Newsletter April 2017





Horley Local History Society


NEWS Letter

April 2017


The Venue

The Society meets at the Methodist Hall, Victoria Road, Horley, Surrey, every 4th Thursday in the month at 7:30pm for 8:00 unless otherwise stated below.

Parking is available at the rear.

Please note some changes to meeting dates below have been made at speakers requests.

Meetings Calendar

Thursday 27 April 2017 Remembering the

Dam Busters.

By Jim Barnes

Thurs 25 May 2017 An Evening of Viewing old Photographs of Horley.

By John Chisholm

Thursday 22 June 2017  A History of Tennis in Horley.

By David Sharratt

Thursday 27 July 2017 A visit to St Batholomew’s Church. Assemble there at 7pm

Thursday 7 September 2017 The A23 - Historic photos.

By Alan Read

Sat 9 September 2017 Heritage Walk. Details to be announced later

Thursday26 October 2017 Horley on Maps through the ages.

Thursday  23 November 2017 Sanger’s Circus/Horley.

By Cora McLaren

Thursday 14 December 2017 A Horley Christmas Evening.


Battle of Vimy Ridge 9-12 April 1917

The April meeting was given to a packed Hall by Andy Thompson, who, as many of you will know, was the Head Master of Oakwood School until his retirement. He has studied the history of WW1 battlefields in France over many years and become a recognised speaker and an authority on this subject so the Society was pleased to invite him back to talk on this battle that took place 100 years ago.

He explained in great detail how it was planned, fought and led by Canadians using different tactics to those used in earlier battles in WW1. His enthusiasm for his subject was recognised by all and we thank him for delivering such an interesting account of the battle.

Andy currently runs a battlefield tours business through his website www.eyewitness      The Society would like to thank the Horley Vimy Twinning Association members who attended the evening and other members of the public who supported the event.

The HLHS book “Men of Horley 1914-1918 is still available via 01293 410366, the library & The Book Shop.

Brooke Bond Co

Yet another find has come to light from Os Brown’s papers. This time from the above company referring to DEPOT PREMISES, 3 MASSETTS ROAD HORLEY. The letter dated  10 August 1946  to the Horley Estate Agent Baker & Baker (where the Salvation Army charity shop is today) stating it has gained agreement from the owner (Mr Jennings) that it had can relinquish its tenancy of this property.

The Society has no knowledge that it had ever occupied this property (presumably during WW2 on the southern side of the road) or was ever listed as doing so in any directory or though it could have been behind the street facing properties. A letter to the present Archivist (now part of Unilever) has received a reply that its records do not show this address was occupied as a WW2 evacuated site as others did in the UK during that period.

So does any reader have any information that this company did occupy the Massetts Road address, what it did, etc? The Society will of course continue to pursue this so watch this space.

Another Local History group kindly sent us a copy of an invoice dated 30 June 1957

It was from J A Riddle, Automobile Engineer & Transport Contractor, Ladbroke Road, Redhill and addressed to the Treasurer (then Leslie Austin) of the Horley Historical Association (as it was then called),  with the items listed that were rather odd.

They read : To 1 bicycle & 1 Tricycle ex “The Chequers” Horley  to  w.2.        £1 10-

Why were they purchased and what were they used for? A Play or Carnival?

Thank you for the Information gained on the Percival Proctor Fuselage requested in the previous  N/L?

We now virtually know almost everything about it. From its constructors number to the date when it was struck off charge by the Ministry, in 05.12.55, but where was the photo taken? Was it in an ATC hut or privately housed? Come on you readers with long memories.

Lee Street Burial Site

As reported in the last N/L, the Society is still actively involved in setting up discussions with the Borough Officer of this Burial Site re its future plans.

Peter Lloyd Jeffcock

Peter was the person who became the foster-father of 12 girls and boys from quite young ages who raised them completely on his own in the late 1960s/70s. They all first lived in Kinnersley, the large house off the A217 near Sidlow, before occupying a house in Massetts Road. After a spell in Wales they later returned to Horley. Also at one time they were in a house in Smallfield Road.

For a time, his reasons for doing so raised quite an interest, both locally and nationally. Recently, the  Society has been given a book explaining why and how he did so. If anyone wishes to borrow it please contact me on 01231 782231.

