Page Updated:- Monday, 16 May, 2022.


Earliest 1801


Latest 1950s

(Name to)



Volunteer at Bramling circa 1914

Outside the Volunteer at Bramling, circa 1914. Showing Fred Spain sitting in the trap with his wife Gertrude. At the rear being Cecil wearing a Simon Langton school cap and Eira Spain his children.

Volunteer 1929

Above postcard, 1929, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Volunteer in Wingham

Above photo circa 1950.

Volunteer at Bramling, circa 1950

Above photo circa 1950.

Volunteer 1968

Above photo 7 October 1968, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Volunteer 1968

Above photo 7 October 1968, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.


During the Napoleonic wars there was a campsite nearby and the pub was used to gain conscripts, hence the name was given the "Volunteer".


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette 10 September 1887.




Mr. M. Mowll, who appeared on behalf of Stephen Perkins, the tenant of the "Volunteer" beerhouse, at Bramling, applied for a spirit license. He stated that the nearest licensed house was one mile distant. Perkins had been in the house 25 years and bore a good character. A memorial was handed in signed by all the residents in the hamlet except two who were away at the time the signatures were obtained. The house, Mr. Mowll added, was the property of Messrs. Rigden, who were greatly improving the premises. At present there was no spirit licence held in the hamlet. Stephen Perkins was called and stated that he was often applied to for spirits. The "Volunteer" range was not far from his house.

Mr. Mowll stated that the estimate for the alterations at the house amounted to between 600 and 700.

It transpired that a similar application was made by Perkins 7 or 8 years ago. The Bench were of the opinion that the licence was not necessary, and therefore refused to grant the application.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 3 September, 1880. Price 1d.


Stephen Perkins, landlord of the "Volunteer Inn," Bramling, made an application for a spirit license on the ground that he had been on several occasions asked for liquors by that description.

Mr. Hilton, a county magistrate residing near, said he objected to the application being granted as he did not consider that such accommodation was required.

The bench declined to accede to this request.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 26 May 1939.



At the Wingham Patty Sessions, at Sandwich, on Thursday, Viscount Hawarden in the chair.

Kenneth Harry Elvidge (21), a motor engineer, of Windcheap Street, Canterbur, was charged with driving a motor car in a manner dangerous to the public at Brambling, on he Sandwich-Wingham road on April 21st.

Mr. Ernest White, (London), appeared for defendant, who pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Eric Weale County Prosecuting Solicitor, said that on April 21st, at 10.30 p.m. defendant was driving a 16-h.p. Bentley motor car from Wingham to Canterbury and when coming round the bend by the "Volunteer" public house it was alleged that he skidded and travelled a distance of 90 ft., struck a bank which was covered by railings, went clean through those and down into the public house car park and there collided with two bicycles and two cars. The car finished up in the doorway of the public house and the door was picked up 48 feet down the road. As a result of the accident a passenger was thrown out and received fatal injuries (this was Sub-Lieut. Frank Denne Adams, R.N.). It was a case of grossly dangerous driving. The road was not greasy, it was dry and therefore the skid must have been caused by defendant' speed.

P.C. Moore (Canterbury) produced a plan of the scene of the accident.

In reply to Mr. White, witness said that he did not agree the white curve stopped at the beginning of the bend.

Mr. White: I suggest that the mark on the road was made by the exhaust pipe (produced) trailing on the ground? - No, I am of the opinion it was made by the tyre.

In reply to Mr. Weale, witness said that the white line in the centre of the road went right round the bend.

Ethelburt Horace West, Corner House, Barnsole, Staple, said that he was riding a pedal cycle past the "Volunteer" public house and the only other traffic he saw on the road was the car driven by defendant. It was going very fast: it was on it's proper side of the road. He heard it start to skid as it got opposite him and then there was a crash.

In reply to Mr. White, witness said that he could not say when the sound of skidding might have been the exhaust pipe trailing on the ground.

Hilda Beaney, a maid at Cliftonville School, Margate, said that she was sitting in front of her father's car, which was parked outside the "Volunteer" public house and was facing towards Canterbury. She saw the lights in the windscreen of the car and then heard a noise which at first she thought was an aeroplane. She glanced over her shoulder and saw a car coming along the green at a terrific speed. It hit the back of the car in which she was sitting and then crashed into the "Volunteer."

In reply to Mr. White, witness said that she was first interviewed by the Police after the second hearing of the inquest.

