ID: PH01_PNN_APP1 / Elaine Barker

TitlePeldon Neighbourhood News - Appendix 1
AbstractAppendix 1 Peldon People


Born in Orpington, Kent, George first appears in Peldon in the 1891 census when he is described as a baker and lives in the Bake House near the School House. From the obituary below it would seem he came to Peldon about 1888 at the age of 29. In the 1901 and 1911 censuses he is living in the Post Office and is a postmaster. I am presuming the post office building was the house now known as Spring Cottage (opp Games Farm) on Lower Road, adjacent to Chapelfield, a modern house on the site of the old Methodist chapel.

THE LATE MR G. SMALLWOOD A forty eight year old link with the village was broken when Mr George Smallwood passed away at the age of 77. Arriving at Peldon about a year after Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations, he took charge of a bakery on Church Green at the same time doing the postal round. Later he had a house built on the fringe of the common with a room fitted up as a post office, and was duly appointed sub-postmaster, being assisted by his wife who pre-deceased him 13 years ago. It was at this office that the crew of the Zeppelin, which fell in the neighbouring village of Wigborough in 1916, halted and waited whilst their commander entered, and asked for permission to use the telephone.

Mr Smallwood was a good pedestrian, who seemed to take positive pleasure in his daily bike, mile after mile, year in and year out, being always careful to protect the letters and parcels in rainy weather. When in the year 1933 he was presented with an easy chair as a mark of esteem from the inhabitants, it was estimated that in his 44 years of service, he had walked about 100,000 miles. Apart from his official duties he was always ready to do a good turn, and is gratefully remembered by the Methodists, whose chapel adjoins the post office, as a willing helper in the days when it was customary to hold a tea meeting on Good Friday. Quite early in the afternoon he would light the copper fire in his kitchen, and would remain on duty for several hours, cheerfully supplying boiling water to the caterers who passed to and fro. For the last two years of his life Mr Smallwood lived in retirement at Colchester. Essex County Standard 10.10.1936


OLDEST INHABITANT Peldon is very proud of its oldest inhabitant, Mr. Geo. Miller, who celebrated his 96th birthday on Saturday. He was born at Fingringhoe and started to earn his living at the age of 8. He is able to read without the aid of glasses and is a regular attendant at the Wesleyan Chapel. He has recently finished digging and planting his garden. Essex County Standard 17.4.1931

HORTICULTURAL SHOW The oldest inhabitant, George Miller, aged 96, won first prize for blackcurrants in the cottagers' class. Essex County Standard July 1931

'Five Parishes' Horticultural Show ... a special prize ... was presented to the oldest inhabitant, George Miller, whose age is 97, and who also won 1st prize for beet in the cottagers' class Essex County Standard 22.7.1932

THE OLDEST INHABITANT. Mr George Miller received many congratulations on Tuesday when he celebrated his 98th birthday. He enjoys excellent health and has no spare time being occupied with the care of his garden, 20 rods in length, doing all digging, planting etc. without assistance. On Sundays he is a regular worshipper at the Methodist Chapel, and is frequently among the first to arrive He has 'no use for motor cars' and refuses the offer of a ride. Essex County Standard 14.4.1933

PELDON CENTENARIAN STILL CULTIVATES HIS GARDEN The 'Grand Old Man' of Peldon, Mr George Miller of Barnards Cottages, celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday.

It was feared that the strain of receiving callers would be detrimental to his health so he went out for the day, accompanied by his daughter, Miss E Miller, who keeps house for him, his wife having died in 1920.

Mr Miller was born at Fingringhoe and has lived the whole of his life within a short radius. He started work at the age of 8, and is still working, his garden being an absorbing hobby. A fortnight ago he was able to dig for two hours without a break. He has himself prepared the ground and sown and planted several kinds of vegetables, and has no room for weeds. Except that his hearing is somewhat impaired, he retains all his faculties, and reads without the aid of glasses. He enjoys excellent health, rises at 9 am, retired at 6pm and sleeps well. He has received many messages of congratulation, including one signed by fellow worshippers at the Methodist Chapel, which he attends on Sunday afternoons. Essex County Standard 12.4. 1935

CENTENARIAN'S ACTIVITY When four of his relatives made a sudden call on Mr George Miller, the centenarian, they found to their astonishment, that for several days in succession he had spent two hours in digging his garden, regardless of the heat. It was several years since they had met him and they expected to find a semi-invalid. He explained that he was just 'cracking up' the soil in readiness for fresh sowing. Essex County Standard 3.8.1935

A WONDERFUL CENTENARIAN Peldon is very proud of its oldest inhabitant, Mr George Miller, who on Saturday April 11th, celebrates his 101st birthday. Except that his hearing is somewhat impaired, he is in full possession of all his faculties, enjoying excellent health, and in appearance is not a bit older than on the day, 12 months back, when he completed his century. Throughout the winter he lived in retirement, rising in the early afternoon and going to bed about 6pm but the recent warm spring days found him up and doing. He started work in his garden and has already sown parsnips, beans, peas and carrots, and has planted potatoes. Mr Miller is a lover of the open air, and is looking forward to a warm Sunday, when he can take a walk to the Methodist Chapel, and resume the seat which has been vacant for some time.

