Sort file:- Whitstable, February, 2024.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 01 February, 2024.


Earliest 1879

(Name from)

Royal Navy Reserve

Open 2022+

28-30 High Street


01227 272068

Royal Navy Reserbe 1896

Above photo circa 1896, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. This photo was taken when the pub only occupied No.28 High Street. Rigden's Faversham Brewery appears to have acquired No.30 c.1900 and enlarged the pub soon afterwards.

The name W. Gammon can be seen on the wall at the top of the page. He was a member of the Royal Naval Reserves in 1878-79 and it is believed he was responsible for changing the pub's name. So perhaps the photo should be circa 1880s, William being licensee of the "Ship Centurion" in 1889.

Royal Navy Reserve

Above photo date unknown. Also showing the "Duke of Cumberland" centre.

Royal Navy Reserve 1906

Same picture as above but showing slightly more, circa 1906, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Royal Navy Reserve 1910

Above photo, circa 1910.

Royal Navy Reserve 1910

Above postcard coloured from above photo, circa 1910. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Royal Navy Reserve 1950s

Above photo, circa 1950s. Kindly sent by Laura Dawson. Only person identified is the tallest man in the back row on the centre right, named Mr. Barton.

Above pictures taken from 2014.

Royal Nave Reserve 2019

Above photo, 2019.

Royal Navy Reserve signRoyal Navy Reserve sign 1990

Above sign left, date unknown, sign right, August 1990.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Royal Navy Reserve 2010Royal navy Reserve sign 2019

Above sign left 2010. Sign right 2019 by Shaun Gardener.


The pub was originally called the "Rose" changing name in 1867 (perhaps as late as 1879 by W Gammon, due to recent information supplied) in honour of the Royal Navy Reserve who honoured themselves in  the Crimean War 1854-56.

I also have reference to a "Navy Reserve" from Kelly's directory of 1924, but thy could well of cut off the Royal prefix.

It is rumoured that around 1980 Johnnie Kray (a cousin of the twins) was in the pub for a lunchtime meeting with two associates, which involved the passing over of a very large sum of cash in a supermarket bag. At the end of this meeting, Johnnie and his friends left the pub, with each thinking one of the others had picked up the bag. Half an hour later, one the associates returned and found that the bag was not where it had been left. He asked the barman if he'd picked up the bag and it turned out that he had and that it was behind the bar for safekeeping. The associate took the bag and retired to a quiet corner to count the cash.

When he'd finished counting it, the associate went up to the barman and gave him 50, saying "Mr. Kray told me to give you this... if you'd been a good boy." History does not record what Mr. Kray may have told his associate to give the barman... if he'd been a naughty boy!


I will be adding further information to this page. I am certainly interested in any old photographs you may have, or information regarding licensees names and years of service.

If anything is incorrect on these pages, please let me know. Your help is appreciated.


Herne Bay Press, Saturday 1 October 1898.


Ernest Stroud, of the "Royal Native Inn," Whitstable, applied for a license to sell wine to be consumed on the premises.

The application stated that the license had been granted by the bench on a previous occasion, but he had mistaken the date for its confirmation, hence the second application.

The application was granted.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Friday 20 May 1977.

New face behind the bar at the 'Naval Reserve'.

One of Whitstable's best known High Street public houses the "Royal Naval Reserve," has a new landlord.

Fred Ruck

The new landlord of the "Royal Naval Reserve," Mr. Fred Ruck, celebrates taking over the High Street public house.

He is 48-year-old Mr. Fred Ruck, former licensee of the "Golden Eagle," Sittingbourne. His old pub is still awaiting new tenants.

That means that he and his wife, Nell, are currently trying to run two pubs at the same time.

Before taking over the "Golden Eagle," Mr. Ruck had a newsagent's and tobacconist's business, and before that was a docker for 20 years. He was born in East London.

Mr. Ruck, a sporting fan, was delighted to learn of the "Naval Reserves" men's and ladles’ football sides. "I shall definitely give them every support," he said. "And I think I shall become a Whitstable Town supporter as so many of their players come in the Naval.”

At his Sitingbourne pub, the main interests were darts and pool and the pub team were the runners-up for the Kent area in the recent national pub pool finals.

He was very impressed with the atmosphere of the "Naval Reserve" when he first visited it. "It's a good pub and I was naturally keen to become licensee," he said. "It seems to be one of the most popular pubs in the town.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Thursday 14 November 1985.

Drunken Pub Man In Court.

A Whitstable landlord, who was arrested for being drunk and disorderly, was thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour, magistrates were told on Wednesday.

Frederick Ruck (55) of the "Royal Navy Reserve" public house in the High Street, admitted being drunk and disorderly and was fined 20 with 10 costs by Canterbury Magistrates.

Inspector Alan Hughes said that on 2:35 a.m. on 21 October, police saw Ruck shouting outside the pub. He said Ruck appeared to be having a domestic argument of some sort and went back inside, but he later came out again and continued shouting.


From the By Dan Wright, 14 September 2015.

Naked drink-driver Martin Clark, from Ramsgate, almost hit cyclist in Whitstable High Street.

