Leatherhead & District Local History Society - What's New?

last updated 6 Aug 2017

17th November: The Society is hosting a Special meeting at the Leatherhead Theatre with Bamber Gascoigne, who will give a talk about West Horsley Place and the Grange Park Opera. Mr Gascoigne, who inherited West Horsley Place, is familiar to many of us from his tv work. Information poster

Mole Valley Heritage Weekend Open Days 7-10 September click for booklet
Leatherhead Museum is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Leatherhead & District Local History Society. For Heritage Open Days it will feature our own transport-related items, the story of Venthams Motor Cars and possibly a horse-drawn carriage.
Directions: The museum is located at the junction of Church Street and The Crescent.
Open: Thursday 7 September: 13:00 - 16:00.
Friday 8 September: 13:00 - 16:00.
Saturday 9 September: 10:00 - 16:00.
Sunday 10 September: 10:00 - 16:00.
No booking required.
Please note that whilst there is step-free access in the courtyard of the Museum, inside the building there are narrow passages, low headroom and a steep stairway to the upper rooms.

L&DLHS Members visit to Ashtead Park on Wednesday August 9th.
This visit is at Own Risk!
The Tour will be led by Pat Jenkins, School Archivist) and will include the main external historical features. Although two such buildings will be entered, this will not include the old Manor House as it is to be closed for refurbishment this summer. The tour is suitable for children of school age through to Senior Citizens. Stout shoes are recommended, as some of the tracks are a little rough! The duration will be approximately 1 hour 30 mins ending with refreshments in one of the buildings. Click here for more information - note this is for members only

added 15 July: CRAFT DAYS
Leatherhead Museum will be running its annual Craft Afternoons for children on three Fridays in August. The sessions are free of charge and there is no need to pre-book. The events, for children accompanied by adults, will be held from 1pm to 4pm on Friday, 11 August; Friday, 18 August; and Friday, 25 August. Click here for more information

Wednesday 7th July 2017: Summer Talk and Tour by Vivien White at Fetcham Park House (ticketed event) - see programme page

Friday 19 May, 2017: Professor Peter Edwards on The History of Eastwick - see report on programme page

Friday April 21st, 2017 Pat Jenkins, Archivist of the City of London Freemen’s School on A History of Ashtead Park - see report on programme page

Leatherhead Museum opened again on Saturday 8th April, at 10am - see Museum link

Friday 17  March, 2017: AGM followed by a short talk by Nigel Bond on My Work as Archaeology Secretary - see programme page - report to be added

Friday 17 February, 2017: Professor Richard Selley on The Birth, Life and Death of the River Mole - see report on programme page

2 Feb 2017 Report on member Professor Patricia Wiltshire's talk on How Science can Tell us about the Use of Land, given at our January 2017 meeting.

Some Oral History items have been added in the On-line Archive section of our website, with more to follow.

27 Nov 2016 Some photos from our 70th Anniversary Meeting on 18th November are added to the report of the event - see via the Programme link

21 Nov 2016 Open access to the Newsletter and Proceedings in our On-line Archive
All visitors to our website will now be able to read our past Newsletters and Proceedings. This will show non-members what the Society has to offer in terms of facilities, past and ongoing research, forthcoming attractions and events, and why the Museum is an essential place to visit for everyone with an interest in our area of Surrey.
Each new edition of the Newsletter and Proceedings will henceforth become available to the general public after a sensible period of exclusive access to existing members.

25 Oct 2016: Notice our logo on the left of your screen?  It was designed by Roy Mellick: "It represents the Local History Society (LHS) in the form of a swan which is a recognised logo for Leatherhead organisations, schools, clubs etc.".

23 Oct 2016 News of an LCA Lecture in the Abraham Dixon Hall, Leatherhead Institute; 7.30pm Friday 25th November: DEEPDENE’S DARKEST DAYS - The Scandalous Story of the Deepdene Hotel
A talk by Richard Hughes, former Head of History at St John’s School: ‘In the 1920s and 1930s Deepdene House was an hotel and quickly established a reputation for excess, debauchery and ‘irregular activities’, including witchcraft.’
Open to all – Retiring Collection for the Friends of Deepdene (who have no connection with the aforesaid goings on!)

17 Oct 16: 2015 Proceedings Erratum: Our Proceedings Editor, Bill Whitman, writes: On page 23, for ‘Fig. 7 1638 Lawrence survey’ read ‘Extract from the first edition Ordnance Survey Map, mentioned on page 24’.

6 Sep 2016 - A new page on our website for which many of you will be able to provide material - we hope - Streets and Roads

These days most people have a mobile phone. Increasingly these phones have a decent camera built-in. Handy digital cameras are also quite common.
So many of us are quickly able to take photos of things that contribute to the history of where we live.

The aim of this project is to build up an on-line record of where we live. Then we can eventually have a visual record of change, and where better to view it than on the Internet?

Each photo should ideally be of a large rather than a small or medium file size. We can reduce the file size for the web and use the original to add the the archives of the Society. If necessary take an additional photo to provide the context.  Better photos of the same place are also welcome.
Of course, please be careful when taking photos!

Please email your photos to the website editor, Frank Haslam, stating when and precisely where you took each one, and any comment. He recently took photos of the right hand side of Leatherhead High Street (towards the Institute), which are yet to be added.

You can view the new page by clicking on Streets and Roads or via the main menu Can you help/Streets

Your August 2016 Newsletter

This was posted or a link emailed in mid-August.

This includes Martin Warwick's obituary.

The deadline for articles for our November Newsletter is 2nd October.

Our Autumn meetings open on 16th September with a talk from David Graham, a former President of the Surrey Archaeological Society, on FARNHAM & ITS UNIQUE CASTLE.

Book now for our Christmas Fun Quiz Supper Evening on Friday 2nd December: please click here for booking form

Martin Warwick has died

4 July 2016: It is with great sadness that we heard on 30th June that Martin Warwick, our recently retired Newsletter Editor, had passed away that morning shortly after having being transferred to a local hospice. Our condolences go to his wife Jill and their family.

We have lost a long-serving and valued member of the Society who will be remembered in particular for his transformation of our Newsletter and for modernising the way in which our publications are produced. He was also familiar to many in the Bookhams as the Editor of the Bookhams Bulletin.

Martin’s funeral has been arranged for Wednesday 13th July at 11.45am at the Leatherhead Crematorium and afterwards at the Barn Hall, Bookham.

Martin Warwick

Friends of Leatherhead Museum - Family Craft Afternoons in August

These are once again being held in the courtyard of Leatherhead Museum at Hampton Cottage, 64 Church Street, Leatherhead, from 1pm to 4pm on Fridays 5th, 12th and 19th August 2016.
There will be a mix of hands-on crafts for children who must be accompanied by a responsible adult to participate in which may vary from Friday to Friday.
Entry Free but donations welcome

By Special Arrangement 'Frank & Hilda Hollis', the last private occupants of the Cottage will be there in period costume to welcome visitors to their room in the Cottage, set out as it might have been as they left it on VE day 8th May 1945.  Please note that whilst there is step free access into the courtyard, in the Cottage there are narrow passages, low headroom and a steep stairway to the upper rooms.

If you are able to display our small poster for this event or to give it to those - especially  families - who you think might like to know about these craft afternoons please print it off as a full page (fill page) poster or (2 copies per page, as a flyer) after downloading it from this link.

We have a new Chairman of the Society - John Rowley

It was announced at the end of the lecture evening on 20th May that at the recent Executive Committee Meeting of the Society, Dr Fred Meynen, who had served as Acting Chairman (following the resignation of David Hartley in November 2015 due to pressure of work) was standing down as he had previously indicated. Fred has given long years of service to the local community and his commitment to the Society has been shown in many ways. We are very grateful for that and for his continuing participation on our Executive Committee and the Programme Committee. One nomination for the post of Chairman had been received, John Rowley, who will remain our Ashtead Archivist. This was unanimously accepted. 

John has made it clear that that his position as Chairman would need to be confirmed by members at the 2017 AGM, should he then stand.