Three years ago he had no use for motor cars, but has since brought himself sufficiently up-to-date to take an occasional ride. . This means of conveyance was used on his 100th birthday, when he visited some relatives, and a similar trip was made last summer. Asked if he had yet worn the new suit which was shown in the picture recently published, he replied that he had tried it in the house, but was not intending to wear it out of doors until weather would permit him to shed his overcoat.

Mr Miller is a native of the neighbouring village of Fingringhoe and has lived the whole of his long life within a short radius. He started farm work at the age of 8 years, and has clearer recollections of the happenings of his youth than of those of recent years. One picture of his home life stands out in his memory; it is of the family, father, mother, and six children, seated round the table engaged in the study of the New Testament. He has four sons and two daughters, one of whom, Miss E Miller, keeps house for him, his wife having died several years ago.

By way of celebration he hopes to entertain a few relatives at tea on Easter Sunday. The good will of Peldon residents was evidenced at the Jubilee celebrations held last May when they presented him with a clock. He will doubtless be the recipient of many messages and presents today. Essex County Standard 11.4.1936

102nd BIRTHDAY ON SUNDAY Peldon is very proud of its oldest inhabitant, Mr George Miller. Who on Sunday April 11 celebrates his 102nd birthday. Although confined to his bed these last three weeks, he maintains that he is not ill, and hopes to get up shortly. He has not been out of his cottage since last October, but has enjoyed a fair measure of health throughout the winter and is in full possession of his faculties, with the exception of the hearing, which is somewhat impaired. He frequently expresses a longing for days of sunshine when he can take a walk in the garden, and when the Rev J Parker paid his last call he told him that he might, in the spring, resume his seat at the Methodist Chapel.

Mr Miller has received an offer of a car ride to the grounds on which the Coronation celebrations are to be held and it is hoped that he will be well enough to take the place of honour as the oldest of the old age pensioners for whom luncheon is to be provided. There was a time when he despised the motor car, but during the last four years he has taken an occasional trip, and this means of conveyance was used for visiting friends on the day that he completed his century.

His acquaintance with horses began very early in life in his native village of Fingringhoe where he started farm work at the age of eight years; it was therefore hardly to be expected that he would take kindly to a new mode of travelling which to him must have appeared both rapid and dangerous.

Mr Miller has four sons and two daughters, one of whom, Miss E Miller, keeps house for him, his wife having died in 1920.

Although he will probably spend his birthday in bed, necessarily limiting the number of callers, he will have the good will and best wishes of Peldon residents who will be happy to greet him when once again he makes his appearance out of doors. Essex County Standard 10.4.1937


The death occurred of Thursday May 13 of Mr George Miller of Bernards Cottages, Mersea Road, Peldon, who attained his 102nd birthday last month. Born at Fingringhoe, he had been a farm labourer all his life starting work when he was eight years of age. Until quite recently he had never had a day's illness, and had never had to seek medical aid. When he celebrated his 101st birthday he wore a new suit that he had been measured for in honour of the occasion.

He had some vivid memories of the earthquake over 50 years ago[1884] and a memorable snowstorm, [1881] and until two or three years ago he often walked half a mile to chapel and worked in his garden.

He attributed his longevity to the goodness of God and to hard work. Essex County Standard 22.5.1937


The funeral took place at the Parish Church on Tuesday, old friends and neighbours being present to pay a last tribute of respect.

See also The Miller Family




Peldon has lost an extremely popular old inhabitant in the person of John Linnett Clark who passed away on Saturday June 5. Quick at repartee, 'sharp as a needle' of a generous and merry disposition, he went about counting his blessings and was frequently heard to say 'We're not half thankful enough'. Mr Clark was a native of Salcot, having moved there at an early age, but considered himself a Wigborough man He started work when only 10 years old, and for the first month took charge of 700 sheep in a 44 acre field, being on duty from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. and receiving a weekly wage of 4s. Although he never travelled far, the whole of his 85 years being spent within a radius of five miles, he met with a great adventure on his 65th birthday, which was on September 24 1916, when a Zeppelin fell at Little Wigborough barely a mile from the house he was occupying on the Abbot's Hall estate, being then in the employ of the late Mr Charles Hutley. On the same day, a nephew and his wife, Mr and Mrs George Clark also of Wigborough had the gift of a daughter, who was fittingly named Zeppelina. A link between age and youth was formed by the dual celebration, year after year, of this historic birthday, and the old gentleman was received into the home of these relatives on the death of his wife, some 14 years ago.

