Pealie has always had the vision to turn the Barn into a music venue. After handcrafting the Barn, Angel Bar & Courtyard mostly by himself with reclaimed materials, it was time to find a team to help him turn his vision into reality.
Fast forward to now, we’re a small team of creatives that have a huge passion for music and all forms of art. Our aim is to create a home for music, art and culture here in the heart of North Yorkshire whilst keeping a focus on supporting other local small businesses and artists. Due to the rural nature of our site on Cockleberry Farm, we’re very lucky to be able to have a unique space that provides a refreshing environment for all different types of people.
The Courtyard before work commenced
The Courtyard in 2021, after Pealie's hard work
Some of the projects and events we would like to hold in the future include:
Gigs (local artist showcase evenings, bigger touring names & smaller original acoustic nights)
A host of different workshops; educational, art & crafts, music and wellbeing
Accessibility - we have a continuous aim to make our venue and surroundings accessible to people with disabilities
Keeping the charm and character of these historical Yorkshire buildings by using reclaimed materials to enhance and improve
Providing the local community with a welcoming space for people of all backgrounds
Recording sessions; music videos, live sessions & more
A small café & kitchen on site with possibilities of pop-up chefs and different cuisines
Maintaining a sustainable & eco-friendly ethos throughout our decisions & planning
As you can see, we have an ambitious project ahead of us but the support we have received so far has shown us this dream could very much become a reality, especially with your help! We’d love to be a hub in the countryside for creativity to grow throughout the years to come.
We are currently closed due to application issues, to find out more and help secure the future of Pealie’s Barn please click here.
Mike (left) & Pealie (right)
1982. On the 20th of June Pealie was born.
On arriving at school that day Mikey greeted me with
”Neil Neil orange peel”. He had just heard the line the night before
on a new sitcom called The Young Ones, it evolved into Pealie and stuck with me for life. The big chair (seen underneath the stained glass window in the Barn) was made for Mikey for the name and everything else he has done for me. There would be no Pealie’s Barn without him. You couldn't ask for a better friend.
1983-1992. I milked a lot of cows.
I would milk cows, go to an all night rave, get home and milk cows again. Most of my friends were into music, following or playing, so despite no talent we hashed together a band called Explair that
1966. On the 21st of November Brian was born.
I don't know what he weighed, I have never asked. I do know he was very ugly, the sort of baby only a mother could love.
I hope no one remembers hearing. Nothing else to see here other than I went water-skiing with my
dad a lot.
1992. The perfect year.
I'm still milking cows but the year before my grandfather had died so with the regime change I was
allowed to take some time off and make a trip to America with James and Andy. To this day the trip
still provides my best stories. I took a lot of pictures too but I have never seen them since I gave them
to James to make copies. Are you done yet James? We bought an old American car and drove from
New York to LA via Key West and back again. I learned to love road trips and the fact we never had
any plans just destinations. After three months I was back in England with a good suntan and a new
wakeboard and the year had hardly started. The day after returning we went to Bongos, a very classy
club in Northallerton. While standing at the bar I hear someone ask “are you Pealie?”. I turn around to be greeted by Becky. Now, the whole reason I went to the States in the first place was to give me a
reason to write letters to Becky who I did not really know, but like everyone else in Northallerton,
I fancied. It's not a joke, everyone loved Becky. She was not just pretty, she was funny and friendly
even if you were ugly. Given all the competition I figured my best option was to get her attention in an unusual way, so letters from America might do it. They were not romantic letters, they were just funny but they worked. I informed her that we would be having twin girls, but not now as the rest of this decade is for fun.
Pealie's Grandad Cecil
Pealie, Mia & India
1999. On the 16th of February, India and Mia are born.
Still milking cows but now I make furniture for Becky and the babies instead of going to raves. My Uncle Harry gets raided by Customs & Excise and they take all his parrots into custody to protect them from Harry. They all die, so who did kill Harry's parrots?
2001. On the 24th of March the universe splits.
There is a universe where I am still milking cows but that's not the one we are in. In this universe I never milk another cow after the government has killed them all. The government likes killing animals on our farm. With no cows the buildings had no use. Rather than repurpose them, the government had offered incentives to simply leave them alone so the family took the money and did just that. With no cows to milk I focused more on carpentry and furniture, including a series of clocks one of which I still believe is the world's tallest free-standing clock. The internet was really taking off now and I partnered up with Colin, the local village genius (I know he is annoying but he is clever) and tried my hand in the tech world. With lots of ideas and no idea what we were doing this was not going to end well.
