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The local magazine of the Swale Camra Branch

Text of Swale Ale Spring 2013

  • Spring Issue 2013 1

    The FREE magazine of the Swale branch of CAMRA

    The Campaign for Real Ale

    Local brewery invests in its heritage

    In this issue Pubs at the extreme of Swale

    Pub tour: A Canterbury Tale

    Timothy Taylor visits Faversham

    A village pub walk south of Sittingbourne Trips out: all within a day of Swale

    Jolly boys tour to Sheppey

    Swale Ale

    A s many Swale Ale readers will be aware the largest brewery in our area, and in Kent, is Shepherd Neame. As well as its major brewing

    arm, Shepherd Neame also own and operate a

    total estate of 354 pubs, comprising 44 managed

    pubs and 310 tenanted and leased pubs.

    With many of its competitors failing to

    invest in their tied estate and with vast numbers

    of pub closures nationally, it is interesting that

    we are currently seeing Shepherd Neame invest

    heavily in the refurbishment of many of its pubs.

    Swale Ale has reported on the great work completed at The Fountain, Sittingbourne and

    The Bear in Faversham to name a few. Pubs

    have been given traditional new hand painted

    signage by Eric Pollard, and often sympathetic

    restoration of their interiors, which is a far cry

    from the Irish style pub chains of the 1990s. This investment in its tied and managed pub

    chain is always welcome, particularly at a time of national belt tightening, and shows a

    commitment to local communities.

    In the past year the brewery has

    undertaken a number of high profile acquisitions

    including four pubs from Enterprise Inns (The

    Old Neptune, Whitstable; The Old City Bar,

    Canterbury; The Kings Head, Deal and The

    Zetland Arms, Kingsdown, Deal). The brewery

    has also been expanding its hotel portfolio

    following the acquisition of two prestigious

    hotels in the first half of the year and a further

    inn purchased in February 2012.

    The story of Shepherd Neame pubs has

    not always been bright. At their AGM in 2009

    The Three Horseshoes,

    Staple Street

    the brewery announced the sale and/or closure

    of 35 pubs over a two year period, and in our

    own area we have already had to say goodbye

    to the Mechanics Arms in September 2012 and

    The Windmill on January 2nd 2011.

    The question lies in what Shepherd

    Neame will decide to do next. See page 3

  • Spring Issue 2013 2

  • Spring Issue 2013 3

    Local brewery invests in its heritage

    In order to answer

    this question our

    brewery liaison

    o f f i c e r B o b

    Thompson arranged

    for me to meet with

    John Humpherys and

    Martin Godden and

    came along to take

    some exce l lent

    photos for our


    Our meeting

    began with a visit to

    The Anchor in

    A b b e y S t r e e t ,

    Faversham. This

    refurbishment has

    only recently taken

    place, and it was the intention that the building work should complement the pubs historical character. Work was done to remove the

    shelving above the bar, making it easier to grab

    glimpses of the back bar and cosy seating areas. Extensive work has taken place in the building to

    the left of the pub which used to be the Crab

    Shack restaurant. The new space is intended to

    be a coffee shop in the daytime and provide

    additional seating to the main bar area in the

    evening. This seems to be a diversification that

    may appear in other Shepherd Neame owned

    town centre pubs where additional space can be


    Like many pubs

    t h a t h a v e b e e n

    refurbished over the past

    three years, The Anchor

    has both a wet and dry

    trade. However the

    brewery were keen to

    e s t a b l i s h t h a t

    refurbishments were not

    only intended for

    restaurants or gastro

    pubs, but rather any

    premises that showed an

    opportunity. Now that

    many of the food

    led houses have

    had considerable

    i n v e s t m e n t ,

    a t t e n t i o n i s

    moving towards

    the wet trade.

    The Imperial in

    Southborough, for

    example, a wet led

    high street local,

    has undergone a

    refurbishment to

    e n h a n c e i t s

    t r a d i t i o n a l


    O u r

    second visit in

    Faversham was to

    The Bear Inn. We were told about how during refurbishments the brewery were keen to

    unearth and rejuvenate existing features. At

    The Bear many changes were made to the

    original refurbishment plans to take advantage of

    the discoveries uncovered as wood chip and

    layers of paint were removed.

    Shepherd Neame were interested in

    reinstating original features such as the dividers

    in The Railway Hotel in Faversham, which were

    particularly requested by the licensee Chris


    However the biggest changes to each

    pub during their refurbishment seems to be the

    extensive effort that is

    going in to the hand

    painted signage. This

    painstaking attention to

    detail shows a keen

    interest in the brewerys pub heritage, maintaining

    its assets for people to

    enjoy long into the future.


    Photographs courtesy of Bob

    Thompson, Brewery Liaison

    Officer and Shepherd Neame. Coffee shop at The Anchor, Faversham

    New pub signage at the

    Plough and Harrow Inn,


    The Three Horseshoes

    Staple Street, Hernhill

  • Spring Issue 2013 4

    Swale Ale Spring 2013

    Published by the Swale Branch of the

    Campaign for Real Ale Ltd (CAMRA).

    Circulation: 1000

    Editorial Committee and Contributors:

    Les Bailey, Suzanne Collins, Derek Cole,

    Gary Holness, Simon Ing, Paul Irving, Gill

    Joiner, Keith Joiner, Andrew Kitney, David

    Selves, Keir Stanley, Bob Thompson, Jeff

    Waller, Malcolm Winskill.

    Print Liaison: Les Bailey

    Advertising: Gary Holness

    All correspondence to:

    Les Bailey

    58 Wallers Road



    ME13 7PL

    Email: [email protected]

    Telephone: 01795 538824

    Any opinions expressed within these

    pages are those of the individual authors

    only and do not represent those of

    CAMRA or any of its officials.

    The existence of this publication in a

    particular outlet does not imply an

    endorsement of it by Swale CAMRA.

    Printed by:

    Abbey Print, Faversham

    Branch Details

    Chairman: Simon Ing

    Secretary: Les Bailey

    Treasurer: Les Bailey


    Advertising rates:

    Half Page 25

    Full A5 Page 50

    Minimum circulation 800

    Visit our award winning website at

    W elcome to the latest edition of Swale Ale. As you read this the daffs should be up and the lambs should be frolicking, or

    alternatively winter has decided to outstay its

    welcome and it is still freezing. Either way the

    good people at Swale CAMRA have been

    beavering away to bring you another packed

    magazine. In this edition there are articles that

    range in topics from A Canterbury Tale to A few from the Few, plus all the regular pub and brewery news from around the area and a

    whole lot more.

    Many thanks to all of those that have

    contributed to the magazine. We invite you to

    settle back with a pint of your favourite ale and

    enjoy and if there are some pubs you have not

    yet visited that feature in these pages then we

    urge you to seek them out and give them a try.

  • Spring Issue 2013 5

    Chairman's Chat

    Favershams hidden gem The Shipwrights Arms, Hollowshore,


    A 17th Century traditional creek side free house. Selling up to five real ales

    from Kentish brewers, and serving good food. Take a trip back in time and savour the delights of a truly traditional pub.

    Rated by Jamie Oliver as one of the top 100 traditional

    pubs in the country.

    Please check website or phone to confirm hours of


    Tel: 01795 590088


    Directions: At Davington School turn into Ham Road and follow the signs across the marsh.

    I would like to start by thanking everybody that over the last year has helped with the creation of this magazine. It takes a lot of work,

    and is all voluntary. From writing the first article,

    getting advertising, setting out and collating,

    proof reading (and even when we do this the

    odd mistake can still get through), going to the

    printers and then distributing this magazine to all

    the places you can find it. I won't list names, you

    know who you are, so once again thank you.

