DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 07 September, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1858-

Old Neptune

Open 2020+

Outer Wall / Marine Terrace

Whitstable

01227 272262

http://www.neppy.co.uk/

https://whatpub.com/old-neptune

Original Old Neptune

Above photo by Douglas West showing the original "Old Neptune." Circa 1880.

Old Neptune

Above photo showing the back of the original pub, pre 1897.

Old Neptune 1900

Above photo, circa 1900, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Neptune 1927

Above photo, circa 1927, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Neptune 25 February 1947

Above postcard, dated 25 February 1947, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Neptune 1949

Above photo from the Illustrated London News, Saturday 12 March 1949, showing the storms.

Old Neptune 1950s

Above postcard from the mid 1950s. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Neptune

Above photo, date unknown.

Old Neptune 1955

Above photo, kindly sent by Stephen Lacey, the smallest in photo shown with his two brothers and sister in 1955.

Above photo, date unknown.

Above photo probably same date as above. It has been told to me by Garth Wyver that along the Marine Terrace you can see the old beached Brig used as by the Whitstable Sea Cadets (the first sea cadet corps to formed) as a training vessel named Vigilant. The ship is no longer there. The old sailing ship had a doorway in the stern. It was used in the first movie of David Copperfield.

Old Neptune 1955

Above photo, circa 1955, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Above postcard, 1960. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Neptune 1979

Above postcard, 1979, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Neptune

Above photo, 1990, kindly sent by Garth Wyver.

Old Neptune 2013

Above photo showing "Old Neptune" circa 2013.

Old Neptune

Above photo, date unknown.

Old Neptune

Photo date unknown, from http://www.flickr.com by Steve Fair.

Old Neptune

Above pictures taken from www.beerintheevening.com 2014.

Old Neptune 2011

Photo date unknown, from http://www.flickr.com by Malc McDonald.

Old Neptune signOld Neptune sign

Above signs, date unknown.

Old Neptune sign 1991

Above sign, June 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis www.innsignsociety.com.

Old Neptine oil painting

Above oil painting on canvas by Vincent Donlin.

Old Neptune oil painting

Above oil painting on canvas by Vincent Donlin.

 

The site of the "Old Neptune" was probably occupied by a boatyard workshop. Placed on the edge of the beach in the teeth of estuary storms and gales; the original building has long been washed away.

In 1853 the ‘Old Neptune' beer house suffered serious structural damage when an exceptionally high tide combined with a northerly gale washed away her foundations.

Another great storm in 1883 resulted in the wrecking of several vessels awaiting repair along the shore. The Neptune, although spared this time, was used as a temporary morgue to receive the bodies of those killed in the storm.

Finally on 29th December 1897 the old wooden building was completely washed away in another great storm.

Old Neptune destroyed 1897

The ‘Old Neptune' was rebuilt, using timber reclaimed from the original structure and several other cottages that had also been destroyed.

The building has warped and twisted over the years owing too its old wooden foundations, however the timber structure seems to accommodate this movement as can be seen in the window frames and sloping floor.

For the full story and excellent illustrations read ‘ALES & TALES' – Pubs in the Story of Whitstable by G Pike, M Page and J Cann. ISBN 0-9515828-3-6.

The pub was a Gardner's of Ash house, which became Tomson & Wotton, after the companies merged (as Combined Brewery Holdings Ltd) in 1951. After Whitbread's bought out Tomson & Wotton it became a Whitbread-Fremlin's house, eventually ending up in the Enterprise Pub Co estate. Shepherd Neame bought it in 2013. They still don't appear to have a sign on the pub though. (2017).

 

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 14 March 1936.

PLANS FOR ALTERATIONS APPROVED.

Plans were approved for alterations at the “Old Neptune," Whitstable, it being stated that there would be greater supervision.

The police favoured the alterations.

WINE ON-LICENCE FOR THE “OLD NEPTUNE."

Mr. Monier Williams applied on behalf of Mr. H. Ransley for a licence for the sale of wine and sweets on the premises of the "Old Neptune," Whitstable. He said this was an old-fashioned building and at present it was a beerhouse. It was originally constructed for the benefit of the Whitstable fishermen but the prime purposes of its existence were rather passing away and it was now becoming more a house as a resort for visitors to Whitstable. The demand by visitors for wine at this house was increasing. Mr. Ransley found that whereas the male visitors usually liked a glass of beer the ladies preferred a glass of wine if they could get it.