John Rowley

John writes: As an incomer to the district (after moving from Epsom) I found the Society Archives useful and so joined the Society. About four years ago I took over responsibility for the Ashtead section of the Archives, accepting a mandate to prepare material to be researched on line. I also took on the task of attempting to fill in the gaps in the archive. As Chairman I will be leading the Society through its 70th Anniversary celebrations this November. I will be pro-active in reviewing how the Society could improve its offering.
My background is in Civil Engineering. I joined WS Atkins (based in Epsom) as a Graduate Engineer in 1967 leaving as Principal Engineer in 1988 to work as a consultant in an emerging and rapidly developing area of information technology concerning the ‘location’ element of (big) data. This work is extremely complex and has required the development of International Standards over the last 20 years. I chaired a British Standards Committee for over ten years as well leading a delegation of British experts to meetings of the International Standards Organisation (and others). Consultancy work was mainly with Government Departments, Police Forces and Local Authorities seeking a way forward to link their many datasets through common location. My final assignment before retiring was for the Olympic Development Authority. In my earlier Civil Engineering career my specialist area was the design of bridges: as such my main claim to fame is to be the only English Civil Engineer to have had his structure blown up by terrorists! (It was repaired!)
I am currently working with others to finalise a book on Ashtead in World War II.

LEATHERHEAD IN THE GREAT WAR by Lorraine Spindler (Curator of Leatherhead Museum) was published in June 2016 by Pen & Sword

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Leatherhead was alive with celebration. The Boer War had ended in May 1902, King Edward VII’s Coronation followed in August and the had town blossomed into one of prosperous development.

Things quickly changed when the war broke out in 1914, leaving the town papered with recruiting posters and swarming with soldiers. The upheaval was especially felt by the local families as they initially waved off over 400 Leatherhead men into the forces. Those left behind attempted to live a normal life in extraordinary circumstances, with Zeppelin raids in nearby Guildford and Croydon, which encouraged Leatherhead’s newspapers to offer insurance against the destruction of homes, the banning of lights after dark and fines for those who ignored the dictates. Added to the locals’ distress was the news of the high casualty rate of local soldiers and those previously billeted in the town, wiped out at the Battle of Delville Wood.

The spring of 1918 felt especially bleak with shortages of food, labour, fuel and little prospect of an end to the conflict. However, later that year the end of war was finally declared. Of the 983 Leatherhead men who served, 163 were dead.

On 19 July 1919, Leatherhead joined with the nation to celebrate peace. A lunch for returning servicemen was laid out and a procession of over 2,000 Leatherhead residents proceeded to Randalls Park. As the Silver Band played the town rejoiced with fireworks, dancing and the customary bonfire. Though warmed by the flames of celebration, Leatherhead was irrevocably altered.

£14.99 +£2.60 p&p from the Museum. It can also be found in good local bookshops. see also our Publications page.
There is an article about the book in our August 2016 Newsletter.

Your May 2016 L&DLHS Newsletter: Analysis of Leatherhead occupations article by David Wall.

In our May 2016 Newsletter, in the article by our member David Wall on the work of Leatherhead U3A in analysing occupations in the 1861 and 1901 Census records for Leatherhead there was no space to include the lengthy data appendix. This can be viewed by clicking on Appendix A

See the Museum pages for news of the new displays. The Museum re-opened after its winter break on 31st March.

News of our 25th June Coffee Morning at the Institute - see Programme page

Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands (Home>History) added on Useful Links page.

Member Sally Todd, Archivist at St John's School writes: I thought that members of the Local History Society might be interested in two of our Summer events at St John's in May:

Montgomery Exhibition Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 May 2016
Field Marshal Montgomery, Chairman of St John’s School Governing Council for 16 years, from 1950–1966 and then President of the Council from 1966 until his death in 1976, made an immense contribution to the School, and showed great generosity in giving his own time and money and in managing major funding raising projects.
To recognise Monty’s significant involvement with St John’s and to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death in 1976 and the 50th anniversary of his stepping down as Chairman in 1966, we are mounting an exhibition in the Old Chapel in May.
Items on display will include artefacts and photographs of Monty laying foundation stones; opening buildings; with Speech Day guests; with prefects; and welcoming royal visitors to the School.  Original handwritten letters and notes from the Field Marshal, relating to the School as well as signed copies of his memoirs and books presented to him and signed by war leaders and politicians will also be on show, together with memorabilia from the 1951 centenary celebrations such as programmes, menu cards, press cuttings and signed photographs.
The exhibition will be open daily and is free to visit.
Montgomery Lecture – Wednesday 25 May 2016
Military historian Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, will be giving a lecture on Field Marshal, the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein on Wednesday 25 May 2016.
Mr Sheffield’s academic career started in the Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1985. While at Sandhurst, he studied part-time for his doctorate, and moved on to KCL in 1999 as Senior Lecturer in Defence Studies. Based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, he was also Land Warfare Historian on the Higher Command and Staff Course, the UK military’s senior operational course.  In 2005 Mr Sheffield was awarded a Personal Chair by KCL, and moved to the University of Birmingham to take up the inaugural Chair of War Studies in 2006. In 2013 he joined the University of Wolverhampton as Professor of War Studies.
Tickets are £10 and include a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink on arrival.  Booking for this lecture is available through the events page on the School website: http://www.stjohnsleatherhead.co.uk/events-summer-series.aspx

In connection with our April talk you can buy Lyn Spencer's book
Great Bookham - The Development of a Surrey Village in Maps, by Lyn Spencer

This new publication in the Society's Villages Project records the growth and development of Great Bookham village in the centre of Surrey. The information is presented through a series of maps from the  medieval period through to the early 19th century. There are detailed maps and diagrams explaining the geology and geomorphology of the area and documentary sources are used to illustrate the rural nature of the village. A conjectural map, based on the earliest map of Great Bookham, provides a road layout for 1100 and then  builds on this to show how the village developed over the centuries.
The book is available at a cost of £10 plus P&P. Paperback, Size A4: 86 pages including 35 maps and 26 illustrations and photographs.  Please contact Leatherhead Museum or ask at Barton's Bookshop or the Wishing Well bookshop.
ISBN: 9780957240834

18 Mar 2016 Member Ali Kelman's website A History of Bookham

This has been added to our Useful Links page

17 Mar 2016 A new service on our website for those who need help with their project - Can you help?

Those of you who get the Ashtead & Leatherhead Local may be familiar with the Potted Histories series provided by one of our local author members Goff Powell. Recently Goff has been seeking the help of the Ashtead & Leatherhead Local's readers to solve some mysteries about local properties.

The purpose of the new page Can you help? on our website is to provide internet access to members of the Society and those with kindred interests to concisely publish issues on which others may be able to help, not just locally but around the world. Entries are in date order, most recent first. Information provided by readers will be added so that the progress of enquiries can be seen. The page kicks off with Goff's requests.

Please contact me if you would like to add a request of your own - conciseness will help! Let's see how this idea runs. Of course you can also provide a help request to go in our Newsletter.

From the February 2016 Newsletter

From the Acting Chairman

Dear Friends

Welcome to our Newsletter for 2016 and all good wishes for the coming year hoping it will be peaceful and a successful one for our Society.

Since our last Newsletter in November we had our December Quiz Night run by Frank and Jane Haslam which proved both enjoyable and challenging. Frank as Quiz Master is an expert at his craft and runs these events with humour with a touch of authority which keeps us on our toes. The event raised a significant funds which is a tribute to everyone who attended in making this evening such a success.

When David Hartley resigned as Chairman in November I agreed to fill the gap until the AGM in March and with this in mind we all need to turn our minds to the election of our committee members.

Our Society has a long tradition of preserving, recording and researching the history of our district which we need to continue but also looking to the future and introducing new ideas. Increasing our membership and involving our members in our activities are areas already suggested.

Our Executive Committee would welcome new faces and we have a number of vacant posts to fill. Currently we need a Chairman and I would be pleased to tell anyone interested what is involved. Sales and Publication Secretary which Roy Mellick has been filling is an important role which publicises the Society and provides an income and Publicity Officer which we have been unable to fill for a number of years but currently undertaken by John Wettern and Frank Haslam would provide much impetus in recruitment and increasing our activities.

