Leisure => Drinking Establishments & Hotels => Topic started by: peterchall on June 02, 2010, 12:38:13

Title: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: peterchall on June 02, 2010, 12:38:13
I have vague memories of stories that the Ringlestone Arms was run by two eccentric ladies who were very fussy about who they allowed in as customers, even to the extent of keeping a shot-gun behind the bar. Sounds implausible, I know, but the memory is nagging me!
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Lyn L on June 02, 2010, 12:46:01
Your memory is right on the ball peterchall, yes there were two very eccentric ladies  ( with guns !) that ran the Ringlestone, it was very small  , a converted cottage , we managed to get in a couple of times in the mid 60s, haven't been past there for years now, but I believe it's now a rather nice home again, and not a pub, I could well be wrong. Just re-reading JSTs post I have got that wrong, and it's still trading.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: AlanH on June 03, 2010, 10:22:34
Yes Peter and Lyn you're both right. The pair of old bats that ran the Ringlestone were quick on the draw with that shotgun as I found out one night when I accidentally walked the wrong way and found myself behind the bar!!!
Out the gun came and out the pub I went but they'd forgotten all about it a few days later and served me OK. Used to be a very popular pub in the 60s.
Alan.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: erfman on June 12, 2011, 18:05:39
i heard that rumour too! the closest i ever came to the ringlestone was driving past it in my truck. In the late sixties we were picking up lawn turf from a field nearby, it was warm weather at the time, strange, i never felt thirsty when passing the pub!!  :) erfman
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: seafordpete on June 12, 2011, 19:15:21
I served them a couple of times when I worked in Chiesmans, one carried the cheque book but the other one signed it very shakily, I had to write in the amounts etc as they were too shakey to write it themselves
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: erfman on June 12, 2011, 19:30:28
who did you make the cheque out to... seafordpete??  :) :) erfman
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Robin on June 12, 2011, 19:39:40
I served them a couple of times when I worked in Chiesmans,

That is going back a few years, always thought it was a strange store with the floors seemingly not to be on regular levels.  Unfortunately, the place is rather a mess at the moment with the ground floor looking like a building site.

Robin.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: peterchall on June 12, 2011, 21:28:19
I have vague memories of stories that the Ringlestone Arms was run by two eccentric ladies who were very fussy about who they allowed in as customers, even to the extent of keeping a shot-gun behind the bar. Sounds implausible, I know, but the memory is nagging me!
I think I must have posted this as a reply in another thread that I can't find now, because I was quoting something I'd only heard about. So where actually is the Ringlestone arms, please?
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Bryn Clinch on June 12, 2011, 23:12:08
I never managed to get in! If you did manage it, the old ladies apparently served you with the drinks that they thought you should have, not what you ordered!

(http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff426/bryn2/RinglestoneArms.jpg)

(http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff426/bryn2/RinglestoneMap.jpg)






Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: peterchall on June 12, 2011, 23:30:54
So who were the brewers that let them get away with that behaviour, or was it a Free House? And where were the police, for that matter?
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: seafordpete on June 12, 2011, 23:37:37
It was a free house and I think in their family for a while, think there was  a case once but they got away on some loophole over the right to refuse service and then feeling threatened and firing into the air.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Bryn Clinch on June 13, 2011, 09:07:18
I went there one Sunday evening shortly after their antics made the daily papers. Cars were lined up on the opposite side of the road, all waiting to catch a glimpse of the two `old dears`.

Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Barrowboy on June 13, 2011, 10:30:26
I visited several times in the 1980's. No sign of the old ladies then but the pub was still odd. Peanut shucks were thrown around the floor so that customers made a crunching noise as they walked to the bar. Sold an impresive range of English fruit wines - which my good lady got sozzelled on. Most difficult part was trying to find the dam place. I have approached from both Sittingbourne and Harrietsham and it was always hit or miss whether I found the place.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: scintilla on June 13, 2011, 11:53:44
I also visited several times in the 80's. When we had a hockey game in that particular part of Kent it was a must to drop in for a pint or two. As Barrowboy says I think the old ladies were long gone by then.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Minsterboy on June 13, 2011, 12:43:36
I also recall, when I used to use it in the late 1980's - early 1990's that many of the chairs were of the junior school type, which having squeezed in to you normally ended up taking to the bar with you stuck to your hips.
They used to serve a great range of Real Ales straight from the barrels as well.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: conan on June 13, 2011, 13:34:36
Regarding the Ringlestone I have memories of the place from various scout hikes that included illicit forays into licensed premises.I seem to remember that the two old ladies were sisters and that there was no electric used in the place all lights being oil lamps.I remember knocking on the door one time,the bolts were drawn,and I found myself peering down the barrels of the shotgun through the crack in the door,needless to say I failed to gain entry that time.The place is definitely still open as this link shows

