Sort file:- Folkestone, July, 2023.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 27 July, 2023.


Earliest July 1979

(Name from)

Happy Frenchman

Latest 2004+

(Name to)

Christ Church Road


Happy Frenchman

Above photo, date unknown.

Happy Frenchman sign 1990

Above sign, 1990.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


Originally called the "West Cliff Shades", now called the "Frenchman." I do not know when any of the changes took place at present.

Between 1991 and 1993 this went under the name of the "West End"

Any further information or indeed photographs would be appreciated. Please email me at the address below.


Folkestone Herald 14 July 1979.

Local News.

Regulars are angry because of changes to their local pub. Some are so bitter they intend to drink elsewhere because, they say, the old atmosphere has been lost.

The new-look Happy Frenchman, formerly the West Cliff Shades, in Christ Church Road, Folkestone, re-opened on Wednesday after alterations and decorations work costing 48,000. Three small bars have been knocked into one and new Victorian-style furniture has been brought in. But many old customers are not happy with the only Courage pub in town, and they do not like the new name. One described it as grotesque.

Between sips Thomas Walker said “They have spent a lot of money here but have made it a sort of London pub. The old pub needed decorating but they have gone a bit too far. Before it was more of a family place where people met and conversed in a close atmosphere. Now this is lost because it is more spaced out. The room is too big”.

Henry Harrold, of Burrow Road, Folkestone, doesn't like the name. “The French have done their best to wipe out English names, so I do not see why it had to be the Happy Frenchman, it should have been Englishman”, he said.

Jock, Charlie, Bill and George have been drinking at the pub for many years. Now Charlie and George are to drink elsewhere.
They complained that pool tables, which were popular with the young people, have gone. “It is no longer an ordinary working man's drinking pub”, Charlie said.

New landlord, Mike Burge, said on Thursday “I think most people are happy with the pub, and surprised at the change. It is hard to tell who are the old regulars; on the first night there were many people in the place. Today we have had many people from surrounding offices, who were highly delighted at the change. As to the pool table it was a company decision not to have one. The ambiance of the house would not benefit by having a pool table”.

Colin Bray, Courage (Eastern) Ltd's public relations manager, said the name was changed because of Folkestone’s close links with France.


South Kent Gazette 2 July 1980.

Local News.

An eighteen-year-old Folkestone man elected trial by jury on two burglary charges when he appeared before local Magistrates last week. Gary Cooper, of Hill Road, was remanded in custody to await his trial at the Crown Court. He did not apply for bail.

Cooper is accused of breaking into the Happy Frenchman pub, stealing cash and other items, worth a total of 90, in April. He is also charged with burgling the Carlton Hotel, Folkestone, on June 1, stealing more than 170.


Folkestone Herald 6 September 1980.

Local News.

A landlord and his “strong arm man” were accused at at Folkestone Magistrates' Court on Tuesday of frogmarching a man out of a pub.

Sean Stephen Coyne, aged 19, of Tyson Road, Folkestone, had admitted assaulting landlord Michael Burge, causing actual bodily harm, at the Happy Frenchman, Folkestone. He was fined 75 and ordered to pay 50 compensation and 25 costs.

Mr. Christopher Kumaru, prosecuting, said Coyne not only went into the pub to drink what was available, but also took his own half-bottle of gin. Mr. Morrison, the landlord's assistant saw him talking very loudly and using bad language, said Mr. Kumaru. He was leaning against the bar to support himself. Then Mr. Morrison told him “That's your last one, you have had enough to drink”. Mr. Burge came over, noticing that Coyne was unsteady on his feet. Because of Coyne's behaviour, Mr. Burge took hold of Coyne's forearm and put his other arm round his waist in an effort to propel him to the door, said Mr. Kumaru. Coyne became aggressive, lost his balance, and fell, shouting and kicking, to the floor.

Defending, Mr. Tony Radcliffe, said that at the time his client's hair was much longer and he was unshaven. “There was a pincer movement from the landlord and his strong-arm-man and he was simply frogmarched out of the pub and pulled to the ground outside”, he told the Court. His client perhaps over-reacted in the way he dealt with the landlord. The hand grip applied to him was very painful and he kicked out in a reactionary way, Mr. Radcliffe added.


South Kent Gazette 29 July 1981.

Local News.

A barmaid who continued to claim social security while she was working was fined 25 by Folkestone magistrates on Thursday.

Susan Stroud, of Springfield Way, Seabrook, admitted making a false representation to obtain 3.30 supplementary benefit last November when she was working at the Happy Frenchman pub in Folkestone.


South Kent Gazette 12 January 1983.

Local News.

Two coats worth a total of 140 have been stolen from the Happy Frenchman public house in Christ Church Road. The coats, a sheepskin and an army combat jacket, belong to Michael and Kevin Scott, of Surrenden Road, Cheriton.


South Kent Gazette 27 July 1983.

Local News.

Stealing a beer glass from a Folkestone pub cost 22-year-old Kevin Neal 20. Neal, of Wiltie Gardens, Folkestone, admitted the offence when he appeared before Folkestone Magistrates last Tuesday.

