Leisure => Drinking Establishments & Hotels => Topic started by: pr1uk on September 05, 2012, 13:20:27

Title: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: pr1uk on September 05, 2012, 13:20:27
As a child I am sure I can remember a Railway Hotel just below the Chatham Train Station before you got to the Alexandra Hotel. Can anyone else remember this Hotel or am I getting mixed up with the Alexandra.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Delticfan on September 07, 2012, 12:52:31
I have checked a map dated 1907 for the area you mention but I can only find the site of the "Alexandra". Gillingham library and the councils resource centre in Strood may be able to help if you are in the area. Chatham library does not hold any physical maps but may have some on line.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: mikeb on September 07, 2012, 15:58:27
Quote
As a child I am sure I can remember a Railway Hotel just below the Chatham Train Station before you got to the Alexandra Hote.


I am not an expert on Chatham pubs, but the only one I can find reference to with a Railway name was the "Railway Tavern" in the High Street which was eventually incorporated into the (in)famous Barnard's' "Palace of Varieties" Theatre C 1846/50.

Probably not the one being sought!!

I suggest your "Railway Hotel" and the "Alexandra" are one & the same. The Alex is in Railway Street.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: mikeb on September 07, 2012, 16:12:04
OOPs!!

Just spotted in the excellent index of Chatham pubs by Leofwine that the York Tavern at the bottom of Ordnance Street was at one time known as the Railway Tavern or Inn. I didn't know that.
I don`t think this pub was in the right location for pr1uk, nor was it an "Hotel", but I thought it right to put the record straight.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Rambo on September 08, 2012, 11:06:21
Hi pr1uk. The Railway Refreshment Rooms, Railway St. Would have been I think roughly where the bus stops are above the Alexandra. 1872 The owners  - London, Chatham & Dover Railway Co. Victoria Station, Pimlico. 1872 To sell by Retail, Excisable liquors to be consumed ON the premises. 1875 All Excisable liquors. Licensee in 1863 was a James Broderick. Hope this helps.
rambo.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: pr1uk on September 09, 2012, 08:41:31
Hi pr1uk. The Railway Refreshment Rooms, Railway St. Would have been I think roughly where the bus stops are above the Alexandra. 1872 The owners  - London, Chatham & Dover Railway Co. Victoria Station, Pimlico. 1872 To sell by Retail, Excisable liquors to be consumed ON the premises. 1875 All Excisable liquors. Licensee in 1863 was a James Broderick. Hope this helps.
rambo.

I wonder if was thinking of early 50s, but now I wonder if it was a trick of the mind, but I was sure there was something between the station and the Alexandra. I was not thinking of The York across the road. I do remember there were shops that were down steps. One had a wall of shells set in concret they were more like market stalls. I remember one sold lots of used maps.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on September 09, 2012, 14:34:42
This is a crop from a 1920's view. Looks like the shops you are referring to may be the ones on the extreme right. I think the shops right next to the Alexandra survived until the 1980's ( I remember buying some 45's in one of them in the 1970's) but I can't remember anything else being there.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Chatham_Girl85 on September 09, 2012, 15:25:39
I do believe the Railway Hotel is now what is the Railway Tavern, what used to be O' Connells Bar, previously the Bullseye. I am sure I have read somewhere that it was called The York Hotel...
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on September 09, 2012, 15:37:44
 The "York Tavern and Railway Inn". I suspect the Railway Inn part was added after the station was built.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: colin haggart on September 09, 2012, 22:36:45
Smiffy, what's going on in the photo? I cannot think why there is so much bunting out in a 1920s photo?
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: peterchall on September 09, 2012, 22:52:06
There was a flower stall there in the late 1940's. We (missus and I) both think it was a windowless open-fronted 'shop', closed by a shutter at night
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on September 10, 2012, 01:48:26
Smiffy, what's going on in the photo? I cannot think why there is so much bunting out in a 1920s photo?


I believe it was to do with an official visit by King George V, although I'm not sure what the occasion was.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: pr1uk on September 10, 2012, 09:09:48
This is a crop from a 1920's view. Looks like the shops you are referring to may be the ones on the extreme right. I think the shops right next to the Alexandra survived until the 1980's ( I remember buying some 45's in one of them in the 1970's) but I can't remember anything else being there.

Great photo and yes the shops were down the steps, the hotel I am now not so sure, a trick of the memory on my part . I  think there was waste ground there, and its there I thought I saw a Railway Hotel sign.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: numanfan on September 13, 2012, 12:04:56
the hotel I am now not so sure, a trick of the memory on my part . I  think there was waste ground there, and its there I thought I saw a Railway Hotel sign.