Mr. White: Your car was back against the railings? - Yes.

And there are bushes behind? - Yes.

And you still say you saw the headlights of the car? - Yes.

Percival John Cordrey, 11, Cambridge Terrace, Walmer, said he was sitting in his car in the car park outside the "Volunteer" at about 10.30 on the night in question, and he was facing towards Wingham. He had two small side-lights on. He started to reverse and saw the lights of a car through the back window of a stationary car in front and then heard a crash immediately followed by a second crash as the car smashed into the "Volunteer." No car could have been effected by the lights of his car.

In reply to Mr. White, witness said that his lights would not shine down the road up which the defendant was driving.

P.C. Clayton said that he arrived at the scene of the accident at 10.50 p.m. and saw four motor vehicles on the car park. Defendant's car was partly in the public house and a car wedged to the nearside running board of defendant's car. There was another ca on the Goodnestone end, which was damaged on the nearside and on the Canterbury side was Cordrey's car. One of the defendant's passengers had been thrown out and he was dead and four people were injured. With the aid of torches witness took measurements to show the position of the cars and the pool of blood. The following day he went to the scene with other police officers and made other measurements. On the Wingham side of the "Volunteer," 7 feet from the near side of the road was a skid mark extending for 99 feet until the bank was reached, on the Goodnestone side of the public house. The car must have gone through the railings on the bank and some of the railings were found in the car park. There was a skid mark on the car park for a distance of 24 feet and from the bank to the wall of the car park was a distance of some 15 feet. The width of the road opposite the "Volunteer" was 31 feet and where the skid commenced it was 18 feet wide. A white line extended the whole length of the road and there was also a white curb-stone indicating the bend. The front window and the porch of the public house were extensively damaged and 48 feet further on he found bits of the porch. At 11.30 p.m. defendant stated, "I was going towards Canterbury and I was trying to put on a pair of glasses. The blew back onto my face. I suddenly saw a car on my right when my lights were dipped and my main object was to get out of the way of it. I actually thought I was on a straight road and saw what I thought was the back of a car so I turned to my left. I temporarily lost consciousness. The car belongs to my father I was not going at any great speed." When told he would be reported defendant said, "All I'm concerned with is the people in hospital."

Mr. White: "He was perfectly sober? - Yes.

The skid mark was about 2 feet or 3 feet wide? - Yes.

If it had been caused by the tyre you would have expected it to be wider?- Not necessarily.

The skid mark you saw did not go straight up to the mark made by the wheels of the car on the bank? - There were wheel marks more or less in line.

In reply to Mr. Weale, witness said that in his opinion no lights in the "Volunteer" car park could have appeared to be on the right-hand side of the road to defendant.

This concluded the case for the prosecution.

Defendant giving evidence said that he was in his father's business and attached to the Auxiliary Air Force, and had to go to Detling every Thursday evening and three Sundays in the month. It was vital for him to have a license so that he could get to Detling and also for carrying on business. The car he was driving on the night in question was a 1925 Bentley, and when it reached a speed of 45 m.p.h. the gears whined. He had tinted glasses which he put on before the accident occurred. He knew the road fairly well and when he last went along it there was a hedge and wall at that corner. His speed was just over 40 m.p.h. but under 45 m.p.h. as the gears were not whining. It was a de-controlled road. He had two sidelights on and one headlight which was dipped. Ahead he saw lights which he took to be the lights of a car on his right-hand side. He suddenly saw the bend in front of him and applied his breaks. He went onto the grass verge and he felt something - he thought it must have been his glasses - go up in his face and he lost consciousness. He did not think he quite put the brakes on as he only remembered taking his foot off the accelerator and going for the brake. The skid mark could not have been caused by him breaking.

In reply to Mr. Weale, witness said that his father pointed out the exhaust pipe to him a fortnight after the accident, when witness came out of hospital. When he made a statement to the police he was rather vague about the glasses.

Mr. Weale: Would not the whine that the gears were making when the car was going over 45 m.p.h. sound like the noise of an aeroplane which Mrs. Beaney heard? - You would only hear the whine if you were sitting above the gears.

The whole cause of the accident was the speed at which you were going round the corner?- I thought I was on a straight road.

James Walton, 10, York Road, Canterbury, said that he was in the car sitting next to the defendant. He knew there was a whining noise from the gears if the car's speed was over 45 m.p.h. but heard no noise on the night in question. His nose was bleeding and he did not see much of the events leading up to the accident.

