Sort file:- Canterbury, July, 2020.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 23 July, 2020.


Earliest Sept 1867

Railway Inn

Latest 1983

(Name to)

12 (20 in 1901) Station Road West


Railway Inn 1965

Above photograph taken by Edward Wilmot in 1965.

Rauilway Inn date unknown

Above picture taken from the Historic Canterbury web site.


Dating back to 1866 when Robert Cole was in charge, but changed name in 1983 to the "Old Locomotive." Further research discovered it was licensed as early as 1867.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 14 September 1867. Price 1d.


New licenses were granted to the following houses:— "Railway Tavern," Station-road.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 21 December 1867. Price 1d.


Robert Coles, landlord of the “Railway Inn,” Station Road, was summoned for keeping open his house for the sale of beer during prohibited hours, on Sunday.

P.S. Hayward deposed that a man named Herring, a fly driver, put down a person at defendant's house, at about half-past ten on the morning of Sunday last.

He afterwards went in the house, and found them drinking together. The person who got out of the fly was an inhabitant of Canterbury.

In defence, Coles said that the person alluded to was a traveller; but admitted giving Herring a glass of rum.

Herring having corroborated this the Magistrates dismissed the case.


From the Whitstable Times, 6 August, 1870.


On Sunday morning last on the arrival of the excursion train, a lady was observed to get into the buss in a very faint and helpless condition. The buss had not proceeded far before it was discovered by the ladies inside that she was suffering from the pains of labour. The driver of the buss was therefore instructed to drive to the nearest Inn, and she was accordingly conveyed to the “Railway Inn,” Mr. Hilder, surgeon, being immediately sent for and promptly in attendance. The lady was shortly afterwards delivered of a fine boy. Both mother and child are doing well.


Dover Express 01 January 1875.


An inquest was held at the "Railway Tavern," Station-road, on the body of Stephen Henry Moyes, 25 years of age, who met his death by being run over by a railway train at Canterbury, on Monday last. Mr. T. T. Delasaux, coroner, conducted the inquiry.

The jury having proceeded to view the body which was lying in an outbuilding at the railway station, Inspector Thomas Andrews stated that he knew the deceased, and that he was a butcher and lived at Sturry.

Joseph Dowsett, a railway porter living at Canterbury, employed at the South-Eastern Railway, said that at about fire minutes to ten, on Monday night he was on the platform of the South-Eastern station, and the man Saunders came up to him and asked when the train was going. Saunders and the deceased were wrestling in a friendly way. As they were wrestling about on the down platform the man Saunders fell first on the line and the deceased man fell over him.

The train was approaching at that time. Witness jumped down on to the line, to try and pull the man Saunders from off the line, but he had only time to touch him on the head, as the engine was so close upon them. Two wheels of the engine, however, went over the head of the deceased. Witness then got under the engine and endeavoured to extricate the deceased, but could not do so as a copper pipe was in the way. The porters then uncoupled the engine, and they got the body of the deceased into the six-foot way. He believed that the deceased was quite dead. Witness believed it to be purely an accident, and no blame attached to anyone except to the parties themselves.

It was quite impossible for the driver of the engine to have pulled up in time to have prevented the accident. In reply to a juror the witness said that he tried to extricate the man Saunders, because he did not see the deceased. There was, he said, a good gas light on at the time.

The man Saunders was rather fresh at the time, and had quite enough to drink.

John Ottaway, an inspector on the South Eastern Railway at Canterbury, corroborated the evidence of the witness Dowsett, except that he believed that the occurrence took place at 10.17 in the evening in question. This witness also deposed to sending for the doctor and for the police, and saw the body off the deceased removed to the stable where it then lay. Mr. Holttum and Mr. Wacher,
surgeons, were called to the deceased, but the body was so frightfully crushed that assistance was of no avail, the head of the deceased being almost severed in two.

The Coroner, in addressing the Jury, said that no blame whatever could attach to the South Eastern Railway Company, and that the unhappy occurrence was the fault of the deceased man and of his companion alone.

The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the evidence, and also found that no blame could be attached to the railway company or any of its servants. The Jury also unanimously ware of opinion that they could not but approve of the conduct of the porter Dowsett, in so gallantly exposing his own life while attempting to render assistance to the deceased.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 13 September 1879.

Deliberate and Shocking Suicide on the South Eastern Railway.

On Friday last, shortly before noon, Henry Rickwood, aged twenty-four, who had been in the employ of the South Eastern Railway Company for about twelve months as temporary porter, committed suicide in the most deliberate manner by throwing himself in front of an approaching train.