With this Newsletter are the notice and agenda and nominations and elections for the Executive Committee 2016/17 for the AGM on 18th March. Please give it your attention and support.
Fred Meynen

Newsletter February 2016 Editorial

With the first Newsletter of 2016 the best possible news would be that all the offices left vacant had been filled. Unfortunately that is not the case and it will not be until the AGM in March that any resolution can be expected. We can however welcome Tony Matthews who has recently moved into the area.

After a long incubation period following the publication of the LDLHS book ‘The Bookhams in World War II’ a film has been made by Farooq and Huma Beg entitled ’We Also Served’. It contrasts with the many war films telling the story of how the villagers supported the war effort, made sacrifices on many fronts and coped with the challenges of the war and aftermath. It received an amazing reception at its first showing in the Leatherhead Theatre with all its 550 seats packed. Almost certainly further showings will be arranged and it is also available on a DVD.

Next Newsletter Edition Deadline - 2 April 2016

Renewing your Membership for 2016

If there was a yellow form enclosed with your printed newsletter that means that we think you have NOT YET renewed your membership for 2016. We look forward to receiving your renewal.
To all those who have already renewed, thank you. [Those who get their newsletter electronically who we think are in arrears will have had a membership form link included in the covering email.]

Those who have renewed who have an email address should have had an email from me giving them the new username and password needed to see the digitised items in our on-line archive. This change is done for two reasons - only paid up members are given such access and it is a prudent security measure.

Frank Haslam, Membership Secretary

12 Jan 2016 site updated, in particular:

- 2015 talks reports
- early 2016 Programme
- membership form for 2016

From the November 2015 Newsletter

From the President
A Society such as ours, often grows initially due to a few individuals who have both the drive and the foresight to create something out of nothing. Continuance of a Society such as ours is only possible due to drive and dedication of its members and Stephen Fortecue, a founding member, in his lecture marking the Society’s Diamond Jubilee in 2006 gives a very good summary of the way the Society had developed and noted that it had essentially fulfilled its original purpose of researching and publishing histories of the five parishes of the old Leatherhead UDC.

The Society has been fortunate in that it always had individuals in the post of Chairman who brought new ideas and their own particular specialist expertise. Looking back, the list starts with Capt Lowther then Mssrs Ruby, Renn, Fortescue, Smith, followed by Linda Heath and in the year 2006 David Hartley took over as Chairman from Peter Tarplee.

As most of you are likely to know by the time this is circulated, David Hartley who had already indicated that he would not be standing for re-election next year, found that working full time and for other personal reasons meant he had to resign earlier than intimated. In some respects a chairman’s job as such may not take up too much time. However when you realise that the post of Society Secretary was vacant, that David was also the Archaeological Secretary and he stepped in to fulfil the role of Sales Secretary plus being on the Museum Committee and the Fabric Committee, the extent of his contribution to the well being of the Society is very considerable. It is vital that the post of Sales Secretary is not vacant since not only must the Society present a good business face to the world but the income is essential if the Society and the Museum survive into the future. David was leading the discussions with the Priory representative regarding the possible renewal of the lease of the basement without which the Society might well not be able to maintain running the Museum.

He has also been a regular contributor to the newsletter on both Society and archaeological topics. He produced the well researched and presented display panels for the Museum on the prehistoric, Roman and Saxon remains that have been found in the locality and answered queries both on archaeological matters and otherwise. His time was also spent on presenting other displays at the Museum outside in the Gazebo for children and I am pleased to say that he is remaining a steward at the Museum. David is probably the only one now who has detailed knowledge of the Society’s quite extensive archaeological collection.
David’s tenure is a hard act to follow and I am quite sure that many others, as I am, are sorry to see that he has had to resign and hope that in due course he will be able to take a more active role with the Society again particularly on archaeology. Hopefully in due course he will be able to contribute further papers or notes on that subject for the Newsletter and/or Proceedings. I am pleased in this note to formally thank David for all the time and effort that he has expended for the Society.

At the time of writing there has just been a meeting of the remaining Committee members and some temporary arrangements have been formulated but this does highlight the quite significant problem that the Society has in finding active people to undertake the management and development of the Society. Taking slightly out of context but very relevant Stephen Fortescue wrote in 2006: “Otherwise the Society will become merely a social club with a monthly dose of local history”.
Alan V Pooley President

Interim Arrangements: A meeting chaired by Fred Meynen was called of the Executive Committee and temporary arrangements were made to allow the Society to carry on until the AGM meeting next year. Fred Meynen accepted the temporary role as Chairman, Jane Summerfield as Secretary and Roy Mellick as Sales and Publication Secretary.

From the August 2015 Newsletter

I hope you are all enjoying this summer either here at home or travelling overseas. Some will probably be touching history, visiting ancient and not so ancient sites, cities, towns, villages, grand houses and modest remains of human habitation. You may have gained an insight into the history of people, people not so very different from us all yet from another time and place and culture.

Local or national museums may show the artefacts of these people and their cultures and a guide book or the internet tell us more of what is known about the people and the place visited.
Nearer to home and perhaps a little more tangible to most of us are our own family histories, some of us may be more adept at doing our own family history research with so many sources on line. History in my mind is first and foremost about people.

We now have a new Proceedings Editor in the person of Bill Whitman a member who has written a number of papers in the Proceedings and the Surrey Archaeological Society Bulletin and who has also published a booklet on the history and development of the Parish Church of St Nicholas in Great Bookham. Bill Whitman has offered his services in this role as Editor, with the assistance from Barry Cox our former editor and Martin Warwick’s skills on the publishing side. Bill is tasked to put together a joint Proceedings for the years 2014- 2015 which is due to be published and distributed in February 2016.

There is a general call to members, researchers and authors for articles and papers on local history, archaeology and industrial history of Leatherhead and district and the surrounding parishes in Surrey for submission to our new editor. Manuscripts should be typed and ideally submitted as a word document to William Whitman, Editor of the Proceedings, c/o The Leatherhead & District Local History Society, Hampton Cottage 64 Church Street, Leatherhead KT22 8DP.

A new email address for our Proceedings Editor is to be set up to which copies of manuscripts can be sent. [this is proceedings@lheadmuseum.plus.com ]

L&DLHS Coffee Morning in the library at Letherhead Institute on Saturday 27 June organised by Ann Fraser our Society’s Librarian proved another success attended by a number of members and visitors. Ann placed on display some of the most interesting books in the History Society’s collection supported by three display presentations, one on the work of John and Edward Hassel watercolourists circa 1823 of buildings and places in Ashtead, Bookham, Fetcham and Leatherhead. There was also a display ‘Work, Rest and Prayer in Tudor and Stuart Ashtead’ on the history of St Giles Church, Ashtead.
John Rowley our Ashtead Archivist provided a presentation of photographs of members of an Ashtead family in WW1.

Coffee, tea and biscuits were available and there was also a selection of our History Society  books on show for sale. Thanks are due to Ann Fraser and members of the History Society and visitors who supported this event to make it a successful coffee morning.
David Hartley, Chairman

27 Jul Information about Goff Powell and Brian Hennegan's new book:


by Goff Powell & Brian Hennegan

This third book still follows ‘The Bridge’ theme but now the bridge in question is the Town Bridge at Leatherhead over the River Mole, at the foot of Bridge Street.  The book begins at the site of The Rising Sun public house and travels up Bridge Street to the Crossroads in the town centre.

The authors hope that they have been successful weaving a path through the years and that the book will provide the reader with an enjoyable glimpse into the past and resurrect many latent memories.

There will be a signing of this book by the authors at Barton's Bookshop, Leatherhead on 5th September 2015 from 10am.

Copies will also be available from Leatherhead Museum (when open) for £8 (or by post - add £1.50 UK postage - from the Sales Secretary, 64 Church Street, Leatherhead, KT22 8DP: cheques should be made payable to L&DLHS) and from 5th September from Barton's Bookshop, Leatherhead.
other bridge

1 Jun Report of John Morris's talk on Leatherhead and India added

Chairman's Latest Report

The page showing members willing to give talks has been restored - see via Programme page

Leatherhead Museum reopened officially on 28th March 2015

6th March 2015 - Newsletters & Proceedings on this website: important changes

A new link Newsletters & Proceedings has been added on the left of your screen.
Please visit that page for information on how our Newsletters and Proceedings are now handled on this website.

