The Bedford Arms in Queens Road dates from around 1865 as a small hotel. In 1905 the licensee, Charles Blondin, became bankrupt. In his previous employment he had been a clown and tightrope walker in an Australian circus. In the First World War customers stuck coins onto a mirror which they collected ‘for soldier’s cigarettes’.
The pub had ground floor and first floor bars and was bombed during the Battle of Britain on 5th October 1940. Several people were buried in the rubble and two were killed. One, a hawker standing outside with his barrow, was caught by a fragment and died instantly. Air-raid precaution staff attached to a big multiple store nearby, rescued the landlord and his wife from the destroyed saloon bar.The pub was named after the Duke of Bedford whose family name: Russell, is recorded in Russell Street nearby. The Bedford licence was held in suspense for six years by Leney’s Brewery before being transferred to the Robert de Mortain on the Ridge when that pub opened in 1946. The Hastings branch of the Santander now stands on the site in a shop that was built originally for Fludes Carpets.