William Thomas, Bramling Cottage, Bramling, said hat he lived practically on the scene of the accident. He was chauffeur to Col. Friend and had 27 years driving experience. He was in the house and went out when he heard the crash. Regarding he mark on the road the only way that could have been caused by the wheel was if the tyre was flat and that the mark was made by the rim. He thought when he first saw the mark that it must have been caused by some other part of the car becoming loose. The exhaust pipe (produced) might have caused the mark if it had been hanging down.

Lewis B. Elvidge, motor engineer at Canterbury, and father of defendant, said that he had been in the motor business for about 36 years. He towed the car away about midnight, the same night as the accident, and noticed the exhaust pipe had become loose and was trailing on the ground. He was of the definite opinion that the mark on the road was caused by the exhaust pipe.

Mr. White, addressing the Magistrates, said that the public house was at right angles to the road and there was nothing to indicate that it was a public house so that might easily be taken for the lights of a car by someone coming up the road from Wingham. As regards the prosecutions allegations that the marks on the road were caused by the defendant braking whilst he was speeding, he asked the Magistrates to accept the evidence of the defence that the mark was made by the exhaust pipe. He asked the Magistrates to dismiss the case, but reminded them that if they decided the defendant had not been as careful as he might have been they could reduce the charge to one of driving without due care and attention.

After a retirement of 20 minutes, the Chairman said the Magistrates had decided to convict.

Supt. Cash said that the defendant had two previous convictions. On 9th December, 1936, At St. Augustine's Petty Sessions, he was fined 10s. for having no light on a motor car, and at the Canterbury City Police Court on the 12th of this month, he was fined 3 and license endorsed for speeding.

 Defendant was fined 15 and license suspended for one year. He was also ordered to pay two guineas towards the costs of the prosecution and 14s. witness's costs.

Mr. White asked if the Magistrates could reconsider the question of suspending the license bearing in mind defendant being a member of the Auxiliary Air Force and had to get to Detling.

The Chairman: We have considered that. He must have been going very fast and even at 40 m.p.h. that corner is not safe. I am afraid we cannot alter our decision.


Dover Express 07 January 1949.


Considerable damage was done in Dover and the surrounding villages by the gales and thunderstorm which last week-end heralded the New Year.

Mrs. Gladys Scott, aged 45, an employee at the "Volunteer" Bramling, Wingham, on Saturday morning went into the garden of the "Volunteer," when a branch of an apple tree fell on her. She died in the Kent and Canterbury Hospital on Wednesday night from a fractured spine.


Changed name to the "Haywain" in the 1960s.


It has been mentioned that Mr F M Mayes was also a pig farmer and set up a co-operative with the drinkers at the pub just after the war, who shared the pigs when they were taken to slaughter.


From an email received 19 November 2010.

I am the grandson of Frank Michael Mayes, known to all as "Dickie", who was landlord of the Volunteer from 1938 until the early 60's. He then retired and moved with my grandmother to Littlebourne. Jim Mullen then took over the pub until Malcolm Butcher took it on in the 1970's.

Dickie Mayes was not a former pig farmer but had been a dairyman, based North Court Cottages in Nargate Street, Littlebourne from about the end of WW1, with milk rounds in the Littlebourne/Ickham area.

He did have some pigs that he kept in a sty opposite the "Volunteer," but these were only kept as a sideline during WW2.

I was born in Bramling and I used to look after the cellar at the pub and had to stock up shelves with beer on a weekend to earn my pocket money. At that time, it was a Fremlins tied house, having a regular local clientele, especially from the mining community at Snowdon colliery just up the road. I also have got a copy of the photo of the 3 cars parked outside the pub, taken just before the 2nd World War, I think.

I have some photos of my grandfather taken in the pub garden that may be of interest.




BAMFORD ???? 1841+

BAMFORD (Son of above)

PERKING Stephen 1862-87+ Dover Express

BRANFORD Edward L 1891-1903+ (also plumber age 50 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

BRANFORD (Daughter of above) to 1901

BRANFORD Thomas to Nov/1907 Dover Express

SPAIN Frederick John Nov/1907-Oct/1938 (age 37 in 1911Census) Post Office Directory 1913Dover Express

MAYES Mr Frank Michael "Dickie" Oct/1938-60s (age 47 in 1939) Dover Express

MULLEN Jim 1960s+


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express



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