ten. Mr. Gosney, whose wife was not at all well, stayed behind, and it was perfectly true when he saw the Sergeant open the door he did take a drink from that glass of Guinness. He (Mr. Mowll) therefore supposed he had committed an offence under the licensing laws. What the Magistrates had to decide was whether, on the evidence before them, it could be said properly that the licensee aided and abetted that offence. From start to finish Mr. Cook said “What is wrong? I have done nothing wrong”, which showed perfectly clearly that he had not had any idea that that man had in fact taken any drink at all. Undoubtedly the Magistrates would consider the difficult occupation of the licensed victuallers especially on a day like that. From the time the police knocked on the door there was no suggestion that the licensee committed any offence. The proper place for the glasses was where they were, in order to wash them up. They were summoned for supplying to Gosney, therefore he really suggested that the Magistrates had to decide whether it could be properly suggested that Cook aided and abetted the consumption. Could the Magistrates on the facts say that the licensee in fact aided and abetted consumption. He suggested to them that it would be improper to convict the defendant on that summons. The defendant had been seven or eight years in the house, and he was a man who had a wonderful record. He won a commission on the field during the War, and he was paid £150 for disability with regard to the burning of his face and hands. He had five children, four of them under ten years of age. As they knew it was a serious thing for a licensed victualler to be convicted, for it meant that not only would his present brewers have nothing to do with him, but if he applied for any other house he had to present testimonials, and the first thing that would be brought against him would be a conviction. He was going to say, however unfortunate that matter might be, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, it would be wrong to convict that man because of the fact that the other man on the spur of the moment might have lost his head and drunk out of the glass.

The Magistrates retired, and on their return to the Court the Chairman said the Magistrates had decided that both cases were proved, and there would be a conviction in the case of supplying drink.

The Chief Constable (Mr. Beesley) said the defendant had held the licence since 1922 for that house. That was not the first occasion by many that they had known that a certain amount of offences had gone on on the premises. The Magistrates would see that he had given licensees, as well as other people, a fair chance, and that every possible warning was given to them. On March 9th, 1925, he had a caution, and on 26th April, 1926, for a somewhat similar offence, he was strictly cautioned by him. He might say ot was difficult to produce sufficient evidence in those cases to obtain a conviction, and under those circumstances he (the Chief Constable) had to exercise his discretion. He did it in that way by administering a caution. That was not, however, enough, for on 24th February, 1929, again in a somewhat similar set of circumstances, Inspector Cradduck gave him another caution. Therefore the defendant Cook had had every possible opportunity.

The Chairman said the penalty for supplying the drink would be £5, and although there was a conviction in the second case for aiding and abetting the consumption, there would be no penalty. Gosney would be fined £1.

Inspector Pittock and P.S. Hollands were called forward, and the Chairman, addressing them, said “The Bench desire me to compliment you on the fair way you have given your evidence in this case”.


Folkestone Herald 17 August 1929.

Local News.

At the Folkestone Petty Sessions on Tuesday, Donald Cook, licensee of the Gun Tavern, Folkestone, was summoned for supplying intoxicating liquor during prohibited hours on August 3rd, and also for aiding and abetting Harry Gosney in the consumption of the drink. Harry Gosney was summoned for consuming intoxicating liquor at the same time.

Cook was fined £5 for supplying intoxicating liquor after hours, and Gosney was fined £1 for consuming liquor at the same time. Mr. A.K. Mowll, of Canterbury, defended.