Not a trick of the mind. :)

As Rambo has previously said, the premises were roughly where the buses run through now. In the 1937 Kelly's Directory - 47 & 49 Railway St, The Central Hotel.

Still there in the 1955, now called the Station Hotel & Restaurant

Not sure if it was ever called the Railway Hotel?

Disappeared by 1963.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiler on September 13, 2012, 17:49:21
I remember a cafe at the bottom of those steps where I would often have a cup of tea with a mate, where he would meet his guvnor and I'd carry on to work early 60s
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Rambo on September 14, 2012, 11:32:20
Here is my picture of the Station Hotel approx early 1960's. Hope this helps a bit. rambo.

(http://i1086.photobucket.com/albums/j447/rambomoke/StationHotel.jpg)
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Lyn L on September 14, 2012, 12:02:24
Thanks for the pic Rambo, I don't remember any of those buildings being there at all ? but must have seen them, just not registering in my pea brain  :)
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiler on September 14, 2012, 13:28:11
Well done Rambo just see the cafe I was talking about, didn't remember it being part of the Station Hotel.  (Are there any drinking establishments in the towns you haven't got a picture of?) :) :)
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: peterchall on September 14, 2012, 13:30:51
It looks a different building to Smiffy's photo of 9th September - different number of windows, a wood end, etc. Also the roof of the Alexandra Hotel next door looks different. Or am I confused regarding the location?
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiler on September 14, 2012, 13:36:43
Peter. Think the building in Rambos picture would have started where the woman on right is, then up towards station.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: peterchall on September 14, 2012, 14:07:35
So is Rambo's photo where the bus station is now? In which case, what is the building with the dormer window behind it?
Also, was the flower stall that the wife and I remember in about 1946 have been at the right edge of Smiffy's photo? I knew the girl that worked there, but can't remember her name.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on September 14, 2012, 15:23:26
That's a great picture Rambo. Passing by this area I often wondered what used to be there, but could never clearly remember. Strangely though, I can remember the old railway turntable before it was removed.

This is from the 1907 OS map, but from what I can determine it was pretty much unchanged until demolition. I can't find a clear map from a later period but I think there may have been some smaller buildings added later between the Station Hotel (marked in red) and the other ones adjacent to the Alexandra.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: peterchall on September 14, 2012, 15:50:29
Any idea when the turntable was removed?

There seems to be a low building with small (bay?) window between the man and woman at the right of your 9th September photo.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on September 14, 2012, 16:28:28
I think the turntable must have been removed probably mid to late 60's, I can remember seeing some workmen breaking it up. The low building may have been one of those added later. The Old Maps website has got an OS from the 60's showing something there, but because they've disabled the zoom it's a bit difficult to make out.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Delticfan on September 14, 2012, 17:01:42
Kelly's index lists this building 47- 49 Railway street, Chatham as "The Central Hotel" from 1919 to 1951 when it became "The Central Commercial Hotel. In 1953 it is listed as "The Station Hotel And Restaurant", and was still listed in 1959, having been owned/run by P.G.Freddi since 1947. It was not mentioned in the 1961 directory.

An interesting note is that although this establishment is listed as a hotel, in 1919 "The Alexandra" is only listed as 43 Railway Street, Bonnett Austin, Beer retailer.

This early picture shows a tall fronted building after "the Alexandra", could this be the early "Central Hotel"?
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on September 14, 2012, 18:59:08
I think the tall fronted building you mentioned is an optical illusion, being the chimney and sloping end roof of the Alexandra. Its visible in the earlier picture I posted.

Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Rochester-bred on September 15, 2012, 08:17:18
That's a great picture Rambo. Passing by this area I often wondered what used to be there, but could never clearly remember. Strangely though, I can remember the old railway turntable before it was removed.

This is from the 1907 OS map, but from what I can determine it was pretty much unchanged until demolition. I can't find a clear map from a later period but I think there may have been some smaller buildings added later between the Station Hotel (marked in red) and the other ones adjacent to the Alexandra.