    Now to you the reader. We always need

    articles, points (or even pints) of view, adverts

    and your opinions. So if you have something you

    can write about, we would like to hear from

    you. If we can print it, we will, and you will be

    credited as the author. It would be nice to have

    opinions other than ours. Have you been to a

    pub and had a good or bad experience? Could

    you write about it? Have you found your perfect

    pint? Tell everyone! Write it down and send it

    to us. It is not as hard as you may fear, after all I

    managed to write this and the spell checker is a

    wonderful thing. I have even managed to write

    the odd (or is that very odd) article and had it

    printed. This magazine is free and everybody

    involved is a volunteer, so no one gets paid. But

    the magazine is covered by copyright, which

    means nobody can reproduce your work

    without permission. One more thing - we have

    to send a copy to the British Library, so if you

    do write something for us, you can claim to be a

    published author and when people doubt you,

    you can tell them where to find the proof!

    So if you do have something for us to print

    please send it to [email protected]

    Simon Ing

  • Spring Issue 2013 6

    37 Station Street, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3ED 01795 228971


    Sun 128.30pm

    Thai Restaurant and Takeaway

    Tue to Sat 12 noon2:30pm & 510pm


  • Spring Issue 2013 7

    Kent Pub and Brewery News Shepherd Neame: The following beers have recently been

    produced on the Pilot Brewery: Burns Extra

    Special Ale (4.5% abv), brewed in a Scottish

    80/- style; Holly Hop Ale (4.1% abv), brewed

    for 3 pubs in central London to commemorate

    the 54th anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly;

    Triple Oat Stout (4.2% abv),

    only available in our area at The

    Bear, Faversham; Heart

    Warmer (4.2% abv), brewed

    for St Valentines Day and

    containing red rose petals and passion fruit and Muddy Water

    (4.5% abv), brewed for and supplied to pubs in

    Broadstairs for the Broadstairs Blues Music


    The Main Brewery has or will produce

    the following beers: Frosty Glow (3.9% abv);

    Amber Ale (4.5% abv); for February; Early

    Bird for March/April and Whitstable Bay for

    May onwards.

    The following beers are

    being brewed for Wetherspoons

    Spring Beer Festival: Red Racer

    India Pale Ale (6.5% abv), with

    assistance from Gary Lohin from

    the Central City Brewing Co,

    British Columbia, Canada and

    New World Pale Ale (4.0%abv).

    Hopdaemon: Tonie Prins continues to brew at

    full capacity. His Green

    Daemon was runner up beer of

    the festival at the recent White

    Cliffs Winter Ales Festival held in

    Dover at the beginning of


    Mad Cat Brewery: A new brewery recently established by Peter

    Meaney at Brogdale Farm, Brogdale Road,

    Faversham. Peter gave up his previous life in the

    Swale CAMRA Branch Diary Wednesday 10th April 2013

    Branch Business Meeting: 8pm

    Swan & Harlequin, Conduit Street, Faversham

    Wednesday 8th May 2013

    Branch Business Meeting: 8pm

    Brown Jug, Horsham Lane, Upchurch

    Wednesday 12th June 2013

    Branch Business Meeting: 8pm

    Bowl Inn, Egg Hill Road, Charing

    Saturday 6th July 2013

    BRANCH AGM: 7.30PM

    The Swan, London Road (A2), Teynham

    (10 minutes walk from Teynham Railway Station

    - buffet provided)

    April is Community Pub Month

    Celebrating the Great British


    Try and take a friend or relative to

    one of your favourite pubs in the

    area, perhaps one you haven't been

    to for a while. They need your

    business NOW!

  • Spring Issue 2013 8

  • Spring Issue 2013 9

    Kent Pub and Brewery News paper industry in

    May 2012 after

    having worked for

    A y l e s f o r d

    Newsprint for

    nearly twenty

    y e a r s . H e

    established his

    brewery at Brogdale Farm, home of the UK

    National Fruit Collection, with the intention of

    producing outstanding English ale from the finest ingredients. Balanced, tasty and hoppy,

    ranging from Pale Ales to Stouts and Porters. After refurbishing an old cold store the

    plant was delivered and installed in the first

    week of December 2012. The first brew of

    Golden IPA (4.6% abv) was ready in cask and

    bottle in time for Christmas 2012 and has been

    supplied to the Red Lion (Sheerness); The

    Elephant and Old Wine Vaults (both Faversham) and soon to other pubs in the Swale area.

    His range of beers will also include

    Platinum Blonde Ale (4.2% abv); Auburn

    Copper Ale (4.2% abv) and Jet Black Stout

    (4.8% abv).

    We hope to provide a more detailed

    update on this new brewery and the availability

    of its beers in the next edition of Swale Ale. F o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n s e e


    The Phoenix Tavern. As usual the Phoenix

    continues to offer a wide range of national and

    local beer. Recently they launched their

    Timothy Taylor Appreciation Society which

    seems to include a life size cut out of the man


    The Mechanics Arms remains closed and as yet

    Shepherd Neame remain silent on what plans

    they have for this pub including whether they

    will re-open it, sell it as a pub or sell for

    conversion to a residential property.

    The Bear regularly serves Shepherd Neame

    seasonal and pilot brewery beers including the

    excellent porter. The Bear has a general pub

    quiz on the last Wednesday of each month

    (booking essential) and also organises

    interesting themed food nights on the first

    Monday for each month. For more information

    please access their facebook site.

    The Elephant. Now that Jim and Kim own the

    freehold on the pub, they are looking at making

    a number of improvements to the back room

    which is currently used for local functions

    including beer festivals, parties and of course

    CAMRA meetings.

    The Sun. Shepherd Neame have put in a

    planning application for the old shop to the left

    of the pub. Although the plans are currently

    unclear it is believed that the former retail

    premises may become an extension for the bar area (and possibly a coffee shop) on the ground

    floor and four additional letting rooms on the

    first floor.


    The Sondes Arms is being advertised in the pub

    trade press as being available for lease for a

    negotiable term.


    The Fountain. Serving excellent Thai food the

    Fountain also books live bands most Friday

    nights. Their current line-up includes: Rat Pack

    and Vegas evening on the 6th April and the Thai

    New Year which is all day on the 13th April.

    This is a full day and evening of Thai songs,

    dancing and food tasting!

    Globe and Engine. This Shepherd Neame house

    is now being described as a Portuguese

    restaurant but still also appears to be operating

    as a pub.

    Milton Regis (near Sittingbourne):

    The Three Hats. Malcolm informs us that he is

    holding another of his successful beer festivals

  • Spring Issue 2013 10

    75 Preston Street, Faversham

    01795 591817

    The Old Wine Vaults is a 16th century pub set

    in the heart of historic Faversham.

    FOUR Cask Ales

    TWO Cask Ciders

    St Arnolds

    Beer Festival Weekend

    5th, 6th, 7th July 2013 CAMRA Discount off nominated local ale

    and cask cider with a valid CAMRA Card

    The pub is open Mon-Sat 11am to 11pm and

    Sundays 12pm to 10.30pm.

  • Spring Issue 2013 11

    Pubs at the extreme of Swale from East to West

    R eaders of Swale Ale may not be aware of how large an area the branch covers. This article introduces you to two pubs at the outer

    limits in Selling and Lower Halstow. The Sondes Arms, Selling. Selling is a

    small village midway between Canterbury and

    Faversham. Two minutes walk from the train

    station (on the Canterbury East to London

    Victoria line) is The Sondes Arms.

    The Sondes has recently reopened after

    being sold by Shepherd Neame. The pub itself is

    an attractive red bricked building on the main

    road through the village with a large garden and

    an open fireplace. The curved bar currently

    stocks three real ales. On a recent visit these

    were Adnams Bitter, Adnams Lighthouse and

    Shepherd Neames Master Brew. The landlord wants to increase the number of hand-pumps to

    up to six. He is also keen to extend the range to

    include local beers from Gadds and possibly a local cider.

