FOUR CANDLES ALEHOUSE
1 Sowell Street, St. Peters, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2AT
Ronnie Barker is said to have been inspired to write the famous Four Candles sketch whilst on a visit to Broadstairs to see his comedy partner, Ronnie Corbett. Corbett had a holiday home next to the Charles Dickens public house and just along from H. E. Harrington's general ironmonger business that is famed for stocking everything you could possibly need.
Barker, who wrote under the pseudonym of Gerald Wiley, is known to have noticed Harrington's wide and diverse stock - screws can be bought loose, either singly or in greater numbers; tea urn cleaning brushes are displayed alongside saucepans and potato ricers. This gave him the basis of an idea that he then developed into the classic 1976 Two Ronnies BBC sketch that starts with a customer who walks into a hardware store and asks the shopkeeper for "fork handles".
The premises now known as The Four Candles pub, was a hardware store for many years, before going through other, briefer, incarnations as a florists, delicatessen and exotic meat shop. Sowell Street is 13 minutes walk away from York Street, so it's close enough to the original to pay tribute to one of Britain's best-loved comedy sketches.
Photo: Sean Harvey, Sand Creative
Photo: Brian Green
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