Branch Diary

Branch Diary

Branch Business Meeting – Reminder
On Monday, 17th January all members are invited to our branch business meeting in the Halfway House, Sevenoaks at 8pm. The pub is a very short walk downhill from the station. The meeting is open to all members as usual. Discuss the business of the Branch, the progress of campaigns and the current situation of our local pubs. Or just join us for a pint or three!
Branch Social – A Bus Outing, all welcome
On Friday 21st January we will be using the Go Coach 208 bus route to give us access to the Man of Kent (Little Mill), Bell Inn (Golden Green) and Carpenters Arms (north edge of Tonbridge). Two of these pubs have been nominated as possible GBG entries.
The plan is to take the 208 at 11.37 (Camden Arms, Pembury); 11.54 (Tonbridge outside Lidl); 11.55 (Tonbridge Castle) arriving at the Man of Kent 12.12.
We have one hour 20 minutes in the Man of Kent before catching the next 208 bus to the Bell where we will have one hour. Then we move on by bus to the Carpenters Arms where we have as long as we like, until taking a short walk to the Hadlow Road bus stop for a choice of buses including the frequent number 7 Arriva bus back to Tonbridge.
For those wishing to eat, the Man of Kent web site still advises pre booking a table to be sure of having a meal. The Bell does not serve food at lunchtime, but the Carpenters Arms serves food throughout the day (no booking needed).
All travel costs are covered if you have a bus pass. If you don’t then it’s probably best to get a Day Discovery ticket covering all bus company routes which you buy from the driver and still costs £9 I believe. Those living away from the 208 route would obviously need to travel to connect with the 208 times given above.
Hope you can make it and all are invited so please feel free to invite friends. Thanks very much to Don Croker for planning this and many of our other trips.

Pub News

  • The Glasshouse, a new cocktail bar intends to open in what was the Common Rooms at 45 Mount Ephraim, TW.
  • The Beau Nash, TW is no longer a Shepherd Neame pub and is now owned by the same people as St. John’s Yard and the Shuffle House restaurant.
  • The Beer Seller, Tonbridge has resumed hosting home-brewer evenings on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 7.30pm in  the function room upstairs. Join your brother and sister brewers to taste and talk about all things brewing!! Bring a bottle of your own for everyone to try.

Branch Diary

  • 21st Jan – Bus outing to the Carpenters Arms, Bell and Man of Kent.
  • Date tbc – Good Beer Guide Selection Meeting at which we review our surveys of nominated pubs in the branch to choose those that go into GBG 2023. 2pm at the Beer Seller, Tonbridge.
  • 3rd April – West Kent CAMRA Branch Annual General Meeting at Tunbridge Wells Constitutional Club, 1 Sandrock Road, TW, 2pm with a free buffet to follow. All members welcome and encouraged to attend. Note this has been switched to the Sunday to avoid football fixtures.


  • 19th Jan – Orpington Liberal Club – Tonbridge Brewery Tap Takeover/Meet The Brewer, bar opens 6pm.
  • Feb – Fuggles Beer Café, BOTH PUBS – DARK LIFE 2022 showcasing dark beers on cask, keg and bottled, including some aged in their own cellars.
  • 3rd – 5th Feb – South Norwood Beer Festival, organised by Croydon & Sutton CAMRA.
  • 4th – 5th Feb – Tonbridge Juddians Winter Beer Festival / 20 cask ales + 6 ciders / Fri 5pm-11pm Sat 12pm-11pm / 6 Nations Rugby
  • 18th – 19th March – CAMRA Beer Festival Horsham at the Drill Hall, Denne Road
  • 8th – 10th April – CAMRA Member’s Weekend & AGM, this year on our doorstep in Eastbourne – details here

Pubs Officer Report

AUGUST 2021: Pub News

  • The Old House, Ightham (just outside our branch) has restarted selling beers from the wood on a regular basis aiming to have at least one beer from the wood at all times subject to sales and supply. The pub is opening at 6pm in the evenings at present.
  • The George & Dragon, Westerham remains closed and is believed to need renovation.
  • Westerham Brewery’s new, enlarged and improved taproom is now open.
  • The George & Dragon, Speldhurst has been under new ownership since April and serves 4 real ales.
  • The Dovecote, Capel has reopened after a refurbishment and is now run by Nick & Shelley again, who also own the Toad Rock Retreat, Rusthall.
  • The George & Dragon, Tudeley has been spruced up and is believed to be reopening soon after having been closed for some time.
  • The Old George Inn, Shoreham is rumoured to be installing a microbrewery.
  • The Trading Post, TW has reopened as the Tiger Tavern with 2 handpumps.


