Rifle Volunteers

Kent - Maidstone

A historic pub interior of some regional importance

Listed Status: II

28 Wyatt Street
Maidstone
ME14 1EU

Tel: (01622) 758891

Email: polly@theriflevolunteers.co.uk

Website http://www.theriflevolunteers.co.uk/

Real Ale: Yes

Real Cider: Yes

Nearby Station: Maidstone East

Station Distance: 640m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Maidstone East) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

This early to mid-Victorian pub had two rooms until they were joined in the 1960s. The panelled bar counter appears to be Victorian and is curved on the right. There are two bar-back fittings, that on the right being the more impressive with a mirrored back and surviving old cash drawers: the left-hand fittings is probably of the 1960s. There is old dado panelling on the front wall and full-height work on the rear one.

Stone-built street corner pub built 1840s and the Rifle Volunteers since 1861 it retains turn of last century bar fittings and is run on very traditional lines. The small single room was two very small rooms until the 1960s when the wall between them was taken out - there are still doors on Wyatt Street and Union Street sides. It retains what looks like a late Victorian panelled bar counter curved on the right with brackets running all along the front and at the lower end of each is a carved five pointed leaf. It has a Melamine top which was probably added in 1950, the date on the set of three Dalex handpumps.

There are two bar back fittings - that on the right is a most impressive two-bay one with a mirrored back and old shelving in the top half, a narrow counter top with bottle shelves below, surviving cash drawers on the far left and right and some similar brackets on the lower shelving; the left hand bar back is mirrored and dates from 1950/60s. The lower shelving is intact as no need for modern refrigerated units here - the demand for cold drinks here being satisfied by a domestic fridge placed between the bar backs. There is old dado panelling on the front wall and full height on the rear wall (no panelling in the former right hand bar area). Another interesting feature is internal half shutters housed in boxing beneath three of the windows - these were brought back in to use in 2015. The counter is surmounted with a modern pot shelf from which are suspended pewter mugs. Fireplace is blocked-up and there is no fixed seating.

This pub is something of a timewarp, with no TV, fruit machines, pool table, piped music or jukebox, even the till is an old NCR one that was converted from £-s-d to decimal currency in 1971 and the maximum that can be rung up is £2.99½. The only food sold here includes very traditional rolls (ham, cheese or corned beef), pickled eggs, crisps or nuts, as well jars of cockles, bombay mix, pork scratchings and cheddars. Through a door on the left there is a passage with some old dado panelling leading to the toilets.

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