Sort file:- Deal, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 07 September, 2021.


Earliest 1839

(Name from)

Queens Arms Inn

Latest Feb 1965

145 High Street

38 Lower Street Bagshaw's Directory 1847Post Office Directory 1874


Queen's Arms circa 1955

Above photo showing the Queen's Arms, circa 1955.

Robinson family 1900

Above photo showing Edward Francis and Leonora Annie Robinson with their children circa 1900. Kindly sent by Stephen Crowhurst.

Queen's Arms Map 1870

Above map 1870.


Research suggests that this pub was formally the "Phoenix" and changed name about 1821.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 12 April 1856.

Deal Quarter Sessions.

John Winch a travelling man, was charged with stealing a terrestrial globe, the property of Mr. R. Lownds, of the "Queen's Arms Inn," value 4s. on the 1st of January last.

Mr. Towne, solicitor, of Ramsgate, conducted the defence.

From the evidence that appeared that prisoner went to into Mr. Lownds' at 3 o'clock, and left again about 4. Shortly after Mr. Lownds missed the globe in question and immediately gave information at the police office, which led to the prisoner's arrest. It seems that prisoner went into Mr. Folwell's, silversmith, to ascertain the value of the globe, and afterwards into the "New Inn," stating that he had been to the Crimea, and that the globe had been his conductor.

Mr. Towne addressed the jury and expressed his sincere belief that it was a mistake.

The Recorder having commented on Mr. Townes defence, summed up, and after a short deliberation the jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the prisoner was sentenced to 1 months' hard labour.


South Eastern Gazette 07 December 1858.


The "Queen's Arms Inn," Deal.

For particulars apply to R. R. Lownds, on the premises.



With Immediate Possession.

A Beer and Eating House, in a central part of town, making up 12 beds.

For particulars apply to H. H., the "George William," King-street, Ramsgate.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 16 October, 1869. 1d.


Yesterday (Friday) morning G. Mercer, Esq., Coroner, held an inquest at the Town Hall on the body of a man unknown, but whose name was supposed to be John Johnson, a wayfarer, who had been found dead in a water closet at the "Queen's Arms Inn," Lower Street, on the previous evening. Mr. W. Fells was chosen foreman of the jury, and the body, which presented a very emaciated and half-starved appearance, having been viewed, the following evidence was adduced:-

Mr. W. Burville Mackie deposed: I was walking in the Sandhills yesterday, about a quarter to eleven o'clock, and met a person coming towards Deal. It was the same person whose body had just been viewed at the "Queen's Arms." He was eating something white at the time, but I don't know what it was. My dog ran up to him and he patted it. I called the dog away, and after the man had got a few yards away I saw him stumble and fall. He picked himself up again, however, directly, and then went on his way. I went down in the Marshes and got back again about a quarter to one or so to one o'clock, and I then fell in with him again near Sandown Castle. He was walking towards the Castle and I went across the field.

P.C. Spicer said: Yesterday, about ten minutes or a quarter past one, I saw the deceased near the "Fawn" beer-shop in Lower Street, near the bottom of Bridge Row. He crossed the road to a garden fence and he appeared to be retching and bringing something up. He stopped there a few moments, and then walked steadily along Lower Street, and the last I saw of him was when he got near Alfred Square. I did not see him after he got to Alfred Square. I did not speak to him. He seemed to walk slowly, and as he staggered a little I thought he had been drinking.

By the Foreman: He did not appear to require any help or looking after.

Sarah Cunningham, widow, was the next witness. She said: I live at No 12, Middle Street, and go out to work. Yesterday I was at work at the "Queen's Arms," and deceased came there for lodgings. Directly he got in he called for two-pennyworth of gin at the bar. It was served him and he drank it. After that he asked me to show him the kitchen, which I did. He then wanted me to let him sit down by the fire, which I did. Whilst he was sitting there he rather vomited and I gave him  a spittoon, but nothing came off his stomach but the gin he had just taken. I left him and went to do my work, and when I returned about ten minutes I found him sitting in another chair away from the fire. He then asked me to lead him to the water closet, which I did, and as he staggered I led him up by the arm, and I think if i had not done so he would have fallen. I opened the closet door for him and led him in, but did not assist him after he was in. I left him there and he shut the door. The water-closet is in the yard close to where I was working, and if he had groaned at all I must have heard him. I did not see him come out and I went on with my work, and, in fact, forgot all about the matter. About half-past four or five o'clock Mr. Marshall came in where I was at work, just as we had done tea, and I told him about the man going into the water-closet, which I remembered again then, and he at once went out there. He came back in two minutes and said to me and his wife that he thought the man was dead and that he should run for Mr. Parker, the Superintendent of Police. I then went and looked and saw the man sitting on the seat, resting his head against the wall of the closet, apparently dead. I did not go up to him. When deceased came in he told me he had been eating a mushroom and was afraid he had poisoned himself. This was just after he had drunk the gin. He did not complain that anything was the matter with him, he only said he had eaten the mushroom. I did not tell Mr. Marshall this, but I did Mr. Parker.

The Foreman: How long was it after he came in before he went to the water-closet?

Witness: About half-an-hour.

