The Old Billy

The Royal William ¬†–¬†Camber

By Clifford Jordan

From October 2001 “Rye’s Own”

A late nineteenth century postcard of the original Old Billy Pub situated at Camber opposite the Golf Club House which was weather boarded with a stove pipe chimney on the left and destroyed by fire in 1893

The horse is a reminder of a leisurely age – even in commerce!

The next Royal William was built on the same site and is now used by the Golf Club.

The present Royal William was built in the Art Deco style of the 1920’s & ’30’s, other examples of which can be seen along the coast of Kent.

If any reader can identify the lady and gentlemen in the picture I will be pleased to record their names.

The name John Burt above the door would seem to indicate the licensee at the time, but it was not uncommon in those days for people to hold several licenses covering different properties.

As Camber developed as a holiday centre the building of larger premises became essential and it was necessary to site the new building nearer to the centre of the village adjacent to the sea. Amusement Arcades followed, although the shifting sands have over the years forced the abandonment of some properties. The area was heavily mined during the War but hopefully they were all safely dismantled after the conflict. Although the heyday of the deck chair has gone the holiday camp business has ensured Camber’s popularity both for leisure and employment