A drink-driver spotted naked at the wheel of his BMW almost knocked down a cyclist as he fled a busy high street.

Martin Clark was more than double the legal limit and wearing no clothes when he pulled into the path of the rider in Whitstable.

Just seconds before, police had been called after the 44-year-old was seen outside the Royal Naval Reserve pub.

Prosecutor Anna Kachingwe told Margate Magistrates’ Court on Friday how Clark’s naked exploits were caught on CCTV at 2.30pm on May 29.

She said: “The footage clearly showed the male drive this vehicle in a busy road – the whole incident is captured and shows the defendant sitting in his car with no clothes on.”

In a victim impact statement read out in court, a woman who spotted Clark said: “I walked up to the vehicle and realised he was intoxicated.

“From my view across the street, his behaviour was erratic and not normal.

“I was shocked by his behaviour as the High Street was very busy.

“The male was totally oblivious to what was going on around him. By this stage my daughter had rung the police twice.

“We both waited for the police while we saw the male push his seat back and drive across the road.

“He didn’t indicate and narrowly missed a male cyclist who had swerved on to the pavement.”

Clark, who works in Sheerness and represented himself, was only stopped when a member of the public took the keys from his ignition.

He was breathalysed and had 89 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of his breath. The legal limit is 35.

Representing himself, Clark told magistrates: “I feel very sorry for those people who witnessed what happened that day.

“I don’t know why – I feel I had a breakdown at that time.

“It’s something which I will not be repeating in any shape or form.”

Clark, of Whitehall Road, Ramsgate, pleaded guilty to outraging public decency and drink-driving.

He was given a year-long community order, including 120 hours unpaid work, and banned from driving for 18 months.


From the By Lydia Chantler-Hicks, 20 January 2019.

Fears revamp of the Royal Naval Reserve in Whitstable will spoil 259-year-old pub.

Customers fear a major refurbishment could spoil the traditional feel of a 259-year-old pub.

The Royal Naval Reserve has stood in Whitstable High Street since 1760.

But last Sunday, it closed its doors and is expected to stay shut until March while owner Shepherd Neame gives the building a 250,000 revamp.

Now some punters are worried the historic ale house - hailed as “one of Whitstable’s most inviting, homely pubs” - will lose its down-to-earth charm.

Jan Wake-Modell, who lives nearby and regards the Naval as her local, said: “Such a shame. It’s a proper pub and all human life is there. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s a locals’ pub that will be turned into yet another identikit format. Yes, it’s old and tatty, but that’s why we love it. The landlord is great and will be missed.”

Many other punters have expressed dismay at the news.

The pub was taken on by experienced landlord Christian Diamant two years ago. He credits its success with a focus on “old school” qualities - traditional food, ales, pub quizzes and a homely interior complete with naval memorabilia.

Christian said: “I love it - it’s a good example of a good, honest town centre pub.

Royal Navy Reserve proposed look

An image showing how the pub might look after the refurbishment. Picture: County Signs UK Ltd.

“I took over when it was suffering and I turned it around. I brought it back to its roots - the history of the pub is very important. A lot of people in Whitstable like the Royal Naval Reserve - it’s well-respected.

“It’s great for food in the day, drinks in the evening. We’re not a gastropub - we serve great-quality pub grub. Home-made ham and chips, roasts, steak and ale pie, fish and chips.”

But Christian is not sure if he will want to take on the Naval again after its overhaul.

“The refurb is a Shepherd Neame decision,” he said. “The previous landlord was here for so long, so the pub hasn’t had anything doing to it internally or externally for 25 to 30 years.

“I want to stay, but I don’t know if I will,” he said. “I just have to work out if it’s a pub I want to go back to or not.”

Chriatian Diamant 2019

Pictured is Christian Diamant, pub is being refurbished.

In the meantime, Christian is taking over the Blean Tavern in Blean, which is set to reopen on January 23. His current chef will be going with him, and will continue to serve favourites from the Royal Naval Reserve’s menu.

Shepherd Neame says: “The development scheme will be conducted in a sympathetic manner, paying attention to the history of the building and incorporating the pub’s unique features into the new design.

“The refurbished pub will include an upgraded feature bar servery and relaxed drinking area, a separate mezzanine style restaurant for approximately 30 covers and a good sized fully equipped trade kitchen to the rear of the site.

“The Royal Naval will claim fresh kerb appeal with an external redecoration and new signage and lighting to the front of the building.

"To the back, you will find a covered smoking area and a courtyard style garden with garden furniture, lighting and heating.”


Royal Navy Reserve locals 2022

Above photo May/2022, kindly sent by Laura Dawson.



GAMMON William J 1879+ Next pub licensee had

MARSH Henry 1882-91+

STROUD Ernest 1898+

CLARK Thomas Charles 1901-18+ (age 56 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1903

LEE Henry 1922-30+

LAMB Louis Francis 1938-39+ (age 44 in 1939)

LAMB Winifred May to Feb/1965

LEAVENS Roland Ernest Feb/1965+

Last pub licensee had RUCK Frederick May/1977-85+

Last pub licensee had DIAMENT Christian 2017-Mar/2019 Next pub licensee had

DAWSON Laura Mar/2019-22+


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903



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