    Live music (mostly blues or jazz) plays on

    every second Sunday and quiz nights are every

    Wednesday. The pub also serves a good

    selection of homemade meals and has special fish and chip nights (Thursday) and curry nights

    (Wednesday). They also cater for private parties

    The Sondes Arms, Selling

    Kent Pub and Brewery News Upchurch:

    The Brown Jug, Horsham Lane now regularly

    has Harveys Best Bitter and Dark Mild and

    recently had a Bellhaven guest beer.

    Beer Festivals

    Three Hats Post Easter Beer Festival:


    5th, 6th and 7th April 2012.

    Kent Beer Festival: Merton Farm, Canterbury

    19th 21st July 2013

    Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) 2013:

    Olympia, London: 13th 17th August 2013

    at the pub on the weekend after Easter. The

    dates of this festival are 5th, 6th and 7th of


    Borden (near Sittingbourne):

    The Maypole. This village pub is currently

    serving four different cask beers as well as

    providing excellent deals on lunchtime and

    evening food.

    Oad Street (near Sittingbourne):

    The Plough & Harrow recently had Shepherd

    Neame Porter and Gravesend Shrimpers Bitter

    on sale and the Landlord reports increasing

    interest and sales of real ale by his customers.

  • Spring Issue 2013 12


    Abbey Street, FAVERSHAM 01795 591462

    REAL ALES from Around the UK and Local

    REAL FOOD prepared freshly daily on the premises REAL ATMOSPHERE lovely garden and open inglenook log

    fires REAL TRADITION - 14th century oak beamed pub

    Quality lagers and Quality Wine from Corney and Barrow

    Good Beer Guide 2013 'Official home of the Timothy Taylor Appreciation Society'.

    The Phoenix Tavern



    ME13 7BH - 01795 591462

  • Spring Issue 2013 13

    The Three Tuns, Lower Halstow

    and functions. Future plans include a beer

    festival and barbecue, possibly in June 2013.

    The Sondes is well worth a stop of on the way back from Canterbury and you can

    even pick up any groceries as they have a

    village shop open from 06:30 to 23:00.

    The Three Tuns, Lower Halstow

    In the west of our branch is

    the idyllic village of Lower

    Halstow, a short walk from

    Newington and with a regular bus service to

    Chatham and Sittingbourne.

    It is home to The Three

    Tuns, a free house located

    close to the Saxon Shore

    Way long distance path.

    The pub has been in the last

    two editions of the Good Beer Guide and prides itself

    on selling local produce.

    There are three

    K e n t a l e s o n t a p

    permanently; regular brews

    come from all the major

    Kent breweries including

    Hopdeamon, Gadds and Old Dairy. A permanent cask cider from Kent is also always

    available on a recent visit it was Duddas Tun. In addition, five to six ciders are also

    available in boxes from the cellar. The Three

    Tuns also stocks Kent Curious Brew a keg lager/beer (and very tasty) from Chapel Down.

    The Three Tuns is perfect on a

    summers day with a large garden including covered areas for when its slightly damp and in the winter has an open log fire. Summer is a good time to visit, particularly for their August

    Beer and Cider Festival which last year

    featured around 25 beers and ciders and live

    music. Some favourite beers were Old Dairy

    Hop Top and Old Dairy Czar Top the latter a 10% Russian Imperial Stout guaranteed to put hairs on your chest! The food is excellent

    all locally produced and reasonably priced. The sausage and mash is particularly nice!

    So next time you fancy a day out you

    could do worse than The Three Tuns or The



    The Three Tuns

    The Sondes

    Pubs at the extreme of Swale from East to West


  • Spring Issue 2013 14

    The White Lion Selling

    The White Lion is a restored coaching inn dating from 1703, in the village of Selling, close to the beautiful walks

    of Perry Woods

    A la carte menu

    Lunch served 12 to 3, three course set menu 11.95 Tuesday to Saturday


    Early bird Tuesday to Thursday 6pm to 7pm, three course 19.95 ~

    Sunday Roast two course 14.95, three course 19.95

    Opening Times Tuesday to Saturday 12:00 to 3:00 & 6:00 to

    11:00. Sunday 12:00 to 3:00.

    Check website for seasonal opening times. [email protected] 01227 752211

  • Spring Issue 2013 15

    Taylor Appreciation Society

    O n 19th November 2009, The Phoenix Tavern, Faversham rose from the ashes having been a dull run down pub which had

    been closed for 8 months to become arguably

    one of Favershams best pubs, winning awards and plaudits for its food, real ales, premium

    lagers and Corney and Barrow wines. Cask

    Marque accredited, the Phoenix has become a

    mecca for good beer lovers and recently

    founded the Timothy Taylor Appreciation

    Society. Sam Grimston from the famous

    Yorkshire brewery said, To our knowledge this is the first Timothy Taylor Appreciation

    Society, and is a flattering testament to the

    delicious beers that bear Timothy Taylors name. Long may the beer and the Society thrive and develop more branches. Timothy Taylor was born on 6th

    August 1826 at Bingley and died on 9th January

    1898, aged 71. Rumours abound about him not

    allowing his ales out of Yorkshire and certainly

    not into Lancashire! Probably all nonsense but

    today we are fortunate enough to enjoy these

    fine ales all over the UK, and with the help of a

    head and shoulders picture of Timothy Taylor

    from the brewery and Abbey Print in

    Faversham, Phoenix Landlord David Selves created a life size cardboard cut out of

    Timothy Taylor for the launch of the Society

    and is pictured here with him. Harold Goodwin

    was elected President of the Society, a just

    reward for his disappointment when at an

    airport on the other side of the world he

    received the Phoenix weekly email telling him

    that Timothy Taylor Landlord was settling in

    the cellar. No time to lose. From Heathrow

    the flyer to Paddington, a cab to St Pancras, the flyer to Faversham, a cab to home behind the

    Phoenix, front door open, case and coat

    thrown in and a quick march to the Phoenix to

    burst through the door in anticipation as the

    badge was changed from Landlord to Im in cleaning fluid, the beer having all been drunk! The Society will hold regular meetings

    to sup the ales, the next being 9th April at

    7.30pm when Landlord and Golden Best will be available with the famous Phoenix Picking Pots

    featuring whitebait soaked in Landlord and

    deep fried.

    Landlord David Selves commented, Its always been one of my favourite beers and we

    had it on opening night, so it is appropriate that

    it should be the first appreciation society we

    form. It was good to see so many people and

    although this time the furthest traveller was

    only from Sittingbourne we expect that to change as word spreads and who knows we

    might start an annual festival so that pilgrims

    can come from far and wide to meet Mr Taylor

    who is now enjoying his posthumous

    retirement applause among friends!


    David and Timothy on a night out

  • Spring Issue 2013 16

    Jolly Boys Tour

    B attle bus at the ready our intrepid explorers were chomping at the bit. Passports in hand we could feel the excitement,

    like Christopher Columbus before us we were

    off to explore unchartered territories. As we

    rose high into the sky we had no idea what we

    would find when we landed back on dry land.

    Then, there it was in front of our eyes - the Isle

    of Sheppey. Left, right, which way to go?

    The battle bus veered to the right,

    swerving through tree lined windy tracks,

    avoiding the chalets and mobile homes.

    Eventually we came to a halt in a place the locals

    called Eastchurch, Warden Road. Here we

    found a watering hole, The Wheatsheaf, in

    spacious grounds, with ample parking for what

    we now realise is an all terrain battle bus (who

    would have thought Nissan had it in them).

    Entering the ale hostelry we passed a family

    dining on the reasonably priced, traditional pub fayre. Approaching the bar, the innkeeper lady

    offered us a choice of Shepherd Neame Spooks

    ale or Greene King Abbot for the princely sum

    of 3.20. Both well kept pints.

