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Pubs of Poole

White Hart

The White Hart stood in West Quay Road and was built as a beer house around the year 1789. Styring's owned it in the late 1890's when the house was rebuilt. For few years the landlord of the White Hart was Samuel Whittle, a Poole Councillor who, at 24 to 25 stone and with a 63" chest and a 60" waist, was reputed to be the largest man in Poole. He also kept an old-fashioned milk float and delivered milk around the town and did haulage work using the horses he kept at the inn. One day in the bar he was challenged to a race and he accepted, on the condition that he could start first and set the course. He chose Ballards Lane just off the High Street  as the course and, because the lane was only 33 inches wide, his challenger found it impossible to pass Whittle, who therefore won the race!

He triumphed again when he took a bet from another councillor and local solicitor that he would walk from the George Inn at the top of the town to the Antelope wearing no trousers. Sam had a clever way out of this condition; he wore a Scottish Kilt every morning for a week. Sam won his wager but never received his money as his fellow councillor committed suicide shortly afterwards.

The house closed in 1953 and its licence was offered in exchange for a new public house which was to be named the Alder Inn, to be built in Alder Road, Parkstone. The building was then used as the offices of May and Hassell's timber yard.

Extract from 'A Pint of Good Pale Ale, Poole's Inns, Taverns & Breweries', by Andrew Hawkes