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Hastings, St Leonards,
Rye & Lewes




These pubs are open but do not appear in the book, The Pubs of Hastings & St Leonards. Research is ongoing, so look out for future updates. Contributions welcome!

Ashburnham Arms, 104 Ashburnham Road, Ore

The pub sign (see gallery) shows the Arms of the Ashburnham family. The Ashburnhams were local aristocratic landowners with an estate at Ashburnham and interests in the Sussex iron industry. At least two of them were former Members of Parliament for Hastings. Others held the post of Cinque Ports barons and at least one was sometime Mayor.

The arms are made up of  ‘Gules, a fesse, between six molets argent’.  A fesse is a broad horizontal band across across the middle of a shield, a molet is a five pointed star  a cadency mark of a third son and a Gule is a throat or gullett.

Belmont Inn, 68 Harold Road

‘Radical Smoker’ held in 1900.

This promenade pub, which is popular with day visitors and locals alike, took its name from a vessel carrying produce from the Low Countries that came ashore on the beach during the 1700s. Traders were a type of sailing ship carrying exports and imports between Britain and the continent.

The pub, originally three separate houses, was divided into two main bars, the Lifeboat Bar and the Trawler Bar. It is now a well known live music venue in the town, with bands coming from all over the country as well as local ones.

This pub has always been connected to the sea and from 1908 to 1945 the landlord, Tiny Breeds, was a prominent local fisherman running two boats the Leading Star and the Edward and Mary. He was also a town councillor from 1921 until 1943 and a freemason.

In 1921 the London Trader was sold by Smiths Lamberhurst Brewery for £400.

A more recent landlord Trevor Gaiger, passed away in 1998. There was a large turnout for his funeral where local singer Liane Carol sang The Briar and the Rose, one of his favourite songs.

Lord Warden, 73 Manor Road

In 1936 The Lord Warden applied for an extension licence for half an hour. It was refused.

Millers Arms, Old Winchelsea Road, Ore

The Millers Arms, Ore, is a fairly large pub which seems to have had at least four bars in the past all with separate entrances. A large back garden hosts a petanque court (boules) and the pub team plays in the 1066 Petanque League which seems to have eight clubs(?). There are also four dart boards on the wall and a host of silver trophies on display. One team, including the well known Mark Greenaway who has been playing since the 70s, reached the second round of the finals of the Holsten National Darts Championship in 2007 thus placing themselves among the first 32 pub teams in the country. The landlord George Noble said: “They were pig sick because they were so close. But it was extremely good to be there. Let’s hope we can get back into it next year and do a bit better.”

The pub has some interesting items hanging on the walls. These include three water colours – one of the Fountain, Queen’s Road, one of the Old Golden Cross, Havelock Road and one of the Millers Arms itself. The latter was painted by G Tyler. The Fountain could have been painted by the same artist who painted the watercolour of the Fortune of War now exhibited on the wall of the Bridge Centre, Ore. The water colour of the Millers Arms shows a different sign from the present one which has the slogan ‘In Grain we Work’.

There is also a collection of old cuttings of pub trips to the pantomime in Brighton and elsewhere and of Christmas parties of years gone by, both organised by the pub Games Committee. The oldest cutting is dated 1947.

The pub is believed to have a history of conflict with the temperance Methodist Church situated at the end of Winchelsea Road.

Hastings & St Leonards Chronicle 25/7/1877 – landlord James Read Ades assault. Same landlord applied for a full licence in 1869? Same pub?

1886 William Luck was landlord who transferred to the newly opened Clive Vale Hotel.

Paddy McGinty’s formerly The Rising Sun, was built in 1868 and used by the RAOB (Buffaloes) in 1899. In 1901 a police constable ‘attired as a labourer’ observed a book makers agent taking bets in the Rising Sun. Both agent and landlord were fined and cautioned.

