Stan Bond brings us this sad news from the States
I just learned of the death of Peter Hobcraft, an old CVTHS student. Since I’m living in the United States, I don’t know much more, but believe the funeral is this Wed, if anyone wishes to search the internet for details. I was in the first class at Cray Valley and he was a student at the same time but joined the school at age 15 I think. I don’t see him on the register, but some of our folks will remember him I’m sure
He recently lived in Bolebroke Castle and I found an interesting link to the paranormal….oooooh!
Maybe he will contact us himself!
Peter Hobcraft used to date my sister in the 60’s, when we knew him from a church group. He was a little odd, & a bit eccentric, but like most people…interesting. He was a bit of an entrepreneur. As part of the old church group, he would arrange camping trips to Europe each summer. This evolved into an adventure tour business, which he ran for many years. I think he was one of the first in this business and put together groups with a driver/courier for travel all over the world. That business subsequently evolved into a coach hire business I recall. As for the castle, my sister takes credit for spotting the real estate listing as they were waiting at a bus stop (the Rolls had to have been in the shop…no kidding). He bought the half of the castle being sold and this evolved into a medieval feasting, B&B operation, which I think he was running until his death. Just so you won’t be disappointed, the castle isn’t the fairy book kind, but was one of the first built without turrets etc, after they proved a poor defense from cannon balls. I call it more of a manor house, but impressive non-the-less. Peter showed me around it soon after he had bought it and I recall it having the second largest fireplace in the UK, big enough for trees, or a full set of sitting room furniture.
A note from my sister: Henry VIII used the castle when he went hunting for wild boar and venison in the nearby Ashdown Forest. Anne Boleyn, who lived at Hever Castle 5 miles away was courted by Henry VIII from there.