Inspector Pittock said he was on duty on August 3rd in plain clothes, in company with Sergeant Hollands, in Oxford Terrace, Folkestone. He saw lights and heard voices in the Gun Tavern. He and Sergeant Hollands climbed on to a short wall in Oxford Terrace, and looked through the fanlight into the bar of the Gun Tavern. They both had an uninterrupted view of the bar. Defendant Gosney was seated on a chair at the right of the bar. Seated near to him was his wife on a settee. Seated next to her was a Mrs, Mayne. Mr. Mayne was seated at the end of the settee, talking to defendant Cook. Cook was not behind the bar – there was no serving bar there at all. Mrs. Cook and her daughter were in the doorway of the private bar. In the centre of the room was a table. There were two glasses containing an amber liquid, apparent ale, each about half full, with froth on the top. These were opposite Mr. Mayne and his wife. There was an empty wine glass opposite Mrs. Gosney on the table, and a stout glass opposite defendant Gosney, which was about half full of stout. Witness gave instructions to Sergt. Hollands, who looked through the fanlight. Whilst witness was looking through the fanlight, Sergt. Hollands went and knocked on the door. As he knocked, Miss Cook made some remark and snatched up the two ale glasses, and carried them into the adjoining bar. The man Mayne bolted out to the back of the premises. There were three doors to the bar. Defendant Gosney immediately picked up his stout glass and consumed practically all the contents, and placed the glass down between himself and his wife. When witness entered he saw the glass in Mrs. Gosney's hand. The door was locked when Sergt. Hollands knocked, and Mr. Cook opened it. Witness immediately went to defendant Gosney, and said to him “Where is your glass?” Gosney was still seated, and his wife was sitting beside him. He made no reply, and witness, on looking down, saw Mrs. Gosney had the glass on her lap, well concealed by her skirt. Witness took the glass from her and said to Gosney “I have just seen you consuming from this glass”. Gosney made no reply. Mr. Cook said “What's wrong?” Witness said “I have just seen this man consuming from this glass. I have been keeping observation on this room during the past five minutes through the fanlight, and when the sergeant knocked on the door I saw your daughter take two glasses containing ale from this table into this bar, and it appeared to me to be freshly drawn”. Witness also asked him where his stock was. They went into the adjoining bar, switched on the light, and the clock said 11.23. Mr. Cook remarked that the clock was five minutes fast. In the bar were two barmen washing and cleaning up glasses. Witness then went back and took the names of those present, and said “Where is Mr. Mayne? I saw him talking to you just before I entered”. Mr. Cook replied “I don't know. He must have gone out”. Witness then instructed Sergt. Hollands to look for him, but he could not find him. Witness tested the remains in the stout glass, and found it was stout. Mrs. Cook, who was present, said “That is Guinness. It was served before 10.30”. Witness pointed out to Mr. Cook the froth on the remaining stout, and told him he was of the opinion that it had been recently drawn. Mrs. Cook said “Yes, it will be the same in the morning of you like to take it away and keep it”.

The Clerk (Mr. J. Andrew): You did not avail yourself of her offer, I suppose? (Laughter) – No, sir.

Witness then told defendant Gosney he would be reported for consuming intoxicating liquor on licensed premises in non-permitted hours, and also told Mr. Cook he would be reported too for aiding and abetting in the consumption of drink, and that he would probably also be reported for supplying intoxicating drink in non-permitted hours. Gosney made no reply, and Mr. Cook said “There's been no offence committed here”.

Mr. Mowll: I suppose this day was the Saturday before Bank Holiday, was it not? Probably the busiest day in the year? – One of the busiest, yes.

When you arrived you found they were still engaged in washing glasses? – Yes, they were, but there was no light on at first.

Sergt. Hollands said he was on duty with Inspector Pittock at 11.15 near the Gun Tavern. There was a light in the bar, and they heard voices, so Inspector Pittock looked through the fanlight, and told witness to do the same. When witness knocked there was no delay in answering. Witness further corroborated Inspector Pittock's evidence.

This concluded the case for the prosecution.

Mr. Mowll said he did not propose to call any evidence in the case at all. In his view the Bench had some evidence which they might or might not think sufficient to convict Mr. Gosney of consuming some stout during prohibited hours. The only evidence they had was a momentary glance through the fanlight by the two officers. The only offence he (Mr. Mowll) had got to deal with was whether the licensee aided and abetted the consumption of a small portion of Guinness on that occasion. Mr. Gosney had not denied the consumption of that. As the Bench had heard, the barmen were busy at work washing up glasses. If there was any time in the year when a licensee could make money, it was on the Saturday before Bank Holiday. He probably had a lot of people in that evening, and then those people described by the police stayed behind, and they were perfectly entitled to, being served before 10.30. From start to finish, when the police arrived on the scene, Mr. Cook said “What's wring? I have done nothing wrong”. So he had no idea that that man (Gosney) had been taking any drink at all. Cook had been from seven to eight years in the house. He was a man who had a wonderful record. He got his commission on the field during the war, and was paid £150 disability.

Having regard to the circumstances of the case, Mr. Mowll thought it would be wrong to convict the licensee, just because on the spur of the moment the man (Gosney) lost his head and took a drink from his glass, which he did not want at all.

After a lengthy retirement the Bench decided to convict.

The Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) said defendant had held the licence of the house since 1922. This was not the first occasion that the police had known. On March 9th, 1925, defendant was cautioned. In 1926 he personally strictly cautioned him. In some cases, when he could not secure a conviction, the speaker had to use his discretion by a warning. On February 24th, 1929, under similar circumstances, Inspector Cradduck also cautioned defendant.

