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Peter Thompson – Pearey House Flats

There was a big decision whether to demolish or rebuild the flats.


My father and my mother had a lot of interest in local charities, and they got connected with Pearey House.  My father became chairman, and my mother joined the committee.  There had been talk of building flats and my father, through his charitable trust donated the money for the building of them in 1963.  Unfortunately, they only lasted 31 years because of the damage.  They had been built with felt on the roof and the concrete was wrong and water had got through.  My father died in 1990 and the flats had to be demolished the following year.

Photo of the old flats during demolition

Demolition of the old flats

My brother Simon was a chartered surveyor and I think my mother got him to come up.  I’ve got a letter to him of 23rd June 1991, it’s from Ernie Armitage, who was the chairman then I believe:

‘Dear Mr Thompson, many thanks for your comprehensive survey report of Pearey House, also for your constructive suggestions.  I have discussed the report with the secretary who is incidentally our legal administrators for the council and have decided to act immediately. We have contacted structural engineers and qualified electricians etc. etc. We are most grateful for your efforts.’

There was still 12 flats.  The original ones had a covered walkway and that was demolished.  I do remember part of the discussion was we had to look at the funding and it went out to tender.  It was quite interesting that we had two tenders of approximately £350k and one at £450k.

Photo of the flats at Pearey House

The new flats at Pearey House

We had some shares etc and a lot of money invested in building societies and I did point out that the rent from the flats brought in more than some of the investments, so we weren’t going to lose.  We didn’t struggle to find the money. We had various investments [bequests], there was one of over £100,000 at one time, it varied over the years, but it was surprising.

The flats, that was one of the major things.  You probably notice one is named after my father; the names McQueen and Thompson.

Photo of attendees at the opening ceremony for the new flats

Caption for the photo of new flats opening event.

Peter was interviewed as part of the Pearey House 150th Anniversary Project.

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