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Notes of 1928


East Kent Gazette, Saturday, February 11, 1928.


The annual Licensing Sessions for the Sittingbourne Petty Sessional Division were held on Monday, the Magistrates on the bench being Lieut-Colonel R. G. E. Locks (Chairman), Mrs. Maundrell, mrs. Durrant, mr. W. N. Role, mr. C. Ingleton, Captain E. W. Jaffray, messrs. Hedley Peters, R. A. Hadaway, A. Spears, H. C. Warren, R. J. Jennings, J. S. Bills, F. Ingleton, E. C. Pearer, and A. Hinge.


In the absence of Superintendent E. E. Hoare through illness, Inspector Kenward submitted his report as follows:-

I beg to submit the annual return of licensed houses within the petty Sessional Division of Sittingbourne, including Queenborough and Sheerness, in which there are 106 fully licensed houses, 45 "on" and 2 "off" licensed beer houses, and 15 persons licensed to sell wines, spirits, etc. The above number include the "Plough and Harrow" beer house, Bredgar. The licence of which was not renewed at the last licensing sessions, opposition being raised on the ground of redundancy; but agreement has not yet been reached with regard to compensation. Consequently the house still exists.

The population of the whole division last census was 56,670, given a ratio of 1 licence to 370.32 of the inhabitants. I am pleased to be able to report that the licensed houses have been generally well conducted, no proceedings have been taken against any of the licences. There are 26 clubs in the division, this being a decrease of 1 on last year's figures, and these also have been generally well conducted. I have visited those premises in respect of which application has been made to the Bench for permission for alterations, and have to report that those now completed have been satisfactorily carried out, and in accordance with the plan submitted. From February 8th, 1927, to February 5th, 1928, 11 persons have been proceeded against for drunkenness. Of this number 8 males and 2 females were convicted, 2 being residents. This showed an increase of 6 on the number of last year. The cases of drunkenness were from the following parishes:- Minster 1; Newington 2; Queenborough 1; Rainham 2; Sheerness 4; and Sittingbourne 1.

The chairman said they would all regret to learn that Superintendent Hoare was unfortunately laid up and was not likely to be present for some little time; but he (the Chairman) hoped he will be back in time for the adjourned Sessions on the 5th March. That being so it might alter their usual procedure somewhat. But taking it as a whole the report was put before them was most satisfactory. They were now reaping the benefits of the inspections that were made by a Committee of the Bench to different areas of the district. The result was that they had had a report that day from the visiting Committee that the licensed houses were a totally different class to what they used to be; they were so much better kept by all the licensees. That was very satisfactory. There were one or two cases perhaps where they had to put their foot down again with regard to the premises; but he was glad to say they had nothing to complain of with regard to any of the licensees. There was one house, the "Alexandra" Beer House, Milton which appeared to be redundant. It was going down in trade year after year. He thought the late holder of the licence had removed higher up the street to a better house, and perhaps had drawn most of the trade with him. Undoubtedly in the parish of Milton there were one or two houses not quite necessary. The Bench had taken every point into consideration, and they had decided to service notice of objection on the "Alexandra." Two other houses, the "Lord Nelson," Iwade, and the "Woolpack," Iwade, required mention. The sanitary arrangements at these houses were very bad. He knew they were great difficult in there, but the owners would have to try to put things right. The bench were not content to have houses which were not properly constructed for use of the general public, and notices would be served on the brewers, asking them to have the matter looked into at once. The kitchen arrangements at the "Milton Arms," Sittingbourne, we're not good, and they were glad to hear that instructions had been given by the brewers to have them put in order. There was nothing left now for him to do but to congratulate the censees on the way they had conducted their houses throughout the past 12-months. That had been only 2 residents of the district brought up for drunkenness during the year; the others were people moving into the district from the Chatham side, and they must always, he thought, get a certain number of these. In the 1920s the numbers were 40 and 50, and now they have dropped down to 11. That was a slight increase from the previous year, but that was owing to the number of outsiders brought up. He was sure they could congratulate the district on the fact that the sobriety throughout the division was very satisfactory indeed, and they had to thank Superintendent Hoare, Inspector Kenward, and the other officers for the exceedingly good way in which they had done their duty during the past year. With the exception of the "Alexandra" all the licences would be renewed. Several letters have been received with regard to the opening hours of licensed houses, and consideration of these would be postponed to the adjourned Sessions. In order that they might have a report from the Superintendent. They thanked the ladies and gentlemen who had sent letters.

An application by the Licensed Victuallers Association of Sittingbourne and District and of the Isle of Sheppey for a variation of permitted hours during the period from 1st May to 30th September, as has been granted for several years, was also postponed to the adjourned sessions.

An Occasional Licence.

Mr. S. A. W. Noakes, of the "Three Kings," Sittingbourne, was granting a seasonal licence to sell in the Town Hall, Sittingbourne from 7 to 11 p.m. on the 21st instant, on the occasion of the annual smoking concert of the Sittingbourne fire brigade.

The Billet, Milton.

The question of the monopoly value in regard respect of the "Billet," London Road, Milton Regis, was considered.

On behalf of the brewers Messrs. Isherwood, Foster, and Stacey, Mr L. R. S. Monckton, solicitor, Maidstone, applied for an annual licence for the house, explaining that this was a sequel to an application which came before the Justices in February, 1925, for an annual licence. At that time there was a little difficulty in fixing the monopoly value of the licence, and the Justice's decided to grant a 3 and 3 quarter years' license, which would come to an end next July. He reminded the Justice's of the remarks made by the Chairman at the previous application. The Chairman then said the Bench had gone closely into the application. Messrs Isherwood gave up a big house at Milton. They had pulled down the "Old Billet," and erected the present building. They were very satisfied with the way in which messrs. Isherwood had met the wishes of the Bench. The "Old Billet" was most beautifully kept by the licence holder. It was one of the best they had to do with, and they were glad to be able to say the same of the other. It was a model for any other licensed victualler to go and look at. He (Mr. Monckton) hoped the Justices would still say that. The monopoly value figure had been provisionally agreed with the excise authorities at 1,250. They had already paid 262 10s 0d in respect of 3-years, and it was proposed the brewers would pay a further 1,250.

The Magistrates Clerk (Mr. E. Cecil Harris) asked if there was anyone present to oppose the application, and there was no response.

Mr. A. R. Pierson, solicitor, London, who appeared for the Exercise Authorities, said the figure of 1,250 had been agreed, subject to the approval of the Justice's, at a fair and proper figure.

The Chairman:- We are quite satisfied.

Mr. C. Hayloy Mason, O.B.E., F.S.L. superintendent valuer of the Home Counties Division for the Inland Revenue, gave details of how the figure 1,250 was arrived at, and said that he was satisfied that the amount was fair.

The application was granted, and the figure of 1,250 accepted.