2007. It is not going well at all and struggling to keep it together.
2008. Depression and the cure.
I have really fucked (messed) this up and now I have lost Becky, I just want to wallow in self pity. I see Ron for a haircut, not that I care. While he is cutting he tells me that he has to go to a graduation party for his niece but he doesn't want to go. It is hard to pretend to be happy when everyone knows she is terminally ill and has been since she began her degree. How can I feel sorry for myself after hearing that? So, from then on when I started to feel sorry I would think of this and give myself a slap. To further help my recovery I found that exercise and music kept negative thoughts away so I ran a lot, cycled a lot and listened to a lot of music. I found that new songs I had never heard before had the most effect, perhaps there are no emotions attached to them but whatever I became addicted to hearing new songs. Fortunately Matty had a huge CD collection of alternative music so I started working my way through it. I made my life as simple as I could. I bought nothing I did not need and only worked when I had to. Before long I was smiling again and friendly with Becky despite her marrying Chris, who had done a great job as a second dad whilst I had been pretty useless.
The outside of the Barn before any work commenced
2010. The first party.
I got a request from a friend to use the Barn for a leaving party before he emigrated to New Zealand. As the Barn had been empty since foot and mouth it required nothing more than a sweep and a makeshift stage for Dale, our DJ for the evening (which turned into day). Hally always referred to the event as the party at Pealie’s Barn so I think she officially named it. I hope this is an Omen but Dale’s playlist was the first time I had heard the Arctic Monkeys.
2012. The war years.
Sixteen years of neglect and the buildings are starting to suffer. The government
continues to pay to do nothing so after a few family altercations we end up engaging
solicitors and start hurling litigation at each other. After wasting five years and tens
of thousands of pounds, a judge tells us we need to talk to each other and appoints
mediation. A day later it’s all sorted. Fighting solves nothing, it just pushes a problem
into the future. Only talking and listening resolves conflict.
2017. What to do with the barns?
I don't have a plan, I gave up on plans a long time ago. But, I do have destinations so I am always going somewhere. I could sell to a developer and bag a couple of million and make life even easier than it already is. But then I would have money and no destination and I didn't think I would be happy. What made me happy was getting up in the morning and doing what I wanted with the day. I had to sell some land to pay legal fees so I took the money that was left and started building. I got help occasionally, particularly from Jarrod who thinks I don't remember but I do, thank you Jarrod. But for the most part the crude workmanship is mine because it had to be. From the onset of building I treated it like a sculptor trying to get what is in their head into a physical form. I used the materials I had and what was given to me for inspiration and I really began to feel like I was making a piece of art. But, it could never be complete unless there was a band on the stage and of course an audience to hear them.
The Barn after Pealie started tidying and creating
2020. The band arrives.
I still haven't got a plan and other than two local rappers Fungi Ferg and GRyme no band had played the stage inside the Barn. Although the Courtyard had seen a few performances at weddings and the Tanking, a mini festival held later that year all under covid guidelines, we had all the paperwork you need to keep safe. The first band to play in the barn was Scruffy Bear but only to an audience of one. At the beginning of the second lock-down they had come to me looking for somewhere to practice, so for the next few months I got to know them and they me but I swear we were never less than 6 feet apart.
2021. Still have no plan.
But I do have an idea. Sass, George, Ryan and Jack had been telling me that they are
trying to find a house big enough for them to share so they can focus on being a working band. So, I offer them the farm house rent free in exchange for helping me create a working venue. They moved in in March and we started the job of turning what might have been my grand folly into a real, recognised arts venue.
2022. The cult. (It's not a cult, Pealie!)
Over the last year Rhys, L’ekia, Horse and Raven have been invited to join the cult that has evolved. Everyone is equal, people do what they are best suited to and we avoid hierarchy as much as we can, but Sass is in charge when someone has to be. Democracy is not just for the government, it is for business too and profit does not have to be the only goal as long as it is sustainable it is justified. If it is socially and environmentally beneficial then that is our profit. Pealie’s Barn is just a 300 year old barn and it means nothing unless artists come and perform, audiences come and listen and everyone has a good time doing it. The answer to why I built it is simple, I just want to be happy and I have found I'm happiest when the people around me are happy. I built it for everyone so please have fun. Even if the world is ending, it is always a good time for a party.
Pealie on his birthday, 2021