Sort file:- Deal, December, 2022.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 10 December, 2022.


Earliest 1750

Jolly Sailor

Latest Dec 1966

9 Western Road

West Street 1878


Jolly Sailor 1925

Above photo showing licensee George Neeve holding unknown child circa 1925. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Jolly Sailor 1952

Above photo 1952. Creative Commons Licence.

Jolly Sailor ledger

Thompson & Sons ledger. Creative Commons Licence.

Jolly Sailor in Deal Jolly Sailor in Deal
Jolly Sailor, Deal

Above picture kindly supplied by Deal library. Newspaper cutting from East Kent Mercury, Thursday, October 14th, 1965.

Corner of Western Road and West Street

I believe this is the view you would see today. Picture taken from Google maps, May 2009, of the corner of Western Road and West Street.


The Kentish Post or Canterbury News-Letter, February 8th 1750 mentions a "Jolly Sailor" in Deal.


From the Kentish Post or Canterbury News-Letter, February 8th 1750. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Sale by auction of a House at the Jolly Sailor in Deal, Feb. 8, 1750.


The Jolly Sailor stood on the corner of West Street and Western Road in Deal and was demolished in 1969 to make way for road widening but had been closed since 1966 due to subsidence caused by the mine workings of Betteshanger Colliery.

I believe I can trace the pub back to at least 1750 and certainly through the 1800s with the name of "Jolly Sailor." However, there is evidence that it changed name to the "Norfolk Arms" in 1867, this pub was also referred to as the "Duke of Norfolk" and I have reference in 1889 to that pub changing name back to the "Jolly Sailor" again.

Its closure, however, had been on the cards for many years and had first been proposed in 1936, because, according to Peter Foat, son of its last landlady, there were two other pubs nearby.

The exact age of the pub is uncertain although it was believed to have been one of the several inns that stood along the 'Ancient Highway' that joined Upper Deal to Sandwich, and which in former days were likely to have been involved in smuggling.

Names along the route that come down to us from those days include the "Maxton Arms", "Noah's Ark", "Halfway House" (now the "Chequers") and the Jolly Sailor itself. All these along with the "Queen's Arms" were lodging houses.

Deal at the time comprised not much more than the area around St Leonard's Church (Upper Deal) and the streets, lanes and alleyways of the Middle Street area, and the Ancient Highway, following very much the line of Church Path, Western Rd. and Golf Rd., ran through the desolate marshlands and sandhills to the north and west of these settlements. As inns, these premises would have provided for travellers and for the stabling of horses, attributes which together with their isolation and proximity to the coast, made them ideal for the concealing and transporting of contraband, as well as accommodation for those involved in the trade.

Returning specifically to the "Jolly Sailor," David Collyer, who wrote about the pub in 2001 and to whom I am indebted for most of the information in this article, describes it as “a rather gloomy-looking, run down establishment, always in need of a good lick of paint.” Photographs taken just before its demolition very much back up this description. They also suggest that, despite its slate roof and comparatively modern looking rendering, its origins were of considerable age – the windows being large sashes, irregularly spaced, and with that next to the door appearing at a slight angle to the pavement, as might be found with timber frame construction.

The name change appears to have taken place in the late 19th century, by which time the disreputable activities of earlier years had largely, if not completely, ceased. In 1882, with Patrick Harris as landlord, it is recorded as the "Norfolk Arms," but by 1891 it was the Jolly Sailor. Peter Foat maintains that the change occurred between 1872 and 1888. Certainly by the end of the century, and being run by first his grandfather, Grandad Neeve and then his uncle George Neeve it was the Jolly Sailor. The pub stayed with the family and his parents took it on in 1938 when his uncle moved to the "Magnet" in London Rd.

Again from photographic evidence it would at that time have been owned by Thompson's of Walmer, subsequently transferring to Charringtons when the latter took over the local brewery in the 1950s.

Peter Foat's descriptions of life in a pub before World War II are fascinating, and portray a different world. 'We had eight to ten bedrooms, as the inn operated as a doss house, and the old boys who stayed there would play cards in the back room of an evening. I used to sit in when one of them had to leave the game, and would sneak a sip of beer from an unattended glass. By the time I was seven years old I could play all the most popular card games, even Euchre! We had a large back garden with fruit trees, where we kept pigs, and the ullage from the bar was used to feed our tomato plants. There was also a large stable, and a shed where an old recluse was in permanent residence. I had a little dog named Sailor, who loved to play football with me and my friends. He was very good at finding money which had been dropped on the floor of the tap room. He would take this down to the cellar, which was half concrete and half earth, where he would bury it. I dug it up and used it as extra pocket money.'

