The Park Hotel - 140 The High Street
Now apartments above an estate agents business called Michael's
High Street Research Team
Between 1910 and 1914 Joseph Trayler, his wife Hephzibah and their children lived at the hotel. In earlier census records Joseph is listed as a Master Mariner and a yacht captain. In 1911 at the age of 50 he is listed in the census as a licensed victualler living at The Park Hotel with his wife and seven of his nine children. During the period of the First World War all of his children would have been old enough to enlist for service.
In 1914 the hotel was taken over by Alfred Porter. Alfred continued to be the landlord beyond WW2.
His daughter, Minnie, remembers her mother cooking on a large stove in the kitchen in the cellar and carrying their food up 2 flights of stairs to the dining room. The beer arrived by horse and cart. Soldiers were billeted with them during WW1. When they came back from leave from their Norfolk homes they brought fresh eggs with them, a treat for the family.
The Park Hotel was built about 1862 and seemingly named after Wivenhoe Park mansion house which had been demolished upon the instructions of its owner, William Brummell, after his death a few years previously following instructions contained in his will.
Public houses were at that time places where people met to do business as well as to entertain and be entertained. In many ways the Park Hotel was a general sporting centre for the town. Just two of the Clubs that met there regularly and to hold their AGM, were the Cricket Club and the Quoits Club. It was also a venue for celebratory dinners and trophy presentations, such things as the Quoits Club supper, a Free and Easy smoker evening and a Smoking Concert.
In June 1908 there was a meeting to form an Athletic Club. It was decided to call it Wyvenhoe Athletic and Cycling Club.
The Park Hotel as with other pubs, were frequently used to hold auctions of property and land.
With the railway line now extended from Colchester to Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea, places like the Park Hotel were also being used by commercial travellers.
With the development of Wivenhoe north of Park Road, the town was divided into those who lived above the Park Hotel known as the Upstreeters and the less well-off who lived below the Park Hotel known as the Downstreeters. This persisted until the end of the Second World War.
- Oral recording Mini Scott Wivenhoe Remembered Project