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Remembered Today:

Man of Kent Pub Sign, Canterbury


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Hello

I am wondering what anyone might know about the sign that used to hang outside the former Man of Kent pub in Canterbury. The sign was based upon Lady Butler's painting "1914 - A Man of Kent - The Buffs", which she made in 1919 and which became the property of Major General Guy Bainbridge. The painting has hung for many years in the Officers Mess of the Buffs and successor regiments. It shows a Buff from 1914 walking across waterlogged ground with a burning building behind him.  The painting was used as the model for the 2015 Buffs Memorial in the Cathedral Close at Canterbury. The pub sign dated from the 1970s. It shows a man very similar to Butler's 1914 figure in terms of uniform and equipment, but seeming to have been transported to the beach at Dunkirk in 1940. I'm wondering if anyone knows the history of the sign and of the curious time warp. I've tried Kent Archives and various local history organisations and I'm now casting my net wider.

Best wishes

John Drouot

MoKBuffs.JPG

MokCathedral.JPG

MokPub.JPG

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Steven Broomfield

I know nothing about it, but that bottom one is truly vile.

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I'm no art expert, but don't they call the style 'primitive' - but in this case it is more neanderthal    :w00t:

 

BillyH.

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There is an Inn Sign Society which has a web site.  I am on an iPad and can’t post the link, but it comes up via Google.  There is an email contact on its home page.

They may be able to help.

D

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HERITAGE PLUS

John

 

There is a pic of the 1987 sign here:

 

http://www.dover-kent.com/Pubs/Man-of-Kent-Wincheap-Green-Canterbury.html

 

Dave

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Daggers, thanks. I've spoken to them and, apart from the image which I've appended, the Inn Sign society say they know nothing more.

 

John

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Dave, the 1987 image is new to me. I guess the image that I had dates from the time after Whitbread Fremlin got rid of their pubs, and from a time when the Buffs no longer existed in the army list. This comes as something of a relief.

 

John

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Hyacinth1326

There's a bit of Modigliani in it.  Just sayin'

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Dear all

Thanks for these thoughts. The realisation that there was an earlier, pre-1990s sign comes as both a relief and a disappointment. A relief because the later sign is confusing, both aesthetically and historically, and disappointing in that I treasured a hope that there was something significant in its utter inappropriateness.

John

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keithfazzani

I must walk around with my eyes on the ground as although I visit Canterbury almost weekly I have never seen this sign. It is truly awful. To whom does the pub belong? If it is a major brewery they should be ashamed. Having had a very peripheral part in the statue in the Cathedral precincts this sign truly horrifies me. 

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Keith,

The pub has long gone. It was the Man of Kent next to Canterbury East Station. It was renamed The Round House at which point the sign disappeared. It is now flats.  As far as I can gather the Queen's Own Buffs gave Whitbread Fremlins permission to use Elizabeth Butler's painting as the basis for the sign in the 1970s. Based on what I have learned from this correspondence, this appears to have been straigntforward copy of the watercolour original. I guess that the revised sign was produced when Whitbreads got rid of their pubs in the 1990s; who owned it after that and how they got away with the sign, I don't know. I have always been intrigued by the image, less from the aesthetics than from the strange conflation of 1914 with 1940.

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9 minutes ago, Xebec281 said:

The pub has long gone.

Is that why I can't find it on StreetView?

:(

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