It appears that on Friday morning the station master (Mr. Fright) had occasion to complain to the deceased in reference to the state of the carriages on the Whitstable branch line, and Rickwood did not appear to like being spoken to on the matter. The same morning as the 11.54 as the fast train from Canterbury was nearing the distant signal, about opposite the Swimming Bath in the Whitehall-road, the engine driver saw a man take a few hasty steps across the line, then come to a dead stand, and deliberately threw himself across the rails. The driver instantly shut off steam, reversed the engine, and stopped the train a few yards from the spot. The whole train, consisting of fifteen carriages besides the engine and tender, had passed over the deceased’s body, which was almost cut in two. One foot was severed at the ankle, the right hand was smashed, and there was a severe wound on the left temple. The inquest on the body was held in the evening by the coroner, T. T. Delasaux, Esq., at the "Railway Tavern," Station Road.

The following evidence was taken:—

Thomas Davey, dairy-man, deposed:— I knew the deceased and had done so for about twenty years. I saw him and spoke to him about a week ago when he was well and hearty. To-day at about 12 o’clock I was in my garden near the South Eastern Railway. A whistle from an engine attracted my attention. I ran to the line and saw the deceased lying across the rails of the up the guard said he could not leave, but sent for the head porter at the Canterbury station. The deceased had suffered severe injuries, the right hand being smashed. His left foot was cut off and he had a very bad injury just below the stomach. The injuries were inflicted by the near wheels of the engine and carriages of a train passing over him.

Mr. G. Fright, station master, deposed:— The deceased was and had been for about twelve months a temporary porter on the South Eastern Railway. I saw him this morning about ten o’clock at the station, and had reason to complain to him of his neglect in allowing the carriages of the Whitstable line to be dirty. I said I must have the carriages better attended to, and added “if you cannot do it somebody else must.” He replied “I have done all I can to them.” I did not observe that my remarks and affected him in the least. For the last three weeks he has been rather dilatory, but not more than other men.

Samuel Standing, engine driver, deposed:- This morning I was driving an engine on the South Eastern Railway. I left the Canterbury station at five minutes to twelve o’clock having in charge an engine, tender, and fifteen carriages. I proceeded towards Chartham, and when I arrived about opposite the down distance signal I saw a man come out of the hedge with a hasty step. He stopped before he got on the line, and I saw him throw himself down on the metals. I shut off steam, reversed the engine, and stopped the train as soon as I could. I went to the body and I have no doubt it was that of the man I saw throw himself on the rails. I believe that the deceased intentionally placed himself on the line. There is no crossing where the deceased got on the metals.

The Jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased committed suicide while in a state of temporary insanity.

The funeral took place at St. Gregory’s Church on Sunday afternoon, the body being borne to the grave by some of the porters from the South Eastern station.

Rickwood, who leaves a wife to whom he had only been married about ten months, was a corporal in the Army Reserve, having previously served in the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers.


From the Whitstable Times, 25 May, 1901.


The City Coroner (Dr. T. S. Johnson) held an inquest at the "Railway Hotel," South Eastern Road, Canterbury, last Wednesday evening, touching the death of Samuel Bunyard, aged 78, living at 6, Kirby’s Lane.

It appeared that the deceased was a pensioner in the Royal Navy. About eighteen months ago he was knocked down by a carriage while crossing the road and he had been failing ever since. On May 4th he fell over a chair. Mr. Greasley was called in, but the deceased died on Monday morning. The doctor, who had known the deceased for ten or twelve years, saw him two days after the accident. He found no bruises on the deceased, but he got weaker and weaker. Death was due to senile debility accelerated by the accident.

The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.


Licensee George Pope later became the Mayor of Canterbury in 1924-26.

The Inns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot's,1988, mentions a document, date circa 1945 that gives the description of clientele at the pub as being "Residents, rail and bus travellers."

The building was demolished in a gas explosion on August 2002 and is now a block of flats.


From an email received 16 June 2012

During the 60s and 70s, the Landlord was Vic Hollingsworth. His wife, Ursula, was a native of Hamburg. My Dad was a member of the Railway Darts Team in the 1970s, a good team which narrowly escaped taking a title on several occasions. Vic was a cigar smoker (sizeable cigars) and he had an enormous cigar, about two feet long, mounted in a case on the wall behind the bar, promising that he'd smoke it the day his Team won the Canterbury Darts League title. It remained unsmoked.

Stuart Eaton.



COLE Robert 1867-82+ (widower age 42 in 1881Census) Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Whitstable TimesPost Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882

POPE George 1891-13+ (age 51 in 1911Census) Post Office Directory 1891Edward Wilmot CanterburyHistoric Canterbury web sitePost Office Directory 1903Post Office Directory 1913

WINKLE Sidney 1922-30+ Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930

GRAY Mrs Jessie 1938+ Post Office Directory 1938

HOLLINGSWORTH Vic 1960s-70s+


Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

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

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald


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