New Publication


A snapshot of Great and Little Bookham, Surrey.
Based on the 1911 Census.
(L&DLHS 2014)

For more details please click on the link above.

ISBN 978-0-9572408-1-0

sb 108pp £10 plus £1.50 postage
and from Barton's Bookshop in Leatherhead
and the Wishing Well in Great Bookham

Dr Margaret Birtwistle (Meynen)

It was with great sadness that we learned that Margaret died suddenly on Saturday December 20th. Our sincere condolences have gone to her husband Dr Fred Meynen and the family. Margaret was highly respected in the world of medicine and in local life. Not least she was one of the friendly greeters on the reception desk at our meetings.

A wonderful Service of Thanksgiving for her life was held at Leatherhead Methodist Church on Saturday 28th February at 2pm. The church was absolutely packed and many others watched the service in relayed on tv in another part of the building.

Friday 5th December - Christmas Quiz - a new event for the Society

Frank & Jane Haslam ran this new event for the Society assisted by members of our Committee to whom many thanks. The event raised a significant sum for the work of the Society. We hope, in response to the favourable feedback received, make it our Christmas event next year.


This Project has been set up to make the extensive records held by the Society available in digital format in order to make them more accessible to Society Members. The images and documents are provided for research and educational purposes and in many cases will be protected by copyright, e.g. Frith

On the Archive Project pages you will find:

  • Listing of books held by the Society in the Members Library at the Letherhead Institute Library

  • Searchable indexes to the extensive records held by the Society since 1946. This includes on-line indexing of the our Proceedings and Newsletters.

  • Contact us - with your local history enquiries or stories, including the facility to upload picture & document files where appropriate.

Whilst anyone can search ONLY MEMBERS of the Society can view the digitised records, including back copies of our Proceedings and Newsletters.

(Note - A request to login will appear the first time an image/document Accession No. e.g. BP0023/00 is selected on an index page - only Accession Numbers coloured blue/underlined have a digital record assigned. Scanned records will be added to this website as they become available.

Members were sent information on how to access the digitised records when this project was officially launched at 2155 on 21st March 2014.

There is a News section in the Online Archive pages which provides information on updates.

The Society thanks our Records Secretary Roy Mellick and the team working with him for this valuable addition to the services offered by us. The team's work continues and offers of help from those who can scan material would be particuarly welcome.

12 Jan 2015: A new username and password are being issued to new members and those renewing for 2015.


It is with great pleasure we provide the text of an article in the Leatherhead Advertiser, Thursday June 19th 2014:

Another resident to be appointed BEM was Alan Pooley, for services to the community in Fetcham and to heritage in Leatherhead.

The 75 year-old retired in 1995 and is currently treasurer of the Fetcham Residents Association and an active member of the Fetcham Village Hall Committee. The former civil engineer also serves as President of the Leatherhead & District Local History Society and as manager of the Leatherhead Museum in Church Street.

"Let's just say it made me sit down when I heard the news," said Mr Pooley. "It is a great honour and I am very happy." "All of my family knew about it because it had been arranged by my daughter as they had to contact various people to put statements forward." "My wife keeps saying I do too much but I'm one of those people who can't sit still and I like to keep in touch with everybody."

BEM: Medallist of the Order of the British Empire - congratulations Alan!

Chairman's Latest Report

From the February 2015 Newsletter

Chairman's Report

Welcome to 2015 and this first Newsletter of the year and we hope you will continue to support our Editor and this quarterly Newsletter. We would like to see more contributions from the membership and also from outside our Society from our general readership further afield, providing more comment, news items, forthcoming events, articles and letters on all aspects of local history.

In particular contributions from U3A Groups and local Family History Groups in Ashtead, Bookham, Fetcham and Leatherhead would be welcome. It is your Newsletter, advance copy dates for the next three issues for May, August and November can be obtained from Martin Warwick the Newsletter Editor.

A Christmas Quiz was held on Friday 5th December 2014 and congratulations and a vote of thanks to Frank Haslam and his wife Jane and all those members of our committee and others including our patrons who supported the Christmas Quiz. This was a new event conceived by Frank and the net proceeds after all deductions raised £334.20 for the History Society. It was a good job well done and positive feedback from all those present would be welcome to ensure that a similar event can be held again in December this year.

The AGM 2015

The year turns very quickly these days and another year has passed and the 68th Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held in the Dixon Hall of the Letherhead Institute at 8.00pm on Friday 20th March 2015. The Honorary President, Alan Pooley will chair the meeting

Apologies for absence.
President?s Address
Minutes of the 67th Annual General Meeting
Matters arising from the Minutes of 67th AGM
Presentation of the Executive Committee report for 2014
Election of Officers and Executive Committee members 2015/16 Presentation of the Society?s accounts 2014
Review of Subscriptions for the year 2016
Appointment of the Independent Examiner for the accounts
Any other business (to be notified to the Chairman before 10th March)

The Minutes, EC Reports and a copy of the Society's Accounts for 2014 together with nomination papers for the election of office holders for 2015/16 are provided with this Newsletter. If for any reason you do not receive this information please contact me by phone as soon as possible on 0208 393 3922.

Touching on the Election of office holders for 2015/16, year on year I have tried to make a case to our membership to get involved with the running of the History Society and the Museum both as volunteers and as possible committee members.

Hon Treasurer David Lokkerbol will be standing down at this year's AGM after six plus years in office having ably provided us with financial stability and has steered us through some difficult times. We would all like to thank David and wish him well with his new interests and enterprise. Fortunately David's successor has been found to take on his role in the person of Carl Leyshon. Carl comes from a background in finance in the public sector and is well placed to ensure the continued smooth running of the Society's accounts and has already been co-opted on the committee to shadow David Lokkerbol ensuring a smooth transition up to the AGM.

We hope you will endorse the committee's recommendation at this AGM that Carl Leyshon will become the new Honorary Treasurer.

I wish I could also say to you all that we had found someone to fulfil the other important roles vacant on our committee, that of Hon Secretary, Membership Secretary, Sales and Publications Secretary, Publicity Officer, Leatherhead Archivist and Proceedings Editor together with members to join and assist the Lectures Committee but I am sorry that I am unable to report any change on that front.

The work of the Society and its Museum must continue and as a consequence like sticking plaster some of us have been obliged to bridge gaps and plug holes by taking on more than one or two roles or tasks but this is not a tenable option in the long term. Just try to imagine for a moment how effective our Society and Museum could be and what we could achieve collectively if we had a full complement of members supporting us in these tasks.

David Hartley

From the November 2014 Newsletter

Chairman's Report

Welcome to this November's Newsletter.

Increasingly year on year we appear to be losing members from the executive committee without the wherewithal to find a suitable candidate to fill the vacancy left behind.

Recently I had to accept the resignation of Barry Cox the Proceedings Editor on the ground that he wished to retire due to health issues - he reminded me that he had been in post as the editor since 2006 when he dutifully took on the role from the late Jack Stuttard. My executive committee on behalf of the history society would like to take this opportunity to thank Barry for his contribution and commitment as editor in maintaining the high standards of the Proceedings.

One of the principal problems the Proceedings Editor has had to wrestle with over the years is the fall off in articles of sufficient length and quality from one year to the next. The pool of authors used to writing paper for publication appears to be drying up. So what is to happen now? The executive committee are committed to maintaining the editorial standards that Barry has built up over the years. Firstly we need to find a new editor with a keen skill-set to bring new ideas and a fresh approach to make this editorial role their own and who will engage with new and existing authors and engender a resurgence and enthusiasm for new research topics on all aspects of local history and archaeology to enable a new editorial remit to accept papers on local history from outside the tight confines of the parish and work to create a new pool of authors.

The Proceedings for 2014 were due to be published and distributed at the February meeting in 2015 but without a Proceedings Editor in place and insufficient papers for publication it is probable that we will have to postpone publication to February 2016 when we would hope to publish a joint publication of the Proceedings for 2014-2015.

Moving on I find it disappointing to have to record here that at the Special General Meeting (SGM) on 19th September which was convened following the AGM in March this year to discuss the History Society's Membership Subscription for January 2015 was not so well attended - out of the total membership only 34 members were recorded.