In an unusual case of a scam, in 1938 a customer called Joseph Brazil, handed a watch and chain, a £2 piece, a pair of gloves, a signed cheque and some other items to Louise Barton, the bar maid, for security on a round of drinks he didn’t pay for. He then left for the Hastings Arms with another man called Alfred Ripley who later returned, paid for the round and fraudulently claimed the goods left behind. This was evidently a scam. Ripley was charged with theft and remanded. In 1940 the licensee was fined for allowing drunkenness.

It changed its name to Paddy McGinty’s in 2012.

Prince Albert, 28 Cornwallis Street

Another local pub named after Queen Victoria’s husband, located in an area developed in the mid-19th century. The Prince Albert is listed in the Hastings Directory for 1871 when the licensee is named as Thomas King.

The first Hastings CAMRA branch was formed here in 1975 before moving to Mr Cherry’s on the sea front.

Royal Albert, Battle Road

Opened in around 1871 this pub was in the hands of just three families for 100 years: the Kings from 1898-1923; the Breachs from 1924-1949 and the Greers from 1950-1980. The father of the King brothers was the famous Toby King radical pioneer and free thinker.

Welcome Stranger, Silverhill

Yates’s, 54-55 Robertson Street

The upper part of this building which stems from the 1850s, was originally known as the Music Hall. By 1865 various businesses including a ‘Cigar Manufacturer’ and a ‘Pianoforte Warehouse’ were located on the ground floor. In 1875 the Music Hall became the Public Hall catering for up to 800 people who attended ‘magic lantern shows’, amateur dramatics and political meetings, among others. One such meeting in 1909 discussed the popular theme of drink and the causes of poverty and during the Edwardian period suffragette meetings were held weekly.

In 1913 the building became the Plaza cinema and remained a cinema for 65 years. In 1940 during the Battle of Britain it was bombed by the Luftwaffe, an act which killed and injured several people. In 1948 it changed its name to the Orion but finally closed in 1978 after which W H Smiths opened an extended store in 1979. Finally in 1998 it became a branch of Yates.

Millers Arms 2009

Perhaps the most famous customer of the Miller’s Arms was Denny Gower, dart’s ‘supremo’ in the 1970s and 1980s.

Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant Road

Paddy McGinty’s, Battle Road, Hollington

Dart’s World April 1973, courtesy of Patrick Chaplin

Denny Gower at the Warriors Gate, courtesy of Patrick Chaplin

Hastings & St Leonards Observer 1976

 Harrow Inn, 828 The Ridge, St Leonards

In the early 19th century Baldslow was a small hamlet. The original Hundreds Inn now the east lodge of Beaufort Park was replaced by the Harrow Inn in the 1820s when the road through the park was diverted.

John Logie Baird (The), 29 Havelock Road

The Logie Baird is a Wetherspoons chain pub noted for its competitively priced real ale and for its interest in local history. No problem in Hastings of course and Wetherspoons chose the name of James Logie Baird a Scottish engineer, for the name of the pub.

In the 1920s Logie Baird lived around the corner in Queen’s Road where he created the first ‘image transmission’ or in other words the first television pictures.

In 1926 he gave the world its first demonstration of television before 50 scientists, in an attic room in central London. A year later his invention was demonstrated over 438 miles between London and Glasgow and in 1928 between London and New York. He also gave the first demonstration of both colour and stereoscopic television. His son Malcolm Baird recently visited Hastings and said in an interview that if his father had realised how television would eventually turn out, he wouldn’t have bothered!

London Trader (The), 4 East Beach Street

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Bull Inn, Bexhill Road

Comet, Harley Shute Road

Possibly Hastings’s newest pub.

Dolphin Inn (The), 11-12 Rock-A-Nore Road

The Dolphin Inn dates from 1798 and since that time has served the local fishing community well. During the smuggling era it was a busy pub being the smugglers first port of call. Over time the Dolphin became one of the most notorious pubs in the Old Town and fishing quarter and riotous behaviour by the drinkers was often reported.