In answer to further questions witness said deceased was in the closet about two hours altogether, and the only thing he said to her after telling her about the mushroom was to ask her to lead him to the closet.

The Coroner thought it remarkable that the witness should have allowed so long a time to elapse between the man's going into the closet and her speaking of it, but Mrs. Cunningham explained this by saying that it frequently happened that persons were in the closet two and three hours at a time, and that being occupied about her work she had not noticed the matter.

Mr. W. James Marshall then deposed: I am the landlord of the "Queen's Arms," public-house, Lower Street. About a quarter before five o'clock yesterday I was in the bar, and Mrs. Cunningham came to me and said she thought a man was out in the closet, and had been there two hours. In consequence of this I went out to see if there was anything the matter. When I opened the door, which was not quite closed, I saw the deceased sitting on the seat, leaning against the wall, and at first thought he was asleep, as travelling people often do go to sleep out there. I felt his legs and found they were cold, and I then closed the door and went in and said I thought the man was dead, and at once went for the police. There were no marks of vomit on the floor, but deceased's shirt was wet right up to the throat as if he had vomited. As soon as I found he was dead, I thought it my duty to go for Mr. Parker at once.

Dr. Williams said: I am duly registered medical practitioner at Deal. Yesterday afternoon about five o'clock I was called to the "Queen's Arms," and I found deceased in a back room of the house lying on some boards on the ground. On examining him I found that he was dead, and had been, I should think, two or three hours, as he was quite cold at the extremities. I heard from Mrs. Cunningham that deceased appeared as if he was drunk, as she said, and that he had told her he thought he had poisoned himself with a mushroom, in fact, just as she had given her evidence to day. From the symptoms spoken of by P.C. Spicer, I should also fancy deceased was under the influence of some narcotic poison - possibly that of a poisonous mushroom. He had all the symptoms which a poisonous mushroom would produce. The operation of poisonous fungi is two-fold - in some cases they produce irritation of the bowels, pain, colic, and diarrhoea; in others they produce all the symptoms of a narcotic - giddiness, and confusion of vision. This would cause congestion of the blood-vessels of the brain, and consequent death. There are no marks of violence on the body, and I am of opinion that deceased died from some poison, and very likely from eating what he stated he had. The operation of the poison of a mushroom is very varied, according to the idiosyncrasy of the person.

The Coroner having briefly gone over the evidence, the jury at once returned a verdict to the effect that deceased died from poison accidentally taken.

Several of the jurymen recollected having seen the deceased about the town, and Mr. Marshall said he lodged at his house for one night about a fortnight since, but had given no name. The only thing found by the police on searching the body that at all pointed to his identity was a night order for the Minster Union, which was in the name of John Johnson, and dated 22nd September 1869. Deceased also had in his possession a leathern purse containing 6d., an unused quill pen, and a bundle of paper, a couple of maps of Essex and Kent, a copy of the "Gravesend Guide," and a printed report of the Birbeck Benefit Building Society. It was generally considered, from the appearance of the corpse, that deceased had formerly belonged to some profession, and in his youth had seen better days.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 11 December, 1869. 1d.


MONDAY:- Before the Mayor, E. Brown, J. Iggulden, and J. Hughes, Esqs.

James Ripley, 40, blacksmith, was brought up on suspicion, charged with stealing a number of articles belonging to his employer, Mr. S. Thompson, who carries on business in Lower Street.

P.C. Spicer said: I am one of the police-constables of Deal.On Saturday night about midnight I was at the "Queen's" Arms" public-house, having been called there by the landlord to clear the house. The prisoner was there and left when we did, and I saw him again about a quarter of an hour afterwards come down Duke Street. About two o'clock I was standing besides Mr. Eastes', the news-vendor, at the bottom of Farrier Street, and whilst there heard the snap of a lock. I looked along Lower Street in the direction of Mr. Thompson's shop, and saw the prisoner Ripley come out of the shop. I heard the lock go again as if he were locking the door. I waited a second or two to see which way he was going and saw him go towards Duke Street. I followed him and saw him look round as he turned the corner. When I got round into Duke Street I lost sight of him. There are several alleys in Duke Street and I imagined he had got into one of them, and I whistled for assistance. Sergt. Brothers came and we then went into the alley at the back of Mr. Parker's, the butcher, and there found the prisoner lying on the ground in the corner apparently asleep. Sergt. Brothers said to him, "Holloa! what are you doing here?" and the prisoner replied, "I and my wife had a few words and I came out again and laid down here." We both then looked at the top of the fence, where we saw an iron kettle and a mason's iron stove. We asked the prisoner what he had got there and he said, "They are mine." Brothers then took them down, and I charged the prisoner on suspicion of stealing them and told him I had seen him come out of Mr. Thompson's shop, and he said, "Very well." I cautioned him in the usual way, and told him that whatever he said I could state as evidence against him, and that he need not say anything unless he liked. On searching him when we arrived at the station-house I found these two screw-drivers in his coat pocket. At nine o'clock the same morning I was instructed by Sergt. Parker to go and search the prisoner's premises, No. 5, St Andrews cottages, West Street, and accordingly went there, accompanied by Sergt. Brothers and Mr. Thompson. On arriving there Sergt. Brothers told the prisoner's wife that we had come to search the house. I went to a lodge which adjoins the house at the rear, and in it I found the following articles, viz., eight pieces of iron guttering (concealed under the bench), twelve iron sash weights (various sizes), two shovels, one flat iron (new), two Dutch hoes, one other hoe, one fork handle, one hand hammer, one pair of smith's tongs, one rasp, and sundry files, and other articles. Mr. Thompson was present and identified the things as his property., and we brought them away and now produce them. Mr. Thompson also identified the kettle and stove which we found in the alley with the prisoner as his property.