The President Alan Pooley chaired the SGM with David Lokkerbol, Hon Treasurer and David Hartley, Chairman of the EC in attendance. The Notice and the Agenda and the two resolutions for the SGM had been circulated in advance with the August Newsletter to all members and the Hon Treasurer had also contributed an article in the August Newsletter setting out the reason and objective for the two resolutions.

Following a record of the apologies for absence the President addressed the purpose of the meeting reconfirming the resolutions on the paper and asked the membership for comments. Derek Renn, Peter Tarplee and Brian Hennegan and one other member raised questions from the floor which were responded to by David Lokkerbol or David Hartley.

The President then called for a vote on each of the two resolutions and both resolutions were carried. Finally a third resolution was proposed, seconded and carried that the subscriptions will remain at 2014 level of £18.00 for the forthcoming year 2015.

Those members wishing to receive the Proceedings as a paper copy will pay the additional sum of £3.00 together with their Subscription due on 1st January 2015. [NB this has subsequently been postponed until the date of publication is more certain so please do NOT pay for the hard copy of the Procedding, if that is what you requirte, just yet! The Proceedings, when ready, will be available via an emailed link for those willing to take delivery this way.]

Under the heading of any other Business, Sandy one of the blind members asked the question about the possibility of providing an audio reading of the Proceedings which engendered various constructive comments from the floor about the possibilities of text to voice and it was stated that the EC would look into the possibilities for both the Proceedings and the Newsletter.

The President Alan Pooley declared the SGM closed.

This meeting was followed on time by a talk given by the Past President Gordon Knowles with the title of Surrey Roads - from Turnpike to Motorways at which 34 members and 8 guests were present.

David Hartley


The executive Committee of the L&DLHS would like to invite all candidates with suitable credentials and publishing skill set to apply for the honorary position of Editor of the Proceedings.

The executive committee would also like to invite authors and prospective authors on behalf of the editor of the Proceedings to submit papers or articles on the subjects of Local history, Industrial history and Archaeology for consideration for publishing in the Proceedings for 2014-2015.

All applications and contributions should be addressed to The Chairman of the Executive Committee at the registered office of the L&DLHS: LDLHS, Hampton Cottage, 64 Church Street, Leatherhead KT22 8DP.

All applications and contributions will be acknowledged.

Books & Reprints for Christmas Presents

The Publications and Sales Secretary has arranged for the purchase of three re-prints of book titles that have become out of print, the titles are:

All are priced at £12.99 exclusive of postage and packing (£2), unless you purchase and collect directly from the museum or at the Lecture meetings held on every 3rd Friday.

New Authors

The History Society is on the lookout for new authors to write on aspects of local history both past and present.
Two particular subjects come to mind, Post War 1950s Leatherhead & District and Leatherhead & District in the 1960s.

There must be, hopefully, a good number of members and residents of Ashtead, Bookham, Fetcham and Leatherhead and the surrounding parishes that have recollections and photographs - we would like to hear from you.

The subjects are wide ranging, including local government, the impact of roads and transportation the rise in cars ownership and traffic jams, post war housing, repairs and re-development, the rise in home ownership, re-development of town and village centres, listing buildings of historic interest, local industries and the Green Belt, the rise in consumer goods, hire purchase, retail shopping, cinemas, coffee bars the youth culture of the period, rock and roll, teddy boys, mods and rockers and many other aspects of local history.

David Hartley

From the August 2014 Newsletter

Chairman's Report

At the 67th Annual General Meeting held on Friday 21st March 2014 our Treasurer addressed us on the need and requirement to increase funding to maintain the current commitments of the History Society and its museum. It was agreed at this AGM to defer the question of raising the subscription for January 2015 to a Special General Meeting to be convened in September this year.

Following further deliberations of the executive committee at the May EC Meeting our Hon Treasurer has to set out the simple facts of the case and the costs of running our Society and its museum and presents an alternative option to raising subscriptions for 2015.

The text of our Treasurer's report is in this Newsletter, a separate notice calling the Special General Meeting (SGM) for Friday 19th September 2014 together with the Agenda and Proposition for the SGM has been inserted as a separate A5 enclosure in the Newsletter. [This Agenda is provided below on this web page]. It is important that as many members as possible attend this meeting as your engagement and voice in running the society is important to us all.

The Special General Meeting will start at 7.15pm on Friday 19th September promptly to enable the business of the meeting to be conducted efficiently, allowing sufficient time for discussion and questions from the floor before taking a vote on the resolution. The Chairman will then close the meeting at approximately 7.45pm to enable the normal lecture meeting to start at the usual time of 8pm.

If for any reason you do not receive a copy of the Notice and Agenda for this SGM please contact me as soon as possible by phone or leave a message on 0208 3933 922 or mobile 07947 471165 or failing that by email to Hartley1949ATmsn.com (replace AT by @ before sending!).

Thanks to Anne Fraser our Librarian for organising the Coffee Morning at the Letherhead Institute Library on 4th June. It was very busy when I popped in and thanks also to Gwen Hoad and Roy Mellick and all those who supported the event.

Thanks to Roy Mellick for standing in for me at this year's Bookham Village Day, setting up the History Society's display and selling books. Thanks also to Peter Tarplee and Doug Hollingsworth for their valued support and other members who visited during the day. Book sales on the day amounted to £82.

Gabrielle Gale of the National Trust gave both an interesting and enlightening a talk to us on 21st February on the subject of Leith Hill Place.

Leatherhead Museum

I wonder how many of our members have recently visited the Hampton Cottage museum and noticed or were aware that we now have a polished brass dedication plaque mounted above the door in addition to a new name board and number for the museum. he dedication plaque states that the cottage was acquired in 1976 by the generosity of our donors and restored by dedicated volunteers to form a museum of local history opening in 1980. It hoses artefacts from Leatherhead, Ashtead, Bookham and Fetcham.

David Hartley

Leatherhead & District Local History Society

Notice and Agenda for a Special General Meeting to be convened on Friday 19th September 2014 in the Dixon Hall at the Leatherhead Institute.

This meeting is to start at 7.15pm sharp

The proposition for this Special General Meeting is that the future copies of the Proceedings of this History Society will be available as:

1. An online publication to all members as a pdf document, accessible through the L&DLHS website www.leatherheadlocalhistory.org.uk

Note: 1. By handling the Proceedings in this way there will be no requirement to raise the annual subscription of the L&DLHS for the year 2015 which will remain at £18.00.


2. A printed copy of the Proceedings, will be available as a publication of the History Society for a payment of an additional £3.00 a member, or £6.00 for non-members, plus postage and packing.

Note: 2. The payment, for all members who require a printed copy of the Proceedings, will be payable with the annual membership fee on the 1st January. These members will be required to pay the membership charge (currently £18.00) plus £3.00 (i.e. £21.00).

The object behind this proposition

The current cost of producing the Proceeding is about £1,000 and much of this cost will be recovered by classing it as a priced publication while making it available to all members via the website.

Footnote: If this proposition is not approved the alternative would be to raise the membership subscription by at least £3.00 for all members and associate members.

From the May 2014 Newsletter

Chairman's Report

It is with sadness that we record here that Pam Knowles, the wife of Gordon Knowles our past President, passed away on Sunday 9th March after a long battle with cancer. Her funeral was held on 26th March at Randalls Park Crematorium Leatherhead and our thoughts have been with Gordon and his family at this sad time. Pam was of great practical support to our History Society not least in the operation which she undertook with care a diligence of addressing, labelling and filling envelopes with our quarterly Newsletters and the annual Proceedings of the Society for distribution at our Lecture meetings at the Leatherhead Institute.

Our 67th Annual General Meeting was held on Friday 21st March and was chaired by our President Alan Pooley who provided a brief introduction to his first full year as President of our History Society. He referred to the loss of the late Linda Heath who had been very active in support and on behalf of the history society up to and until her death on 21st May
2013. Our President also made reference to the sad news of the death of Pam Knowles the wife of Gordon Knowles and the forthcoming funeral arrangements.

The minutes of the 66th AGM were approved, no outstanding matters arising.

