We took a trip down memory lane last week to a time when Weymouth had more than 90 pubs

We had so many forgotten pubs listed in this wonderful piece of research by Alvin Hopper, it was no wonder that we missed a couple of these off!

These were the Dolphin Hotel in Park Street and the Railway Tavern (originally the Clifton Hotel) in Queen Street.

Dorset Echo:

The Railway Tavern certainly goes back a long way. Kelly's Directory of Dorset (1911 and 1915 editions) refers to this pub when it was known as the Clifton Hotel. The landlord at that time was a William Robert Pruden. William Pruden's connection with The Clifton spanned the time of the First World War - later he moved to become proprietor of The Golden Lion pub in Weymouth.

The Clifton, once owned by the Devenish Brewery, had a second entrance in Crescent Street. You could go out of the front door and through the alleyway into the bar. This long alleyway was used to roll barrels of beer along into the stockroom.

In more recent times the landlord and landlady of the Clifton were Pat and Tom Bill. They took over the Clifton Hotel in 1968 - they bought the tenancy from Len and Nan Gill. Before that it was owned by the Anderson family. They sold the tenancy of the Clifton Hotel in 1971 to Councillor Peter Talbot.

In 1968 the Clifton had two bars, 24 bedrooms and an enormous ballroom overlooking the railway station. It had very old fashioned tiled ladies and gents' toilets with the old brass "penny" locks.

When the Bills decorated the dining room, it was discovered that room had previously been the stables horse troughs were found. They also found lots of items for silver service such as soup tureens and huge platters as well as maids' uniforms with mop caps.

  • It was a pleasure to hear from reader Yvette Spicer.

Mrs Spicer very kindly reminded us of the Dolphin Hotel in Park Street. She said: "I used to play darts there. It's a very friendly pub I still like going there now. In 1971 when the Clifton was sold, it was changed into flats by the new owner, with just the bar remaining open to the public.

Dorset Echo:

"I also remember playing darts in the Prince of Wales which is now flats, my friend's daughter lives in there.

"Another pub not mentioned was I believe one called the Albion which was on the corner of Commercial Road and Bath Street."

Mrs Spicer is certainly familiar with many of the pubs having worked in: The Boot, the Royal Oak, the Market House Tavern, the Buff Club and the Bingo Hall on Crescent Street, the Centenary Club where KFC is now, Littlemoor Sports and Social Centre and the John Gregory.

Mrs Spicer is now retired and certainly deserves to put her feet up after pulling so many pints!

We also spoke to John Bailey, who is a regular at the Dolphin. Mr Bailey moved to Weymouth from Malmesbury, Wiltshire, around 20 years ago. Coming across the Dolphin he fell in love with the pub and became a regular customer, finding out as much as he could about its history.

He said: "We know that the pub goes back some way because it's on the 1864 Ordnance Survey map . At that time the map shows some big holes in Park Street, it wasn't fully developed then.

"The back bar of the Dolphin was an addition that was put in in the mid 1950s. We know this because there's a photo that was taken by Weymouth photographer Graham Herbert from the old Christ Church tower. You can see that the back area of the pub wasn't there before 1955."

Dorset Echo:

The Dolphin is a special pub, Mr Bailey tells us.

Dorset Echo:

"It's such an unspoilt pub and I think one of the only ones that has got separate bars. There aren't many left like that in Weymouth now."

If anyone has any old photos of the Dolphin or Clifton, we'd love to hear from you. Email joanna.davis@dorsetecho.co.uk