    Back from whence we came in our

    amazing vehicle, to a more populated area of

    the island. Here we found a place where the

    locals meet for social and community gatherings.

    They named this centre Minster Working Mens Club, where you can purchase pints of Nelsons Pieces of Eight or an exceptionally good

    Shepherd Neame Master Brew for only 2.90.

    Next to Minster Abbey this club also appears to

    be the Isle of Sheppeys political hub. Our party were introduced to political legend Mad Mike

    Young, Official Monster Raving Loony Party,

    who insisted on mentioning the luck one of his

    political colleagues happened upon. Sheik

    Mihand has invested his retirement fund in a

    plot of land at the site of the proposed new

    London Airport runway. When the land is

    compulsory purchased he will make a killing, but

    as Sheik Mihand is now short of the price of a

    pint, he is open to offers for this land situated

    in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

    Off to the seaside. We fought through

    wind and rain, climbing to the top of the Minster

    cliffs where we found, overlooking the beach, The Playa Free House. Inside the spacious bar

    our thirsty explorers ordered seven superb

    pints of Shepherd Neame Late Red (3.60), a

    half pint of Master Brew and a non-alcoholic

    beer for the driver. The smartly dressed bar

    staff informed us they had a very busy food

    trade and advance booking was required at


    Back inland, or as inland as you can get

    on Sheppey, we ventured to the Harps Inn,

    Minster Road. A large premises with ample

    parking for our battle bus. The friendly bar staff

    served us St Austell Tribute and Sharps Doom Bar at 3.20 from a small bar. The friendly locals

    suggested some other locations we should visit,

    namely The Red Lion, Blue Town and the Royal

    Hotel, Sheerness.

    Sadly it was time for us to return back

    to the mainland and get our passport stamped at

    Jolly Boys headquarters. We discussed our trip

    and voted the Late Red at The Playa and the

    Master Brew at the Minster Working Mens Club as beers of the evening.

    Cant wait for our next trip over the water and turn left! [MW]

    The Playa Free House, Isle of Sheppey

  • Spring Issue 2013 17

    Ever changing selection of cask ales

    Large Beer Garden

    Mobile Bar and Catering Service Available for Weddings, Christenings and Birthdays

    No Function too big or small

    Call Malcolm on 07764 842478

    Three Hats, 93 High Street, Milton Regis, Kent, ME10 2AR




  • Spring Issue 2013 18

    A Canterbury Tale

    I f you mention Canterbury to anyone they will undoubtedly comment on the Cathedral, or perhaps the Archbishop (past or present), or

    even the impressive stone wall that surrounds

    the inner city, or possibly the famous

    Canterbury Tales. Mention Canterbury to a real

    ale fan, however, and they are likely to remark

    on the quality of pubs, the micro breweries and

    vast choice of ales available in this bustling city.

    So with all this in mind I decided to

    spend a couple of afternoons just before

    Christmas (2012) doing a rekky of this great city to actually see what is on offer to the ale

    drinker. Having two train stations served by

    Southeastern Rail (one in the East, one in the

    West) the first decision I had to make was

    where to start!! I went for West with the first

    point of call being Murrays General Stores and the Bottle Shop. Both of these are

    conveniently located within the farmers market food hall literally yards from the station

    concourse. Opened in 2002 this converted

    Goods Shed is a haven for fresh local produce

    of great proportion along with these two

    independently run real ale and cider outlets.

    Both stock a very impressive, ever changing,

    range of quality bottled ales from most of the

    Kent breweries along with some of the more

    popular national ones. The Bottle Shop also sells

    mini casks and polypins subject to availability

    and selection at the time. What makes both

    places very appealing is that you can purchase

    your desired ale and then enjoy it at a table

    within the market while sampling the vast range

    of food delights around you.

    Dragging myself away from the market

    my next stop was to be The Unicorn. Dating back to 1593 this charming Tudor fronted

    building and its then owner, Isaac Buesden, was

    granted a licence to sell alcohol in 1664, which

    at first bore no title other than that of an ale

    house in St Dunstans. From then on it passed through many hands but still remained a popular

    ale house right up to the present day. The

    Unicorn offers a very welcoming atmosphere

    and is very much a locals pub, being very popular with the (mature) students from the

    nearby university. It boasts a good selection of

    ales normally Master Brew and Doom Bar on full time with the other two hand pulls as

    rotating guests (normally from Whitstable

    Brewery). The daily food menu promotes

    excellent home cooked meals at a very

    reasonable price. A very worthy starting or

    indeed ending place depending on which train

    station you choose.

    Leaving The Unicorn heading towards

    the town is the West Gate Inn owned by JD

    Wetherspoon. This particular venue takes its

    name from its proximity to Canterbury's West

    Gate, one of the finest medieval gateways in

    Britain. This pub is a Grade II listed building, and

    dates from the 17th century. Over the years, it

    The Bottle Shop at the Goods Shed

    The Unicorn

  • Spring Issue 2013 19

    A Canterbury Tale has been modified and rebuilt and has lost much

    of its timber frame and original features, but still

    keeps all the quaint nooks and crannies inside. The ale selection is constantly changing,

    offering both national and local breweries. The

    food menu is simple but offers good fayre at a

    very competitive price. As with most

    Wetherspoons it does what it says on the tin! Leaving here heading towards the High

    Street you take a left turn into St Peters Lane and walk the length until you reach St.

    Radigunds St here you will find The Dolphin. This popular gastro/bistro venue was awarded

    the 2012 Gold accolade for pub of the year by

    the local CAMRA group. The pub offers up to

    five real ales (and a cider) normally from Sharps, Hopdaemon and Gadds. The restaurant at the side and rear of the pub is very popular and can

    become full very quickly at peak times. The

    pubs dcor and atmosphere is very comfortable

    and welcoming. There is also a comprehensive

    collection of board games and free internet

    access. They also have a monthly Dolphin quiz on a Monday which proves popular with the

    locals and ale drinkers alike.

    Walking two minutes from here along

    St. Radigunds St towards Northgate you will find

    The Parrot. This charming grade II star listed

    building dating back to the 14th century has been

    skilfully converted into a popular place to drink

    and eat (Canterburys oldest pub - 1370!!). The interior is just as stunning as the exterior

    boasting low ceilings, original timber beams and

    flooring and plenty of tapestry hanging from the

    walls. Acquired by Shepherd Neame, they have

    kept all the original features whilst adding a

    touch of brewery memorabilia around. The beer

    selection is obviously Sheps but they nearly

    always support a guest ale, normally from

    Hopdaemon. Unfortunately at my last visit the

  • Spring Issue 2013 20

    The Swan Inn


    Two LocAles including a Wantsum pump

    Award Winning Duddas Tun Cider

    Sky Sports

    Free Quiz Sunday from 4.40pm

    Live music Saturdays at 9pm

    Karaoke Sundays and Tuesdays from 7pm

    Sunday lunch 12-3.30

    2 meals for 9 78 London Road, Teynham, Kent ME9 9QH

    01795 521 218

  • Spring Issue 2013 21

    A Canterbury Tale famous Parrot was no longer there not sure the reasoning behind this!! Nevertheless a lovely

    historic place to have a drink and/or to eat.