He also recalls the various characters of the time, many of whom appear to have been contending with serious physical disabilities: One-armed Jack McKlusky who ran the snooker hall in Middle St., Uncle Ticker who had a wooden leg and rode a bike with it strapped to the pedal, and One-eyed Reilly, a knife grinder who used a contraption worked by the back wheel of his upturned bicycle.

The Second World War found Deal under shellfire and bombing raids. One of these caused damage to the Jolly Sailor and the family went to stay with Uncle George at the "Magnet."

'The "Magnet" had its own bowling green beside it, and I can remember playing in the long grass on the overgrown bowling green,' recalls Peter. 'The little pavilion still had the named lockers for the members of Ye Old Deale Bowling Club with their bowls still inside. There was another bowling green next to the "Bell Inn" in Robert St.' Some of his memories are less pleasant. Evacuated to South Wales with his school later in the war he remembers one boy being called to the headmaster's study to be told that all his family had been killed by the shelling of the "Park Tavern" the previous night.

After the war normal pub service resumed at the Jolly Sailor, but with Peter's mother as sole proprietor, as his father had died in 1944. Meanwhile his sister and brother-in-law took on the license of the "Five Ringers" in Middle Deal Road (demolished for three houses a few years ago).

However, the Jolly Sailor's days were numbered, even though the pre-war plans for its closure had apparently been abandoned. It survived for another twenty years before subsidence forced the family to move out: Mrs Foat dying shortly afterwards. For the next few years it remained boarded up and neglected, before finally being demolished for the necessities of road widening.


Above information by Martin Atkins.


Kentish Gazette 22 December 1801.

Tuesday was married at Upper Deal church, Captain John Epsly, to Mrs. Mary Seath, of the "Jolly Sailor," public house, both of the said place.


Kentish Gazette, 26 October 1852.

Special Court of Petty Sessions.

The Brutal Assault.

Before T. Reake, Esq., Mayor; C. Kingsmill, Esq J. P. George Hammond, Esq., J. P., and Wm. Watts, Esq., J.P. Amelia Me Artney deposed:— I was in the "Jolly Sailor" between one and two on Tuesday morning. The prisoner, John Farrier, came in and asked if I knew another young woman, and said he meant to kill me before he left the room. He struck me several times with his open hand, and then took up a pint glass, and threw it at me, which struck me on the month; he afterwards threw two more at me, one struck me on the forehead, and the other over the left temple. Defendant was not drunk. After the last had struck me he made his escape, before any assistance came. Two men were in the room at the time, one of them was asleep, and the other assisted me when I was over. I gave no provocation. I fell down at last, and came on on a broken glass.

Cross-examined by prisoner:— A tipsy woman came in with you, and stood over the fire. She helped to wash me when all was over. I did not hit you with a poker, not anything else.

Alexander Harvey, landlord of the "Jolly Sailor":— I did not know Farrier was in the house till I met him after the transaction, as I went to see what was the matter. The girl had just fallen down, much wounded. There was no poker in the room. On coming out, Farrier said "I will kill the -----." I did not know whom he meant; he was not drunk. I took up nearly half a pail of blood.

Sarah Ellis, a married unfortunate, deposed:— I live at the "Jolly Sailor." I stirred the fire at 10:30, and returned the poker to my own room, and did not go down until after the transaction. There was neither fire now poker then.

The prisoner was convicted in the full penalty of 5, and in default to 2 months' imprisonment, and after which to find two respectable sureties in 10 each, and himself in 20, to keep the peace towards all her majesty's subjects, and particularly Amelia McArtney, for the space of 6 calendar months — failing in this last, the prisoner will have to undergo a still further and longer period of confinement.


From the Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, 8 September, 1865.


Sergeant Smutherley, of the 7th Depot Battalion, applied to the Magistrates, for a summons against the landlord of the "Jolly Sailor," for refusing to allow the police to enter his house. The summons was granted.


From the Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, 15 September, 1865.


Alexander Harvey, landlord of the "Jolly Sailor" public-house, appeared in answer to an information of Superintendent Parker, to show cause why he refused to admit  Police-constable Pain on the 5th instant, whereby he had become liable to forfeit 10.