Prisoner was asked if he had any questions to ask the witness, and replied, "I say they are not Thompson's property."

Sergt. Brothers deposed: I went to P.C. Spicer in Duke Street, about two o'clock on Sunday morning, and went with him into the alley which turns out of that street, and we there found the prisoner as stated by Spicer in his evidence. On the fence we found the two articles specified, viz., the kettle and stove, which were claimed by the prisoner. On searching him after he went at the station-house I found the brass tap produced in his left-hand pocket. I went with P.C. Spicer and Mr. Thompson to search the prisoner's premises and saw Spicer find the articles mentioned in his evidence, and I also myself found in the lodge a frying-pan and two broken skeleton keys; and in the kitchen I found one tin pot and two tin dishes. When the things were brought to the station-house Supt. Parker called the prisoner out of his cell and told him they had been found on his premises and that he should further charge him with having stolen them. Prisoner then disputed the guttering and the hammer, and said he bought the guttering off Mr. Christian and that the hammer was never on Thompson's premises at all. He made no claim to anything else.

Mr. Samuel Thompson then deposed: I am a blacksmith and ironmonger at Deal. I have a forge, store, and warehouse in Lower Street. They adjoin each other, but only the store and warehouse are connected internally. In the store or warehouse I had a quantity of iron and other goods for sale. The prisoner has been in my service for five years, and was so up to this occurrence. I have lately had occasion to suspect him and therefore took precautions to prevent him going into the warehouse and store. I have seen and examined the several articles produced by Sergt. Brothers and P.C. Spicer, and I identify as my property the kettle and the mason's stove. The brass tap I can't swear to - all I can say as to that is that on Friday I had a couple of taps just like this one rolled up together in brown paper, that I have not sold one, and that there is now only one; therefore I have no hesitation in believing the one produced to be my property, as it corresponds exactly with the other one. I can't swear positively as to the shovels, but they are exactly similar to those I have in stock and also bear the same label, and there has been an erasure of the price, which was at precisely the same spot as where my shovels are marked. The guttering I am also unable to swear to but I believe it to be mine, as it is marked with rust just in the same manner as that I have in store, as the water runs in at the place where I keep it. Neither can I swear to the sash-weights, but I have some in store similar to the smaller one produced, and which have the same trade-mark. I can swear to the tin dishes by their mark, and about 15 months ago I missed a rasp which was exactly the same length as the one produced. I spoke to Ripley about the rasp at the time, but he said he knew nothing about it. Two of the hoes produced I believe from the manner in which they are made were made for me by a man named Philpotts, who worked for me before the prisoner came, and the other two I believe Ripley made himself. Prisoner used to have the key to the forge, but latterly he has not had access to the store. I think that all these articles, which are similar to those I deal in and use, are my property, but it is extremely difficult to identify every article; but to the best of my belief the whole of the articles produced are my property. The hammer I missed three years ago, and I believe it was made for me by a man named Mount. I estimate the lowest value of the things to be about 2 10s.

Prisoner denied that the hammer had ever been on Mr. Thompson's premises, and he also reiterated the statement with respect to the guttering. One of the small pieces produced, he said, he had purchased off Mr. Thompson himself.

Mr. Thompson, however, said he had no knowledge whatsoever of the matter.

The prisoner was then informed that the Magistrates intended committing him for trial, and he need not then say anything unless he pleased, but whatever he did say would be taken down in writing and might be used against him at his trial.

After some hesitation the Prisoner said: All that I have got to say is that the property does not belong to Thompson.

Mr. George Pilcher, wheelwright, of Wingham, father-in-law of the prisoner, inquired if the Magistrates would take bail. At first they seemed hardly disposed to do so, but ultimately consented, provided that two sureties of 25 each could be found, and the prisoner was bound over in 50.

The required sureties were not forthcoming, and the prisoner was therefore taken to Sandwich gaol.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 1 January, 1932. Price 1d.


Before the Mayor (Capt. C. P. Davis C.C.) and Alderman C. R. Darrocott at Deal Police Court on Monday, John Watt (29), of 50, Cowdray Square, Harold Shillabeer (25), of 26, Davis Avenue, Mill Hill, Sidney Stanford Shillabeer, of 34, Cowdrey Square, and Frederick John Alexander (23), of 4, Crompton Terrace, Station Road, Walmer. Were charged with breaking and entering the Welfare Club at Cowdray Square, Mill Hill, and stealing two bottles of whisky, three bottles of rum, two bottles of gin, and one part bottle of gin, one part bottle of brandy, one part bottle of vermouth, 80 packets of various brands of cigarettes, in packets of 10, and two packets of Woodbine cigarettes each containing 250 packets of five, of the total value of 9, the property of the Welfare Club Committee, at Deal, between 12.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. o December 27th.