    Heading back towards the High Street

    on the corner of Palace St and St Alphege Lane

    you will find The Bell and Crown.. Capturing

    the comments I have heard and read it can only

    be described as a typical English pub - a very

    affable and pleasant city pub

    which clearly benefits from

    passing trade from the

    Cathedral and yields a good

    mix of clientele. It offers up to

    5 Kent ales selected normally

    from Whitstable, Gadds and Canterbury Ales. There is also

    a local cider from Biddenden

    on offer. A no frills food menu is available offering good

    value for money definitely a pub to pop in en-route to the


    Within five minutes

    walk you reach Sun Street/

    Burgate and the Nicholsons o w n e d T h e O l d

    Buttermarket . Located

    directly opposite the entrance

    to the Cathedral Gate, this

    traditional pub is a welcome

    site to tourists. As with many

    pubs in the area its steeped in history. There has been a

    public house on this site for

    over 500 years; a coaching inn called the Black

    Boy stood here from the 1600s until 1908. A

    butter market used to be held in the square

    outside the pub. Flint pieces in the cellars

    indicate it may stand on Roman remains and

    that it used to be connected by tunnels to

    Canterbury Cathedral. With regards to the ales,

    as with all Nicholsons pubs they offer a large catalogue of changing ales from the national

    breweries, occasionally promoting the local

    ones. This is supported by their standard food

    menu which you will see in all their outlets.

    Leaving the cobbled market square

    walking towards Burgate is Butchery Lane. Here

    you will find The City Arms - one of the three

    outlets run by ever popular Canterbury

    Brewers and owned by Stoneset Inns. Housed in

    a 15th century building this pub has been in

    existence for over 300 years, being called

    Morocco and the Angel and Castle. In 1892 it

    was registered under its

    present name. Fortunately the

    pub escaped minor damage

    during the wartime bombing

    raids despite the opposite side

    of the lane being completely

    destroyed. Today, you will be

    guaranteed a warm welcome

    where you will be offered up to

    four ales from their brewery

    (normally one being from

    Gadds). Good value traditional food is available at certain times

    of the day. They also support

    CAMRA where they will

    discount your final bill by 10%

    when producing an active

    membership card.

    Continuing the Burgate

    part of this crawl, if you go

    back to the main street and

    head in the opposite direction

    of the cathedral you will come

    across Canterburys other Wetherspoon and the larger of

    the two, The Thomas

    Ingoldsby. Although the building has no real

    historical interest being an ex-furniture store,

    the name of the pub does! Richard Harris

    Barham was born in 1788 at 61 Burgate across

    the road. Using the pen name Thomas Ingoldsby

    he wrote The Ingoldsby Legends, which first

    appeared, in 1840, in a periodical edited by

    Charles Dickens. Today this Wetherspoons pub keeps up with tradition by offering an

    impressive range of changing cask ales and

    ciders along with their usual food menu. As with

    the West Gate this place appeals to the young,

    The Old Buttermarket

  • Spring Issue 2013 22

    The Sondes Arms


    Restaurant open Friday / Saturday Night 6:30 to 9:00pm Sunday Lunch 12:00 to 4:00pm

    Curry Night Tuesdays Fish & Chip Night Thursdays

    Booking recommended

    Regular Sunday Lunch Music Blues/Jazz Quiz night every Wednesday

    Kitchen run by two ex-RAF Chefs

    One minutes walk from Selling station

    Convenience store open from 6:30am until 11:00pm

    Dog friendly/Children on leads Tel: 01227 752517

  • Spring Issue 2013 23

    A Canterbury Tale tourists, shoppers and theatre goers alike.

    Continuing you will now need to cross

    Canterburys busiest road - Upper/Lower Bridge St and head left towards Broad St. Here you are

    looking for a small side road on the right called

    Havelock Street and The New Inn. Tucked

    away amongst a row of terrace houses this little

    converted two up two down is a

    real hidden gem! Here you will

    find a friendly and warm

    welcome from the owners and

    locals. It sort of feels like a

    mellow, relaxed front room

    beerhouse, like those common

    in Victorian times. The open

    fires and the old juke box just

    add even more character to the

    interior. The pub offers a good

    range of changing real ales and a

    local cider, good value home cooked food and a quaint

    tranquil relaxing beer garden to

    the rear (once you have gone

    through the extension and the

    conservatory)!! Definitely worth

    the 10 minute walk from the city


    Retracing our steps for

    the final furlong back along

    Lower Bridge St and down the

    main High Street parade just opposite Guildhall

    Street is a small opening called White Horse

    Lane. If you dont spot this you will undoubtedly see the board on the pavement advertising The

    Foundry Brew Pub. This is Canterbury

    Brewers flagship pub in the city and probably the most popular real ale (craft) outlet in the

    area to date. Owned by the Stoneset Inns (City

    Arms and the Beercart Arms) this modern

    looking yet industrial feel venue is a haven for

    real ale and cider drinkers. The two storey

    building, now the site of Canterbury Brewers

    (opened in June 2011), was part of the Drury &

    Bigglestons Foundry from the early 1800s to the late 1900s supplying the south east railway.

    They even constructed one of the very first

    torpedoes and their 19th century lamp posts can

    still be found in Canterbury today. One of the

    highlights of this place is that you can view the

    brewing process from your table. The 4 barrel

    plant is behind glass partitions literally next to

    the bar. Along with the impressive selection of

    cask ales available from the brewery there is

    normally one guest from Gadds. The food menu is equally as impressive and very

    good value especially if you hold a CAMRA card (10% off).

    The final pub on this

    extensive yet informative crawl is

    about 10 mins walk from

    Canterbury East station, near

    Wincheap. The Kings Head is a

    hidden gem and very much a

    traditional pub. It has a log fire,

    holds regular quizzes and serves

    good value home cooked food. It

    offers four real ales including one or two from Kent (particularly

    f r o m G o a c h e r s a n d H o p d a e m o n ) a n d v e r y

    r e a s o n a b l y p r i c e d B & B

    accommodation. Quoted from

    Trip Adviser one of only a handful of proper pubs left in

    Canterbury. I am sure this speaks volumes when a tourist/

    visitor is looking for that certain

    type of pub away from the hustle and bustle of

    the city. Certainly one to try if you have a spare

    hour waiting for train which with Southeastern is quite likely!

    Being a supportive CAMRA member and

    a real ale fan I have tried to pick what I

    personally feel are the best of the bunch in

    Canterbury. Obviously this is not a definitive list

    and of course it is just personal selection and

    choice. Everyone has different views about the

    pubs I have or have not included. However I

    hope this article will help a little and assist the

    reader when they are next visiting Canterbury

    looking for that unique beer.


    The New Inn

  • Spring Issue 2013 24

    Who said there are no proper pubs left?

    T rying to maintain a seventeenth century pub, situated in the back of beyond, with little passing trade other than the odd seal,

    yachtsman or rambler is no easy task. We

    endeavour to preserve it in as unique and

    original condition as we can, aiming to keep it as

    far away from modern developments in the licensed trade as possible, (complete with

    miserable landlord, outside toilets and more

    draughts than a tramps trousers), our aim being

    to provide a glimpse of how things used to be.

    This ambition often leads to problems.

    One couple, (who were first timers), arrived in

    a very large and expensive car, and on enquiring

    about the mens facilities, were told that they were outside. This caused great amusement,

    which rapidly turned to amazement when they

    realised that I was serious.

    Unable to resist the temptation, and not

    sure if their description of quaint referred to me or the pub, I added and if the bucket is full, let me know and Ill empty it. They were out of the door and away

    faster than a Morris man after a free pint, never

    to be seen again.

    Being a grumpy landlord comes naturally

    after fifteen years of experiencing things like

    people letting their muddy dogs sit on the

    chairs, expecting their children to be allowed to

    roam the pub like marauding pirates and

    thinking that the purchase of two half pints

    entitles them to hog the fire for two hours.

    Oh we believe in free expression, one couple said when I objected to their offsprings attempts to demolish a model ship. They have to learn you know. Those children were most surprised

    when I asked them to leave and take their

    parents with them. No doubt they are now

    traumatised for life and not able to go into pubs.

    (A good result if I say so myself)!

