The Peace Family of Castle Hill – Fragments of Memory Page 6 Back to page 5

Possibly James felt that this was the fairest way of handling his affairs since he no doubt planned to leave the tailoring business to his son as some form of compensation.  It was, however, a decision which would rankle with William for many years.  Unfortunately, James George, in 1909, was not to know that William would in fact die four years before him. So Castle Hill became the family home of  Minnie and Arthur Clarke and their four children.  They would entertain their aunts, uncles and cousins at Christmas and Margaret (Edith and Acton’s daughter) liked to relate the story of how one Christmas a conjuror had been invited to entertain the guests.  One imagines this was to be a surprise since he was asked to wait in James Peace’s house in Easton Street until the party hour arrived.  While waiting there the conjuror spied Margaret peeping at him through the bannisters.  He asked her if she was coming to the party and Margaret told him that she was too little and had to stay at her grandfather’s house and was terribly disappointed to miss all the excitement.  The conjuror exclaimed that this must be a mistake and that Margaret would go to the party with him.  When they arrived at Castle Hill grandpa Peace, (James), was very angry with the conjuror but since it was Christmas allowed Margaret to stay.  ‘Grandpa had a soft spot for me’ Margaret would say ‘and I always got away with murder when I went to visit Uncle Will because he thought that I was such dear little thing.’

On holidayThe Peace sisters got together regularly for family outings, tea at one or other of their houses and for jaunts in their father’s motor car – one of the first cars in High Wycombe.  Castle Hill became a popular meeting spot.  William, Florence and their children seem to have been rarely included in these events although they lived only a stone’s throw away in Priory Avenue and later in Priory Road. However it should be remembered that William’s children were several years younger than their cousins and that when family holidays were planned William would have been required to stay at the shop, allowing his father, James George to accompany his daughters to the seaside.

In the early 1900s James George Peace, along with Arthur Clarke and Thomas Thurlow,  bought Minchins Farm in Flackwell Heath and made it into a golf course.  Virtually all the names on the initial list of founder members, as recorded in the Bucks Free Press for 1903, appear somewhere in the family trees of the Peace and Skull families. The Marquess of Lincolnshire was the president. The golf course was later sold in the 1920s to the golf members themselves (who were now mostly from London ) and became the club that still exists in Flackwell Heath today.  Ownership of land and property in Flackwell Heath by the Peace, Clarke, Griffits (relatives of the Skulls) and Darvill families appears to have been commonplace and would have been a simple way of investing savings in the absence of the big building societies that we take for granted in the 21st century.

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