Thank you Smiffy, I was getting so confused but showing the picture makes sense to me now (I hope) so the York pub, as I knew it in the 70s, on the corner of Ordnance Street and Ordnance Terrace, was never the Railway Hotel as this was down Railway Street past the station before you got to the two small shops I remember in the 70s (one sold sweets then). Then next to them was the Alexandria; is that right? Sorry if I sounded a little confused, at my age I get a little muddled. Great pictures and maps.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on September 15, 2012, 16:07:14
Hi, Rochester-bred. I can't find a more suitable picture of the Alexandra, but this is from the late 80's showing the two small shops next to it that you remember, now long gone. The old Chatham Motors on the right has also disappeared.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: peterchall on September 15, 2012, 17:38:50
Thanks Smiffy, has helped my memory as well. It looks as if by the 80s the one-way system round the Alexandra was in place a car can just be seen coming round it. That would be where the man and woman are in your first photo, and where I suggested there was a building with a window. So where was the flower stall (or shop?) that I remember? Im sure it was there the girl that worked in it dropped me after one date, about 1946!!
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Rochester-bred on September 15, 2012, 18:28:01
peterchall, if I am right the flower shop is the building with the white frontage next door but one from the Alexandra, I think the shop in the middle of them was the sweet shop I remember.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: peterchall on September 15, 2012, 18:35:24
Thanks Rochester-bred - I think you are right :) Was the shop open fronted with a pull-down shutter? It's amazing how memories sometimes come back by drip-feeding a bit at a time.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Rochester-bred on September 15, 2012, 19:54:14
Peterchall, Yes it was like that, with a little bit of info from each and everyone we all gradually get there in the end and I love the puzzle's fitting into place.  :)
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: pr1uk on September 17, 2012, 15:16:27
Well thanks, you all seem to have it all sorted, there was a Station Hotel, my old brain got the name Railway from somewhere, memories.
Now I started to do something before I came on here - but what was it ?
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: numanfan on October 14, 2012, 18:41:36
I think this photo from 1953 gives a clearer view of the layout of the area

Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: pr1uk on October 15, 2012, 13:17:10
I think this photo from 1953 gives a clearer view of the layout of the area

(http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/numanfan/CentralCommercialHotel1953.jpg)

Looking at smiffy's 1907 map that was posted on September 14th, I think the roofline & dormer windows showing above the Central Commercial Hotel are the rear of the first two properties in Maidstone Road.

Great photo bring's back memories of myself as a young boy walking passed there many times
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: mad4amanda on March 17, 2014, 17:18:48
peterchall, if I am right the flower shop is the building with the white frontage next door but one from the Alexandra, I think the shop in the middle of them was the sweet shop I remember.

The sweet shop was called The chocolate Box as I remember.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Bilgerat on May 23, 2015, 16:54:30
Saw today that the Alexandra is now closed and up for sale. Another one bites the dust?
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: AlanH on September 23, 2015, 11:56:16
I'm following this thread with interest for various reasons but can say that the one way system going round the back of the pub/hotel just up from the viaduct was definitely in place when I started taxi driving in 1967.
Vokes Taxis had mostly Vauxhall Victors at that time and I can remember taking a couple down to Chatham Motors for warranty work and going round the back of the pub to get into their forecourt.
Hope this helps bring on the "old folks" memories. :)
AlanH.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Stewie on September 23, 2015, 13:09:37
I got the impression that the Alexandra was now open again, I was hoping to drop in for a 'swift one' one evening after I get to the station.

 :)
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: AlanH on September 24, 2015, 08:43:14
I have to retract my last statement as I had a minor accident in my taxi at what was then a "T" junction behind the pub when a car came down Maidstone Road and crashed straight into the side of me as I went up towards Chatham Station.
So it was sometime after that they altered it so that vehicles going to the station went up and round the back of the pub then turned left to the station. But how long after I haven't the faintest idea........ my memory for the  minutiae of the Medway Towns road system isn't that good after 40 odd years away. :-(((
AlanH.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: peterchall on September 24, 2015, 12:04:34
I got the impression that the Alexandra was now open again, I was hoping to drop in for a 'swift one' one evening after I get to the station.
 :)

It is open:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186312-d7134633-Reviews-The_Alexandra_Hotel_Pub-Chatham_Kent_England.html
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiler on September 24, 2015, 21:26:39
Staff dont know lager and bitter from bottles? think I'll give it a miss
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: peterchall on September 24, 2015, 22:15:10
Does anyone know who owns it now?
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: DaveTheTrain on November 02, 2016, 19:39:53
Saw this today,  not sure it has been posted  before.
DTT