The Chairman (Alderman T.S. Franks) said the Bench desired him to compliment both Inspector Pittock and Sergt. Hollands on the fair way they had given evidence.


Folkestone Herald 9 November 1929.

Local News.

At the Folkestone Petty Sessions on Tuesday a protection order was granted to Mr. T.F. Green, of Staplehurst, the new tenant of the Gun Tavern, Guildhall Street.


Folkestone Herald 9 April 1932.

Local News.

There was a sequel to an accident in Cheriton Road, near the Christ Church Schools, at the Folkestone Police Court on Tuesday, when Allred Cecil Durban of Enbrook Manor, Cher”ton, was fined £2 and £1 12s. costs for driving a motor vehicle in a manner dangerous to the public.

Defendant was represented by Mr. H. Chapple and pleaded Not Guilty. The Magistrates were: the Mayor (Alderman J.W. Stainer) in the Chair, Alderman K.G. Wood, Mr. W. Griffin, Colonel G.P. Owen and Mr. S.B. Corser.

Arthur D. Hickman, 92, Royal Military Avenue, Chenton, a driver in the employ of the East Kent Road Car Company, said on March 21st about 9 a.m. he was driving his 'bus towards Cheriton, and when opposite Christ Church Schools, he mw a little blue van being driven towards him at rather a fast rate. He estimated the speed at 40 miles an hour; certainly not less. He anticipated an accident owing to the dangerous part of the road, there being a bend about 30 yards further on. He slowed down his 'bus and as the car flashed past him witness stopped and turned his head to follow the car on. He saw the van give a slight jar as if it had gone over a brick. Immediately after he saw a little boy lying in the road within two feet of the kerb. The van did not stop, neither did the driver slacken his speed. Witness jumped out of his cabin and picked up the boy. He was seriously hurt about the head and bleeding. Whilst he was helping to put the injured lad in a motor-cycle combination the defendant appeared. He said to him “Were you the driver of that van?" He said "Yes, the child attempted to cross the road in front of my car”. Defendant accompanied the boy to the hospital. There was no other vehicular traffic beside the 'bus and the van. He did not hear Durban sound his horn.

Cross-examined, witness said he always sounded his horn at that spot. Defendant was going too quickly to pull up. He was not biased in his evidence. He thought defendant lost his head. He could not nee what happened on the offside of defendant’s car, and he had not sad that the van knocked the boy down. He could not see whether the boy stepped off the pavement into the van.

Thomas Frederick Green, the licensee of the Gun Tavern, Cheriton Road, said he saw the van "Shoot by him at about 20 miles an hour", and then pull up outside the Shakespeare Hotel. He saw a boy in the road about a yard from the kerb. Defendant came up from his van. The van swerved to avoid the boy and the back part of it caught the boy. He put defendant's speed at over 40 miles per hour at the time.

By Mr. Chapple: He was about 50 yards from the scene of the accident. He did not think that the boy would have been knocked down had defendant had proper control of the van. On defendant’s side of the road there was a hand truck.

Charles John Berridge, 23, Cambridge Gardens, said he was outside the Victoria Hall, in Cheriton Road, when the van flashed past him at about 40 miles per hour. He noticed a 'bus coming towards Cheriton, opposite Cross's garage. There was a little boy on the pavement. As the van passed the 'bus it swerved to avoid a truck further down. The boy turned to step off the path, and the next he saw was the boy in the road and the van disappearing round the corner.

Cross-examined, witness said he could not say exactly how the boy was knocked down.

Miss Catherine O'Brien, a teacher of the Roman Catholic Schools, Cheriton Road, gave the speed of the van as “rather abnormal”. She said she saw the van go to the right and then a boy in the road. There was a School caution sign there.

Alfred Corbitt, a porter, said the speed of the van was “very fast". He saw the van hit the child and knock the lad towards the kerb. The boy was about three feet from the kerb. No warning was given.

By Mr. Chapple: It was so quick that he could not say what part of the van hit the boy.

Police Constable Dickenson said about 9 a.m. on March 21st, he went to Cheriton Road, where he saw that an accident had occurred outside the Christ Church Schools. At that point the road was 18 feet 8 inches wide. There was one blood mark a foot from the pavement, but there were no skid marks. He saw defendant's van 65 yards away. There were blood and hair marks on the back of the van. He took a statement from defendant who estimated his speed at about 30 to 33 m.p.h. He said that he saw the boy standing on the pavement as he approached. As he was passing he thought he saw the boy move. He did not know whether he had hit him, but as he saw people running back he pulled up and stopped.