Later however, his thoughts turned to Peldon, where he had many friends, and he finally settled at Sunnyside with Miss Claydon and her brother, Mr. H Claydon. Here he found it easy to fraternise with 'the people called Methodists' who gave him a hearty welcome. A member of the Church Of England, he would set out in good time for morning service at the parish church, and in the afternoon and evening he would put in an appearance at the little Wayside Chapel. On certain special occasions he deemed it fitting to attend his own parish church at Great Wigborough, notably on harvest festival and Armistice Sundays.

Mr Clark was a well-known figure at Colchester Market, where he watched the sheep sales with a large measure of understanding having held several posts of responsibility as a shepherd. His two chief interests outside working hours were books and music, and until too infirm to do so, he toured the village at Christmas time as a solo carol singer, playing his own accompaniments on a concertina. It was noticed that his health began to fail about 18 months ago, and he went out very little during the winter. His popularity was evidenced by the large number of friends who visited him. Rectors of two parishes, churchwarden, Methodist stewards and class leader, relatives and neighbours, all were welcome, and Peldon and Wigborough residents by whom he will be greatly missed, will have many happy recollections of contacts with him. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Powell and Mason of Abberton. Essex County Standard 12.6.1937



Could give change correctly

News of the death of Mr John Thomas Green, the blind shopkeeper of Peldon came as a shock to local residents on Monday. During the morning he carried on business as usual, but in the afternoon he was seized with sudden illness and passed away very quickly.

The deceased was 68 years of age and had lived all his life in Peldon. He was the son of a former blacksmith, whose widow carried on a small tobacco and confectionary business until her death 12 years ago. Mr Green succeeded to the business and his little shop was a rendezvous for the youth of the village, with whom he was on excellent terms, and whom he often entertained with tales of days gone by.

Although his blindness became absolute about 20 years back he was never at a loss when coins were presented for payment, his sense of touch enabling him to tell the difference between rough-edged silver and smooth-edged coppers, and to give change correctly. He will be greatly missed by his niece, Mrs Charlotte Mumford, who accompanied him on his walks, and by his next door neighbours, Mrs Thursby, who was present at the time of his death, and her son and daughter who ran errands for him between school hours. Essex County Standard 17.9.1938



News of the sudden death of Mr William Frost on Tuesday came as a shock to villagers although he had been ailing for some time. The deceased, a native of Peldon, was 77 years of age and was the son of the late Mr William Frost who for several years occupied Sampson's Farm. Following the occupation of his father, he became known as a conscientious and punctual worker, and possessed the latter quality to such an extent that neighbours knew it was safe to set the clock when he passed by on his way to work. He was held in high esteem in the village. He leaves a widow, two sons and three daughters. The funeral takes place today (Saturday) Essex County Standard 12.11.1938



The village has lost a much respected inhabitant in the person of Mr Golden Charles Simpson who passes away on Tuesday at the age of 75 years. The deceased was a native of Peldon, and son of the late Charles Simpson, a vegetable and fish salesman. On leaving school , he started work with the late Mr Wood of Mersea Road, and eventually set up for himself as a bricklayer and chimney sweep. His marriage to Miss Emma Jane Harvey took place in 1906 and they spent the whole of their married life at Barnard's Cottage, where she died three years ago. Mr Simpson took great interest in village affairs, and until too ill to attend the meetings, was a member of the Parish Council. In politics he was a staunch conservative and it was always his house which was used as headquarters pending a general election. He was gifted with a marvellous memory which served the community as an information bureau, and when the date of a bygone event was wanted it was the custom to 'go and ask Golden'. He was also of a generous disposition, being happy when buying sweets for children or tobacco for old men, and when some 20 years back an epidemic of influenza broke out, and those who escape numbered only about half a dozen, it was Golden who went from house to house doing neighbourly turns in feeding fowls and fetching milk. He will be greatly missed by many friends who visited him during his long illness, and much sympathy is extended to his bachelor brother, Charles, the two never having been parted. Essex County Standard 25.3.1939


DEATH OF MR A A MASON The village has lost a highly respected inhabitant in the person of Mr Alfred Allen Mason, who passed away at his residence, Hill House, on Friday September 13 at the age of 76 years. Although he had been in failing health for some time, the end came somewhat suddenly and he will be greatly missed by friends with whom he had taken his daily walk. The deceased was a native of Chelmondiston, Suffolk, and the youngest son of the late Mr Benjamin Mason. He followed the occupation of a farmer in Copdock, and upon retirement went to live at Stowmarket until the year 1917, when he settled at Peldon. It was in the previous year that he suffered the loss of his son Stanley, who was killed in action in France. He leaves a widow, three sons and three daughters. The funeral took place on Tuesday at the Parish Church; the Rev J R Wilson B.A. officiating. Essex County Standard 21.9.1940