(http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g471/ShottendenAveling/Mobile%20Uploads/16166141643_43a4fa9bf9_o_zpshr44uroc.jpg) (http://s1103.photobucket.com/user/ShottendenAveling/media/Mobile%20Uploads/16166141643_43a4fa9bf9_o_zpshr44uroc.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on November 02, 2016, 22:04:35
Not seen this one before DTT. By the look of the cars I'd say late fifties.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: pr1uk on November 03, 2016, 07:11:33
Great photo Dave, thanks
Used to know a man called "Red" who worked in the garage and it reminds me of walking back from town after a few and the pie stall that was just passed the garage. Oh yes, a hot steak and kidney used to go down great on a cold night.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Signals99 on November 03, 2016, 10:04:15
Pr1uk, your mention of the pie stall brought back memories. I was a "past cleaner" working out of Gillingham sheds, I often did the dockyard shunter turn, this involved a run to Chatham to shunt out the Fyffe banana wagons, very often this meant we had to sit in a dead end shunt on the up side, very handy, we had a tobacconist up the slope and the ple hut on the down side, lovely memories of sitting on the foot plate of a C class loco scoffing hot meat pies on a cold November evening. By the way, any idea of the approximate year of your photo?
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: DaveTheTrain on November 03, 2016, 10:40:44
Sorry Signals99 I don't have a date.   DTT
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on November 03, 2016, 13:18:22
There are a couple of Fseries Vauxhall Victors in the photo and these didn't come out until 1957.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Signals99 on November 05, 2016, 11:02:04
Thanks Smiffy, so we can assume the photo was taken after 1957 (logical). Can any one recall about what time the pie stall disappeared? There was a whole load of information published on it on the fourm some time ago but I can't find it. Sorry if this is off topic but it seemd to be a fair question following the drift of the answers.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: KeithJG on November 12, 2016, 17:58:44
Can`t think where it came from but I have that picture in my collection and it says circa 1960.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: shoot999 on November 12, 2016, 18:03:04
Thanks Smiffy, so we can assume the photo was taken after 1957 (logical). Can any one recall about what time the ple stall disappeared? There was a whole load of information published on it on the fourm some time ago but I can't find it. Sorry if this is off topic but it seeamd to be a fair question following the drift of the answers.

Pie Stall was definitely open throughout the sixties. As a biker I used it regularly from 66 to 69. So my guess would be closed early 70s?
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: KeithJG on January 12, 2017, 15:09:27
Found the Pie Stall.......just :)
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: AlanH on January 13, 2017, 08:15:24
I used it a lot being a cab driver for Vokes/Wimbles and as an owner driver etc. from 1967 'til about 1971. I see from that last pic, just showing the stall on the right, they'd altered the road system to make vehicles going up to the station and Ordnance St., etc. go round the back of the pub.
AlanH.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: pr1uk on January 13, 2017, 11:15:30
Quote
Found the Pie Stall.......just :)

That brings back memories used to be crowded at night loads of motorbikes lined up and loads of us drinking tea and eating the wonderful hot pies must have given the owners a good income back in the day.
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: Lyn L on January 13, 2017, 11:24:08
Don't forget the scooters either  :)
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: shoot999 on January 13, 2017, 11:47:14
The caption to the photo says late 60s; and I definitely remember going around the back of the pub on my bike from 66/67. Since my last post I`ve spoken to a few bikers on a FB site where this pic is carried and they have similar time frame memories. Up until the end of 69 the pie stall and Cabana on Watling Street were the places to meet. The Cabana closed late 69 as a rocker cafe and most think the pie stall closed shortly after that. By early 70s most of the bikers were either using Stans cafe in Rainham or the Prince of Wales in Strood.
The stall was owned by Fred and Ma West and wasn't it Telfer pies?
Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: smiffy on January 13, 2017, 16:19:17
Wandering off-topic a bit, but here is a link for Telfer Pies:

http://www.kzwp.com/lyons/telfer.htm

Title: Re: Railway Hotel/Central Commercial Hotel, Railway Street, Chatham [i]
Post by: AlanH on January 15, 2017, 08:50:36
Yes shoot999 it would have been 1967 they changed the road to go up and around the pub as I started with Vokes in that year and drove for them for around 3 months from memory.
As I said in an earlier post it was during that time when we went to the right of the pub at the junction to go to Chatham Station that a car "T" boned me as he came straight down the Maidstone Road and turned left behind the pub.
He looked left and right but forgot about looking right in front of him....  :)
I don't know who made the pies but I loved them and old Fred and Ma West.
I can well remember standing at the counter talking to a mate Derek Humpreys (rode a Triumph Trophy) from the White Rd area when a blokes brakes failed on his small truck and he crashed into the front of the pie stall. Only a gentle bump but it moved the stall about 3 feet along and shook Ma and Fred up a bit.
AlanH.