By Mr. Chapple: The accident was in the straight part of the road, which swerved after that.

Defendant said he was driving a van for the delivery and collection of papers. He was driving in from Cheriton to the Town Hall. There was a boy standing on the pavement. He passed him, and he did not know that he had hit him until he saw people running from the corner of the School to where witness had just passed. He could not pull up immediately because there was something standing on his side. The boy was standing on the kerb when he first saw him. His speed was 30 to 33 m.p.h. just before the accident. He was slowing down, and there was nothing in front of him. He was used to driving, having had a licence for two years. The brakes were re-lined ten days before the accident and he could have pulled up in 18 feet, going at 30 m.p.h.. He had the car under proper control more or less.

Mr. Chapple said if there had not been an accident there would not have been any prosecution. They were not the cause of the accident, and he submitted that the case should be dismissed.

The Mayor said the Magistrates had come to the conclusion that defendant was guilty of driving to the danger of the public. Defendant would be fined £2 and ordered to pay witnesses' expenses amounting to £1 12s.

Mr. Chapple asked for a week for the payment of the fine and this was granted.


Folkestone Express 30 April 1932.

Saturday, April 23rd: Before Dr. W.W. Nuttall, Alderman T.S. Franks, and Mr. W. Smith.

Mary Ann Williams, an old offender, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in the Dover Road on the previous night.

Prisoner pleaded Guilty and said she was very sorry that she had to come before them again.

P.S. Whittaker said at 9.35 p.m. on the previous evening he was in Dover Road, accompanied by P.C. Goundry, and when opposite the Martello Hotel he saw the prisoner ejected by the landlord from the public bar into the street. She fell across the pavement and cut her eye. He assisted her to her feet and found she was under the influence of drink. She became very abusive and made use of filthy language. They took her to the police station, and on the way she was again abusive and made use of more filthy language. He charged her, and she said “You are a ---- liar”.

Continuing, witness said at 8.35 the same evening he was called by the landlord of the Gun Tavern with regard to that prisoner, owing to her conduct there. She came outside and was quite sober. He cautioned her and advised her to go home. She promised him she would do so.

Prisoner said she came into Folkestone to see her daughter and get some things, and she had a drink or two. She was very sorry she had come before them again, and if they gave her a chance she would not trouble them any more.

Chief Inspector Pittock said the prisoner had been before the Court on a number of occasions. She was first convicted in 1900 for being drunk and disorderly Since then there were 40 convictions against her for similar offences, two for felony, and four for wilful damage. She was last before the Court on the 4th July, 1928, and they did think they had seen the last of her. She lived down at West Hythe with her husband.

The Chairman said she would be fined 2s. 6d.


Folkestone Herald 30 April 1932.

Local News.

Mary Ann Williams was fined 2s. 6d. at the Folkestone Police Court on Saturday when she pleaded Guilty to being drunk and disorderly the previous evening. When asked to plead, prisoner said “I am very sorry, gentlemen, I have to come before you again”.

Police Sergeant Whittaker said at about 9.35 the previous evening he was in Dover Road, accompanied by Police Constable Goundry, and when opposite the Martello Hotel he saw the prisoner ejected by the landlord of the hotel. She fell over and cut her eye. He went over to her and found her drunk. She became very abusive and made use of filthy language. There was some difficulty in getting her o the police station. When charged she said “You are a ---- liar”. Witness said at 8.35 the same evening he had been called by the landlord of the Gun Tavern. He saw accused there. She was sober, but he cautioned her and advised her to go home.

Prisoner told the Magistrates that she was very sorry. She had come over to Folkestone from West Hythe, where she lived, to see her daughter, and she had had a drink or two. If they gave her another chance, she promised not to cause any more trouble.

Chief Inspector G.H. Pittock said Williams was first convicted for drunkenness in 1900 at Folkestone. Since then there had been 40 convictions for similar offences, together with two for larceny and five for wilful damage. She was before that Court on July 3rd, 1928, and the police had thought since that they had seen the last of her.


Folkestone Express 17 February 1940.

Local News.

Folkestone people who offend against the black-out regulation in regard to the lights in their houses and premises are now certain to pay increased fines. On Tuesday the magistrates imposed penalties, which were generally double those previously inflicted, after the Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) had given a warning that there were still many bright lights to be seen in Folkestone, despite the fact that no less than 305 cases had been dealt with by the Folkestone magistrates since the commencement of the war.