P.S. Knight stated that at noon on the 27th December, in consequence of a telephone message he went to the Welfare Club, where he found entrance had been effected through a side window, which had been forced. He made enquiries, and about 9 p.m. the same day, in company with P.S. Hills, he again went to the Club and saw the prisoner Harold Shillabeer with Alexander and Watt. He cautioned them and told them the nature of his enquiries, and asked them to account for their movements the previous night. They each made a statement which they signed. Shillabeer said: “I and three chums left Deal about midnight and walked up to the Welfare Club in Cowdray Square. We were all the worse for drink. When we got to the Club we talked it over, and we decided to break in and steal some drink and cigarettes. I broke into the Club with a man whom I know as “Jock.” The other two remained outside, and we handed the bottles out of the window to them. We shared it out between us, and we drank some and took the remainder to my lodgings. We all remained at my lodgings until the bottles were empty. I still have some of the cigarettes at home.”

The other prisoners' statements were as follows:-

Alexander said: “I was in the “Queen's Arms” last night, the 26th. We went up to the Sea Front some time after midnight. We walked up Mill Road, and about 1 a.m. we broke into the Club and got bottles of spirits and some cigarettes. There were four of us. We shared the cigarettes and drank the spirits.”

Watt said: “I came up Mill Road some time last night. I was drunk. Four of us came up the road together. We came to the Club with the idea of getting a drink, but when we arrived the Club was closed, so we got in and took some drink and drank it.”

Witness added that about 11 p.m. the same day he went to 34, Cowdray Square, where he saw the prisoner Sidney Stanford Shillabeer. He was cautioned, and when asked to account for his movements, made and signed the following statement: “I came up Mill Road about 1 a.m. with my brother and two others whom I know as Fred Alexander and “Jock.” I left them on the corner of Cowdray Square and went home.” Witness then went to a house in Davis Avenue, where the prisoner Harold Shillabeer was lodging and recovered a quantity of various brands of cigarettes. At the Police Station prisoners were again cautioned and charged with being concerned together with breaking into the Welfare Club and stealing the articles enumerated in the charge. They all stated there were two bottles of whisky too many in the list. They admitted taking the rest of the stuff, and that they had 36 packets of cigarettes mentioned in the charge. All they had was 12 packets each.

The only evidence taken was that of arrest by P.S. Knight, and the defendants were remanded in custody to the Petty Sessions of Thursday.

On Thursday all four prisoners were committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions.



by Philip E Robinson (April 1983)

My Grandfather was the landlord of this inn from about 1885-1895. My father, Mr E F Robinson took it off him and continued as tenant from 1895-1916.

This was an inn and as such, bound to provide accommodation and refreshment. Even on a Sunday, when the bar was closed for a few hours, as long as a traveller could prove be came from over 3 miles away, he could claim refreshment.

The inn was of fairly small frontage but great depth, most of the rooms leading off a long central passage.

In the front was a bar and living room, almost all in one, with just a curtain between. No seating in the bar. On the other side of the the passage in the front was the tap-room, which had a large table and some chairs for the convenience of people who would like to sit down. This was, however seldom used, and was latterly used as a sitting when the family appeared. My mother and father were both between 20 and 21 when they were married and took over the inn, and whilst there, seven children were born.

A small scullery with no sink or water laid on, was at the back of the bar, though this lack of water was remedied later. From the scullery, steps led down to a cellar which ran under the two front rooms and partly under the pavement. This was earth-floored and held stock.

Moving towards the the back of the house, on the left of the passage, was the lodgers' mess room. This was at a rather lower level, two steps down from the passage. The floor at this was covered with sea sand.

Further down the passage at the rear of the building were two dormitories, one on either side.

At the back was a big cobbled yard with outhouses and lavatories. In the outhouses was a sink, a huge copper for boiling clothes, a water butt and tap, also lockers for the lodgers to keep perishable food in ex. There was also a coal and wood store. Coal, incidentally, was 1 per ton.

From the back yard an alley led into Duke Street, also to the stables belonging to the inn. The main entrance to the sables being in Duke Street.

During the tenancy of our family, no horses were stabled, but they were let to Mr. Harry Hayward, a boat-builder, whose house was in Middle Street. The mangers and hayracks were still in position in 1916, as far as the writer knows. Mr. Hatward built good boats and was helped by his son. The writer felt very proud when at times he was allowed to assist in "clinching" the copper nails. The normal price for a 14 foot punt, as used on Deal beach in those days, was 12.

Incidentally, on the outhouses, was a fine growth of House leek, or Semper vivum.

House leek Semper Vivum

The living room of the family was adjacent to the bar, screened from it by a 3 foot wide matchboard partition, and the rest by a curtain. All conversation in the bar could be heard in the living room. This room was about 10 by 9 feet and in it we lived. There was not much furniture because there was not much room, a table, a few chairs, a bureau, and a couple of big cupboards on the wall. A naked gas jet, and a coal range on which all cooking was done and water heated. In the evening when we were ready for bed, we washed in a big bowl on the table, and then in our night-dresses we had to walk through the bar, amongst the customers into the passage, from whence a staircase led up to our bedrooms over the front of the house. It amused the customers and we did not think it unusual, for we had grown up with it.


