South Parade/South End
10 Beach Street
Above photographs by Paul Skelton 2 Mach 2008.
Port Arms sign left, November 1987, right, March 1991.
Above with thanks from Brian Curtis
From the Deal, Walmer and Sandwich Telegram, 5 January, 1861.
A social gathering of the brethren of the Enlightened Cottage, Deal
was held at the "Port Arms Inn." The viands were first rate and much
credit is due to Bro. Thomas Trott, the worthy host.
From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury,
13 January, 1872.
BOROUGH PETTY SESSIONS
The Supt. stated that on Sunday last about ten minutes before 12 one
of the constables visited the "Port Arms," public-house, and found 13 or
14 men in the tap-room with beer before them, and he had reported the
case to the Mayor who had requested him to name it to the Magistrates.
The Mayor said the landlord of the "Port Arms" Mr. Trott and been to
him and informed him that it was customary when men come ashore to
supply them with refreshment, but the police stated that there were some
present besides watermen, who were not connected with the boat, and he
thought therefore that it would be best for Trott to attend before the
Mr. Trott said there were only two persons in the room at the time
who were not watermen, and they had assisted to heave the boat, and it
was always customary with the boatmen to give a pint of beer to those
who assisted them with their boats.
The Magistrates expressed an opinion that while boat's crews coming
ashore from a long cruise might stand in need of refreshment, it must be
distinctly understood that no other person could be served during
Mr. Trott said he perfectly understood this, and during the 20 years
he had had a public-house no one had paid greater respect to the law
than he had, and in this the police could bear him out.
The matter then dropped, the Magistrates remarking that the police
had done quite right in reporting the case.
Above photo shows the interior of the "Port Arms" and licensees Mr. and
Mrs. Preston. Circa 1969-70.
From the Dover Mercury, 7 May 2009.
Boaters and blazers by the old
A view of Deal seafront, from a postcard delivered in August, 1911
Picture: Gregory Holyoake Collection.
HORDES of Deal people and tourists used to attend performances at a
bandstand, which used to be near the Time Ball Tower.
Many wore their Sunday best, sporting bowlers or boaters, and suits,
as seen in this week's Now and Then postcard.
Visitors today are dressed casually mostly in jeans and T-shirts
rather than early century finery of blazers and dresses.
The view from the seashore looks up towards South Street, with the
Port Arms next to the big square ivy-covered building on the corner of
Beach Street, (left of picture.)
A row of seafront buildings next to the pub are long gone and the
open space contains an exotic feel with palm trees Boaters and and
picnic benches. But in the early 1900s, the beach attracted people
enjoying lounging on deck chairs and watching a band play.
This postcard sent from a visitor at a guest house in Gilford Road,
Deal, is addressed to Miss E. Britton, in Chatham.
The sender described how the 'Royal Marine Band plays here every day'
and how the writer enjoyed 'very good weather'. The stamp was
post-marked August 29, 1911.
The view also shows a boat moored on the foreshore, but today this
section of the beach is empty except the odd windswept visitor, parked
cars or Beach Street traffic.
In the old picture the promenade towards the Broad Street roundabout
(right of picture) shows the "Beachbrow Hotel", which also occupied a building at the top of
the street which is now a shop selling Buddha's.
The old oil light lamppost, on the left on the postcard, has been
replaced with a One Way Street sign entering South Street.
Advert from the Dover Mercury February 2003.
Below Advert from the Dover mercury 25 January 2007.
Below Advert from the Dover Mercury 25 October 2007.
Below From the Dover Mercury 29 November 2007.
COME and get into the party mood as the festive season fast approaches
at The Port Arms.
Christmas menu is wonderfully varied.
The Christmas menu at the Port Arms in Deal is full of great dishes.
COME and get into the party mood as the festive season fast approaches
at The Port Arms.
Laying right on the sea, the Beach Street establishment can cater for
all your needs this Christmas, with a fantastic and varied menu that
will get all your taste buds begging for more.
The Port Arms is the
perfect venue for you to hold your Christmas party as you celebrate the
end of another year with friends and family.
At only £15.95 for three courses, you can pick from a wide choice of
starters, mains and desserts, including tender turkey with all the
trimmings, a nut roast, pan fried garlic king prawns, profiteroles and
traditional Christmas pudding drizzled with brandy sauce.
