The landlord William Mobsey in 1903
and his wife
The original building dates from 1733 and became a pub in 1785, but this building was demolished in 1900 when a fire partially destroyed the living accommodation and
revealed the old house to be in an advanced state of dilapidation. The current
building was completed in 1901 and for several years served as a hotel.
William and Anne's daughter had her wedding
reception at the pub in 1903
The list of owners of the premises, from Isaac Goodwin in 1733, sounds like a who’s who of local brewing history, and also reflects the national trend of bigger, regional breweries taking over from independent family owned-businesses. Bridge Brewery in Tonbridge, the Dartford Brewery Co. Ltd., Style and Winch Medway Brewery, Barclay Perkins & Co. of London, Courage and Barclay Ltd and, ultimately, Greene King successively bought the Greyhound, as it was then known. Brunning and Price took the lease and renamed the pub in 1986, beginning the transformation into the busy, bustling pub of today.
We originally had the Hare on a tenancy from Courage, but after a year, they offered to sell it to us for £252,000, on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, no negotiation. We thought it was a fair price so we accepted. A few days later we were discussing it with 3i’s ‘Industry Sector Specialists’ in Birmingham, who persuaded us to write to Courage and offer them £170,000 instead. We heard nothing so we telephoned but had to leave a message. Still we heard nothing so we left another message. Still we heard nothing so we faxed. That was it, until a letter arrived telling us the pub had been sold to
Greene King - and so we became Greene King tenants. Fortunately they’ve turned out to be a much better crowd than the national breweries, and apart from being nice people (or because of it), they make great beer.
If we hadn’t listened to 3i we would have owned the freehold outright, but we did, so we don’t. These days, we trust our own judgement. We duly plotted the experience on our learning curve, and beat ourselves around the head with it every time it comes to a rent review.