Inspector Peter Hopkins, prosecuting, said Neal was stopped by a police officer on June 30 as he walked along Christ Church Road, Folkestone, carrying the glass. He said the pint glass, worth 50 pence, was from the Happy Frenchman public house. When the officer asked him to take it back he became “extremely aggressive", Mr Hopkins said. After he was arrested Neal continued to be uncooperative, he added.

Fining him 20, Magistrate Miss Dion Moody asked why he did not cooperate.

Neal replied he had handcuffs on.


Folkestone Herald 28 December 1984.

Local News.

A barman who stole money from the pub where he worked was jailed for six months by Folkestone Magistrates last Friday. Michael Liddy, 27, formerly of Dover Road, Folkestone, admitted stealing 132 from a 156 till float while employed at the Happy Frenchman pub in June.

Inspector Desmond Perrott, prosecuting, told the court the defendant disappeared after the money went missing. He was later arrested in London.

Liddy told Magistrates he took the money to pay rent, but arrived at a Dover Road guest house to find his room had been let to someone else. He then travelled to London and used the stolen cash to stay in an hotel.

The court heard that Liddy was in breach of a year’s conditional discharge and a three-month suspended jail term. He was jailed for three months for the theft of the money and the suspended sentence was activated to run consecutively. He was also ordered to pay 132 compensation within six months.


Folkestone Herald 21 February 1986.

Local News.

A day of Christmas drinking ended with a youth attacking a policeman after damaging goods in a Folkestone pub.

Glasses and an ashtray were smashed and a sofa damaged after the 16-year-old attacked another youngster in the Happy Frenchman pub, Inspector Colin Breed told juvenile court magistrates. He had gone back to the pub after being told to leave by the landlord. Then he had been restrained from assaulting the other youth. But the Folkestone boy returned to the bar and lunged at the other youth, throwing punches. In the confusion, glasses and an ashtray were knocked from the table onto a sofa, which was later found to have been slit. The youth was told he was barred from the pub. He waved a sliver of glass at the landlord and said: “I’m not afraid of you, I can kill”, said Inspector Breed. He was chased along the Leas by a police officer. When the officer caught up with the boy, he had abuse shouted at him and he was pushed away, Inspector Breed told the court. He caught up with the youth a second time and received more obscenities and was assaulted again.

The youth admitted criminal damage, failing to leave the pub when asked, using threatening and abusive behaviour and assaulting a police officer. But he had drunk so much, he could not recall much about the incidents, said solicitor Sue Watler. It was the day before Christmas Eve and he had been drinking lager all afternoon at his works’ party. Then the youth had gone to a friend’s home and had more to drink, said Mrs Watler. He had gone to the pub to meet his girlfriend. Then he got into the fight with the other youngsters. “He had really had far too much to drink and was not in control of his actions”, said Mrs. Watler.

The youth was fined 235 and ordered to pay 10 costs.


Folkestone Herald 11 March 1988.

Local News.

A keen eye and strong arm were needed during a 24-hour darts marathon in aid of leukaemia research. The seven sponsored darts players threw their arrows non-stop from 1.30 p.m. on Sunday to 1.30 p.m. on Monday in the Happy Frenchman, Folkestone. The event was organised by licensees Ron and Janice Paton, and was one of several they’ve arranged to raise money for London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. Raising cash for the hospital is Ron and Janice’s way of thanking doctors for helping Ron’s nine-year-old daughter Nicki beat the disease last year. Ron estimates Sunday’s event will raise more than 1,500 and wants to thank those that took including sponsors Elite Building Services, Henlys and B.J. Scaffolders.


Folkestone Herald 18 March 1988.

Local News.

A man has denied possessing an offensive weapon in the Happy Frenchman in Christchurch Road, Folkestone, on New Year’s Day. Kevin Chandler, 34, from Alexander Street, also pleaded Not Guilty to assaulting Raymond Heynen on the same day. The alleged weapon was a wooden bat. The case was adjourned until April 5. Chandler was remanded on unconditional bail.


Folkestone Herald 29 November 1991.

Advertising Feature.

The Happy Frenchman pub in Folkestone's Christchurch Road is being totally transformed. Regulars will not recognise their old haunt when the extensive refurbishment of the building is completed next month.

The new pub will be renamed The West End and will feature a stylish upstairs bar, a fabulous disco room, a dazzling array of new lights and a top quality restaurant.

Licensee Ron Paton, who has been at the Happy Frenchman for five years, said the exciting new place-to-be was due to open on November 4. He added “There will be about 150 lights and no windows downstairs. The effect will be incredible”.

The new gallery bar has been created by raising the roof and it should provide a wonderful extra dimension to The West End. The downstairs bar will be decorated in a low-key way to make the most of the fabulous new lights. The town's fashionable young people are certain to make the new pub a key part of their Friday and Saturday nights and it will certainly bring a touch of glamour to Folkestone's town centre.