Licensee Brian Pitchford, who runs The Port Arms with owner Sue Gill,
said: "We are really proud of our Christmas menu. It is full of great
dishes. The Port Arms takes a lot of pride in preparing top quality
The continued success of Steak Night every Thursday is a testimony to
the great food being served up at The Port Arms. Great value at only
£10.95, can you take up the challenge of tackling a 20oz rump? Why not
come down between 6pm until 9.30pm and give it a go? A wide-range of
steaks are available.
Brian said: "Our Steak Nights are very popular. All day, every Friday we
also have a fresh fish choice to supplement our main menu. We support
local traders and local produce, and a majority of our food comes from
in and around Deal."
For more information or to make a booking, call The Port Arms on 01304
373045, or pop in.
Normal menu hours: Monday to Thursday, noon until 3.30 and 6pm until
9.30pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon until 9.30pm.
Saturday 7th January. Ghost Search.
Our Researchers could find no history about the Port Arms Inn.
The Investigation Report.
It was one of those events, not a lot of information (in fact hardly
any) but plenty of Spiritual activity to keep the guest’s awake and
alert. We started the investigation with a demonstration of table
tipping, and, although the table did the usual spinning and dancing, the
main event where our Parapsychologist (Gary) sat on the table, failed to
go as hoped. The table did tip up on to one side and Gary had to hold on
to stop himself falling off, but when we asked Spirit to spin the table
around it just placed the table back square on the floor. We attempted
again with someone lighter sitting on it, (just hoping) but this time it
refused to move at all. The group that I was assigned too decided to go
into the cellar as our first port of call, and I’m glad we did. Each of
the group members experienced some pushing, pulling and hand movement.
At one point when almost all of the hands around the circle where held
up to about waist height Maxine (guest) asked Spirit if they could make
all of the hands touch, and slowly each of us were pulled together until
all hands were indeed touching. There were cases of people having their
hair or faces touched by unseen hands, and the smells of scents and pipe
tobacco wafting around. I saw a male Spirit come into the room we were
working in and he was about 5'7" tall and had silver/grey hair which was
combed straight back (no parting) he looked to be in his late 50’s to
early 60’s, but unfortunately, no name or dates with him. We stayed in
the cellar for quite some time as the activity was high and virtually
constant. Poor Carrie (guest) had to go out of the room twice as she
felt unwell, but returned each time after a short break to regain her
composure because she didn’t want to miss anything. When we left the
cellar we went to the main bar area, and after a brief chat about what
had gone on some of the guests wanted to try out the Ouija boards (I had
explained that all of the Ghost Search mediums ask for protection for
everyone on the investigation prior to the start). With 4 guests on one
board I showed them how to use it and stayed with them until a
connection was made. I then took my finger off of the planchett so it
was just the guests operating it. We do this to prove that we (GS
mediums) are not influencing it. The evidence that came from this board
astounded the participants. There were names and even a full address
(which was confirmed by another person not on the board). 2 other guests
along with Gary ( our Parapsychologist) set up another board at the
other side of the room. Again I explained how to use the board, and
placed my finger onto the planchette. Almost immediately Maxine had a
shock as her Nan came through. I then left them to it and went back to
the first group. We then had a go at glass movement. We started getting
movement and as it got faster it decided to go under the table but we
couldn’t keep up and it fell. It was re-started (without me this time)
and again it went to the corner of the table and under the tabletop,
this time the guests did not let go and it went round the underside then
returned to the tabletop. From here we went to one of the bedrooms, we
held a séance, and although the room was dark it seemed to get darker
still. Several of the guests felt someone touching them and a couple (me
also) could see a “darkness” moving towards us. Then a few of the guests
saw what they described as “sparkles” of different colours moving about
the floor and spinning round. As it proceeded to move towards the side
of the circle that I was standing, I too could see them. Both myself and
Jo (camera lady although not operating a cam at the time) could hear
footsteps behind us, there was nobody anywhere near us, and the room had
fitted carpet but the footsteps were on a solid hard floor. As the
happenings died down, much to our surprise we saw that it was time to
call an end to the night’s vigil. We all gathered in the bar area for a
debrief of the nights events and look at the orbs and anomalies that had
been caught on the cams.
I would like to express my thanks to Lorna, Mike and Shaun at the Port
Arms Inn for their hospitality, the “Lovely grub” and the drinks all
through the night.
(Ghost Search Uk Paranormal investigators).
Leased from 1672 by William Mallett or Mullett he was a Pilot, with
capstan and Tenement, and his widow, Elizabeth, was still there 1699.
1721 shows the premises leased and supplied by Samuel Fasham brewer.
Next was Thomas Oakley, also brewer in 1759 and his son, also Thomas
followed suit in 1783
Deal Borough Records show the following entry:- MS Council's Opinion 18th
November 1776 - by Geo. Rowe, Inner Temple.
