|In 1965 when Chris and Archie Moore bought Pink Cottage, subsequently called Peldon Hall Cottage, the village hall next door (the old 1833 school building) was being demolished. Ever resourceful, Archie bought 1000 bricks for £10 and used them to build their extension at home! There was also an old house on Lower Road which was also being demolished so Archie used some of the oak frame, slate tiles and lead in renovating their house.
Their cottage belonged to Peldon Hall Farm and was built circa 1891.
The oldest picture showing Peldon Hall Cottage dates to circa 1910 (the cottage is in the middle of the picture on the right hand side of the road). Through the trees behind the house it is possible to make out another structure located at the back of the school next door which Archie described as a 'tin shack' - this was the toilets for the school. The school had been built in 1833 and was to remain open until 1942. Upon its closure it became the village hall and Chris and Archie were to witness its demolition and the building of the new hall in 1965, as they did with the current hall which opened September 2017.
Hyde Park Corner with Peldon Hall Cottage in the middle of the picture.
Peldon Hall Cottage had been a Police House in the 1920s where instead of a policeman the village had a policewoman as pictured below standing outside the house in 1923.
A button off a uniform marked 'Essex Constabulary' surrounding the Essex County symbol was found while Archie was digging in the garden as recently as 2018.
The last tenants before Archie and Chris bought the house were Ben Reynolds and his wife Eileen. He was the Peldon Hall Farm bailiff and there was a footpath up the garden from the back door all the way to the farm for Ben's daily walk to work. The section of that path in Chris and Archie's back garden is still in use today.
Opposite, to the left, on the corner of St Ives Hill, the blue house now called Elm Tree Cottage, had been occupied by the Misses True and Stotter. It had been two cottages originally and Paul Steed subsequently bought it and turned it into one. Archie and Chris say it was originally a shop with an old petrol pump outside and it sold sweets. In those days there was an old orchard immediately opposite and from the upstairs window of Peldon Hall Cottage you could see the Strood before the new houses were built.
The cottage was in such a bad state that it could no longer be rented out so Peldon Hall Farm sold it to Chris and Archie in 1965 and they embarked on a major renovation.
Chris and Archie had no mains drainage - 'bucket and chuck it' as Chris says! The cold water that came into the house was dirty so once a week they went to the spring at Fingringhoe (by the Whalebone) with a 5 gallon container to collect drinking water.
Archie built a workshop so he could run a wood-turning business from home and by 1970 he was placing adverts in the Parish magazine
GIVE THEM SOMETHING 'MADE IN PELDON'
Woodturned: Fruit Bowls - Table Lamps
Cheese Boards - Table Lighters
Small dishes etc
Peldon Hall Cottage
Call evenings and weekends
Whenever a special gift was required Archie was called upon. He made a beautiful bowl out of the wood of an old oak tree which had stood on the corner by The Peldon Rose. This was presented to the landlord, Basil Ivan Pullen, on leaving the pub that had been in his family for three generations.
Archie Moore woodturning in his workshop behind Peldon Hall Cottage
Almost as soon as they arrived in the village Chris agreed to be caretaker of the new village hall shortly after it opened. She was in charge of all the bookings, collecting the hire fees, locking and unlocking the building and with Archie's help, maintaining the hall and grounds. She is still the principle key holder and receives telephone bookings for the hall over 50 years after she took the job on originally!
Chris has also been a leading light of the Peldon Players, being instrumental in the group's formation, the director for many years and in charge of costumes over its long history. Archie has been lighting technician, backstage hand and responsible for scenery construction and this is all as well as following their passions of photography (Chris) and walking (Archie).
Fittingly, the house rendering is still painted pink!
Peldon History Project
Thanks to Chris and Archie Moore