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Your Essex No 30 At Peldon by Cyril R Jefferies 1935/36 [ Essex County Standard ]
Leaving 'The Rose' I journeyed to the home of Mr Golden Simpson. On my way I came to Home Farm, where I stopped to watch three year old Fred Knight feeding two lambs from a bottle. What a pity there was no photographer with me; he would have secured a delightful picture.
Presently I was seated chatting to Mr Golden Simpson. His grandfather is buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard. James Simpson, who was town crier for Colchester was Mr Simpson's uncle. Talking of boyhood days, Mr Simpson mentioned the names of Herbert and Edward Nice, whose father kept 'The Plough'. Jonah Peachey, Edgar Mason and George Thompson, with whom he went to school at west Mersea, where Mr John Thorpe was the headmaster. 'We used to walk three and a half miles to school, starting at eight in the morning' said Mr Simpson who went on to relate how as a boy he used to sdrive his fathers geese round the roads feeding them on gosling weed. Mr Simpson knew Dr Green who lived at Mersea Stroud, and Dr Falk who assisted him. He remembered when Mr Overall farmed Brick House; Mr T Pilgrim, Butlers Farm; Mr Alexander Bean, Peldon Hall; Mr Charles Tiffin, Home and Kemps Farms; Mr Joseph Digby, Rose Farm; and Mr John Eagle, Peat Hall. P-c Cook lived on the Common when Mr Simpson was a boy and he called to mind Harry Dodd and James Green at Mr Harrison's blacksmith's shop. Thomas Nelson, the builder, who lived at Peldon 'Rose' and W Woods another local builder, were names that cropped up as we talked. Mr Simpson has vivid memories of the 1884 earthquake. 'There wasn't a chimney standing' he said, and he went on to tell me how when he reached the doctor's surgery with an injured man the surgery was so badly damaged that the man could not receive treatment and had to be taken to the Rector's, where his would was dressed. 'Bricklayers came from as far afield as Wales' said Mr Simpson as he continued to talk of the work of the restoration. He called to mind Peldon Mill standing opposite to the 'Rose' and William Went the miller, and William Christmas and George Claydon who worked there. A parish councillor at the institution of this body, Mr Simpson remembered names of the other Councillors - Messrs W G Fairhead, F Nice, George Pullen, and W B Clark. Mr Fairhead was chairman and Mr G Mason clerk.
At Peldon I met the oldest man I have ever met- Mr George Miller - a hundred and one years of age, and he told me that he still worked in his garden. He was born at Ball Farm, Fingringhoe, and had lived at Peldon for 49 years. Mr Miller had no recipe to offer for long life. As a child he attended a Dame School at his native place kept by a Mrs Squirrel, and spoke of the days when he worked for Mr Alexander Eagle at Peat Hall. Tom Reynolds, George Green and Bill Clark worked with him. In his time he had worked upon many local farms. Referring to his activities, Mr Miller said 'I keep doing a little and I think it does me good'.
I had a chat with Mr and Mrs E R Dansie about the Wesleyan chapel which was built in 1893. The chapel stands on the Lower Road near to the post office. Mrs Dansie had heard of the barn and cottage meetings held before the chapel was built, and how at meeting conducted in a washhouse, the seats included the copper. Messrs Ben Pullen, John Brand and Tom Stuttle were old-time local preachers whose names were mentioned. For many years Mrs Dansie was Sunday School superintendent succeeding Mr Tom Wyncoll. At the present time Mr William Greenleaf is in charge. Mrs Dansie has written several plays which have been performed by the Sunday school scholars to raise money for missionary work. Mr Dansie spoke of the Zeppelin which fell at Little Wigborough during the war. Hearing an explosion and thinking there was a fire in the farmyard opposite he went out of doors and on the Little Wigborough Road met the Zeppelin crew escorted by Edgar Nicholas and Elijah Taylor [Trayler], two local special constables. He accompanied the party to the Stroud where the crew was handed over to the military.
Mr Stephen Talbot was busy chopping faggots when I called upon him. He was born at Peldon 74 years ago, and started work at seven years of age on Samson's Farm, when his uncle John Talbot was bailiff for Mr Arthur Woodward. William Green and T Green worked on the farm at the time. Harvest suppers held in the chaise house at Brick House Farm, Guy Fawkes celebrations which used to take place near the blacksmith's shop, and gipsies in tents and caravans on the Common - Mr Talbot spoke of these. He remembered the time when old Lady Cooper kept the post office, which was then on the Top Road near the church, and when the water from the pond was used for drinking purposes. 'It didn't seem to hurt us' remarked Mr Talbot, adding 'I shouldn't like to drink it now'.
Leaving Mr Stephen Talbot's house, I went to the fifteenth century church of St. Mary, which stands on a hill on the Top Road. It is a pleasant building and with the school close at hand, the spot is characteristically English. The rector is the Rev. A A Giles. I met Mr James Talbot who has been church clerk for 39 years. He has attended the church since boyhood, and was in the choir. Rectors of the past he had known were the Revs Carter Hall, W Stedman, D L Johnson and E R Bowring.
Near Pump Green stands 'The Plough' at which Mr H Hedger is host. He succeeded Mr W Holland, and before him was Mr Nice. The oak-beamed old-world rooms of the house are delightful. A word which may be fittingly used of Peldon.
Photo: Peldon History Project - Elaine Barker
Image ID PH01_015
Category 1 Places-->Peldon-->People
Category 2 Families-->Bean / May
This image is part of the Mersea Museum Collection.