The Chief Constable, previous to the calling of the first defendant, said "I think the time has come when I should draw the special attention of the Bench to the number of defendants who are summoned for these particular offences. Since the war commenced 305 cases have keen dealt with by this Bench, and still there are cases every week and still very little notice appears to be taken of these regulations by the public. In the view of the Home Office and the Police it is very serious, for it is considered such lights would be of great use to enemy airmen. I think I should say that these remarks should be taken by people as a warning”.

The Mayor: The magistrates are seriously considering the number of summonses in respect of lighting we have had before us. We have, before coming Into Court, considered the matter of increasing the penalties.

Several defendants were before the Folkestone magistrates on Friday for breaches of the Lighting Order.

The first defendant was Mrs. Dorothy Green, the Gun Tavern, Guildhall Street.

P.C. McNaughton said at 9.05 p.m. on the 1st February he was on duty in Cheriton Road and saw a bright light coming from the Gun Tavern. He saw the defendant, who admitted responsibility, and told her she would be reported. She replied that the light had only been on for a few minutes.

Defendant told the Court that she was out at black-out and came in thinking the black-out had been effected.

A fine of 10/- was imposed.

Local News.

Many Folkestone people will regret to learn of the death of Mr. Bernard Ralph Straughan, at the Folkestone Royal Victoria Hospital, on Friday.

The late Mr. Straughan was 63 years of age, and for a number of years he resided in Folkestone. He was for quite a long period the licence holder of the Gun Tavern, and recently had been manager of the Trocadero Bars at Dover, from which position he had to retire owing to ill-health.

One of his sons, who is in the R.A.F. and serving in France, returned home yesterday (Thursday), two days too late for the funeral, which took place on Tuesday.

The first part of the service was conducted in the Parish Church by the Rev. J.S. Long, who officiated at the interment at the Cheriton Road cemetery.


Folkestone Herald 17 February 1940.

Lighting Order.

A further batch of summonses for lighting offences during the black-out were dealt with at the Folkestone Police Court on Friday last week, when the defendants were fined as follows:

Dorothy Green, the Gun Tavern, Cheriton Road, 10s.


Folkestone Herald 1 April 1944.

Local News.

A Folkestone licensee who was alleged to have obtained a greater quantity of tea and sugar than that to which he was entitled, and the manager of a Folkestone firm of grocers, summoned for supplying the excess amount, appeared before the Folkestone Magistrates on Tuesday to answer summonses issued by the Ministry of Food.

Thomas Frederick Green, of the Gun Tavern, Cheriton Road, was summoned for obtaining tea and sugar for the Gun Tavern between November 14th and January 8th last, otherwise than in accordance with an authorisation issued by the Ministry of Food. There was a second summons alleging that at the Gun Tavern he used tea in excess of the amount permitted - 280 hot beverages to 1 lb.

George Thomas Longley, manager to W. Hollis, grocer, of Guildhall Street, was summoned for supplying Green with the excess amount, and there was a further summons for making an entry in an official order form and varying the quantity of rationed food ordered.

Mr. B.H. Bonniface appeared for Green, and Mr. G.P. Medlicott represented Longley. Defendants pleaded Guilty to each summons.

Alderman W. Hollands presided, with Mr. P. Fuller, Capt. H.P. Keary and Dr. Esme Stuart.

Mr. H.G. Wheeler, prosecuting for the Folkestone Food Control Committee, said Green was the licensee of the Gun Tavern, and since November 27th, 1939, he had been the holder of a catering establishment licence, issued by the Ministry of Food. The evidence in respect of obtaining excess food in each case was the same. A catering establishment drew food on an authorisation issued by the local Food Officer. A form was issued setting out the quantity of food that could be drawn, and for an eight week period the total quantity must not exceed the amount authorised on the authorisation form. A similar form was sent to the retailer showing how much food he could supply. Mr. Wheeler said for the eight week period in question the amount of teal allowed to Mr. Green was 1lb., but during that period defendant obtained 4lbs. of tea. He was allowed 2lbs. of sugar, but in fact he had 8lbs. A caterer at the end of a period sent to the Food Office a form and on that he set out the number of hot beverages and meals supplied. Although Mr. Green was allowed to purchase 1 lb. of tea and bought 4 lbs, he only accounted for ½lb. of tea, for during the period he supplied 145 hot beverages. The Ministry allowed 280 hot beverages for each lb. of tea. Mr. Green sent the sheet of order forms to Mr. Longley in blank, Longley filling them up according to the food he supplied; that was a breach of the regulations. Mr. Wheeler said on January 28th, with Mr. W. Hazelden, Divisional Enforcement Inspector, he saw Green and pointed out that he had obtained and consumed a greater quantity of rationed food than that to which he was authorised. Green said that he had sent the eight order forms to Mr. Hollis in blank. He added that he did not notice that the figures of food purchased were in excess of the quantities permitted, adding “It may be that the family ration books, three books, are included in the order form by mistake. All the ration books are registered with Mr. Hollis and we purchase all our groceries from him. As far as I am aware I have not got any food that I was not entitled to purchase”. Mr. Wheeler said the Inspector next saw Longley, who said “I have supplied the goods which are described on the order forms. . . . the food supplied on the ration books is not included in the food supplied on the order forms. ... I have other catering establishments registered with me, but I have not made the mistake with them. There has been no over-supply except in the case of Mr. Green and that was due to my misunderstanding. I was not aware that I was not allowed to make any entry on the order forms. I will see that it does not occur again”.