James O'Smutherly deposed: I am provost-sergeant of the 6th Depot Battalion. Between 11 and 12 o'clock on Tuesday night, the 5th of September, having suspicion that a soldier was concealed in the "Jolly Sailor," I knocked at the door, but received no answer. I sent for the police, and Police-constable Pain came. I told him I believe that one of my men was in the "Jolly Sailor." He knocked at the door, and the landlord opened an upper window, and said he would see him b________ before he would open his door again that night for anybody. Pain then asked him if he knew who he was, and he replied, "Yes," and that he would not open his door. I cannot prove that the soldier was in his house.

Police-constable Pain fully corroborated the evidence of the former witness.

The Bench said, as there was no proof that the soldier was in the house, they should dismiss the case, but censured Mr. Harvey for not opening his door when called upon by the police.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 08 January 1881.


At the Police Court on Wednesday last, Stephen Mockett, aged 19, a labourer was charged with indecently assaulting Elizabeth Williams, a little girl eight years of age, daughter of Henry Williams, residing at 6, West-street, Deal, on the premises at the back of the public-house formerly called the "Jolly Sailor." The details are unfit for publication. Dr. Mason said that the capital offence had not been committed. He was of opinion that the child had been roughly and improperly used. Committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions.

Prisoner pleaded guilty before the Recorder on Friday, and was sentenced to six months' imprisonment with hard labour.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 16 June, 1900. 1d.


Elizabeth Williams was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Western Road, on the 11th June.

Prisoner pleaded guilty.

Police-sergeant Curtis deposed that about half-past seven the previous evening, he saw the prisoner in Western Road. She was drunk, and making use of bad language. She had a child in a perambulator, and fearing she would upset it, he called her boy from the field opposite the "Jolly Sailor," where she was staying, to come and take charge of it. He did so, and prisoner then made use of worse language, and she refused to go away, and he had to take her into custody. She then behaved like a mad woman, throwing herself on to the ground, and he was obliged to get a horse and cart to bring her to the police-station. The Town-Sergeant assisted him to get her into the cart, and they were obliged to hold her down on the way to the station.

Prisoner: yes, they hurt my side and my arm.

Mr. Ramell: You must expect that if you behave in that way.

The Mayor: Did they hurt you, or did you do it yourself?

Sergt. Curtis said he had previously seen prisoner in High Street, and he had complaints about her throwing the child out of the perambulator.

The Town-Sergeant said that about half-past seven the previous evening, some one came to his house, and said that Serge. Curtis was in a little difficulty in Western Road, and he went to his assistance immediately, and saw prisoner on the ground struggling with the sergeant. He could see that he must have his hands full. He saw a cart, and Sergt. Curtis stopped it, and he assisted him to get her into it. Prisoner made use of most filthy and abominable language. She tried to bite Sergt. Curtis himself, and it was no wonder that they had to hold her down. Her language was something disgraceful.

Sergt. Curtis said that the prisoner had been convicted before, but not for about two years.

Prisoner: Three years this month.

The Mayor (to prisoner): You will have to go to prison for 14 days, with hard labour, and perhaps that will give you time to think over your conduct.

Prisoner: They will have trouble in prison then.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 14 July, 1900. 1d.


George Mitchell was charged with feloniously stealing one shirt and one pair of trousers, value 5s., the property of William Edward Coltenam, at Deal, on the 6th July.

Prosecutor deposed that he lodged at the "Jolly Sailor" and was a golf caddie. The previous evening he went to his bedroom and found that a pair of trousers he had left on the towel rail were missing, and that a shirt belonging to him had also been taken. He went to the landlady and informed her of the theft, and she found the things in the prisoner's bedroom. He valued the articles at 5s.

Elizabeth Hanger said that she was the landlady of the "Jolly Sailor." From what the last witness said she went to the prisoner's bedroom and found the clothes near the prisoner's bed. She woke him and asked him how he came to have them in his bedroom. prisoner told her to mind her own business, saying that it was nothing to do with her. She came downstairs, leaving the prisoner to dress, and the police were sent for and prisoner was apprehended. prisoner was carrying a bundle when he came downstairs, but she did not know what it contained.

Police-Sergt. Barnes said that a little before 11 o'clock the night before he was called to the "Jolly Sailor," where he found prisoner detained by the prosecutor. Prosecutor told him, in the prisoner's presence, that the prisoner had stolen his clothing. Prisoner made the remark: "You cannot prove that I did." Prosecutor afterwards handed him the clothing produced, and said that it had been taken from his bedroom, and then witness apprehended the prisoner and charged him with stealing the two articles, the property of the prosecutor. He replied that it was a lie, and that he had not stolen them. He brought prisoner to the Police-station.

Prisoner having been formerly charged, elected to be dealt with summarily, and pleaded guilty to the charge.