    If being grumpy means that I expect

    reasonable behaviour from people who respect

    the environment they are in and the people

    around them, then its a fair cop Guv.

    Ours is thankfully still a pub which

    serves food and not a pretend restaurant where

    you can get a drink. Nor do we stock any of the

    numerous designer drinks that grace the shelves

    of many of those outlets that are all chrome

    fittings and shiny leather seats, that you slide off

    as soon as you reach for your packet of

    nutritionally balanced, organically grown health


    We have no TV or games machines, and

    our single nod at entertainment is the local radio station on in the background. The only

    noise is usually the hum of conversation, a fact

    appreciated by the surprising amount of regulars

    we have, who put up with the landlord in order

    to enjoy a decent pint and good company.

    Back to being grumpy and those things

    which are guaranteed to set me off. High on the

    agenda are the beer buffs, who ramble on and on about nutty flavours, and a follow through of gooseberry with an aftertaste of hop, or words to that effect.

    One such customer waxed lyrical in

    such terms about one of Phil Goachers beers one day, much to the obvious amusement of

    Big Ron, who sat in his normal corner trying to enjoy a quite pint. When asked his opinion as a

    local, he cast one rheumy eye at the enthusiastic

    drinker and said, If you mean the beers good, why not just say so!


    I could go on about the beer escalator, the

    weather, red tape, VAT and elf and safety, not to mention all those phone calls trying to sell to

    me something that I dont need or want, but Id need a lot more space than is available here!

    Happy New Year.


    Grumpy Landlord of the Shipwrights Arms at Hollowshore

  • Spring Issue 2013 25

    Are micro pubs a positive step forward?

    I have had a keen interest in the micro pub movement ever since my first visit to The Butchers Arms. Thinking back, these small pubs remind me of my visits to Ireland - Dingle in

    particular - where pubs were and probably still

    are shared spaces with other activities such as

    shoe or bike repairs. These small pubs, like the

    micros, offer an environment which encourages

    a community atmosphere where people get

    together and talk.

    I love the idea that in a time of recession

    when many shops and pubs are closing down

    due to lack of trade, the micro pubs are thriving.

    A mixture of low overheads created

    through limited opening hours, selected

    locations and a small team of dedicated staff

    (often just the landlord/lady) have managed to

    create an environment where the pub can still


    I am however concerned that this new growth in micro pubs might indeed have a

    negative impact on the traditional local. With

    pubcos persisting with high rents and expensive

    beer lists, it is possible that the competition

    brought by these new enterprises may indeed

    be the competition that the traditional pub cannot overcome?

    It is interesting to see micro pubs

    opening in closed shops, whereas pubs are being

    turned into supermarkets and flats. I worry that

    we may lose much of the heritage that exists in

    our old pubs, from the varied bar styles (public,

    salon) to the large gin palaces with their cut

    glass windows and open horseshoe bars.

    Things seem to be moving in a great

    circle. Another chapter in pub history - an

    evolutionary stage - moving back from the large

    prestigious buildings built by national breweries

    who used the design of their pubs to show their

    wealth, driving smaller bars out of business, back

    to the small bars that were often run from a front room. [KS]

  • Spring Issue 2013 26

    A few pints from The Few

    G reetings gentle reader. For my piece this time I once again return to the Second World War and a tale of thirsty troops in

    Normandy. Picture yourself as a footsore

    Tommy in war torn France. You have survived

    the crossing of the channel on D Day, you

    stormed Sword beach dodging everything that

    Fritz could throw at you and secured the

    beachhead. You then moved inland, liberating

    villages, fighting in the Bocage where every

    sunken lane was a perfect place for the

    Germans to defend and then fought for days to

    capture Caen. You are at last given a bit of R &

    R and by George you need a beer! Theres nothing like invading an occupied country to

    work up a thirst! Only one problem - there isnt any beer as the supply lines are not delivering

    ale as there are more important things like tanks

    to bring over from England. All was not lost and

    the ever resourceful Englishman would not be separated from his beer if he could at all help it.

    Now those nice people at the Bushell,

    Watkins & Smith Brewery of Westerham agreed

    to supply beer for free to the troops in

    Normandy, but how to get it there? Step in the

    RAF. Bushells had been supplying beer to the

    mess at Biggin Hill so the solution was staring

    them in the face. They would fly it there. The

    Spitfire Mk IX had been modified to carry

    bombs or fuel tanks under the wings and the

    fighter boys quickly worked out that the

    mountings could be adapted to carry beer casks.

    This modification was known as Modification

    XXX (someone had a sense of humour!!). These

    Spitfires were frequently sent back to England

    for maintenance only to return with two full casks of beer slung under the wings, nicely

    cooled from the flight.

    I imagine that the conversation between

    the pilot and the squadron commander went

    something like this.

    Sorry Skip but the old crate is using too much fuel and the ground crew cannot seem to

    fix it. Ok if I pop back to Blighty and get the old

    girl sorted out - Ill be back before you know it. To which the reply could have been, Yes, old

    boy, there have been a few incidences of this

    lately. Better to get it sorted, these Mark IX

    Spits are a bit thirsty and fuel is in short supply.

    Mind you, dont end up in the drink as that sea water leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, if you

    know what I mean! Now of course that conversation is

    purely imaginary but it seems to me impossible

    that the top brass didnt know what was happening as it is difficult to hide two beer casks

    slung under the wings of a Spitfire as it returned

    to the airfield, and also the whole squadron

    would be out watching the landing with their

    tongues hanging out! Spare a thought though for

    the pilot. Can you imagine how popular he

    would have been if he had a bumpy landing and

    lost the beer! Dog fighting with Jerry

    Messerschmitts would have been a piece of cake

    compared with facing the wrath of the thirsty

    ground troops and crew and certainly less dangerous!

    However, this resourcefulness did not

    go unnoticed by the taxman and we all know he

    wants his pound of flesh or in this case gallon of

    beer!! The brewery was told to stop as they

    were in violation of the law by exporting beer

    without paying taxes. This seems to have put a

    A new meaning to a pint of Spitfire

  • Spring Issue 2013 27

  • Spring Issue 2013 28

  • Spring Issue 2013 29

    A few pints from The Few stop to the beer runs (boo hiss to the taxman!!),

    however it is more than likely that the real

    reason was that as the allies moved further into

    France airfields were set up in the liberated

    areas and there was no need to fly back to

    England to effect maintenance. So ended a resourceful but short lived enterprise of which I

    am sure the troops were immensely grateful to

    the pilots who were able to deliver them a few

    good pints of English ale.

    So there you have it, a tale of The Few

    supplying a few to a fortunate few.


    H eld over Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd of February at the Masion Dieu in Dover, the White Cliffs

    Festival of Winter Ales offered

    around 75 ales for the discerning

    drinker in its now customary

    time and place. As always the

    beers on offer were from 5%

    ABV and up, with the strongest

    being Elgoods Black Eagle Imperial Stout at a heady 8.7%. I

    had my sensible head on when I

    visited from the start at 1pm

    Friday and mostly kept to half

    pints so that I could sample a

    wide choice of ales before I

    reached my limit. Of particular

    note I enjoyed a pint of Kinver

    Breweries Khyber at 5.8%

    which, according to the tasting notes in the events leaflet, is a

    Golden strong bitter with a hop bite that overwhelms the fleeting malty

    sweetness and drives through to the dry finish which I enjoyed and went well with my curry. As

    usual the was the tombola stall with prizes

    galore if you were lucky enough to draw a

    number out that included a 1 in

    it. Luckily I was successful and

    received as my prize a book on

    home brewing pale ales which I

    hope to try out in the near

    future. The glasses this year

    were decorated with a cartoon

    image of the late and much

    missed Roger Marples, a

    stalwart CAMRA campaigner

    and leading light in CAMRA

    from its very beginnings. I met

    Roger on only a couple of

    occasions at which he was

    charming and enjoyed passing on

    his knowledge with enthusiasm

    and was a great raconteur. I was

    truly sad when I learned of his

    passing. I called time on the session at around 6.45pm which

    gave me sufficient time to make

    my way back to the railway station well insulated

    from the cold and wet by the fine warming ales I

    had enjoyed that afternoon.