Miss Joyce H. Blaxland, an assistant at the Folkestone Food Office, replying to Mr. Bonniface, said Mr Green returned 4lbs. of tea.

Mr. Wheeler said they were perfectly prepared to accept Mr. Green's figures as to hot beverages supplied. It was only a case of excess purchase.

Mr. Bonniface said it was a mistake which started with the period March 16th last year. Once the mistake was made by Mr Hollis in regard to the authorisation it went on. He suggested it was purely a technical offence and one which might have been found out a good deal earlier by the Food Office.

Mr. Medlicott said Mr. Hollis had been in business as a grocer in the town for 54 years and that was the first time there had ever been any trouble. The whole thing was simply due to a misunderstanding, and he was sure Mr. Wheeler would not put it any higher than that. On an old form four weeks were inserted and that was how the mistake came to be made in the first place, one lb. for each week. He also submitted that only a technical offence had occurred. With regard to the second summons, he knew ignorance of the law was no excuse, but Mr. Longley did not know that he was not allowed to fill in the quantities in his own handwriting and that Mr. Green should have done it. Mr. Medlicott said the amount of paper one had to look through was appalling. The orders were very difficult to digest and it was also difficult to keep oneself up to date.

The Clerk (Mr C. Rootes) said the Bench wanted to know what happened to the other 3lbs. of tea.

Mr. Wheeler: That is what we should like to know.

After retiring the Chairman said offences of this kind had to be regarded with a certain amount of seriousness today. Mr. Green would be fined £5 for the first offence, and £1 for the second offence. Mr Longley would also fined 10/- for filling in the form contrary to the regulations.


Folkestone Herald 29 September 1945.

Local News.

A sixty nine years old woman charged with smashing a plate glass window at a public house was sent to prison for two months by the Folkestone Magistrates on Saturday. Defendant was Florence Varley, who pleaded “Guilty under provocation” to smashing a window at the Gun Tavern and causing damage to the extent of £15.

Thomas F. Green, licensee of the Gun Tavern, said about 8.30 the previous night he was in the bar when he saw defendant interfering with soldiers and asking them for cigarettes. He went to Varley and asked her to leave. She replied “I will go out when I'm ready” After she had gone outside he heard a smash of glass. He found Varley standing by a window with one of her boots off.

Defendant told the Magistrates that she went to the public house for the purpose of getting a bed for the night. The licensee came up to her and was most insulting. She had had a drink but was not drunk. The licensee touched her and she touched his window.

Mr. Green denied touching defendant.

P.W.R. Fairbrace said he was called to the Gun Tavern and saw defendant in the public bar. With assistance he brought defendant to the police station. Later, when charged, she said “I would willingly have broken his jaw”.

Varley: I would willingly have killed the little worm if I had had the chance.

Defendant then added “Don't read my record out; it's bad enough as it is”.

Det. Sergt. H. Bates said according to police records defendant's proper name was Catharine Robinson and she was born at Sheffield. She had been a musician and circus entertainer. She had 56 previous convictions including a number for wilful damage and thefts.

The Chairman (Alderman J. W. Stainer), sitting with Mr. P. Fuller, announced that defendant would go to prison for two months.

As she left the court defendant turned her head and with a smile commented “That's only a sleep”.


Folkestone Herald 30 November 1957.

Guildhall Street by “L.R.J.”

It was a quiet little lane, about 12ft. wide, with few buildings along its length and wide open spaces either side of it. Almost a country lane. Shellons Lane was that part of the Guildhall Street of today from the Town Hall to the Cheriton Road turning, and it is so shown on a street map of 1782 in the possession of Folkestone Public Library. The present Shellons Street was then Griggs Lane, and the part of Guildhall Street from the Cheriton turning onwards was called Broad Mead, Bottom Lane.