The Chairman made a brief address under the presentation of the EC Reports for 2013 saying that his committee had diligently fulfilled their offices on behalf of the society and that it was disappointing that after repeated requests for volunteers to step forward to fill vacant posts on the EC this had not happened and that some members were juggling more than
one role in order to bridge the gap - not a tenable situation and must be resolved. Another example given was the provision of refreshments at lecture meetings with the retirement of Maureen Powell and Roz Henegan who regularly provided tea and coffee - no one has stepped forward to take on this role after repeated requests.

Our President called for any nominations to fill vacant offices on the EC but there were none forthcoming and it was proposed and seconded to re-elect the current officers of the EC en bloc including our new Librarian Anne Fraser who had been co-opted on to the EC.

The President called on our Treasurer to make his report. The key points from the 2013 accounts are:

Adrian Radford was thanked for his help preparing and examining these accounts.

Each year the committee prepares a budget for the coming year. In 2013, we tracked the budget fairly closely. Budgeting for 2014 is particularly difficult because we will be without Goff’s input on Book Sales. Our Chairman is working incredibly hard to plug the gap but he does urgently need help.

Turning to subscriptions it must be apparent that the Society needs to catch up on its cash flow. To turn the net losses around would require at least a 50% increase in subscription, a sum that is not competitive and not affordable by many of our members. However some increase does need to be made and a £2 increase seems the most appropriate. When this was discussed by the EC at their last meeting several alternative propositions were discussed one particularly involving the Proceedings. It was therefore agreed at this meeting to defer any recommendation on subscriptions to a Special General Meeting in September before which a proposition will be circulated and explained in the August Newsletter and will be sent out with the Notice and agenda calling for an SGM.

The re-appointment of our independent examiner Adrian Radford was proposed and seconded and confirmed.

Finally, under Any Other Business, our President made a formal presentation on behalf of the History Society to Goff Powell our former Sales and Publications Sales Secretary for his many years of dedication and service to and on behalf of our society in a number of roles.Goff was presented with a Certificate of Life Membership to the History Society.

Two further presentations were made on behalf of the History Society to Maureen Powell and Roz Hennegan of garden vouchers as a small token and acknowledgement of their valuable support in providing teas and coffee at our lecture meetings for the last few years always with a cheerful and friendly smile.

In conclusion our President declared the AGM closed
David Hartley

From the February 2014 Newsletter

Chairman’s Report

Welcome to this our first Newsletter of 2014. This year will mark the first centenary (2014-2018) of the Great War of 1914-1918 the first great European war in history in which so many people died on both sides both combative and non-combative, people and populations displaced as casualties and refugees of War.

The great mobilisation on both sides of men and resources on an unprecedented scale drawn from home and colonial empires overseas all fed the great war machine. In its wake it left devastation, lost generations and an unresolved peace and a time of profound social and economic change.

This centenary is a time of reflection and remembrance 100 years on in time, Society and attitudes have changed out of all recognition - yet today have we learnt any lessons from History?

The forthcoming AGM of the Leatherhead and District Local History Society is to be held on Friday March 21st. This is your opportunity to make your voice heard - we need your engagement in running your History Society, we need you the grassroots membership of the Society to volunteer and get involved.

The success or failure of our society is the sum of its active parts and we need an active and a new membership to sustain its future and carry it forward otherwise it will fade away and only be regretted perhaps after it has gone.

This should be matter of importance to us all and in this Newsletter is the formal ‘Notice and Agenda for this our 67th AGM’ together with the ‘Nominations and Elections of the Executive Committee for 2014/15’. This includes a number of positions vacant - the most recent vacancy is that of ‘Sales & Publications Secretary’ which is a vital and important role which we need to fill without delay as book publishing and sales is a vital source of income for our Society and fulfils one of the principal articles objects of the History Society.

Touching on another matter of volunteering I would personally like to thank both Roz Hennegan and Maureen Powell for their diligent work over the last few years in setting up and providing us all with a good cup of tea or coffee with biscuits delivered with charm and good humour at the lecture meetings in the Dixon Hall every third Friday in the month at the Letherhead Institute. Time has moved on and it is now time that we had two new volunteers to take over these roles, male or female, it makes no difference when there is a job to be done. Both Roz and Maureen deserve a break.

In the past we used to run a rota which worked quite well for a period but lapsed for a number of reasons. Better now I would have thought is to re-establish a new rota of three/ four pairs alternating at meetings throughout the year which would greatly ease the task falling on any one pair of volunteers.

David Hartley

[Editor: A new page is added to the website which covers Archaeology and related forthcoming events - see links on the left of your screen.]

The Britain from Above project - Feb 2014

From their website: Britain from Above is a four year project aimed at conserving 95,000 of the oldest and most valuable photographs in the Aerofilms collection, those dating from 1919 to 1953. Once conserved, they are scanned into digital format and made available on this website for the public to see. This project has been made possible due to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and support from The Foyle Foundation and other donors. The website launched with the first 10,000 images and as we currently have little information about the details in the images, the website provides the opportunity to share and record your memories and knowledge about the places shown in the collection.

Please click here for the images of Ashtead - Bookham - Effingham - Headley - Leatherhead - Mickleham, and of Dorking - Epsom - Guildford. As of 11 Feb 2014 there are none specified of Fetcham or Oxshott.

The Britain from Above website features images from the Aerofilms collection, a unique aerial photographic archive of international importance. The collection includes 1.26 million negatives and more than 2000 photograph albums. Dating from 1919 to 2006, the total collection presents an unparalleled picture of the changing face of Britain in the 20th century. It includes the largest and most significant number of air photographs of Britain taken before 1939. The collection is varied and includes urban, suburban, rural, coastal and industrial scenes, providing important evidence for understanding and managing the built and natural environments. The collection was created by Aerofilms Ltd, a pioneering air survey company set up in 1919 by First World War veterans Francis Lewis Wills and Claude Grahame-White. In addition to Aerofilms’ own imagery, the firm expanded its holdings with the purchase of two smaller collections – AeroPictorial (1934-1960) and Airviews (1947-1991). This very large collection of historical air photographs was bought by Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), English Heritage (EH), and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) from Blom ASA in 2007. Please click on the logo to visit the website.

from the November 2013 Newsletter

Chairman’s Report

Welcome to this Autumn Newsletter - and it is a good opportunity to reflect and reassess the year especially as the History Society’s principal objective is to run the local museum at Hampton Cottage Church Street. Sadly I sometimes wonder how many members know where the museum is or have in fact visited it in the last six months.

There are a few dedicated members of the History Society and Friends of the Leatherhead Museum who are there on a weekly basis either managing or dealing with the day to day matters of running the local museum or acting as Stewards who are on duty weekly, on the Thursday, Friday and Saturdays when the museum is open. This is voluntary work by members two to three times a week or a month.

There have been times this year when we have not had enough volunteers or we have been unable to fulfil the commitment and in some cases the museum has not been able to open or has had to close early without enough volunteer stewards to step in to fill the gap.

So what of the future? We now urgently need your Support. The day to day running of the Museum behind the scenes is dealt with the museum Manager Alan Pooley, the President. He and his small team continue to use their best endeavours to achieve their objectives but they need your support. The Curator, Lorraine Spindler who is actively working towards the Museums Accreditation for 2014 is also planning forthcoming museum events and outreach programmes and she needs volunteers for tasks and targets for 2014.

The Friends of the Leatherhead Museum are working tirelessly with limited resources and urgently need volunteer support to run events and raise funds for the benefit of the museum and also provide the necessary volunteer training required to be able to open the museum to the public on a weekly basis - this is one of the primary objectives. The Friends also need a Chairman and Committee members and a more active membership to take on and run new projects.

The History Society Executive committee needs new active members and office holders to support the Lectures sub-committee, a New Membership Secretary, a Publicity Officer, an essential position to raise the public profile of the history society and to publicise events, lectures and increase membership take-up.

A new Publications and Sales Officer is urgently required to take on the role ably filled to date by Goff Powell who is obliged to retire after many years of service to the Society.

If you are interested in local history and getting involved in a new voluntary experience, in taking part and helping to run a history society and local museum for just three times a week you could make all the difference. Please call me on 07947 471165.