    20th White Cliffs Festival of Winter Ales

    Roger Marples Glass

    Careful we dont want spillage

  • Spring Issue 2013 30

    South Sittingbourne pub walk

    O n leaving the front entrance of Sittingbourne railway station, cross the traffic lights and pass by the side of the Forum

    shopping centre and you will reach the town


    Once you are on the main high street

    head right for about 7 minutes until you reach

    Rock Road, a residential street on your left.

    When you reach the end of Rock Road turn

    right and then follow the road as it bends left,

    keeping the small play park to your left.

    Continue to the end and cross straight over the

    busy road (Homewood Avenue). Continue

    straight over across the grass and then it is

    straight on down College Road. At the end of College Road you will

    reach The Beauty of Bath. At this point you

    will be about 25 minutes into the trail. Perhaps

    too early for the first pub of the day, so there is

    no pressure to stop here, but of course this is

    up to you! Turn right away from the pub (down

    Riddles Road) and then take a sharp left down

    Starvacre Lane. Up until this point we admit

    that it has not been the most scenic of strolls,

    however if you continue straight down Starvacre

    with the allotment to your right you will soon

    be traversing fields and orchards.

    Continue straight along this (quite

    muddy) path for around 10-15 minutes. You

    will come to a few points where there are other

    footpaths bearing off to the left or right, but

    continue straight along the track, which

    becomes narrower as it goes on, until you reach

    a small road.

    Cross the road and continue straight

    across the open field ahead, which will take

    around 10 or 15 minutes. On reaching the

    other side of the field climb the steps ahead of

    you and take care crossing the busy road to the

    pavement. Head right and you will cross a

    bridge over the motorway. Continue to follow

    this road and you will soon find yourself in

    Bredgar village. Continue straight on past the

    war memorial, keeping the pond on your right.

    A few minutes further, after passing the church,

    and you will reach The Sun.

    The Sun has a sizeable front bar with a

    long bar separating it from the large restaurant

    to the rear. On our visit they were serving

    Sharps Doom Bar, Shepherd Neames Master Brew, and Harveys Sussex Best. A wide

    selection of food is served, from sandwiches and

    jacket potatoes to burgers and pork belly.

    On leaving The Sun, retrace your steps

    through the village, over the bridge and back

    across the field. When you reach the road

    again instead of taking the footpath follow the

    road left. You will meet a T-junction onto

    Hearts Delight/Wrens Road. Crossing the road go down through the gate and follow the

    sign-posted footpath across the field towards Borden church.

    On reaching the edge of the field, head

    right down a short, narrow path between the

    houses. Then continue straight on with the

    church to your left. Just to the right across the

    road is The Maypole.

    This free house has a very cosy front

    bar with a wood-burning stove. This is

    separated by a door from the larger (but still

    not huge) bar, with comfy sofas and a dining

    area. On our visit there were four hand pumps

    serving Master Brew and Doom Bar along with

    Butcombe Bitter and Otter Amber.

    On leaving the Maypole you have a

    choice. You can continue the walk across the

    fields to the Plough and Harrow at Oad

    Street. This loop will add anther hour to your

    walk and is available on the Swale CAMRA


    If returning home (we only have room

    for this route here) turn right at the front of the

    pub and walk towards Borden Church. Take a

    left at the T-junction and follow the wall of the

    church until you reach School Lane. This is also

    the point that the Oad Street loop re-joins our


    A loop walk of around 2 hours starting and

    ending at Sittingbourne railway station. For the

    extended version with an extra pub visit see

    our website:

  • Spring Issue 2013 31

  • Spring Issue 2013 32

    Chris & Marie Annand and staff welcome you to this historic 15th Century inn in the heart of Faversham

    Immaculately kept Shepherd Neame beers

    Traditional home made lunches served every day

    Join us for our popular Quiz Night held on the last

    Wednesday of every month

    Find us on Facebook

    The Bear Inn, 3 Market Place, Faversham, Kent ME13 7AG, Tel 01795 532668

    THE BEAR Faversham

  • Spring Issue 2013 33

    South Sittingbourne pub walk

    Turn down School Lane with the church

    to your right hand side. There is no pavement

    at first so be careful! After a few minutes the

    road will bear left. Instead of following the road,

    enter what looks like a driveway to Lyndum. This is a public footpath. Go through the gate

    and heed the notices about keeping to the path

    and closing the gates to ensure the livestock

    does not escape! Keeping to your left, go

    through a second gate and head straight across

    the field toward the two wooden markers. This

    was rather muddy when we attempted it and

    you could to go round the outside of the field.

    Go through the markers and directly

    across the next field. When you reach the edge

    of the field cross the style and again walk

    straight over the next field. The rough path will

    lead you to a style. However if you look to

    your right you will see a gate the corner of the

    field. Go through the gate and follow the narrow path between the hedges and houses.

    After a few minutes you will find yourself exiting

    through the Pine Lodge Care Centre car park

    and onto the very busy London Road (A2).

    Walk right down London Road and after two

    minutes you will reach The Long Hop.

    This free house is a wooden panelled

    pub with open fire and views of, erm, the lovely

    A2 and more importantly the park opposite,

    complete with cricket pavilion, hence the name

    of this establishment. On our visit both Sharps Cornish Coaster and Master Brew were being

    served. The pub is split levelled with the main

    bar being to the rear of the pub.

    On leaving, continue right down London

    Road and after about 20 minutes of this not so

    tranquil part of the walk you will be back in

    Sittingbourne town centre. If you still feel you

    could do with another pub stop or two on your

    return journey, there is always The Billet, a

    Greene King house on the opposite side of

    London Road about 5 minutes on from the Long

    Hop. Or there are numerous pubs in

    Sittingbourne town centre, with the Smith and Jones chain owned The Vineyard which often

    serves national favourites, or The Red Lion

    further down the high street, which has a

    pleasant garden and serves Sharps Doom Bar. [SC & KS]

    The Sun, Bredgar

    The Maypole, Borden

    The Long Hop, Sittingbourne

    The Plough and Harrow, Oad St

    Station OpenStreetMap

  • Spring Issue 2013 34

    THE BOWL INN Find us on the top of the North Downs above Charing, in an area of

    outstanding natural beauty.

    Enjoy a pint of real ale or a glass of wine in our large beer garden or

    heated patio area.

    Regular steak nights, curry nights, and live music.

    Four Star Bed and Breakfast Accommodation

    We can also offer bed and breakfast accommodation with 4 en-suite bedrooms, and a garden room which offers full facilities for disabled

    guests. We are a 'dog and horse friendly' Inn

    Alan and Sue Paine Egg Hill Road, Charing, Ashford, Kent TN27 OHG

    Tel: 01233 712256 email [email protected]

    The Swan & Harlequin

    We have the largest

    covered outside

    drinking area in town


    in Bloom


  • Spring Issue 2013 35

    All within a day of Swale

    D uring the course of our genealogical research over the past three years, we have visited a number of fascinating places, some

    repeatedly. It occurred to us that one such

    place in particular, the village of East Hoathly,

    with its charming 17th century pub and more

    recently attached micro-brewery at The Kings

    Head, would undoubtedly make a pleasant and

    enlightening spring or summer outing for some

    of our dedicated as well as less devoted

    CAMRA members.

    The location is approximately 50 miles

    from Swale and a very pleasant journey through

    Charing, Smarden, Cranbrook, Hawkhurst,

    Burwash and Heathfield, taking about an hour

    and a half by car.