Applicant, giving evidence, said that his house was the only licensed house on the West Beach. It was an old-fashioned and picturesque place. He had found there had been a demand by regular customers and visitors for wine. Over sixty customers had signed a petition for the wine licence, and the list included twenty-two ladies.

There was no opposition and the application was granted.

 

From the https://www.kentlive.news By Lauren MacDougall, 25 June 2018.

8 Shepherd Neame pubs in Kent have been recognised in the brewery's annual awards.

The Faversham brewery has held its annual awards - and plenty of pubs in Kent cleaned up at the special ceremony.

Shepherd Neame has announced the winners of its annual pub awards, with eight of its 322 pubs and hotels across London and the South East taking home prizes.

The awards were announced in a ceremony at the Conningbrook Hotel, Ashford on Tuesday, June 19 and honour pubs from all over the county, from Dover to Canterbury.

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “This has been a year of record investment in our pub estate, as we aim to attract our customers through great design, to excite them with a superb offer and to retain them by providing a memorable experience.

“These awards are aimed at recognising the hard work, dedication, and creativity of our licensees, managers and staff, and celebrating excellence in our industry.”

This pub picked up one of the awards.

The Old Neptune in Whitstable was named Tenanted Pub of the Year. Licensee Darren Wilton was praised by judges for his enthusiasm and dedication to ensure the pub is at the heart of its local community.

Boasting a unique beach location, the Old Neptune offers a great choice of drinks along with delicious home cooked food.

Jonathan Neame awaring licensees 2017

Jonathan Neame presents the award to Darren Wilton, pictured with wife Keely.

It is also a popular live music venue, with free performances every Saturday and Sunday.

Darren said: “I’m elated to win this award. We work really hard, and for our efforts to be acknowledged in this way is just fantastic. The ‘Neppy’ is a very special pub, and hopefully this award will encourage more people to come down to Whitstable and see what we have to offer.”

 

From the https://www.kentonline.co.uk By Rebecca Tuffin, 24 August 2019.

13 Kent pub gardens to visit this summer bank holiday weekend.

With this bank holiday weekend set to one of hottest yet, many will be longing for an ice-cold pint in a sunny beer garden.

So we have found some of the best Kent has to offer.

Listed below are 13 of the county's finest spots to meet with friends and indulge in good food and drink.

The Old Neptune.

Old Neptune outside seating 2019

The Old Neptune outside area.

Right on the seafront, The Old Neptune sits alone on the shingle and is one of only a handful of pubs on Britain's beaches.

The authentic white weatherboards stand out on the coastline, with several table set out front while watching the sun set over the ocean.

Located in the heart of Whitstable’s popular fishing town, the tavern offers a choice of local ales, a generous wine list and great home-cooked food.

 

From the https://www.kentonline.co.uk By Secret Drinker, 27 January 2020.

Secret Drinker reviews the Old Neptune pub on Whitstable beach.

Having been a student in this neck of the woods more years ago than I’d care to remember there are a few pubs which hold a special place in my heart.

The Old Neptune in Whitstable is one such place so, after decades away, I decided it was time to head back to the beach and see if it’s as good as I remember.

My last visit left me with a flashback of coming to lying on a stony beach, more sunburned than I would have liked, alongside a Dutch girl called Gerda.

January 2020 in the Old Neptune was very different, but the place is incredibly dog friendly so I was accompanied by the SD hound and tied her firmly to a table leg. In fact, the place attracts so many dogs I began to wonder of it was compulsory to take a four-legged friend.

It was fairly buzzing, particularly for a Monday lunchtime, and we only just got a table. It was busy enough to have two barmaids working. One of them reckoned it was colder inside the pub than outside, but she was clearly mad and I declined her invitation to feel how cold her ears were.

When I was last here the students spilled out across the beach with their drinks and there are still plenty of picnic benches out front but, unsurprising, they were empty at this time of year. In fact, the clientele was much less student-like and more your ageing hipster types – where are my earrings and red and white neckerchief, not to mention long grey hair, when I need them?

I kept things straightforward with a pint of Whitstable Bay Pale Ale at 3.9% (when in Rome hey) and a jacket potato with chilli and cheese.