Prison was then further charged with stealing one pair of trousers, one flannel shirt, and one pair of flannelette drawers, value 28s., the property of Sarah Ann George, on the same date.

Prosecutrix deposed that she lived at, 5 Primrose Terrace, and was the wife of Edward George. She washed the clothes the previous afternoon, and hung them on a line in an enclosed yard, about 4 o'clock the previous afternoon. She saw them there safely at 8 o'clock but at half-past 8 they were missing. She gave information to the police, and that morning the clothed were brought to her. She identified them by the marks on them.

In reply to the Mayor witness said that there was a right-of-way to the back ways of the houses in the terrace. The ground in which the clothes were hanging was enclosed with a fence, and it was entered by a gate which admitted to witness' yard only.

Inspector Ellender said that the articles in question were brought to the Police-station by the prisoner the previous night. prisoner was asked if they were his property, and he said that they were. Witness had previously received information of the loss of his property. The morning he sent the articles to the last witness, who afterwards identified them at the station in his presence. He then charged prisoner with stealing the articles named in the charge, and he replied: "I bought them of a man last night and gave him 2s. for them." In reply to witness' question prisoner said that the man was a stranger to him, and that he should not recognise him if he saw him again.

Prisoner still adhered top the story that he bought the articles from someone, and pleaded not guilty to this charge.

Prisoner was further charged with stealing 1s. in silver and 9d. in bronze, 1 serge jacket, 1 serge vest, 1 necktie, 1 table knife, 1 tobacco box, and 1 bradawl, of the total value of 9s., the property of Frederick Bowditch, on the 6th July.

Prosecutor deposed that he lodged at the "Jolly Sailor," and went to bed between 8 and 9n o'clock on Friday night. When he awoke, at 6 o'clock the next morning, his coat and vest, and the other things, that he left in his pockets, were missing. He gave information to the police. He identified the things in his pockets, produced, with the exception of the money, as his property, and valued the whole at 9s. He was sleeping in the same room as the prisoner, as he was in bed before prisoner came in. There was one other man in the room. He found a metal check that had been in his pocket of the missing jacket, on the floor near prisoner's bed, having been, apparently, thrown aside by him as worthless.

Inspector Ellender said that he was present when prisoner was searched the night before. The tobacco box, knife, and bradawl, and the money produced were found on the prisoner. From information received from the last witness that morning he showed him the articles, which he identified as his property in prisoner's presence. Witness then told prisoner that he should charge him with stealing the articles, and also the serge jacket and vest. He made no reply. Afterwards, in cell, prisoner said that he had the jacket and vest on when he was brought in.

Prisoner said that he had put the jacket and vest under the bench in his cell, and on the cell being again searched they were found hidden on a ledge beneath the bench, which had not been known of before.

Prisoner said that he was guilty of taking the jacket and vest, but not the money.

In reply to the Mayor Inspector Ellender said that prisoner had been drinking, but he knew what he was about.

The Mayor said that the Bench had decided to convict on the three charges, and for the first offence prisoner would be sentenced to 14 days' hard labour, for the second to 28 days', and for the third to 14 days', the sentences to run consecutively, making two months' in all.

1s. 9d. of the money found on prisoner was ordered to be handed to the prosecutor in the last case, the remainder given back to him.



This public house finally closed its doors in 1968.



BROWN Matthew 1804-40+ Pigot's Directory 1823Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839Pigot's Directory 1840  (1828 alehouse)

HARVEY Alexander 1861-67+ (age 41 in 1861Census) Deal Mercury

1/9/1867 renamed "Norfolk Arms."

1889 "Jolly Sailor" formerly "Duke of Norfolk"

HANGER William 1891-99+ (age 44 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1891Kelly's 1899

HANGER Elizabeth 1900-03+ Kelly's 1903Deal Mercury

NEEVE (Peter Foat's Granddad)

NEEVE George H 1909-38+ Pikes 1909Post Office Directory 1913Deal library 1914Post Office Directory 1922Kelly's 1934 Next pub licensee had (Peter Foat's Uncle)

FOAT William Frederick Jn 3/Jan/1934-44 (age 60 in 1939) Post Office Directory 1938

FOAT Mrs 1944-27/Dec/66 House closed and cleared.

(Peter Foat was the son of the last landlady.)


Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

Pigot's Directory 1824From the Pigot's Directory 1824

Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Pigot's Directory 1839From the Pigot's Directory 1839

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Pikes 1909From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Deal library 1914Deal Library List 1914

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Deal MercuryFrom the Deal Walmer & Sandwich Mercury


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