As mentioned before, this room was at a lower level than the passage, a large room about 20 by 14 feet. The floor was wood and was kept clean and fresh with sea sand. In general charge of this room was my father's deputy, a man who kept order. He kept it tidy, tended the fire, kept the kettles filled with water. Also sometimes he would wash clothes for some of the lodgers and probably act as cook if required.

The room was furnished with two big wooden tables made of elm, 4 wooden forms and a few chairs, utility, not comfort, being the keynote. There was a huge cupboard on which the lodgers kept their stocks of tea, sugar etc., also the communal crockery. Incidentally, the tables and chairs were scrubbed every night by the landlord after the bar was closed, probably about 11.15 p.m.

There was a large open grate which burned coke and was generally kept well stoked up, for on this the lodgers cooked all their meals. Coke was 4d. per bushel at the time of which I am writing. On the hob were usually kept boiling two big iron kettles holding a couple of gallons each. There were also two large oval iron cauldrons which were used for soap making, and a large iron frying pan with which most of the cooking was done. Basins for drinking, also cutlery and crockery were supplied. The lodgers cooked and ate all their meals in this communal mess room.


The dormitory on the right of the passage held 12 single beds, six a side with a wooden table down the centre, there were also chairs and chambers supplied. Iron bedsteads, some beds stuffed with oat chaff and some with feathers, the usual number of sheets and blankets as required. Incidentally when my mother and father took over, they increased the number of beds. My father bought a sewing machine and my mother spent the first few days making sheets from unbleached calico.

The dormitory on the left, had six beds, a table and the usual furnishings.

Upstairs there were four bedrooms for lodgers, double beds for married couples, and one with a single bed. There were three bedrooms over the front for the family, which were locked away from the lodgers quarters. My father was mindful of fire precautions, for in my parents' room was a home made rope ladder, which would fasten on to hooks on the wall under the window sill.

The rent of the inn paid to the brewers (firstly Messrs. Hills and then Messrs. Thompson, the Walmer Brewers) was 16 per year, also rates and taxes.


A bed in a dormitory was 4d per night. He single room upstairs was 6d per night, and double rooms 8d per night.


Beer and porter drawn from the cellar by engine was 2d per pint. Old ale and bitter which had to be brought by hand from the cellar - old ale 4d and bitter 3d per pint.

My father was noted for his old ale, probably because he never tapped it under 3 months, and preferred to keep it longer before sale. Some folk swore by it for stomach trouble, and people used to come for it from Walmer and Kingsdown. Gin, rum and brandy was sold over the counter at 1/- per half pint. The normal call over the counter was for two pennyworth of any spirit.

Very little bottled beer was kept, except for a few customers, to whom my father delivered.

There was also a big stock of clay pipes which were given free to customers on request. These pipes cost 1/- per gross and were made by Mr. Harrison who lived in Beach Street just at the back of the "Port Arms."

Shag tobacco was 4d per once, Woodbines 5 for 1d. Brimstone matches were bought from the shops at 2d per dozen boxes.


From 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays. On Sunday 12 noon to 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. But if a traveller came along on Sunday he could be served at any time.

There were some early morning callers on weekdays, who came in for twopenny worth of rum and a ha-porth of milk.

Also sold in the bar were big round hard, crisp biscuits. These were about 5" diameter and were made by Mr. Selth, a baker on the South corner of Coppin Street and Middle Street. These were of the texture of a ship's biscuit, and eaten with a piece of cheese and a glass of bitter, were very tasty. This was often called for at the bar.

My father had a long day. He opened the bar at 7 a.m. By 9 a.m. all the lodgers would be up, and he would turn down all the beds in the dormitories, open the windows and clean and sweep up. My mother, in the meantime, would have got the breakfast, the children to school, and the usual housewifely duties, at the same time tending the bar. During the rest of the day my father would serve at the bar. My grandfather would sometimes come in from 10 a.m. to noon whilst my father looked after his allotment, which was situated at the level crossing near the Potteries. We always kept a punt on the beach at the opening near the Pilot House, and sometimes he would go off fishing for a couple of hours, when grandfather came down, I generally went with him when it was school holidays or on a Saturday. I would dig the bait the day before. Of interest to the younger generation is the fact that one could always go opposite the Coastguard Station at low tide, whether at "Springs" or "Neaps" and dig plenty of common lug. No need to go further North. At the Equinoxes, the writer has dug log off Farrier Street.

During the evening, my father was always busy at the bar till 11 p.m., when it was cleared and the door closed. The bar would be locked up and my father would then scour the tables and chairs in the lodgers' mess room, and then to bed. A woman came in once a week and washed sheets in the outhouse, blankets were washed in the summer.

About dinner time quite a few people would come in for jugs of beer to take home, and there were some regulars to whom my father delivered jugs of beer or porter, most days.

At 11 a.m. or thereabouts on most mornings, there were regular customers for a "schooner" of bitter, in much the same way as coffee is now taken. These regulars were mostly nearby tradesmen. I can remember two butchers coming with their aprons on, a greengrocer, a baker and a blacksmith. Just a short chat and away to their business again. In the evening, the patrons would be the usual callers with some of the lodgers.


