Peldon People - Iris and Charles Ollivant of The Peldon Rose

Peldon People - Iris (Cissy) and Charles Ollivant of The Peldon Rose.

The Ollivants were landlords of the Peldon Rose in the 1960's, both came from publican families. Their nieces are still in the area with fond memories of their uncle and aunt and happy times at the pub.

Iris known as Cissy, was born in 1909 into the Vaughan family who later were to set up the company, Vaughan (Builders) Ltd, and, subsequently, Vaughan and Blyth. Her father, Walter James Vaughan was the landlord of The Alma in Military Road and the family are found there in the 1911 census.

Iris married Charles W Ollivant and in the 1939 register they can be found living in 31, St Johns Green, he is described as a hotel manager, she as a hotel manageress. Charles was born into the pub trade. His father, George D Ollivant (originally a publican from Derbyshire) was the landlord of the Fleece, in Head Street, Colchester until his death in 1930. On George's probate, it names Charles W Ollivant as the executor. George's widow, Annie Elizabeth Ollivant then took over the Fleece.

Between 1941 and 1959 C W Ollivant is listed as the landlord of The Clarence in Colchester, now known as The Purple Dog. He and Cissy then went on to manage The Peldon Rose between 1963 and 1968 (according to Pub History records [ Note 1 ]) and Cissy's sister, Frances, worked as a barmaid for them.

The Peldon Rose was in fact owned by Cissy's brother, Edward John Vaughan, born in 1908 who worked as a builder and farmer and built the house near the Mersea Strood called Mehalah. He and his wife, Sylvia, seem to emigrate to Kenya for their names appear in Outward Passenger Lists for 1949, 1953 and 1958 and it would seem Edward died in California in 1981. In the Outward Passenger Lists their last address in the UK is given as Bonners Farm, Peldon and Edward's occupation as Building Contractor and farmer.

Cissy Ollivant was to die in 1969 at the age of 59 and her widower, Charles, carried on running the pub with the help of their son Peter. In 1970 Charles handed the pub over to Mr and Mrs Albert Flynn. This appeared in the Essex County Standard in 1970:

Mr Charles Ollivant has moved out [of The Rose] to live with his son in Colchester and Mrs and Mrs Albert Flynn have moved in.

Mr Ollivant who is 73 was born in a pub and met his wife, Cis, while his mother was tenant of the now demolished Fleece Hotel in Colchester. Mrs. Ollivant died about a year ago. She was renowned for her culinary specialities and hit the headlines a few years ago when one of them, sparrow pie, aroused national controversy.

The Rose is a free house and Mr Flynn owns it in partnership with Mr Roy Hobson who lives at Gidea Park. It is Mr Flynn's first pub of his own.

The Ollivants' niece, Janet, has happy memories of her engagement party at The Rose and also remembers the Sparrow Pie that the pub was so famous for. Percy Ponder, a nearby neighbour used to provide the sparrows and Janet thinks they kept up the old tradition of baking the pie annually during the time of her aunt and uncle's tenancy. This was picked up by The Independent.

Sparrows have often been eaten and in some places still are. Sparrow pie was a common rural dish in Britain up to the time of the First World War, and even later: a sparrow pie containing 100 sparrows was served on 16 January 1967 at the Rose Inn at Peldon, near Colchester, perhaps for the remaining members of one of the "sparrow clubs" that were once common for trapping the birds. (The Independent online)

Cis and Charles Ollivant, landlady and landlord of the Peldon Rose

Elaine Barker
Peldon History Project

Note 1. From pubwiki.co.uk/EssexPubs/Peldon/rose.shtml

Author: Elaine Barker

Related Images

 Iris and Charles Ollivant, who kept the Peldon Rose in the 1960s  PH01_OLV_001PH01_OLV_001
Iris and Charles Ollivant, who kept the Peldon Rose in the 1960s
ID: PH01_OLV
Source: Mersea Museum