The Happy Frenchman was always a lively place to go but The West End is sure to be even more popular – two floors of fun. A large range of delicious food will be available there in the evening for the first time so pub-goers will not have to leave in search of a bite to eat. Previously the restaurant had only served customers during the day.

Mr. Paton and his wife Janice want to make The West End one of the liveliest pubs in Shepway, and they are making sure everything is top quality before the grand opening next month. Builders are working flat-out ready for the big day, which will be an occasion not to be missed. All the discerning socialites of Shepway are sure to be there.


Folkestone Herald 2 February 1995.

Local News.

Plans to extend pub opening hours on Sundays have failed to cheer local landlords. “No thanks” was the reply from most Shepway publicans asked about the controversial move.

Prime Minister John Major wants to scrap the law that forces pubs to close between 3 and 7 p.m., leaving them free to open from noon until 10.30 p.m.

But many hard-working pub owners are already calling time on the idea, saying their extra time off on Sundays was “sacrosanct”.

Tony Leeves, owner of the White Lion, in Cheriton High Street, said “With most publicans Sunday afternoons are the only time they get to sit down and have a normal lunch, with an extra hour to relax. My Sunday afternoons are sacrosanct and I like being able to relax for an extra hour and enjoy my Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding”. Mr. Leeves already works from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day except Sundays, and he says he will probably not open for the extra hours. “If the business is to be had I'm all for going out and getting it, but people only have so much money to spend”, he added. “If you divide that amount by hours, it just means less money is spent per hour”.

Landlord James Hawkings said his regulars at The Happy Frenchman, in Christ Church Road, Folkestone, thought little of the proposal. “Most men come out for a drink at Sunday lunchtime, but have to get back to their wives for their lunch afterwards”. He intends to stay shut between 3 and 7 p.m. and does not believe trade will suffer as a result. Pubs benefiting from the longer hours would be those in the countryside selling meals, and those on the seafront, he said.

A Home Office official said the Government hoped to change the law by the end of the year. The proposals include letting off-licences sell alcohol from 10 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.. And supermarkets could do the same for six continuous hours on Sundays.


Folkestone Herald 18 January 1996.

Maidstone Crown Court.

A man thrown out of a Folkestone pub for drunken behaviour returned later armed with two knives and attacked the landlord. Nicholas Cranney lashed out, cutting victim Barry Foster, who had to be taken to hospital with wounds to his neck and armpit. Jailing Cranney, a 34-year-old waiter, for four years, a judge told him “You caused injuries which, by chance alone, did not result in death”.

Alan Kent, prosecuting, said Mr. Foster, manager of the Happy Frenchman pub in Christchurch Road, Folkestone, knew Cranney to be a nuisance when drunk, but not violent. On September 10 last year Cranney became intoxicated and was singing and staggering around. When Mr. Foster asked him to leave he took his glasses off, saying he would “row with anybody”. The landlord took hold of Cranney's wrists and, with help, escorted him outside. Cranney shouted that he would get his mates and “do” Mr. Foster. Cranney went to his bedsit and slept. But he continued to moan to a friend about unfair treatment and, after sobering up, returned to the pub armed with a Stanley knife and a kitchen knife. Mr. Foster told the bar staff not to serve him and ordered him to leave. “The atmosphere became increasingly tense, with the defendant inviting Mr. Foster to strike the first blow”, Mr. Kent told Maidstone Crown Court. “He suddenly produced a knife from behind his back and attacked Mr. Foster by lunging at his neck and hip. Attempts were made by the manager and bar staff to disarm him by punching him”.

Cranney claimed the knives were to defend himself. He admitted having a drink problem and described himself as being paranoid. “When I start to get wound up, I just black out”, he said. “I just went mad”. He accepted he was likely to cause “bad damage” with the knife, saying the neck was the most vulnerable area.

Martin Joy, defending, said Cranney had a pleasant disposition and was charming and polite, but he was a binge drinker who lost control. “He bitterly regrets this offence”, said Mr. Joy.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Neligan said the offence was aggravated by Cranney returning to the pub having armed himself. “I give credit for the Guilty pleas, and reduce the sentence I would have passed to four years”, he added.




BURGE Michael 1979-82 Bastions

FULFORD Edwin & SMITH Frank 1982-84 Bastions

WALLIS Eric & O'HARA Robert 1984-86 Bastions

PATON Ronald 1986-88 Bastions

PATON Ronald & PAGE Dennis 1988-91 Bastions

PATON Ronald and Susan 1991-92 Bastions As "West End."

MEYER Gary & MCINTYRE Wendy 1992-93 Bastions

SANGER Anthony, COX Nicholas & PARKIN Scott 1993-95 Bastions

SAVAGE George & PULLAR Andrea 1995-96 Bastions

SAVAGE George & GREGORY Anthony 1996-97 Bastions

GREGORY Anthony & ESCOTT Rachel 1997 Bastions

COWAN Andrew & WALTERS Sarah (later COWAN) 1997-2004 Bastions

COWAN Andrew 2004+ Bastions


BastionsFrom More Bastions of the Bar by Easdown and Rooney


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