Why “Shellons” Lane? Shellons was the name of a large field on the west side of the lane, and the thoroughfare, such as it was, took its name from it, just as Copthall Gardens derived from the field called Copt Hall, to the north of Shellons Lane.

Both these fields belonged to the King's Arms Farm, which in all consisted of about 171 acres. An old map of 1698 lists the various fields that formed the farm. There were only one or two old buildings on the west side of Guildhall Street a century and a half ago, and very few on the east side. Shellons Lane was ..... just a lane.

On the site where the Town Hall now stands was the King’s Arms inn, with next to it two or three small buildings. Behind it was the town gaol, with stocks in which malefactors were placed. Lord Radnor was the hereditary gaoler. Some time after 1782 the King's Arms was moved across the road to part of the site on which now stands the Queen's Hotel. It was the corner building of Cow Street (now Sandgate Road) and Shellons Lane. The old King's Arms buildings were demolished, and a building known as “The Cistern House” was erected on the site. This too was pulled down in 1859, to make way for the present Town Hall, opened in 1861. The Town Hall had no portico until 18 years later.

The first houses on the eastern side of Guildhall Street were erected in 1844, approximately where the Guildhall Hotel and the shop next door now stand. The hotel itself was opened probably about 30 years later, for the first reference to it is in 1870, when the proud landlord, named Andrews, announced “Mine is the only house in Folkestone where there is a stand-up bar like the London style.”

By 1844 Guildhall Street - still Shellons Lane - was built up on the east side to about the present premises of Messrs. Halfords. Development went on until by 1870 there were houses and shops up to the corner of Griggs Lane (Shellons Street), though Messrs. Vickery's premises were built a little later. For nearly a century the comer building now occupied by Messrs. Olby was a baker's shop. The premises were built in 1856. It is interesting to note that a very old boundary wall still exists between the premises of Richmond’s dairy and Halfords, a wall more than 150 years old. Towards the end of the nineteenth century Guildhall Street developed with the expansion of the town and undoubtedly became a popular shopping centre, but it was still far removed from the Street of today.

The west side of the Street, as has already been stated, had very few buildings in 1782. The removal of the King’s Arms from the present Town Hall site to the comer opposite may have been one of the first developments on this side of Guildhall Street. The exact date is uncertain, but it was probably after 1782. The road junction at that time was small, the meeting place of four narrow lanes, and the building stood well out into what is now the roadway. It was not until 1882, and alter protracted litigation between the owners and the Corporation that the junction was widened to its present proportions. The Kings Arms was a small hostelry by modern standards, with a billiards room at the back and a skittle alley. One wall ran a short distance along Guildhall Street and appears to have been a popular place for posting notices of auction sales, meetings and so on. Later the hostelry was extended and improved. When all the litigation was ended (there is a sizeable volume of the proceedings in the Reference Library) the King’s Arms was pulled down, and on May 30th, 1885, the Queen’s Hotel was opened.

A large garden occupied most of the length of Guildhall Street from the King’s Arms, nearly to what is now Messrs. Andrews’ shop. It is possible that this garden, quite extensive in length and depth, may have belonged to a Mr. Solomon, who built Alexander Gardens.
On the site of Stace’s stood two small cottages, known as Pay’s cottages, and where Mr. Lummus’s cycle shop is now situated stood another building, called Gun cottage. In the course of years the open spaces were built over. On the site of the Playhouse cinema once stood a substantial property known as Ivy House, and behind it, approached by the alley-way which still exists, were stables. A little further along was Marlborough House, the residence of a veterinary surgeon.

Part of the Guildhall Street of days gone by was the Gun barn, shown on the 1782 map. About 1840 the Gun brewery occupied the site of Messrs. Walter’s furnishing store. There is reason to believe that a brewery originally stood on the site of Messrs. Plummer Roddis in Rendezvous Street and was transferred to the new site rather more than a century ago.

The Gun Tavern takes its name from an old gun of the Tudor period, upended, that had long been in position at the comer of Guildhall Street and Cheriton Road. It was removed to the western end of the Leas prior to the 1914-18 war, and about that period it disappeared. What became of it is a mystery to this day.

The Gun brewery - and breweries were small and many in those days - was owned by a man named Ham Tite. His beer may not always have been up to standard, for in a County Court case in 1871 a witness said the beer was so bad that his customers couldn’t drink it. The brewery continued until about 1880, but by 1882 part of it had become, of all things, a Chapel and coffee house. It was known as the Emanuel Mission Church, conducted by a Mr. Toke. The tinted windows of the church remain and there is still an “atmosphere” about the building, though it has long ceased to serve any religious purpose.