These were a real cross section of the community. Some were regulars who made their homes there. Amongst there were 5 Deal boatmen - Tom Kemp, "Chummy" Hayward, "Shoreham" Shelvey, "American" Dave Foster, and Tom Buttress. Also among the regulars were 4 farm labourers and 3 fish hawkers. Also there ere those who made their living from the fields and country in general, i.e. water lilies, and the different spring and summer flowers such as primroses, cowslips and king cups; also blackberries. In the winter one man used to get the sharp thorns from blackthorn. In the evenings he would scrape off the black covering and sell the white spikes to the local butchers, who used them for spiking the price tickets to joints. The scrapings of the thorn were used to make a palatable brew which they called Jerusalem tea. The writer has watched these thorns being scraped, many times, and once tasted the brew, but after this passage of time cannot recall the taste.

The transient lodgers were of many kinds. Among them being painters, who followed the towns around, where there was plenty of work. Also hawkers, who peddled baskets of haberdashery and probably stayed only a few days. Also travelling tinkers and china riveters. These seemed to come about the same time every year, and generally had a handbarrow. It was a sif they had a regular round in this part of the country. Especially in the summer months there was usually an organ grinder staying there, one Italian stayed a year.

These also would usually come round yearly at about the same time. There was a German string band which usually came in the summer, a sextet, which played in the streets and must have gained a fair living. Also a regular one summer was a hapist named Prospero, who played in an orchestra having a summer season on the pier.

During the summer months there was an influx of travelling pea-pickers, and the occasional fruit pickers in the autumn.

There were three different saw-sharpeners.

The lodgers who were out all day generally made a goo breakfast and evening meal, mostly fried. For 3d in those days one could get a fair amount of bacon or meat pieces and these with an onion made a tasty meal. With bread and a pot of tea they were well fed. In the autumn, herring and sprats were a cheap and satisfying meal, when one remembers that when planty of herrings were being caught, they were hawked around the town at 48 for 1/-, sprats 4d a 100, or often given away for a helping hand in heaving up the boats. My father reckons that at these times there were easily 1000 sprats a day being cooked. Sometimes in the winter, when times were hard, a most excellent jug of soup could be had at the soup kitchen in brewer Street. My mother has also made a huge cauldron of soup for the needy ones.

The regular lodgers were, without exception, orderly and hard working.

At the time of which I write, Deal had 4 lodging houses, generally fairly well filled. The "Queen's Arms," "Noah's Ark" in Ark Street, the "Jolly Sailor" in Western Road and the "Maxton Arms" in Western Road.

In the beer cellar under the pavement was an arched vault or passageway leading both North and South, but after some 6 yards either way, this was bricked up. What lay beyond no-one seemed to know. Under the dormitories at the rear of te building was a huge cellar extending the width of the building. This had an earth floor and a chimney breast at either end and was approached by steps leading out of the lodgers' mess room. Again I could never find out if this had even been used.

In the alley leading into Duke Street there was a rain water well or tank, with a pump. Also in the yard was another well or tank covered by a stone slab, with no pump.

In the opening between the Inn and the present garage was a coach builder's premises, the owner's name being Burgess. In the days of which this was written, the business slowly deteriorated and the premises were taken over by a firm of mineral water manufacturers named Souter Mackenzie. In the adjoining cottage on the north side lived old Mrs. Nancy Budd and her invalid husband, the grandparents of those well known Deal boatmen - George, Darky and Bill Budd.

I suppose no description of licensed premises at this period would be complete without some mention of dutiable goods. Tobacco could be bought in our bar. My father would buy cake tobacco at 2/6 per 1lb, this was called Yankee Cake and as the name implied, was in flat oblong cakes. These went 13 to the pound and they were sold for 3d each. There was also shag in packets, and cougars with 50 in a box. My father well remembers a Canterbury man coming in one day with about half a bushel of tobacco and cigars in a sack. He was taking it back to Canterbury to raffle for Xmas.

My father joined the army in 1914, and with some assistance, and my eldest sister, my mother carried on till 1916. It then became more than they could manage, and they gave up the tenancy.

A short history of this kind would not be complete without some mention of the family concerned with the old inn. The writer, one of the sons is writing in the first person, so there should be no confusion over the generations.

Paternal Grandfather Robinson was born in 1845 of an old Deal family closely connected with the Roberts of North Deal, who was second coxswain of the lifeboat.

Paternal Grandmother was born in 1848 in the old "Woolpack Inn," North Lane, Canterbury. Her maiden name was Stroud.

Granfather had three brothers, Ted and Harry were brick-layers like himself, and Bill was in the Navy. Bill deserves some mention bacause his entry into the Navy was unusual. At that time a public house called the "Harp" stood in Middle Street, between Oak and Brewer Streets where a fish and chip shop now stands. The landlord of this was a Mr. Desormeaux, who combined this with a barber's business next door. Young Bill started here as a "lather boy." One day a choleric old boatman was in the chair and annoyed Bill by his irritability. Bill became so incensed that at last he jammed the lather brush in the old chap's mouth, and fled from the shop to the beach - straight into the arms of the Navy. He served in the Navy at the siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean War, was eventually on the Australian station and deserted there. He returned to Deal many years later and finished his active life as a boatman. He was well known for his drinking powers. In those days, money was scarce between "hovels" and the men used to have their beer "on the slate." Bill used the "Napier Arms" and ran up a tidy score. He knew how much he had though, and one day when he called for a pint, said "Landlord, that just makes a barrel."

