Quite simply, the pub as we knew it is disappearing faster than my kids do when there's washing up to be done.

This blog is just a place to record pubs that are going or gone and an anecdote or two. The first eight are all within three miles of my home. If you have any you want to add, just send me a photo and a few sentences and I'll add them when I get a moment.

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Wild Duck Inn, Marden (formerly The Brickmakers Arms)

From Nigel Dolan, Australia
For any interested readers, my granddad ran this pub during WWII and into the 70s. It was called The Brickmakers Arms, and like so many, new owners changed the name. But they did renovate it nicely and introduced food - in former times it was very original (though completely lacking charm) and had only beer from bottles or from barrels in the cellar, no pumps, and nothing else much, ie a bench in the bar a cantankerous landlord and that's about it! And he opened it when he felt like it! However, on my last visit to England from Australia, I took my mum there and, alas, it was boarded up and closed. And so it still is I believe. I hope someone takes it on so it doesn't join the growing number of closed down pubs in England.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Prince Albert, Rochester Road, Burham, Kent

Now my nearest Chinese takeaway and quite a good takeaway it is too, but as The Prince Albert it seemed like one of those stalwart British pubs. No gimmicks, maybe a dart board, a menu that extended to crisps, peanuts and perhaps pork scratchings. I seem to remember drinking here with Maggie Parsons - a kindly and fun contemporary from my nursing days. Tragically, she liked places like this and The Pilot in Lower Stone Street too much, which I think contributed to her premature death. 

The Bridgewardens, Bluebell Hill, A229

This is the site but the pub was demolished some 20 years ago or so when the M2 roundabouts at the top of Bluebell Hill were extensively redeveloped. It was nicknamed 'The Busman's' because one of the seats in the bar appeared to have been taken straight out of an Maidstone and District bus (probably a 101 that went between Medway and Maidstone). At a time when we were too young to drink, even a dwarf like me could get served there...not that I had any money as that was all spent on Players No 6 cigarettes.

Fleur de Lys, Rochester Rd, Burham, Kent

This seemed to disappear overnight in 2010. The only photo I have myself is of the cleared site where it stood. The picture showing the pub comes from Burham Village's own site. Not that it will interest you, but this was the first pub I ever rode out to on my motorbike (a 1959 BSA D1 Bantam) with John Bell who had a Honda CD175. That would have been in 1978. Developers want to build a whole load of houses here now, but the villagers don't approve. Go Burham!

The Pottery Arms, Forstal Rd, Aylesford, Kent

Now converted to a B&B after a short spell as a rather bizarre Gothic destination when it was named the Grim Reaper. The Pottery Arms is near the river Medway and in front of an industrial site with several clay holes and used to have a pottery behind it. Not that they're connected, but there is still a pottery nearby at Aylesford Priory, which is worth a visit if you are nearby...and if you like pottery...or priories...or ducks (it has a duck pond).

The George Inn, Aylesford High Street, Kent

This can't technically be included in the recent wave of closures as it has been private residential for as long as I can remember -  some 30 years at least. Built in 1714, it retains its etched glass windows showing: the Public Bar; the Private Bar; and, Smoking Room (something else you don't see any more).

The Little Gem, Aylesford High Street, Kent

The Little Gem. Allegedly built in 1106. Restored in 1958. Closed in 2010. Reputed to be the smallest pub in Kent, it had a minuscule mezzanine floor and generally stocked a good range of real ales and ciders.