http://www.theringlestoneinn.co.uk/
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: patmore on June 13, 2011, 15:37:37
When I last visited the Ringlestone (which was some time ago) there was a chart on display which listed all previous landlords and ladies dating back to the 17th century
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Sentinel S4 on June 13, 2011, 17:17:26
Went there twice in the early 80's. First time a bunch of us turned up on motobikes and got barred, so we went back the next day in a car and got served. I have never been back since as when we pointed out what we had done ............ we got barred again. Doh........
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: patmore on June 14, 2011, 04:23:59
Sentinel S4, exactly the same thing happened to me once at the Robin Hood, went back by car and stood at the bar 'talking motorbikes' all evening.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: smiler on June 14, 2011, 06:52:23
Aways rememberer the shotgun stories going back to the 60s cant say I ever saw the gun myself. Went there a few times door always locked had to knock only ever allowed in once found it a dark dingy place no atmosphere think everyone was scared of the old girls,
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Leofwine on June 14, 2011, 13:59:30
Regarding the Ringlestone I have memories of the place from various scout hikes that included illicit forays into licensed premises.I seem to remember that the two old ladies were sisters and that there was no electric used in the place all lights being oil lamps.I remember knocking on the door one time,the bolts were drawn,and I found myself peering down the barrels of the shotgun through the crack in the door,needless to say I failed to gain entry that time.The place is definitely still open as this link shows

http://www.theringlestoneinn.co.uk/

Looking at that link it would seem that the inn is a little more 'outsider friendly' now!

I think it has been a more accessible place for a while now. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s there was a potter in Rochester who made replica historic pottery for me, but one of her regular clients was the Ringlestone Inn who had their own plates, mugs, etc made for their restaurant, and that doesn't sound like something the two old girls mentioned in much of the thread would have done!
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: patmore on June 14, 2011, 14:59:04
Florence and Dora Gasking - mother and daughter not sisters - took over the Inn in 1958. Wikipedia
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: eavyumble on July 11, 2011, 10:55:26
(http://i1205.photobucket.com/albums/bb424/eavyumble/Ringlestone.jpg)

Postcard picked up at a boot fair yeasterday showing the Long Bar at the Ringlestone
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: DaveTheTrain on July 11, 2011, 20:42:07
You may be interested to know that there is a family connection back to the Gaskings again, I take clients in there reasonably regularly and the landlandy has press cuttings from the 1960s on the wall, as we were chatting about them she told me she was the (IIRC) the grandaughter of Dora.

Very nice food, and definitely no guns now.

SA
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: sparrowmuscles on July 27, 2011, 00:02:03
I served them a couple of times when I worked in Chiesmans, one carried the cheque book but the other one signed it very shakily, I had to write in the amounts etc as they were too shakey to write it themselves
I met my wife Barbara whilst we both worked in Chiesmans in 1964 she was in shoes and I was in carpets. Still together!
The Ringlestone arms was a Fremlins house at one time as my Day had to deliver water as there was no mains laid on. Early 1950's
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: manokent on July 27, 2011, 08:22:11
I used the Ringlestone Arms for some time. All that is written is true. However to set the record straight: they may have been eccentric and much derided but they managed a pub near an airfield (W.Malling?) during the war and nothing was too much trouble for the young aircrews. Nothing was ever written about the good they did for the lads in the Battle of Britain. They may have been odd but they deserved a medal!
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: AlanH on July 27, 2011, 09:25:23
Nice to see someone stand up for the old girls. I think the shotgun was just an empty threat but it worked and if it was pointed at you it was most likely because of your own behaviour.
I thought it was a nice quiet pub in the 60s and only once got on their wrong side through no real fault of my own except a wrong turn when going back into the bar.
At least the yobs generally kept away from the place.  :)
AlanH.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Sentinel S4 on July 27, 2011, 10:16:13
Is it possible that they only had the 'Arms as it is not really that far from Detling Arifield? I have noticed the recently someone has put up a set of home made signs along the A20 from Jct 8 toward Harrietsham.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: seafordpete on July 27, 2011, 13:20:22
I used the Ringlestone Arms for some time. All that is written is true. However to set the record straight: they may have been eccentric and much derided but they managed a pub near an airfield (W.Malling?) during the war and nothing was too much trouble for the young aircrews. Nothing was ever written about the good they did for the lads in the Battle of Britain. They may have been odd but they deserved a medal!

Wasn't the Startled Saint as the old dear who ran it had been there from its opening in 1939 until about 1980. I think there was another pub further along near Kent St (Woodman?) closed before my time on breweries (1975) and one that closed about 1975 (can't remember the name but the cottage is called the same). Never heard of the link to the Gaskings though
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Mapman on August 15, 2011, 15:48:40
My wife and I went ther a few weeks ago, and it's excellent (definitely no old dears with guns!).

Like Patmore, I would have talked motorbikes all evening, but for some reason the wife wasn't impressed.

The Startled Saint was at West Malling. I went there (once!) with mates in the late 60s/early 70s and we were given anything but what we asked for by the elderly couple running it. I think they got quite a bit of custom from car racers testing on the old airfield.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: JohnWalker on August 18, 2011, 01:37:02
I used to go there in the 60's from Canterbury in my very secondhand Mk1 Ford Consul. The place was always full of wood smoke from the open fire and the atmosphere was amazing.  No mains electric and I think the bar was a large wooden table at the back with barrels on a shelf behind.  The floor was stone and everywhere was black from the smoke.  There was a 'penny' jukebox against one wall.  It had an enormous metal disc with perforations and worked like a pianola.  I would imagine that the discs could be changed for different tunes.