Grandfather stayed with us for a while just after we were married, and told us that as a young man, he walked to Guston and back each day, to work. It was about a 12 hour day. He could also tell of the great gale of February 1870, when every ship except one, was driven ashore. He was also quite a good performer on the Jew's Harp, an instrument never seen these days. He and Grandmother were married in 1871.

My maternal Grandfather Belsey was born in Canterbury and was a coach painter by trade.

My maternal Grandmother was born in Bury St. Edmuns in an army barracks. Her father Barrettt was a Lifeguardsman, and was at that time the tallest man in the regiment, 6 feet 6 inches. The Belsey's moved to Bromley, where he worked Messrs Chitty, coach-painter. In those days, it was paint and rub down, paint and rub down many times before it was a complete job. He was an excellent and noted craftsman, and as such was entrusted with the most skilful jobs such as lining the panels and painting the monogram. Our young family spent many holidays there when I was a boy. He one thing I can remember of Grandfather Belsey, is of a short man, surly and grumpy.

My father was born in Duke Street, in 1874, and my mother in Canterbury in the same year, and they were married in 1894.

When father was about 10 years old, his parents moved to the "New Inn" in Havelock Street.

He was extremely good at drawing in those days, so much so that he went to the Canterbury School if Art for a time. without paying any fees. However, his parents showed no interest and he eventually left. His drawings and paintings still at home testify to his skill. His parents returned to Deal and took over the "Queen's Arms." He joined the Garrison Artillery and was at Dover Castle for a time.

However, my grandparents wanted to retire in 1895, so father bought himself out of the army, married and took over the "Queen's Arms."

There were 11 children of the marriage, 6 girls and 5 boys, 9 of whom are still alive, one boy dying in infancy. As I mentioned earlier, some were born at the Inn and some at the Homestead, Middle Deal Road. My father had this house built in 1902.

Father was a powerful chap in his young days. When we came ashore from fishing, he would pull the boat up the beach by himself, with some slight assistance from me, I was a lad of about 9 or 10 and I would lay the greased "woods" and "tail" on the painter with him. the boat being a normal 12 foot punt.

He joined the National Reserve just prior to the 1914 war, it was composed of ex-army men. Their job as to guard railway bridges etc. in the event of war. e was called up when war broke out and served for a time around the Medway towns. He transferred to the Royal West Kents and was eventually posted to Lowestoft. In the meantime, mother carried on at the Inn with the help of my sisters Nora, but it was too much for 2 women. They relinquished the tenancy, and mother eventually went to Lowestoft to join my father and took a house near the High Lighthouse. Father finished up as a Physical Training Sergeant at the end of the war. Two sons were serving - one in the Navy and one in the RFC. One daughter was in the WRAAC, one in the Land Army, and one daughter-in-law in the QMAAC, and one son-in-law in the Army. The house in Deal was let during the family's absence.

Father now had to find work and took a job in a herring curing factory. After a time the family returned to Deal and Father tried another couple of jobs, before being employed as a gardener by the War Graves Commission, on the war graves in France. Mother followed him and took a house at Fricourt. My sister looked after the rest of the family, who were working in Deal. My two youngest sisters went to the village school in France.

My parents eventually came back to Deal where my father realised his ambition of working his own piece of land.

Some mention should be made of Mother's activities during the First war after she had relinquished the tenancy of the Inn and gone back to Middle Deal. Apart from looking after her young family, she had soldiers billeted on her from time to time. She still managed to keep the kitchen garden in good order, and exhibited in the local flower shows. I remember coming home on leave and seeing the prize certificates on the mantelpiece, firsts among them.

The family did their share during the second war. Father was an enthusiastic air-raid warden all the time. Mother escorted parties of evacuee children to their destinations. She assisted at the Borough Restaurants at Tormore, and "Feed Thy Lambs" in Middle Street. All 4 boys were in the forces, 3 as professionals. The two daughters who served in the first war, joined up again and served in the ATS. It is interesting to note that these 2 women join up again at the time of Munich. Also in the forces were three sons-in-law, two grandsons, one grand-daughter and her husband. One son had the distinction of having himself, his wife, and two sons all serving at the same time. All the family and in-laws did well in their chosen branch of the Service.

Life has been good to the family, Mother and dad still with us, but we feel the loss of a son, son-in-law, a daughter and a daughter-in-law.

Father was a good raconteur and often kept us amused at family gatherings with his yarns of the good old days.

One interesting point. I mentioned earlier on that Father brought Mother a sewing machine when they married. That machine is still in use over 70 years later and still in good order.

The family is scattered but united. The last time we had a gathering was on the occasion of our parents' 71st wedding anniversary. We are all proud of our family, and would like to record the admiration and esteem in which we hold our Father and Mother.

Grandma's 100th birthday celebrated 12th April 1974 at the "Clarendon Hotel," Deal, 63 descendants being present.


Further reading can be found at the following web site:-


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 25 August, 1939.

