Newsletter September 2017


 This newsletter is published by the Horley Local History Society. www.horleyhistory.org.uk : Brian Buss Telephone: 01293 782231

Horley Local History Society


NEWS Letter




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.


Meetings Calendar


Thursday 26 October 2017 Horley on Maps through the ages. By Brian Buss

Thursday  23 November 2017 History of Sanger’s Circus. By Cora McLaren

Thursday 14 December 2017 A Horley Christmas Evening.

Thursday 25 January 2018 Votes for Women and the Impact on Horley Cora McLaren & Sam Marshall

Thursday 22 February 2018  AGM followed by History of the Horley Car

Thursday 22 March 2018 Centenary of RAF Doug Cox & Brian Buss


Over many years the Society has been concerned because the history of St Bartholomew’s Church has not been adequately  recorded and presented in a manner worthy of its status


So it decided to rectify this situation by inviting all religions to the Church and present a talk by Doug Cox, one of the Society’s leading members, about what it has assembled to date about its history from the 13th century. It was supported by an extensive photographic exhibition and a walk around the Church.

Doug and the Society wish to express thanks to all who attended, assisted in the talk and the evening’s organisation. The Society plans to publish the talk and many of the photographs for use by the Church and to be available for the townsfolk. In this way it is hoped at last to overcome its concern.

 (Pictures included in the Newsletter can be seen if you download the PDF version, see bottom of this newsletter.) 

From the success of this event the Society was pleased to welcome several new members and it plans to  arrange a talk about campanology (bell ringing) in the New Year.


HLHS joins the British Association for Local History

Your Committee considered that the Society could benefit by becoming a member of this Association in a number of ways by:-

             - receiving its publications

- being informed about the activities of other

  local  history organisations

- informing others of HLHS events

- the information individuals can gain

  via its website www.blah.org.uk

 And HLHS has now become a member.


The North West Development

 You may recall the Society voiced its view in the January N/L  about the opportunity lost by others naming this development West Vale instead of Moy Grene as used on the 1602 map when Christ Hospital purchased much land in Horley. We eagerly await to see if our local authority use the many road names the Society suggested when requested, all based on local history and/or personalities, etc.

 The present situation suggests it could be a yes and a no.


The Society suggested Webber Way; a Street  gives the impression that it refers to an urban area, not part of a residential estate. Yes… Horley does have Lee Street but this stems from the early spelling Le Stret, a road of some importance as it led to our Mill.

 Henry Webber was a well-known local figure who had been a stockbroker and then served on various committees to help the village of Horley. He was an active sportsman and enjoyed life playing cricket and riding to hounds. When the First World War broke  out he volunteered, but was told that being 65 he was too old for active service. However, he persisted as he hoped to be able to meet and salute three of his sons who were serving in France. He was posted to a supply base behind the lines in May 1916 and happened to be on a delivery near the front on the Somme when a single German shell came over and hit twelve men and three horses. Henry Webber was one of those killed on July 21st 1916 and is thought to be, at 67, one of the oldest men to lose his life on ‘active’ service. He is buried at Dartmoor Cemetery, near Albert.


(David Hall published a book about him in 2016 “Henry Webber’s Horley” see HLHS website)


Sidney Bourne was born in 1895 and was one of five children living in a cottage in Albert Road. By 1911 he was a ‘wash house’ boy and was living with relatives in Charlesfield Road. He enlisted into Kitchener’s New Army on July 27th 1915. He was serving with the West Surreys on the Somme when he was killed during a series of unsuccessful attacks near Oviers-la-Boiselle on July 3rd 1916 age 20. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


(Sidney Bourne is remembered by Doug Cox who published “Men of Horley – Lest we Forget” in 2013 see HLHS website)


Veronica Ballard who recently visited the site and kindly took the photographs reported that progress has been made and a few of the houses are now occupied and have road signs installed (eg Bourne Avenue). But where contractors are still completing they only warrant temporary white signs (eg Webber Street).

 Smallfield Hospital

Quite by accident following the very brief summary about this hospital in the last N/L, one of our researchers came across a most detailed report ref:-

Official History of the Canadian Medical Services 1939-1945 Vol 1 Seeing that we had so many Canadian soldiers stationed in our locality in WW2, it is well worth examining it. It is rare to find such a concise, yet  so detailed report.


The Society still has a photograph of what presumably was the majority of the Canadian staff at the hospital in May 1944 (although other staff must have been on duty during its taking). It is some 38 inches in length and contains 38 Officers, 61 nursing staff and 245 other uniformed ranks.

 These numbers provide some idea of the working size of this hospital at the critical time of WW2.

 A History of Horley

In the last N/L the Society spelt out its plan to undertake a history of the town and invited members to participate in it. No -  we didn’t have to lock the doors to stop the rush, much is the pity, but we did have a little interest so we march steadily on and intend to attain our goal. So if you are having second thoughts, do come and talk to us.

A sad notice

We are extremely  sorry to report the recent death of Mrs Anthea Naylor of Lee Street, a long standing member of HLHS.

Anthea was admitted to East Surrey Hospital for surgery at the end of July but unfortunately suffered complications which despite efforts by the surgical team resulted in her death on 15th August.


PDF versions of many of our Newsletters can be downloaded.