Never had any problems with the hosts.

Would love a trip back in time.........

The pub is now very modernised and enlarged but you can still see all the blackened timbers and the smell is still there.

John
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: FMW on December 13, 2011, 21:14:11
Going back to 1959. I was in Chatham Dockyard , HMS Narvik. My recently met and soon to be bride discovered the Ringlestone arms. The two ladies were in charge and I recall that there were facilities for the men but women had to avail themselves of the field out back with the sheep !!!
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Ajemp on February 07, 2012, 21:11:28

Just found this topic
                               we had some experience trying to get into the r/arms.............first time , with my wife  then my( girlfriend) ...knocked on door , it stayed closed and a voice called out " GO AWAY ", WE'RE CLOSED!!!! ....second attempt , the same..... third try the door opened  and  Iwas punched in the stomach.....with that we drove down to the Windmill pub  and got served  no problem. Not being one to give in  we set out then next weekend to try again......arrived it was getting dark knock knock ..low and behold we were let in ... sat down on what looked  like part of a coffin , paraffin lights were burning very dim, Iasked for a beer and a vodka and tonic  the old lady said in a gruff voice" DONT SERVE VODKA"  we hate the russians so my girlfriend said  o 'k I'll try a gin and tonic,  everybody happy ............until, daughter asked what is happening in the outsde world? Well we said , a week ago there was a terrible accident in a place called ABERFAN and a lot of young children were killed ....well within a minute they were both crying,   sad as it was  it was amazing to see that these two old ladies had so much sorrow and sympathy for the terrible loss of life. quite a contrast to what we expected      the year 1966.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: TonyYoung on December 18, 2013, 00:35:41
The ladies were real.
My experience was 68/69 when I and some friends from Borden Grammar went around the coutryside on a bit of a pub crawl. Got to the Ringlestone and the shotgun appeared, 'go away', 'Please may we come in for one drink, ma-am', 'That's polite, what's your name?', 'Tony Young, ma-am', 'Young??, are you Frank Young's son?', 'er, yes', 'He was that nice man what put the electric on for us, of course you can come in'.
My father was an engineer with SeeBoard in Sittingbourne from 1953 to the early eighties.

Oh, and the beer was straight from the keg, bloody lovely.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: JohnWalker on December 18, 2013, 16:24:01
I went there on a number of occasions in the late 60s.  Drove out from Canterbury in my Mk1 Ford Consul.

The interior was black with smoke.  The bar was more like a large table in the back corner with kegs behind.  No electric on then so candles around the bar.  Flag stone floor and a large 'juke box'.  It was an upright machine with a large circular disc with slots/holes cut out for the notes.  Like a giant music box - probably a proper name for it.

An amazing atmosphere and never any trouble on the nights we were there.  We'd heard about the guns but I don't remember seeing them.

It's now modernised and quite difficult to work out the original layout.  However - the blackened beams are still in evidence and I think there was some picture frames with past history on the walls.  This was from a visit about 5 years ago.

JW
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: Mickleburgh on December 20, 2013, 08:51:10
Recall that around 1962 the sometimes unfriendly welcome experienced at the `Ringlestone` made the tabloid press and the more unpleasant aspects of the media scrum descended and laid siege, along with curious onlookers in considerable numbers.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: pr1uk on December 20, 2013, 16:32:39
Oh yes, once visited you could never forget. I went there with two mates and we ordered 3 drinks, but one of the women said we are not selling that tonight its just (I can't remember now) do you want 3 of them or get out. Mind you it was listening to others who told us about the funny old women who would open when they wanted and serve what they wanted made it a place you had to go to if only the once.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: KeithJG on October 01, 2014, 18:42:48
Myself and friends used to go here on Saturday nights in the mid `60`s to try and get in but we never did... and we did see that gun at the shadowy windows!

Tried again in early `70`s and had a pint but I think the old ladies had gone by then and some walls were white with black iron rings on them.

But here is the place just a couple of years ago...had a meal and all very jolly...
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: conan on November 04, 2017, 19:01:28
The Ringlestone is looking for a new tenant

https://uk.businessesforsale.com/uk/ringlestone-inn-harrietsham-pub-tenancy-available.aspx
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: pr1uk on November 05, 2017, 07:37:26
The Ringlestone is looking for a new tenant

https://uk.businessesforsale.com/uk/ringlestone-inn-harrietsham-pub-tenancy-available.aspx

Lovely pub but you`re just a tenant and Shepherd Neame are not the best to work with, they will demand your blood.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: lutonman1 on December 07, 2017, 17:51:55
Is this the same pub that my mate visited, earlier than the 1960`s. He said there was a long queue
of both men and women, but when he got nearer the door, he heard ` where is your woman ` the
man replied ` I am here on my own ` A shotgun was produced, the man walked away. My mate decided
that was enough and left, as the women was not letting any man in, without a woman.
Title: Re: The Ringlestone Arms [i]
Post by: conan on December 07, 2017, 19:37:24
Sounds about right,the two ladies were decidedly eccentric :)