  • The Cock Horse, Hildenborough was described as a “disused pub” and is the subject of a planning application submitted on behalf of Shepherd Neame for development into 2 semi-detached houses. Some objections have been raised by people who believe the pub could thrive, although Sheps claim it is no longer viable as a drinking establishment – Courier 27/3/20
  • The Bell Inn, Golden Green lease has been taken over by the local community via a new limited company known as The Queen’s Own Taverns Ltd.
  • The Ivy House, Tonbridge plans to reopen soon offering takeaway food, having been closed for 2 years. It has been refurbished by new owner, Jamie Brady, who also owns the Carpenter’s Arms
  • The George & Dragon, Speldhurst is being taken over by a new landlord after the pub suddenly shut recently. The lease is being taken over by Elite Pubs, who also own the Vineyard, Lamberhurst and the Poacher & Partridge, Tudeley and is expected to reopen in July. Meanwhile the Leicester Arms, Penshurst which closed at the same time remains closed as does the Black Pig, TW. All three pubs were previously run by Julian Leefe-Griffiths – Courier 13/3/20
  • The Merry Boys, East Peckham is closed and has been sold. Upstairs of building being converted to flats it is believed and owner is willing apparently yo consider community use of pub area (tbc).
  • The Stanhope Arms, Brasted is subject of a possible community interest in purchasing and there is to be a meeting in the village hall on 12th Feb.
  • The John Brunt VC, Paddock Wood has now have reopened (12th Feb) with 4 handpumps following a £480,000 refurbishment.
  • The Woodman, Goathurst Common, Ide Hill freehold is for sale.
  • The George & Dragon, Speldhurst and the Leicester Arms, Penshurst are reported closed at short notice.
  • The Stanhope Arms, Brasted is closed and the freehold is for sale.
    The Little Gem micropub, Sevenoaks (no real ale) is closed.
    The Windmill, Sevenoaks Weald is changing hands. The current managers will close up after this weekend and new people take over from 1st February.
    The Tally Ho, Knockholt no longer opens at lunchtimes and is expected to close at the end of June.
    The Queen’s Head, Five Oak Green had a soft reopening before Christmas and plans to open properly in late January.
    The Cock Horse, Hildenborough is boarded up and barricaded with the pub sign removed.
  • The Windmill at Sevenoaks Weald may also be a potential community buy-out.
  • The John Brunt VC, Paddock Wood is closing on 2nd December for refurbishment and will reopen as a gastro-pub in February.
  • The Real Ale Way, a new micropub opened at 23 High Street, Westerham on Thursday 7 November 2019.
  • The Wheelwright’s Arms, Matfield is the subject of a planning application for conversion to residential.
  • The Padwell Arms, Stone Street has been closed for some time and is now the subject of a planning application to demolish it and replace with residential.
  • The Windmill, Sevenoaks Weald is believed to be in danger of closing soon.
  • Bedford, TW has reintroduced its Cask Ale Club – all cask ales at £3.50 a pint from 5pm on Wednesdays.
  • Black Pig TW is currently closed (Nov 1st).
  • The Royal Oak, Crockham Hill is understood to be the subject of a potential community buy out, presumably to save the pub. If you are a local and/or want to get involved or support the initiative keep your ear to the ground and let us know what’s going on.
  • Elsie’s (the Queen’s Arms), Cowden Pound often has a guest beer these days (recently Pig & Porter Blackbird Stout).
  • The Tunbridge Wells Bar & Grill is now re-opened as The White Bear (its original name) having been taken over by Young’s; 3 x hand pumps.
  • Fox & Hounds, Toys Hill is closed (July-19) and for sale as residential property. Possible target for a Community buy-out – let us know if you hear anything.
  • Spread Eagle, Hawkenbury is closed for re-furbishment (Aug-19)
  • The Primrose in Tonbridge has now been demolished

Check out WhatPub for other info.