In the town and Borough of Deal are 30 Publick Houses including taverns
and Inns, 18 whereof have stabling fit for the accommodation of Dragoons and
horses and the other 12 have no stabling at all.
These dragoons (12 or 13 in all) were to assist the Officers of the
Revenue at Deal.
The following houses refused to billet the Dragoons for lack of
The Port Arms was mentioned in this list, and Charles Hutchings was
licensee at the time.
Apparently the house used to stand almost on the beach, but about 1893
the road we see today was built in front of it and thus separated it from
the shingle. This is one of the oldest pubs in Deal.
An outlet of Fremlins in 1974.
From an email received 23 October 2012
Both my Mother & Father, Bob &
Liz Witcher ran the "Port Arms" successfully from 1974 when they turned
the pub completely around. My father served as Band Master in the Royal
Marines Band Service and upon his retirement from the service took over
I remember the pub well, as I myself lived there for a short while I
was also in the Royal Marines Band Service. Mum used to run the pub with
her stern, but fair management skills (probably gained as a result of
her career in the WRNS as an officer) whilst dad played a lot of golf &
yes...........DARTS ha! Ha! I have so many happy memories of Deal and
the Port Arms over the years, but when my father died suddenly in
1983,my mother was forced to really consider her position in the pub so
she decided that enough was enough. She continued to live in Deal and
was a very well known figure in the local community until her own
untimely death in February 2005.
From an email received, 11 March,
Searching the internet for genealogy purposes I came across your
site. I would like to provide you with some info concerning landlords of
the "Port Arms " beach street Deal.
My Grandfather was born there (as per his birth certificate ) on
12th. Sept. 1878, where my Greatgrandparents George Richard Hall and his
wife Amelia White Hall are shown as the licensed victuallers of the
"Port Arms" . Then in the 1881 census (G. R. Hall had passed away 1880)
it shows my Great-grandmother Amelia White Hall still the licensed
From the Dover Mercury, 22 January, 2009.
Woman attacks landlord in pub.
POLICE were called to a disturbance in the early hours of the morning at
the "Port Arms" pub, Beach Street, Deal.
Proprietor Michael Prime said he was attacked by a customer, who let
herself into the living area through a digitally-locked door last
He said: "She punched me and ripped the top off my back, then proceeded
to try and strangle me."
A 38-year-old woman from Walmer was arrested and issued with a formal
caution for common assault.
From the Dover Mercury, 8 October, 2009.
Pub outdoor space was once children's play area
A postcard of Deal seafront 40 years ago, probably taken from one of
the side windows of the Port Arms pub.
BUSINESSES in Deal welcomed the £130,000 new-look stretch of seafront
created in 2007, which was completed in June ready for the summer.
The district council heralded the improvements to Beach Street, which
included upgrading the open space and rerouting traffic away from part
of the area.
It has proved a popular place for visitors and the community,
especially during events like the Deal Maritime Folk Festival.
A Mercury reader remembers the piece of land in the 1960s and loaned
Now and Then a Salmon Camera Colour Post Card, printed in England.
It is believed to date back to the 196os when there was a series of
children's amusements on the open space.
A giant draughts board was created from concrete slabs beside the
Port Arms and there was a kart track opposite the King's Head.
At the north end a colourful roundabout for children used to occupy
the site in the summer.
It was owned by Pat Heath, president of the Deal 1919 Angling Club
and chairman of Walmer Parish Council.
He said: "The roundabout was great fun and was there before I brought
it as a bit of entertainment for Deal seafront. That was probably in the
"In those days my brother Tony and I had Pegasus. The roundabout was
eventually sold and I believe rebuilt at a fairground in Dymchurch."
Pegasus the cafe was later bought by Ian and Linda Dunkerley, who
transformed it into an award winning restaurant. They eventually bought
the Pier Hotel, on the corner of Broad Street and Beach Street.
The buildings in the old postcard are mainly still the same, although
the boats beside the pier have now disappeared.
A red K6 Jubilee phone box on the roundabout is still in position.
Photographer Paul Dennis captures Beach Street, Deal as It looks now.
From the Dover Mercury, Thursday 28 January, 2009.
ALCOHOL-FREE HOTEL NEXT TO PORT ARMS PUB
Above photo by Gregory Holyoake.
BEFORE the Second World War in Deal there was a big temperance hotel
on the seafront which was a popular attraction for visitors to the
The three-storey building stood on land north of the "Port Arms," one
of the town's oldest pubs.
