A jolly sailor who didn’t smoke

Rouser 2013
Rouser 2013

Rouser well remembers the Jolly Sailor in Newhaven. He was present when it closed in 1977 as the last beer house in Sussex.

And, unbelievably, the landlord Bill Sims (pictured) and and his wife didn’t drink a drop of it.

Neither did they smoke - and the customers were banned from smoking in the pub as well. Bill made amends by leaving a snuff box on the bar!

According to the Newhaven Times, the cockney couple originally moved to Lewes where teetotal Bill worked for Baxters the printers for 15 years before deciding to take over the Jolly Sailor in 1935.

Bill did have one vice, thank goodness. He liked a flutter on any sport and was an inveterate cribbage player.

His beer was considered the best for miles around; just as well as he didn’t sell anything else.

Bill never had much to say about himself; but when asked about his refusal to sell wines or spirits, he said: ‘We get on very well without them. Why should I sell spirits when a neighbouring club can sell them at less than the price I have to pay for them?’

Bill pulled his last pint at the Jolly Sailor on May 31, 1977, after 42 years behind the bar.

Good old Bill.