New Ashtead Archivist

On a more positive note I would formally like to welcome John Rowley of Ashtead as the new Ashtead Archivist, he takes up a very interesting archive of Ashtead’s history and we look forward to working with him. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Gwen Hoad who held the Ashtead archives on a temporary basis following the retirement of Jack Willis.

Leatherhead Archivist

With the passing of Linda Heath* we have lost a valuable member and friend who was a staunch supporter of the Museum and the History Society. She was also the Leatherhead archivist of photographs so we are interested in recruiting a new volunteer to pick up this role and manage the Leatherhead archives. If you have some archive experience or would be interested to learn on the job please contact and speak to the Records Secretary Roy Mellick L457839.

David Hartley

* for memories of Linda please see her page on the Leatherhead Parish Church website

Obituary - Janice Hammond

It is with great sadness that I report the sudden death of one of our members on 7th September. Janice had spent almost all her life in Ashtead and was well known in the village. She was extremely interested in the history of Ashtead and the people who had lived there.

Her grandfather, James Weller, was the farmer at Woodfield Farm until his death in 1935 and he was the last farmer in Ashtead. By the time of his death he had already sold some of his fields and the rest of the land quickly followed for housing development on both sides of the railway. The Berg Estate was a prime example. Most of the farm buildings were demolished but a few still remain.

Janice`s mother, Queenie Henderson, had a collection of photographs taken around the farm and fields and also of Dukes Hall Cottages. With Janice`s encouragement, she allowed me to make copies of them and these are now in the Society`s archive. I spent several sessions with Queenie while Janice prompted her mother to talk about her life on the farm where she was born. This led to other conversations with Ashtead residents such as Kathleen Whitehead and Kenneth Lifford while they reminisced about earlier days.

Janice was very proud of her grandfather who had been a well liked character in Ashtead and a good employer. As well as being a farmer he was a builder and oversaw the building of the row of cottages facing the Common, which are still there. Janice was also very proud of her great-uncle, George Weller, who was killed at Passchendaele in 1917.

All of these people have appeared in my articles in the Proceedings and I have to thank Janice for making this possible. She also encouraged me to give talks about the farm which were illustrated with slides made from her mother`s photographs. She and her husband, Les, were always there to support me.

Janice played a huge part, for many years, in the running of the Junior Section of Ashtead Tennis Players` Club along with Les and their son Andy, the club coach. It was an indication of the popularity of this club and her charisma, that St Giles` Church was full of young people and their parents for the Service of Thanksgiving for her life. She will be greatly missed.
Gwen Hoad

from the August 2013 Newsletter

Chairman’s Report

Summer season, greetings to you all, both new and existing members. I hope you will all enjoy your summer vacations in this country or travelling abroad and we look forward to seeing all at our first lecture meeting of the autumn season in September in the Dixon hall at the Letherhead Institute.

You will notice that we have given some space in this Newsletter to the Dorking Concertgoers’ forthcoming programme. This is a reciprocal arrangement to publicise their programme and our history society in their programme and we would consider other appropriate reciprocal arrangements with similar organisations and charities. It is important for our History Society to maintain the right balance between our Newsletter and information, members’ articles and any future advertising.

Linda Heath 1931- 2013 It is with sadness to record the death of one of the most dynamic members of the History Society. Linda held many offices including that of Chairman and President and she was also a very active member on various subcommittees and a staunch supporter of the Leatherhead Museum when the building was maintained by a separate charity. She was also instrumental with Gordon Knowles our recent past president in the winding up of the museum trust and steering the merger of the trust with the L&DLHS.

Linda was also active with Peter Tarplee our past Chairman on behalf of the History Society in supporting Heritage Open Days in Mole Valley, attending meetings, working with Rod Shaw and organising and working with the Leatherhead Community Association to mount displays on one or other annual themes set for those days.

Several members have been approached and asked to provide their own recollections of Linda and of her work for the society. They have kindly obliged and I would like to thank them all for their contributions which are in this Newsletter.

[Website Editor: A page of remembrances of Linda is in preparation for the Leatherhead Parish Church website with the help of her family and friends. A link to that will be advised as soon as possible. It will include tributes made by members of our Society.]

Goff Powell, Sales Secretary At our executive committee meeting on 20th May the committee were unanimous in their approbation of Goff Powell and his work as our sales secretary which he has diligently and professionally carried out on behalf of the committee and the History Society. I have been asked to record the committee’s vote of thanks for all his work in marketing and promoting the sales of the Society’s book titles, sometimes in very difficult market conditions. He has with determination and perseverance sought out new outlets and diligently recorded and managed the sales receipts.

Apart from all this he has written and contributed to local historical researched articles in our Newsletters, Proceedings and other various free newspapers such as the Challenger and others. He has worked with his good friend Brian Hennegan on two book titles on North Leatherhead, and has also been responsible for setting up the microphones at each of the history society’s lecture meetings in the Dixon Hall at the Institute for a number of years.

Some more recent health issues have impacted on Goff Powell’s decision to retire from our Executive Committee and from a number of other roles he so ably performed. We wish him and his wife Maureen well for the future and hope that he will make a full recovery to good health.

We are looking for a new volunteer to take on some of the roles that Goff performed so well. If you are willing and able to take on the role as our Sales Secretary we would be delighted to hear from you.
David Hartley

The following is a statement on the price of admission to our lectures which was announced by the Chairman at our May lecture meeting:

"The Leatherhead & District Local History Society has seen the cost of lectures increasing over the years and yet the price of admission has remained fixed at £1 for some time. Members are required to pay the same as visitors, to comply with HM Revenue & Custom's Gift Aid rules regarding 'benefit in kind'.

It is with regret therefore that we must inform you that, starting with the September 2013 lecture, the entry for all will be £2.

We believe this still represents excellent value and hope that the many who attend - members and visitors - will understand and accept this increase. Thank you."

Mary Chrystie and her Family - new book

From the Newsletter Editor: Just going to print is another book that should be of interest to all our readers, produced by the Society – Mary Chrystie and her Family. Mary Chrystie was a very influential figure in Bookham from the 1860s to 1911. It is a very well researched book and gives a good insight into her times and her character especially in her support of the Temperance Movement. It will be available from the normal sources in September and is a good read for £10 plus postage.
Martin Warwick

Update from the Records Secretary and Acting Librarian, Roy Mellick

Archive Website Some of you may be wondering how I am progressing with the new archive website spoken about in earlier editions of the newsletters. I can report that there is a Beta version on the web which is still under construction or should I say waiting for more records to be added.

So far I have uploaded all back copies of The Proceedings and all available Newsletters (with the exception of years 1961/62). With the help of both Ashtead and Fetcham U3As we are currently scanning all photographs/pictures/postcards etc in our possession which will gradually be uploaded to the website. Leatherhead pictures will follow on once those from the surrounding villages have been completed.

Access to the scanned files will be by membership subscription only. This project will take time but as soon as we have sufficient records available we will launch the site officially [and it will of course be linked to the Socaiety's website].

The site will eventually contain the Society’s collection of:

Indexes to the Records
Collections eg Fortescue
Leaflets/Magazines eg Bookham Bulletins

Enquiries The Society/Museum regularly get enquiries from people who are tracing their ancestors or wish to know about local history subjects. We try our best to respond to these quickly and provide the best knowledge we have on these subjects and by the grateful responses we receive I guess we achieve this most times.

Recently I had a request from the 1st Bookham Scouts who are researching the history of their troop formed around 1909/10. At first I reported that I could not find anything in the Bookham Archive but subsequently discovered a postcard which had not been accessioned. This postcard is probably the earliest picture of the troop and is believed to have been taken in 1917. The picture was taken outside the Old Barn Hall. Any information/pictures you may have regarding the 1st Bookham Scouts will be gratefully received : please call me first on L457839.