An outing for the children of the Maple Leaf Glade, No. 48, took place on Wednesday, when 34 children with 24 adults, proceeded to Deal by train, leaving Dover at 1 o'clock. At Deal they went to the beach where, after spending a very enjoyable afternoon, all went to the "Queens Arms" for tea, catered for by Sister and Brother Rayner. After tea the children spent a happy time at the fair. Prima Jones gave each child an ice cream, Prima Brooker apples and Dame Hornsey sweets. Fruit was also given to them from the proceeds of the children's funds. The day came to an end too soon, the party arriving at Dover at 9.30.


Dover Express 18th May 1945.

Wingham Petty Sessions.

The Wingham Petty Sessions were held at Dover on Thursday before Viscount Hawarden, Messrs. W. T. Morrell, A. T. Goodfellow and F. Turner and Mrs. Plumptre.

Absentee fined.

Francis Rowley, Queen’s Arms” High Street, Deal, was fined 3 for being absent on three occasions from work at Betteshanger Colliery.

Defendant said that he had nasal catarrh which gave him neuralgia but he did not get medical certificates. It was stated that defendant had been absent 45 times out of a possible 78 during October, November and December last.


Queen's Arms rear and people 1910

Above photo kindly sent by Stephen Crowhurst who says this was taken at the back of the pub, circa 1910, and shows people called Bango Charlie and Mrs. Hurst.

From an email received 8 December 2013.

My Grandparents, George & Linda Rowley were the last proprietors of the 'Queens Arms', Deal, 1938 onwards.

George and Linda Rowley outside the Queen's Arms

They were also the proprietors of the 'Majestic Hotel', adjacent to the "Queens Arms," separated only area where the BP petrol pump stood. Photo above and below taken circa 1950.

George and Linda Rowley

My Grandparents went onto being the tenants of the 'Resolute' pub in Poplar, East London.

Prior to them moving to Deal, they managed a pub in Dover, the name eludes me.

If you have any information on the 'Majestic Hotel', & which pub they managed in Dover it would be greatly appreciated.

The family group photo, next to petrol pump, was taken in about 1946.

Dover District Council decided to widen the High St., from Leonards Road to Water St. sometime in the mid 60's. This would entail demolishing, among other properties, the 'Majestic Hotel,' the petrol pump area, the 'Queens Arms' & No147 & No.173 where our family lived.

Kind Regards,

Mike Croskerry.


From an email received, 15 August 2016.


My Mum and Dad owned, ran and lived in the "Queens Arms" pub in Deal from 1959 to 1962/3 when it was demolished.

They both belonged to the Licensed Victuallers Association.

I have a picture of them behind the bar, a picture of Mum on a "Ladies Auxiliary" visit to Park Royal Brewery.

I also have a clock that was presented to them when they left the "Queens Arms" pub. Shown below.

Clock presentation 1963


Sue Wokersien.

Queen's Arms licensees

Above photo, showing Jack & Dot Cross behind the bar. Kindly sent by Sue Wokersien.

Queen's Arms licensees

Above photo, showing Jack & Dot Cross behind the bar. Kindly sent by Sue Wokersien.


The following information has kindly been sent to me from Stephen Crowhurst:- According to the 1881 census Richard Henry Robinson is the Licensee of the "Queens Arms Inn," Deal and the 1891 has him as the Licensee of the "New Inn" Canterbury. They were still in the "New Inn" on the 28th April 1894 when there son Edward Francis Robinson left the Royal Artillery. I was told that he bought himself out of the army to help his parents due to illness. They then went back too the Queens Arms Inn Deal and eventually the son Edward Francis Robinson took over the Licensee until he went to the First World War and his wife Leonora Annie Robinson took over the Licensee until it became too much for her and looking after 9 children.


Queen's Arms location 2015

Above Google image, July 2015, showing the location.



BROWN Matthew jun. 1821-29

MARTIN/MARTON Robert Thomas 1838-40+ Pigot's Directory 1840 (Lower Street)

HOOKHAM John 1842-51+ (age 47 in 1851Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847

LOWNDS Robert Ramell 1853-58+ (also tailor)

SHERLOCK Catherine 1859+

MORRIS William 1861+

MARSHALL William 1863-74+ (71 census)Post Office Directory 1874

ROBINSON Richard Henry 1881-84 Next pub licensee had (age 34 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

ROBINSON Edward Thomas 1884-1891+ (also bricklayer age 50 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1891

Last pub licensee had ROBINSON Richard Henry 1894-1903+ (brother of above) Kelly's 1899Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913Pikes 1908Deal library 1914

ROBINSON Edward Francis (son) 1915

ROBINSON Leonora Annie Mrs (Edward at war) 1914-16

GLADWISH William 1916+

SULLY/SOLLY Charles Henry 1922+ Post Office Directory 1922

HADDOCK Mr 1929+

BRAGG William Charles 1934-38+ Kelly's 1934Post Office Directory 1938

RAYNER Harry Jan/1938-41 (age 33 in 1939)

BROWN Harry 1942+

HEWETT Mrs R 1943+

ROWLEY George & Linda 1944-48+


CROSS Jack & Dot 1959-63


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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

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 1908From Pikes 1908

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Deal library 1914Deal Library List 1914

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938


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