Hidden History

No 32 the High Street, that was the Guitar Shop, recently changed hands to reveal another item of History under its facia board.

It was “Elphick” A fruiter & Greengrocer. Research suggests it was operating from 1898 but by 1908 it was a bicycle shop under a different name.

Ziggies, once a Hairdressers in Victoria Road has now become a Marketening Outlet for nearby Sovereign Place that is reaching completion (where W T Henry’s garage once stood).

The Venture

Back in 1934 the first magazine with this name was believed published by Horley’s Central School in Albert Road (today’s Infant School). Two were thought to have been issued each year (one Summer & the other at Christmas) until well into WW2. In the Summer of 1947 the “New Venture” was launched but its duration and content are unknown. (Has any reader copies of this magazine that the Society could see and perhaps copy for its archives?)

The Society was recently given a few copies of the former during the years of the 1930s and was impressed by their content. This was thought to be by input not only of teachers, but by the Committee consisting of senior pupils.

The SPECIAL EVACUATION NUMBER for Christmas 1939 is of particular importance as it is the first time this copy has come to light that was written by those who witnessed it first-hand. Hence it could be compared with that recorded in “HORLEY IN WARTIME” published in 1994.

The book’s report was compiled just by interviews of witnesses, etc and is striking for what it obviously could not include when a comparison is made. Eg, no description of the atmosphere or the immediacy of the moment or how the urgency was reacted to. This comparison really illustrates the difference between straight forward factual reporting after the event and exactly what it was like for the participants during it.

These impacts will now I hope, or should, influence the writing about historical facts in the future and perhaps provide a useful lesson for budding writers.

Update on Strawson Hall

Up to February this year, the planning, finance, etc had been on the basis that the Hall would include space for the Preschool who had used it for so long before the fire. Unfortunately the funding for this will not now be possible as Surrey CC cannot any longer afford it.

Consequently plans for the rebuild without this will now have to be reconsidered and re-costed before permission is given to proceed. However the Trustees and the Contractor remain determined not to be beaten and still aim to achieve its reconstruction without it. This attitude is much to be admired and those who wish to see this come about not only for the historical importance it represents to the town, but also to those who would continue to use it once re-erected, are urged to support this action by providing continuing support, be it financial, manual or just focal at this time. Please don’t let what George Frederick Strawson did for others almost 100 years ago be lost to obscurity. Continues to assist those searching about our (and their) history world wide

We first entered the digital world with our website some 20 years ago and still help those who enquire by email from all over the world. They are all handled by Peter Cox very efficiently who directs each one to a member who he knows is most likely to be able to respond. Often one response might lead to many more communications, some with new information that we did not have.

Most enquirers are extremely appreciative of our help. An extract from a recent reply read;-

“I should like you to know how grateful I am to yourself by putting me in touch
with such a terrific & knowledgeable person & I should also like you to know
how much he has contributed. Thank you for all the help it has been brilliant.”
HLHS Receives a Certificate of Appreciation
For its work involved in organising Horley’s part in the Open Heritage Weekend in 2016
and carrying out the walks despite the exceptionally poor weather,
it has been awarded the Certificate through the Reigate Society.
In order to make such celebrations more interesting for the participants it assembled,
produced and gave to each, a small booklet to guide and illustrate what properties,
and views were of importance to our Heritage.
Copies of this booklet are still available and can be purchased for just a £3 from the Book Shop in Victoria Road.

As you will see from our future Calendar above, a similar walk is planned for 2017. 

 (thank you Brian Buss - Ed)

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WEBSITE         webmaster Peter Cox

Want to know what is happening in Horley or need some information - why not try looking on our site?  We also have a presence on Facebook, find us on Horley Local History Society page but DO NOT mix us up with Memories of Horley page, they are nothing to do with us at all.


website           Facebook    Horley Local History Society

Chairman   Alan Reid  01293-782630        Vice-Chairman  currently vacant

Treasurer   Doug Cox  01293-410366        HLHS Archives  contact via Chairman

Newsletter Editor   John Chisholm   01293-786419  email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Committee  Betty Woodburn 01293-784668  &   Samantha Marshall  01293-201908 


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