An alcohol-free business, it was called Beach House Temperance Hotel
and had its own private garden stretching towards the Broad Street
At one time it was run by generations of the same family called
Jefferson and the proprietors were James and his father Samuel.
It had a grand dining room in Edwardian times and many servants.
There was a grand entrance facing the sea, with another less impressive
door looking north.
The property was once the home of a notable naval family of Baker who
entertained King George II in 1740 after his return from Hanover. It is
possible the grounds once extended to the beach.
According to Deal historian Julie Deller, it was an imposing building
and she remembered as a child seeing a huge tortoise in the beautiful
garden, which was surrounded by a low brick wall.
She said: "In the Second World War the hotel was filled with concrete
and steel to deter invaders.
"The building was finally demolished, along with a house between the
hotel and the "Ports Arms," as well as a brick store at the back of the
pub used for keeping the beer."
Beach House Temperance Hotel was bought by Deal Borough Council in
1952 and after the old building was knocked down the space remained
It can be seen in the old postcard just left of the ornate lamppost
on the promenade.
The view also shows boats on the foreshore and the old pier which was
later damaged in the Second World War.
The CAMRA branch meeting of August 2008 reported that the "Port Arms" had
closed. The meeting in September reported it open again and September
reported it as closed.
I believe it to be open as I type this Jan 2010.
From the Dover Mercury, 2 June, 2011.
FIRST CLASS REPUTATION AND A WARM, FRIENDLY
THE "Port Arms" has just celebrated its first year under new
ownership with Nikki Pooke, who has worked hard to give the traditional
pub a top class reputation for its friendliness, warmth and excellent
She has refurbished the seafront premises and has created a fun
family atmosphere for all generations. The home cooked food brings a
multitude of locals, who return time and time again to enjoy their
Due to its prominent location the "Port Arms" also greets many
visitors to Deal, who stay in one of the beautiful guest rooms. Having
been recently awarded three stars by Visit England, the fantastic sea
views, en-suite bathrooms and close proximity to the town centre and
train station make the "Port Arms" the perfect weekend getaway.
Entertainment on Saturday nights is always great fun with karaoke and
on Sunday evenings live music bands are always a must, with great local
bands for all to enjoy.
Nikki is also a keen participant in charity events and fundraising.
The next event is in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer to be held on
MULLETT/MALLETT William 1672+
MULLERR/MALLETT Elizabeth (widow) 1699+
FFASHAM Samuel 1721+ (brewer)
OAKLEY Thomas 1759+ (brewer)
OAKLER Thomas jun. 1783+ (brewer)
HUTCHINGS Charles 1776+
TRETGAN/TREVEGAN John 1804+
FOWLE John & HOILE John 1817+ (brewer)
FITZGERALD Henry 1823-24+
FITZGERALD Ann 1828-40+ (South
DAWES Edward 1847+
TROTT Thomas 1851-Nov/73
CAPPS Mr J H Nov/1873+
HALL George Richard 1878-80
HALL Amelia 1881+
SHARP John 1882+
MEAKINS William Robert West 1882-1898+
MEAKINS Henry John Miller 1898-40+
CRYSTAL Mrs Edith 9/Sept/1944-1950s+
FRANKS Harry & Joyce 1959+
WOOD John 1960+
REEVE A T 1966+
PRESTON Mr & Mrs 1960s or 70s+?
WITCHER Robert N 1967-Jan/83 dec'd
SCHMID Michael & BURR Peter 1983+
HAGGER Frank 1983+
SMITH David 1985+
DEACON Lee & Shirley 1993
JONES Colin & Jane March/1994+
DEMPSEY Steven & Stephanie Oct/1994+
MURLEY Christopher & PRIME Lorna 2001
SWEENEY Francis March/2002+
SWEENEY Francis, PRIME William & CARTHY M J Dec/2002+
PRIME William & Lorna, CARTHY Michael & BARKER Shaun 2004
PITCHFORD Brian 2007+
PRIME Michael 2008+
POOKE Nikki 15/Mar/2010-11+
From the Pigot's Directory 1823
From the Pigot's Directory 1824
From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29
From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34
From the Pigot's Directory 1839
From the Pigot's Directory 1840
From Bagshaw Directory 1847
From the Post Office Directory 1891
From Pikes 1908
From the Post Office Directory 1913
Deal Library List 1914
From the Post Office Directory 1922
From the Kelly's Directory 1934
From the Post Office Directory 1938
Library archives 1974
From the Deal Walmer & Sandwich Mercury
The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers