Past Publications and History Notes

Past Publications & History Notes

The following have been published by Society Members in the past and are given here to illustrate along with those in the Publications section, the range of subjects the Society has covered to date. Although the Books listed below are now out of print most are available on loan from Horley Public Library and/or can be used for reference at the same venue.


The History Notes have been compiled on subjects on which Society members have personally studied and/or have collated from information kindly handed to the Society. Taken collectively, these Notes help to form part of Horley’s heritage. Again they can all be used for reference at Horley’s Public Library


Discussion etc, on their content can also be gained through contact with the Horley History Centre at that library which is usually manned pm each Tuesday and late am on Saturdays.






1960 “Horley, Its Church and People Through Ten Centuries”

By Elisabeth Lane


Mrs Lane was one of the earliest members of the Society (at that time called an Association). She undertook extensive research and this was the first early book published about Horley.




1982 “Great-Grandfather’s Horley,” A selection of (36) old photographs of the Parish.

By the Society.

This was the first book of this series to be published. The Society had to borrow £100 from the Parish Council in order to finance it.



1983 Charlwood and Horley Cottage Hospitals

By Mrs Jean Shelley, Mrs Joyce Lucas and Dr A G T Brown.


Although this was published by the Charlwood Society, Mrs Shelley was a long standing member of the HLHS and undertook extensive research in the locality. This book is the earliest history of the two hospitals with many statistics.



1992 Great-Grandfather’s Horley Book 2, A further selection of (47) old photographs of the Parish.

By and financed entirely by the Society.



1994 RAF Horne’s D-Day Spitfires, The story of a small Surrey Airfield near Gatwick.

By Brian Buss.

A detailed account of a local Advanced Landing Ground that was operational for but 7 weeks by 130, 303 and 402 Spitfire Squadrons in 1944 that led to the placement of a plaque to mark its location in 1994.



1994 Horley in Wartime, The Story of a Surrey Parish from 1939 to 1945.

By Brian Buss and Bernard Davis.

A detailed account of what happened in Horley during WW2 based on over 130 face to face interviews and extensive research in local newspapers and libraries, council, county, record and national offices, over a 3 year period with an appendix detailing every official incident recorded.


 1995 Horley Past & Present

By the Society
To mark the 100 anniversary of the creation of the Horley Parish Council, 76 photos are presented in the form of Past & Present local scenes.

1996 Horley Your Town, a local history time travel journey for young people.

By Veronica Ballard.

A publication purposely designed for young people with illustrations suitable for



1997 The Chequers, a place in Horley’s history.

By Os Brown, Brian Buss & Bernard Davis.

The history of a well-known hotel half way between London and Brighton from the time it was a house called “Bolters” in the early 1500s to meeting the needs of today’s travellers. It particularly covers the period before the stage coach to the coming of the railway and motorised traffic along this important main road.


1997 Transport Around Horley.

By the Society.

A selection of (59) photographs of different types of transport seen around Horley from around 1850 to 1950 with light hearted comments.


2005 Accidents & Disasters, In Horley over the last 125 years.

By the Society.

In 46 illustrations it records the most serious events in Horley’s history over that period. From murder to vehicle, train, and aircraft crashes to fire, flood and hurricane.


History Notes



1998 A Brief History of Haroldslea (also known as Harrowsley) Horley in the County of Surrey

By Peter Cox


Peter lived close by the large house with this name, thought to be part of Haroldslea Manor, and has continued to extend his research of both the house and the local area known by that name. He has updated this Note several times, the present one is the Seventh edition in 2008.


2002 High Trees School, The History of a School near Horley, Surrey from 1922 to 1984.

By Brian Buss & Richard Cooper.


It describes how the private School started at Salfords, had a disastrous fire and lost 5 children, moved twice, was evacuated in WW2, returned to Horley, grew in size but was later forced to close for financial reasons.


2002 No 35 Munitions Store, Horley, Surrey, in World War One.

By Brian Buss.


It describes where, why and how it was set up in WW1. What it did, what local concern arose and what remains there today. Since it was first written, further information has come to light and a second edition was written in 2007 and a third in 2012.


2002 A Brief History of an Industrial Site at Peartree Hill, Horley, locally known as the Empire Works. 1927 to 2000.

By Brian Buss (with the assistance of the late Jack Cole).


As this was the second early and sizeable industrial site close to Horley and it was about to be mainly demolished in 2000, it was thought to be essential to record its history albeit briefly.


2003 A Brief History of Strawson Hall in Albert Road, Horley, Surrey.

By Brian Buss.


The Hall was built by a benefactor named George Frederick Strawson in 1919 and at 2003 it stood on land owned by the Surrey County Council and run by Trustees. As its future was then uncertain, the Society was approached to compile a brief history of it.


2003 A Brief History of Horley’s Electricity Supply

By Peter Cox


It describes in some detail how electricity was first planned for Horley in 1903 but was not supplied until 1927. By 1948 it was Nationalised and became Seeboard until 1990 when it became part of the Electricite de France (edf.).

2006 Guiding in Horley from 1924 to 1945.
By Veronica Ballard

It describes and illustrates how Guiding first came to Horley along with many of the activities undertaken in that period. 


2006 The Search for Yattendon, The Story of a Building Estate.

By David Hall.


David lived in a road of this name and details his research of where the unusual name came from. A large Gothic style Victorian house once stood along the Brighton Road whose owner wished to name it and found that his gardener came from a Berkshire village called Yattendon. When it was sold with much of the surrounding land the area was developed into an estate that is also detailed here.


2009 A Brief History of Cinemas in Horley, 1912 to 1981.

By Brian Buss.


It details how the showing of moving films was first shown in a private hall in Horley. It also describes how and where the first purpose-built cinema came into being and the competition that arose, before a large art-deco cinema was built that could seat 1000 people in 1935 until it was demolished in 1981. It also describes and illustrates the original Christie organ still privately owned and played.


2012 The Early History of Redhill Aerodrome, pre 1934 to 1940

By Peter Amos & Brian Buss

It describes how and why this aerodrome came about through the actions of one man. Also how it became the first civil light aviation centre in the SE of Surrey and how it became one of the first RAF Elementary Flying Training schools prior to WW2.

2012  Working Night Shift at the Monotype in WW1.

A personal account from the autobiography of Benjamin Miles Potter who worked there  from 1915 to 1918
Edited by Brian Buss.

2012 A Brief History of Burstow Hall, Antlands Lane, Burstow.
The history of the house from when it was built in 1856 and some of its very interesting owners.
 By Peter Cox

2016 History of Southern Aircraft (Gatwick) Ltd

 By Peter Amos & Brian Buss

 The history covers of how the Company came to Gatwick Airport in 1939 and participated in the Civil Repair Organisation (CRO) during WW2. It details all the aircraft it handled along with photographs,  many of which have not been previously published. It also covers the Company’s postwar activities until it closed in 1962.

2014 A Brief History of Early Garages in Horley for the Maintenance of Motor Vehicles.
By Brian Buss & John Chisholm

From the garage where the first “Horley car” was built and others up to WW2.

2014 A Brief History of Tiltman Langley Laboratories (Ltd)
            By Peter Amos & Brian Buss
            How these Technical Engineering Consultants set up on Redhill Aerodrome from 1947 to             1977 and what they undertook.

2014 Henry Webber and his Activities in Horley.
          By David Hall.
         1 “Henry Webber and Horley a Remarkable Man” A very few people may know of 
         Henry Webber as being the oldest soldier to be killed on active service, but even fewer
        will know anything about his role in the life of Horley between 1875 and 1915.
        He was says David Hall, “Mr Horley”

        2  “Henry Webber’s War” is an extract from “Henry Webber and Horley” that just covers his very short army life – how he got into the army aged 67 and his very few weeks service before his death.

2016 A Tribute to Os Brown: A man remembered by HORLEY LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY

  By Brian Buss & Richard Cooper


2016 The Impact of TURNPIKE ROUTES in HORLEY 1697-1816




Horley Methodist Church, the first 100 years.

Horley Methodist Church, the First Hundred Years

For people who have lived in Horley, whether recently, in the past or for most of their lives, they are sure to have heard of the Methodist Church; but few will realise that 2009 is the Church’s Centenary.

This book gives ‘a brief history of the church on its present site with a look back to earlier times’. It explains the history of Methodism in Britain and then in Horley through the Primitive Methodists and the Wesleyan Methodists.


The second half of the book traces the history of the Victoria Road site, together with photographs of the buildings and its Ministers.


On reading this carefully researched book, one is aware that this is a church that has seen many changes in its first hundred years and is prepared to ‘Go Forward’ to meet the changing world and the needs of the community.


This 32 pp. book is available for £2.00, from the Horley Methodist Church cafe Wednesday and Saturday mornings,

or Doug Cox 01293 410366.


Veronica Ballard July 2009

Shadrach Blundell

 Shadrach Blundell

Blundell is a very well known name in Horley and has been for several centuries, so it is always of great interest to find those who can add to the knowledge of this family. Dorothea Teague, a family descendent, has produced a 222 page book called “Shadrach Blundell”, his family and property 1580 to modern times, 2nd edition, published by Synjon Books, price £12. It clearly shows how the Surrey Blundells are related to those in other counties, including, Sussex, Kent, Essex and Suffolk.

 The Horley connection with the family is covered in some detail from 1713 and describes their connection with properties such as Cinderfields, Horley Mill, Old Mill House, Hutchins and Benhams besides family names including Flint and Maple. All these names are either still known today or frequently referred to. One very interesting passage deals with the 1812 inventory (list of goods and chattels left on the death of John Blundell) and the other details the efforts Richard Blundell made in attempting to regain in Chancery the family estates from the Hughes side of the family. This continued in almost a re-run of “Bleak House” for over half a century.

 A copy is now held by the History Society and one will it is hoped shortly be held by Horley library.

This book is available for £12 from: Synjon Books, 5 Homestead View, The Street, BORDEN Sittingbourn, Kent, ME9 3JQ blundell.html


 The Brown Family.

Ten flour mills in a hundred years by Peter Sinclair.

This 48 page book has been recently published by the Mills Archive Trust.

The mill to interest us is Salfords Mill, and three pages are devoted in great detail to it.

Including pictures and details of the various owners and the fires which destroyed it

It is available for £10.00 from:


Grandfathers Horley book 4

This 50 page book is based on three themes. There is a collection of aerial photographs of Horley dating from early 20th c. to about 1980. Then there are groups of local people and finally there are old photographs of churches. This book is priced at £5.00.







Surrey Gazette 1879

An extract from the "Surrey Gazette" 24 June 1879 concerning the appointment of teachers at the Horley Row School.

The manner in which the religious views held by members of the Horley School Board, who happen to be all Churchmen, were introduced into the administration of the business before them at their meeting on Monday evening, will scarcely be regarded by outsiders in a light favourable to that body. The particular business was the appointment of pupil-teachers to the girls’ and boy’s schools. (there being just one school) The result of advertisements was the application of three candidates, who all attended. Of the masculine gender there were two representatives, but for the female pupil-teachership there was no opportunity for choice.

Investigation into the acquirements of the solitary candidate proved her to be a very ‘forward’ young woman indeed, in educational matters, so much so as to elicit a query whether she was too advanced for the position, to which reply was made that the Board should gain the advantage of her accomplishments during the time she remained with them,- an advantage well worth taking into account. About her respectability there was also no manner of doubt. But the Chairman of the Board having elicited that the unfortunate girl was so lost to a due sense of what was right and proper as to attend a Baptist Chapel, and to have suffered herself to receive education – and a first-class education, too – at a school connected with a Dissenting sect, a round of protest emanating from all the members but the vice-chairman, who deserves praise for his courage in asserting his view that they should appoint the best candidate, whether of Church or Nonconformist principles, and in moving this particular candidate’s appointment.

But it was evident her doom was fixed, although the girl was not a Papist. And she was refused the appointment, though admittedly most eligible for it in every respect, because she happened to be a Dissenter, because the Board have appropriated the hour formerly reserved for Church teaching in the Horley Board School, and now use it for unsectarian teaching. The only redeeming feature of the case was the handing the girl a half-sovereign as some compensation for her trouble in coming there.

A thousand years of Horley and Gatwick history

Book: A thousand years of Horley and Gatwick history

A timeline list of all the important dates in the history of Horley and Gatwick from about 880 to 2006 with some historic pictures.


Compiled by Peter Cox et al

Published 2006

Price £4.00

Horley 50 Years Ago

Book: Horley 50 Years Ago

This was published to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubliee and contains photographs of what Horley was like around the time when she came to the throne.

Price £5.00

Smallfield Past & Present

Book: Smallfield Past & Present

This booklet contains a selection of postcards of scenes around Smallfield taken in the early 1900s, showing the sames views in modern times.

Published in 1995

Price £4.00