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Mistral. Journal of the Mersea Island Society. 1980 Page 10.
In the early days of the Radio programme 'Down Your Way' Ralph Whitlock held a session at the White Hart, West Mersea. I remember hearing it - and one of the contributors made this sweeping generalisation:
"All the Pullens are parsons and all the Mussetts are pirates!"
This unfairly glorified the Pullens and denigrated the Mussetts. I know some Mussetts were fine cricketers and the Yew Tree House Pullens sang and played on the whole, religious music. Uncle George Pullen of Peldon Rose was the exception. The eldest son, he married Jane Head, daughter of The Fox licensee and was landlord of The Rose in my childhood.
Memories were revived for me when Mrs. Mary Pullen, widow of Ivan, grandson of George, the last Pullen to be landlord of The Rose, handed me a packet of old Deeds. Her solicitor said they were worthless except as parchment for lamp shades. Were they?
I pored over them and found, to me, some fascinating facts, all intertwined with family and local history.
I had as a child one fleeting glimpse of Uncle George driving a high gig, a white horse between the shafts , in West Mersea.
Soon after, Mother and I were having tea with Mrs Iles, a retired nurse, and her daughter about my age. Doris was dosed with cod liver oil after tea. I so liked the look of this treacly stuff and opened my routh wide for a spoonful. Horrors, it tasted of fish? the whole table laughed at my wry face.
Presently, there was a knock at the door: Florrie Wilkinson. Aunt Jane's faithful henchwoman, had called for Mother to help nurse Uncle George. He had been taken ill and Mother, then, was the acknowledged nurse of the family. Here, there's a gap.
Next, Uncle George had died. Mother and the Aunts were discussing what happened at the funeral.
I was born in Victoria's reign; this was Edward VII's and still little girls were to be ! seen and not heard but they could hear. I heard in shocked tones. They didn't speak at the graveside. !!!
'They' were Aunt Jane and her daughter Lily.
In our family album is a photo of Lily and her brother George, the two Rose children. George is sitting on an armchair, fringe edging the seat, dressed in a suit of short trousers, waistcoat, coat, a white cravat, boots and striped stockings. He has a determined look, 'Aunt Jane'! Lily is dressed in a cream dress, decorated with bands and a bow of black ribbon. She's wearing white pair socks, lace-up boots and carries a spray of flowers. She has a look of Aunt Priscilla, the beauty of all the eight good-looking Pullen girls.
Of George I know little except that he was Ivan's father, had two daughters as well and was Licensee of The Cherry Tree, Blackheath, when he died.
We return to Lily, Here the despised Deeds are illuminating. They re-inforce my memories.
Photo: Mersea Museum
Image ID MIS_1980_110
Category 2 Families-->Pullen
Category 3 Mersea-->Pubs
Category 4 Places-->Peldon
This image is part of the Mersea Museum Collection.