A large audience came to this evening of local history, which was hosted by the Friends of St. Mary’s. Presentations were given by Prof. Bill Tamblyn, Elaine Barker, Mike Watson, and Geoff Gonella.
Bill gave a progress report on the Peldon history research that has been carried out since the introductory Talks by Patrick Denny, and emphasised the need for research into more topics than those currently underway (for example, the Peldon Rose, The Plough, Pete Tye Common, Peldon Common and the Forge, to name just a few).
Elaine outlined the history she has researched so far, in particular the family and community aspects such as the old Peldon families, the village clubs and associations, the school, and the Chapel. Elaine uses a wide range of techniques, including searching Essex Record Office and talking to local residents about their memories and recollections.
Mike took us through his research into Games Farmhouse, and how he has used the resources in the Essex Record Office, in particular the Census records and Tithe Maps. Mike is also studying trends in the trades of Peldon people, and the changes in local farming over the centuries.
Geoff reported on how he goes about selecting topics to investigate, and his use of local resources such as Mersea Museum, Colchester Museum, and the memories of local residents. He also gave advice on the need to try and use ‘Primary information’ wherever possible (e,g. photographs, eye witness statements, official records & correspondence of public bodies, the armed forces, Police. etc.). ‘Secondary information’ (such as family stories handed down over many generations, extracts from fiction books, local tales of ‘happenings’ etc) are often very readable but need to be chosen and presented with care if they are to be included as part of local history.
Our thanks to Bill who chaired the event (and provided a wealth of printed material to take away), the speakers, the ‘catering team’ and the enthusiastic audience.