In 1892 the landlord Daniel Gibbs was something of an entrepreneur. He had a coal business in All Saints Street including a horse and cart scales and bags, which he passed onto his son. He also had a fishing smack which he bought for his nephew for £25. With the Dolphin pub as well he went bankrupt.

Today it is a relatively quiet and friendly pub still used by the fishing community. The two bars are complete with nautical and maritime bric-a-brac including portraits of local fishermen. There is a six prize meat raffle on Sundays at 3pm and ‘free entry for the bungie jump during Hastings carnival week’. The weekly quiz night is popular and has been the subject matter of at least one piece of local journalism.

It takes its name from a legend, a piece of fishing mythology which says that in days gone by Dolphins were thought of as fishermen friendly animals. It was commonly believed that they wound themselves around a boat’s anchor cable thus stopping the anchor from dragging and giving the boat extra stability.

Included in CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2012,2103 and 2014.

Dragon Bar, 71 George Street

Duke (The), Duke Road, Silverhill

This pub opened in 1870 as the Duke of Wellington although the etched glass front windows show a bearded face and the date 1895. The name of the pub and the road was changed to The Duke in 1959 as there were two other pubs with the same name in Hastings.

One evening in 1871 Francis Weeks, a tailor of Morghue Terrace, got involved in a game of five card cribbage with three others in this pub. After playing and losing for some hours he realised that he was being swindled when he noticed the landlord ‘look over my hand and made signs to the other players’. They played all night until 6am and in total he lost 30s [£1.50] and beer money. The next day, after sleeping, he complained to the police and charges were brought of ‘felonious theft’ which could not be proved in court. Instead the landlord was charged with ‘unlawful gaming’ and ‘abetting the fraudulent obtaining of money by playing cards’. He was fined £5.

In 1883 the landlord was fined for serving out of hours. He said: ‘I thought the beer was for some excursionists’ i.e. Bona Fide Travellers.

In 1910 the Duke Slate Club paid out £1.10s 6d to every member.

Duke of Wellington, 28-29 High Street

Known locally as the ‘Welly’ this is a medium sized, bright, two bar traditional pub in the heart of Old Town. It is situated opposite the site of the Old Hastings Bank founded in 1791. It was originally one of four beer houses situated in the Breeds Brewery complex. The remains of the brewery can be seen behind the Duke. It opened in 1872(?).

On the walls are several pictures of the Duke of Wellington who after defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 became a national hero. Subsequently his name became one of the most popular British pub names second only to that of Nelson himself. This is an ironic. Years later as Prime Minister he was criticised for his policy on beer houses.

In 1806 the Duke of Wellington was stationed in Hastings with a brigade of infantry and had his headquarters at 54 High Street. In the same year he became Member of Parliament for the town of Rye.

In the early 1900s the Duke of Wellington Benefit Society met regularly to organise sick, unemployment and death benefits for ‘local working men’ and for social occasions and dinners. This was a small society offering membership ‘free of entrance money to those passed by the doctor’.

During the First World War when pubs were not allowed to serve soldiers, two local girls Edith Carter and Fanny Wilson were charged with ‘procuring drink for soldiers’. They went into the Wellington and purchased two quarts of beer for two soldier boyfriends. The four of them were caught drinking it on the grass at the top of the High Street. For this offence under the Defence of the Realm Act, they received a brutal six months imprisonment in Lewes Goal with hard labour.

In August 1916 the landlord Albert Hollebon was conscripted into military service. He appealed to the Hastings Tribunal and was granted three months exemption. A year later he was still appealing. He was finally called up in 1917 although there was no one else to run the pub. He was exempted for a final three months and then went to war against his will.

Christine and Joseph Hector Francis were the licensees from 1967 to 1970. It was then a Fremlin’s pub and offered bed, breakfast and dinner for £10 per person per week. Joseph Francis was known as Cornish Joe and served home-made pasties on ‘Teddy Oggy nights’ for 10d [4p].

The Belmont 1960s