    The Kings Head is situated fairly

    centrally to the village, nestled in the green East

    Sussex countryside just off the A22 and is about

    15 miles from Eastbourne and 5 miles from

    Uckfield. The pub has long been renowned for

    its fine food and varied menu as well as its range

    of real ales. We have visited on a number of

    occasions in the past few years. On a visit last

    October we were delighted to have found little

    has changed. We would highly recommend a

    visit, either for a leisurely meal en route to a

    holiday destination or for an organised CAMRA

    group trip to perhaps include a look at the

    attached micro-brewery.

    The pub used to be a coaching inn for

    travellers between London and Eastbourne. In

    2002 the 1648 Brewery was established in what

    used to be the stable buildings of the inn. The

    brewery has been successful over the years and

    they have now acquired the former forge

    building which is also attached to the premises.

    The proprietors are in the process of expanding

    their business into these buildings. Many of you will have, perhaps, already

    sampled the ales of the 1648 Brewery at The

    Elephant in Faversham or The Swan at Teynham

    and the following beers are just a few of their

    own, taken from a list appearing on the pubs own website.

    As at 11 February 2013, the 1648 beers

    available were Triple Champion (4.0%),

    Signature (4.4%), and Gold Angel (5.0%), the

    latter having replaced Winter Warrant (4.8%)

    Keith and Gill take another day trip, all within a

    day of Swale.

    This time its a journey back in time for them as they discover the lovely seventeenth century

    country pub, The Kings Head in East Hoathly, where Gills ancestor George Watford was

    licensee/landlord and owned the butchers shop next door in the mid nineteenth century.

    The Kings Head then

    The Kings Head now

  • Spring Issue 2013 36

    on that day.

    In addition to the three 1648 beers The

    Kings Head always have Harveys Sussex Best

    Bitter. However, for the Summer months, after

    Easter, they have a fifth pump on with a guest

    ale from breweries such as Kings Brewery,

    Horsham and Dark Star.

    East Hoathly boasts two pubs although

    we have not visited the other, namely The

    Foresters Arms which is a Harveys Sussex

    Brewers pub. [GJ&KJ]

    List of Ales

    A sample of some of the ales and their

    availability are:

    Ruby Mild (3.6%) Available December to May

    Festival Ale 30 (3.7%) Occasional availability

    Original (3.9%) Available occasionally

    Triple Champion (4.0%) Available all year

    Signature (4.4%) Available all year

    All within a day of Swale

    Landlords lament

    G ood old Enterprise Inns, they never fail to surprise me. First came the price rises of around 3.5%, not too bad until you realise it's

    3.5% on top of already over inflated prices.

    These price rises came into effect on 4th Febru-

    ary, but Enterprise Inns didn't make publicans

    aware of individual product costs until the 5th

    February online and 7th February via good old

    fashioned Royal Mail, making it hard for publi-

    cans to prepare their customers for the im-

    pending doom about to be inflicted upon them.

    Just received my latest copy of Empow-

    er, an Enterprise Inns publication aimed at pro-

    moting footfall through your pub. Glancing at

    the calendar for March it's packed with great

    ideas, Mothers Day, Formula 1, 6 Nations rugby

    and St Patricks Day.

    Then I glance at April and realise that

    very little appears to be happening that month,

    most glaringly on 23rd April! Not even an acknowledgement, these people should be hung

    drawn and quartered from the nearest flagpole,

    where the English flag should be!

    For those who have not worked it out

    yet 23rd April is St George's Day, and if you

    were unaware and English you should be

    flogged and tried for treason with the muppets

    at Empower.

    Happy St George's Day. God save our

    blah blah blah.......

    From pub to vicarage

    A s many readers will know Chris Maclean, the landlord of The Railway Hotel in Faversham, will be leaving the town in the next

    few months to be ordained as a Church of

    England Minister at Canterbury Cathedral.

    Chris has been landlord and tenant at

    The Railway Hotel since 2006 and was

    instrumental in resurrecting the pub,

    encouraging the brewery to invest in its

    refurbishment and requesting the reinstallation

    of traditional features including the bar dividing


    He has been a keen supporter of

    CAMRA and Swale Ale, regularly taking out strange adverts that often provide little or no

    information about his pub, but rather are

    designed to amuse.

    The Railway Hotel has regularly served a

    range of Shepherd Neames pilot and seasonal beers, as well as becoming a major attraction during the Faversham Hop Festival.

    For this reason I would like to wish

    Chris all the best in his move to his new parish

    in Walmer. I am sure at some time we may all

    see him in his new local which is most likely to

    be the Berry!


  • Spring Issue 2013 37

  • Spring Issue 2013 38

    Swale Mail

    We enjoy receiving letters, rants and comments from Swale Ale readers, landlords and pub goers.

    If you would like to make a comment about what you have read in Swale Ale please contact us at [email protected]

    H aving just read the latest Swale Ale I would like to point out some errors in the article on St Albans and look forward to

    reading the corrections in the next edition.

    The Horn was originally "The Horn of

    Plenty" and after various changes of names

    including the "The Horn Reborn" "Midland

    Hotel" (after the demolition of the Midland

    Railway) before becoming "The Horn".

    The original "Midland Railway" pub was

    on the opposite corner and an excellent venue

    for a drink whilst waiting to be met from the

    station. It is now a small residential development

    and a great loss to the pubs in St Albans. Also

    there is no mention of either the Robin Hood

    or the Victoria (formally the Acorn) which are

    useful stops when returning from the city centre

    to the St. Albans city railway station.

    Whilst G & KJ were visiting the

    Blacksmiths I'm surprised they didn't mention the Cock opposite. Both pubs have improved

    significantly since the 70s but neither were to

    my taste last summer even if the "Blackies" was

    in the 2012 GBG.

    Other pubs of note that did not get a

    mention either in the Winter edition or the

    Summer edition and worthy of a visit are the

    Peahen, Portland Arms, Spotted Bull close to

    the city centre or the King William IV - Roger

    Protz's local.

    Can we expect a third article covering

    the Marshalswick pubs or other pubs near the

    city centre Bar sixty2 (formally the Pineapple),

    Rats Castle, Crown, Peacock, Jolly Sailor?

    CAMRA member Bob Martin

    merely a sample of what one could find. We

    agree there are quite a number of other pubs

    worth a visit. However, in response to the

    suggested corrections, we would point out that

    the The Horn was originally 'The Midland

    Station Hotel' and that from the information we

    have, the pub on the opposite corner was

    originally 'The Masons Arms' before it became

    'The Midland Railway' in 1870 (known as The

    Little Midland).

    S ince printing our article about the Brewery History Society in the Winter issue we have been

    made aware that this title

    can also be purchased

    from the Fleur de Lis

    Heritage Centre in Preston

    Street, Faversham. The

    Faversham Society also

    have on sale a number of

    books about local pub and

    brewery history including:

    Inns and Taverns of Faversham (1982) by

    Frank Haley - 65pp - 6.70

    The Truth about Hop-Picking in

    Faversham, the Locals Remember (illustrated)

    (1999) by Peter Stevens - 52 pp - 6.15

    Favershams Historic Pubs and Breweries by Peter Stevens (2005) - 96pp - 7.65

    Faversham Society

    Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre

    Preston Street


    Kent ME13 8NS

    Thank you for your correspondence. The

    original article was never intended to be a

    complete list of all the pubs in St Albans - but

  • Spring Issue 2013 39

    5th, 6th and 7th April 2013 Open from 11am - close

    The Three Hats

    Post Easter Beer Festival LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY


    93 High Street, Milton Regis, Sittingbourne. Kent ME10 2AR

    For all enquiries call Malcolm on 07764 842 478

  • Spring Issue 2013 40