DEATH OF MRS MASON - The village has lost a much-respected inhabitant in the person of Mrs Sarah Ellen Mason of Hill House, who passed away at the residence of her daughter, Mrs Wyatt of Elmdene, West Mersea on September 18 aged 72 years. The deceased was a native of Baylham in Suffolk, daughter of Mr and Mrs Baker of Baylham Mill and the widow of Mr Alfred Allen Mason who died in 1940. A busy life had been spent in bringing up a family of three daughters, and four sons one of whom, Stanley, was killed in action during the last war whilst fighting in France in 1916, just a year before his parents settled in Peldon. Mrs Mason enjoyed a fair measure of health until last autumn, when she entered the London Hospital for treatment and made only a partial recovery; her illness was borne throughout with great fortitude. The funeral took place at Peldon Parish Church on Sept 21, the rector, Rev J R Wilson officiating. Essex County Standard 29.9.1944


OLD INHABITANT'S FUNERAL The village has lost a much-respected inhabitant by the death of Mr Frederick Gladwell, who passed away on June 4, at the age of 79. The deceased has spent the whole of his life in Peldon, and for many years followed the occupation of a hay cutter, being employed at Pete Hall, Maltings and Games Farms and as a hobby he handled a sporting gun. In the year 1883 he married Miss Amelia James, of Little Clacton, who survives him. Their second son, Ernest was killed in the last war; two sons and five daughters are living. Essex County Standard 14.6.1941

See also Ernest Frederick Gladwell


THE LATE MISS LUNGLEY A century old link with the village has been broken by the passing of Miss Hannah Jane Lungley on February 5, members of the Lungley family having been in occupation of Ransome's Cottage for upwards of 100 years. The deceased who was in her 71st year, was the younger daughter of the late Mr. D. Lungley, a farm worker at Copt Hall, and on leaving school entered domestic service at Peldon Rectory during the incumbency of Rev Wm Wright, moving to London at a later date and remaining in the employ of the same family - some time with Sir Almoth Wright of Harley Street - until her retirement about 12 years ago when she returned to the cottage. A member of the Church Of England and a regular worshipper at the parish church, she also attended afternoon services at the Methodist Chapel Much sympathy is extended to her brother, Charles, the only surviving one of the family, who is a confirmed invalid, and in hospital. Essex County Standard 14.2.1942

THE LATE MR C. LUNGLEY Overcome with grief at the loss of his sister Mr Charles Lungley passed away on March 16, at the age of 68, the period of survival being rather less than six weeks. Essex County Standard 11.4.1942


Widespread sympathy is extended to the family of the highly-respected and popular landlord of The Plough Inn who passed away on Jan 24 at the age of 54. The deceased had lived in the village for 17 years and was highly successful in the running of a loan club, himself being treasurer; he was also a member of the Licensed Victuallers' Association. He had not been in robust health since his service in the last war, when he was gassed at Ypres, and his illness, which was a long one, was patiently borne. He leaves a widow to whom the licence is being transferred, a son and a daughter. Essex County Standard 2.2.1945


The village has recently suffered the loss of two of its old inhabitants. The first, Mr Charles Simpson, second son of the late Charles Simpson, had spent the whole of his life in Peldon, for many years carrying on the business of a dealer, and he and his pony were well-known in the district. In June he would allow himself a change of occupation, and when the pea-picking season was in full swing in the late Mr Fairhead's fields it was Charlie who tied the bags. He was of a kindly disposition and uncomplaining, although for the last eight years he lived alone. He was particularly grateful for the ministrations of Mrs Small, a distant relative and near neighbour, who covered many miles in journeys to and fro. The funeral took place at the Parish Church, the Rev J R Wilson officiating. Essex County Standard 18.7.1947


OCTOGENARIAN On July 9, Mrs Amelia Gladwell passed away at the age of 84. A native of Little Clacton, she lived in Peldon from the time of her marriage over 60 years ago to Mr Fred Gladwell. On the death of her husband in 1941 she was given a home with her son-in-law and daughter (Mr and Mrs Coan) A great sufferer from arthritis, she seldom left the house, but as an expert needlewoman she was able to pass the time usefully. She will be greatly missed by her two small grandsons, to whom she was deeply attached. Essex County Standard 18.7.1947

Elaine Barker
Peldon History Project

Thanks to Mike Watson and Pat Wyncoll
Thanks to the Essex County Standard for permission to use the newspaper material

AuthorElaine Barker
SourceMersea Museum