Old Neptune bar 2020

Beautifully maintained, the perfectly polished brass pumps, traditional beer towels and reassuring slope all add to the charm of the bar.

The first, and most important, part of the meal was well poured and delivered exactly what I expected – a refreshing and refined ale with just enough maltiness and fruitiness to tempt me into a second. The spud was also pretty good and arrived in a timely fashion. Unfortunately I then got carried away and ordered a syrup sponge and custard – this certainly didn’t live up to the quality of the spud or the pint and had obviously been heated in its packaging before being plonked on some of the lumpiest custard I’ve come across.

When The Old Neptune first opened in the 1850s it was converted from two cottages and has changed a fair bit over the years.

When I first visited there was a pool table upstairs and another bar but it’s now just accommodation. I also have a vague recollection of the place being badly damaged in a fire when someone left a candle unattended, but I might be wrong?

There are plenty of pictures and knick-knacks dotted about detailing the pub’s considerable history but there are also a large number of paintings and prints with price tags attached.

At this point one of the barmaids pulled on a parka jacket to pop out for a fag, which, more than anything else, date stamped both the place and her.

The food, like everything else, is traditional pub fare and is served through an old-style stable door from the kitchen.

I did hear a few rave reviews about the fish and chips, but most items looked fairly standard.

There's stripped wooden floorboards with an assortment of benches and chairs as you would expect and a number of cushions scattered about to keep the ladies happy. I particularly liked the small log burner which opened on two sides, although it wasn’t lit when we were in.

Over the years, sitting right on the beach (not near it or overlooking it, but right on it) the bar itself has developed a decent slope and, along with its polished brass pumps, adds to the nostalgic feel.

Old Neptune fireplace

The place was busy for a Monday lunchtime and, although not alight when we were in, I particularly like the fireplace which opened on two sides.

But, the uniforms of the kitchen staff, embroidered with www.thepubonthebeach.co.uk perfectly demonstrate the Neppy, as it is known locally, has moved into the modern world and taken full advantage of its unique position.

It might be a great summer pub and I’m sure we’ll be back when the weather warms up, but both the hairy hound and I enjoyed our winter visit and can recommend this as a great place to end a walk on the beach.

Old Neptune inside

The bar is well stocked with both drinks and knick-knacks – I’m assuming the landlord is a Hammer.

Old Neptune gents toilets 2020

To describe the gents as bijou is an understatement, they are well-kept and clean, but you won’t be swinging any cats.

Old neptune inside 2020

You can see the staff in action as the kitchen leads directly into the bar and has a stable-style door.

 

From an email received 7 September 2022.

My name is Violet Maidment of Glenelg, South Australia. I am the last great granddaughter of Henry Keam, licensee of the "Neptune" for around 47 years when he passed it to his Son Nathaniel.

His Son, my Grandfather, was George James Keam who lived at the "Neptune" for many of his young years, sea faring Oyster Dredger and working on Coasters on East side of Britain.

George James Keam was at No 64 Middle Wall with his wife Margaret and three daughters; Mary, my mother, Ada and May from where he joined the Navy as RNR at the beginning of the war on HMS Cressy, one of three ships torpedoed 6 weeks into the war with loss of 1457 lives, many from Whitstable.

We heard nothing of Grandfathers family history or his brother Nathaniel who was denied a long tenure of The Neppie because of yet another huge storm.

My sister and I visited The Neptune in 2012, a very exciting moment to see H Keam still etched above the door.

Locals were so interested in what I had to say and asked me to send some information which I did.

The Oyster Dredgers would drink there after their hard efforts at sea and no doubt eat many oysters.

My mother took me to a holiday camp in Whitstable on many occasions near the beach from where you had a view of the Neptune but she never mentioned it.

I am so pleased it is still functioning and bringing enjoyment to people from around the world. I hope it continues.

Violet Maidment, ne Wilson, (ne Keam).

 

 

LICENSEE LIST

KEAM Henry 1858-95 dec'd (also sawyer age 71 in 1891Census)

KEAM Nathanial (son) 1895-1911+ (age 37 in 1901Census)

RANSLEY H Mr 1936+

GEDGES Mr & Mrs Janet late 60s-early 70s

MARSDEN Ken 1970s

WILTON Darren & Keely Aug/2004-2021+

https://pubwiki.co.uk/OldNeptune.shtml

 

CensusCensus

 

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

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