The Gun smithy is certainly a piece of old Folkestone, for the building itself has changed, there has been a smithy on this site for at least a century.

The Shakespeare Hotel at the comer of Guildhall Street and Cheriton Road is more than a century old, for all its up-to-date facade. It was refronted in 1897, when it belonged to the Army and Navy Brewery Company. In 1848 it was the Shakespeare Tavern, and a directory of a later date announces that tea and quoits were available. For some obscure reason it was stated to be “near the Viaduct”.

So the transformation of Guildhall Street from the virtually open fields of Shellons Lane into a modern, progressive and popularshopping centre has taken place in less than 150 years. The unpaved, narrow lane is no more, gone are some of the ”landmarks” of over 80 years ago, many of the old names have been lost. Changes and development have given to Folkestone a street of which the town can be proud, a street of many trades, a progressive street, a street of good and efficient service to the public, a street of shops where the customer is always right. Guildhall Street.


Folkestone Herald 17 March 1973.

Local News.

News that the Gun Tavern, Cheriton Road, is scheduled for demolition under Folkestone's town centre redevelopment scheme has come as a bombshell to landlord Mr. John Rogers. Before he moved into the pub in July, 1971, Mr. Rogers went to the Civic Centre to find out whether the 128-year-old inn would be affected by the development. He said “I was told that the houses in Gloucester Place would be coming down in about five years, but that the Gun would remain. The brewery, Whitbread Fremlins Ltd., was obviously of the same opinion. We have had the premises decorated and altered at a cost of about £2,500. This money would never have been spent had anyone realised that the pub had a limited lifespan”. Mr. Rogers said that Whitbread Fremlin had indicated that the council's decision would be opposed.

The brewery will be supported by customers at the Gun who have already organised a petition to save the pub. One customer told the Herald “This is ridiculous. Folkestone has already lost the Foresters Arms and the Shakespeare to this development scheme”.

A Folkestone Corporation spokesman said on Thursday that he had every sympathy with Mr. Rogers. “Until about three months ago the Gun was not part of the town centre redevelopment”, he said. “It is included now only to enable a much more viable unit to be built on the Jenner's site”.


Folkestone Gazette 24 July 1974.

Local News.

After 125 years of helping to quench thirsts in Folkestone, one of the town's oldest pubs –the Gun Tavern at the junction of Cheriton Road and Gloucester Place – closed last week. The premises will be demolished in a redevelopment scheme. Shops and a multi-storey car park are planned for the site. Last orders came on Tuesday. And on Friday the pub’s last barrel of beer was rolled out. Now - like the gun it was named after, which was once embedded in the roadside at the junction of Cheriton Road and Guildhall Street - the pub is to become another part of the town's history to disappear.


Folkestone Gazette 31 March 1976.

Local News.

The old Gun Tavern building in Bouverie Road East, Folkestone, may be opened again ... as temporary headquarters for a sea safety school. The Tavern was closed after it was bought by the local council as part of the town centre redevelopment plan. But last week Shepway's development committee heard that the building was not needed for demolition in the immediate future and the Triton Sea School at Folkestone had asked if it could use it. Members agreed that, as the school's interest was mainly sea safety for the young, it should be recommended that the building be offered at an exclusive rental of £100 per year. They also want the matter to be referred to the council's amenities committee to see if any financial aid can be given to the school.




COCK Thomas 1843 1865 (COCKS Melville's 1858)(age 69 in 1861Census)Bagshaw's Directory 1847Bastions

Last pub licensee had ELLIOTT H c1865-68 Bastions

Last pub licensee had WILSON William 1868-72 Bastions

BATT Thomas 1872

HUNT William 1872-77 Post Office Directory 1874Bastions

Last pub licensee had GILES William 1881-94 Next pub licensee had (age 59 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891Bastions

Last pub licensee had NORMAN Christian 1894-1902+ Next pub licensee had  Kelly's 1899BastionsPost Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

Last pub licensee had STRAUGHAN Bernard R 1902-22 Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922Bastions

COOK Donald 1922-29 Bastions

GREEN Frederick Thos 1929-66 Kelly's 1934Post Office Directory 1938Bastions

TARRANT Charles 1966-68 Bastions

PARKIN Peter 1968-71 Bastions

RODGERS John 1971-74 Bastions


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

BastionsFrom More Bastions of the Bar by Easdown and Rooney

Folkestone ChronicleFrom the Folkestone Chronicle



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



LINK to Even More Tales From The Tap Room