Recently the Leatherhead Community Association (LCA) asked if we could move the Leatherhead Records which are stored at the Leatherhead Institute Library to other shelves in the library in order to free up space for a book cabinet which was blocking a door needed for access. The files have been moved to the top shelf of the shelves facing as you enter the library room. A set of steps with a hand rail for support is available to reach our files. Whilst not ideal we do not have much choice in the matter and are grateful to the LCA for allowing us to store our records there. This may not continue unless more members make use of this facility. Please note that the books have not been moved and these are still available where previously kept. LCA Library opening times are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 10.15am to 12.30pm
Roy Mellick

Programme Committee News

Members may well ask “How does the Society manage to keep up the series of monthly lectures that take place on the third Friday of each month and somehow find an ever varied succession of speakers?” The answer is that this job falls to a committee of the Society called the Programme Committee. Its members have contacts in various places such as other societies and are attentive to what talks have been reported in other locations.

The reason for this being mentioned is that the committee has recently lost three members and is badly in need of volunteers to take their place. The late Linda Heath who contributed so much to the success of the Society in many aspects was one of our members. The committee holds afternoon meetings every three months and the workload of individual members is not especially burdensome. It is interesting work.

Any member who feels they would like to consider joining the committee is invited to contact me.
John Wettern (L459277 email johnwetternATntlworld - repalce AT with @ before sending)

from the May 2013 Newsletter

Chairman’s Report

2013 Annual General Meeting

Retiring President Gordon Knowles chaired the 66th AGM on 15th March in his last role as President of the History Society and there were just over fifty members present.

The Chairman thanked all those members who regularly volunteer and are there on time to set out the chairs, tables and equipment and in particular Goff Powell who handles the sound system, Doug Hollingsworth, Brian Hennegan and others who set out the chairs and all those who assist in putting them away at the end of the evening, Thanks to Roz Hennegan and Maureen Powell who consistently manage to serve up a good cup of coffee or tea with a friendly smile and clear away efficiently at the end of the evening.

The Chairman thanked all his colleagues in committee for turning out and managing their offices and responsibilities diligently and effectively and extended his thanks to all the volunteer members of the museum and The Friends of Leatherhead Museum for their work in managing funding and maintaining the museum.

Thanks were extended to Martin Warwick for his consistent support and work in producing the Newsletter, Proceedings and the new books with other members of the History Society and also to Barry Cox Proceedings Editor for his work on the 2012 Proceedings. The President and Chairman thanked Vivien Hollingsworth for her kind assistance in volunteering to as act as the minute taker for this year’s AGM.

The Accounts for the year end 2012-13 were approved as presented by our Hon Treasurer David Lokkerbol and the independent examiner Adrian Radford was re-appointed. The Executive Committee were re-elected for 2013-14 en-bloc. The post of membership Secretary needs to be filled and Frank Haslam stepped up and volunteered his services as acting Membership Secretary on a temporary basis until we find a more permanent member to fill this important post.

The office of Hon Secretary remains to be filled as a matter of urgency - the History Society has been without this office being filled for too long - to fill this role please contact me. We also still require a publicity officer to work with John Wettern the Publicity Co-ordinator. Goff Powell our Sales Secretary has indicated that he is prepared to stay in office for the time being.

Alan Pooley the newly appointed President of the History Society made a short speech on the role of past and present holders of this office before making a presentation to Gordon Knowles in recognition of his service to the Society. Gordon made an appropriate response which was received with approbation of the audience. The 66th AGM was then declared closed by Alan Pooley.

Derek Renn, one of our most experienced speakers and senior members of the History Society provided us with a fascinating talk without the use of notes relying on his excellent recall on the subject of Surrey Milestones illustrated with slides of some of the most unusual milestones.

At the Executive Committee meeting on 18th March the committee asked me to write to Peter Tarplee our Vice President to express the sincere gratitude of the committee and thanks for the many years of personal service he has given to the History Society. Peter has also been actively involved at the museum with Alan Pooley as long ago as 1998. He has a long record of achievement and commitment to the museum and has been Chairman and now Vice President of the History Society. Peter retired from working at the Museum in December 2012. As a small token for his endeavour the executive committee presented him with an Honorary Life Membership to the History Society which he has generously accepted.

Recently I was informed that Jack Willis our Ashtead Archivist has retired after many years of dedicated service to the History Society and Ashtead. Gwen Hoad, an Ashtead resident and one of our most experienced and capable members has accepted the Ashtead Archive for the time being as acting Archivist for Ashtead whilst we find a suitable candidate to carry on this office. Ideally we would prefer to retain the archive in Ashtead and therefore are looking for an Ashtead member of the History Society to take on this role. To all Ashtead members, if you would be interested in taking on the Ashtead Archive and have some space to accommodate these records locally in Ashtead would you please contact Gwen Hoad via the Leatherhead Museum to arrange to meet to discuss the possibility with her and Roy Mellick our Records Secretary.

I have written to Jack Willis on behalf of the Executive Committee and the History Society to express our thanks, gratitude and appreciation for the many years of personal commitment in maintaining the Ashtead Archives dealing with the many enquiries over the years and for his support of the History Society. We all hope that he will continue to support the Society and that we will see him from time to time at our lectures/talks at the Letherhead Institute.
David Hartley

from the February 2013 Newsletter

Chairman’s Report

Welcome to our first Newsletter of 2013. Like you perhaps I am hoping that this year will be more prosperous and successful that 2012, however like most things our lives are not so predictable. What matters most and is important to me at least is having reasonable good health and friendship.

My reason for touching on this sensitive subject is that in recent weeks I have learnt of a number of members who have had an accident or had a fall or who are waiting on the outcome of some diagnosis or important operation. I would like to take this opportunity to wish them better health and a successful outcome and for a good recovery to better health in 2013.

Notice of AGM The executive committee have agreed to bring the date of the AGM forward to Friday 15th March 2013 instead of the usual date in April. The reason is that we can then report the proceedings in our May Newsletter instead of the August.

On the question of nominations and election of new members and the re-election of the existing committee members, we have a number of our existing committee who will be standing down at this AGM, namely David Wall our Membership Secretary, previously referred to in our November Newsletter, more recently Goff Powell our Sales Secretary who has done such valued work over many years in the promotion and sales of the History Society’s publications and his contribution to books written by Brian Hennegan on North Leatherhead as well as the many articles on local history published in the newsletter and elsewhere.

I also have to report that for personal reasons both our Hon secretary and our Publicity Officer will not be standing for election to your executive committee. It would be very good to see some new faces on our executive committee - So Why Not Volunteer? - Your Committee Needs You.

New President of the History Society Gordon Knowles our President has held this office for a number of years since his predecessor Linda Heath retired from this office. Gordon had indicated for some time his desire to stand down but agreed to stay on until the AGM in March. Gordon has been a committed member and an active office holder within our History Society and was also previously Chairman of the Museum’s Charity for the maintenance of the museum's building fabric. He was instrumental in facilitating the smooth merger of this charity with the History Society.

Alan Pooley our Museum Manager was nominated and unanimously approved by your executive committee as the new President and has graciously accepted to take up this office at the AGM in a short handover of the office and a presentation to the outgoing President.
David Hartley

The latest issue of the Society's Proceedings can be viewed via the Proceedings page

from the November 2012 Newsletter

Chairman’s Report

In this issue we have some cause for celebration as I am pleased to announce that a number of volunteers and members of the Society have offered their services to fill the vacant posts of Hon Secretary, Museum Curator and Publicity Officer. They are as follows:
Hon Secretary: Barry King, from Bookham
Museum Curator: Lorraine Spindler, from Walton on the Hill
Publicity Officer: Natasha Bligh, from Bookham.

We have also created a new post of Publicity Coordinator who will interface between the Committee and the Publicity Officer and our other sub-committees in the person of John Wettern a long standing and committed member. They will all have our encouragement and support.

David Wall, our Membership Secretary who has carried out his office diligently since 2010 has announced his retirement from the Executive Committee and will stand down at the 2013 AGM. I would personally like to thank him on behalf of the History Society for his contribution and wish him well and hope he will continue to support the Society through its various activities and his continued membership. We are now on the lookout for a volunteer to take over the office of Membership Secretary who can run alongside David Wall to enable a smooth transition at the AGM.

We still have two vacant posts - the Librarian for the History Society’s collection of books housed in the library at the Letherhead Institute, and Leatherhead Archivist. I would be pleased to hear if you are interested in filling these vacancies.

I would like to thank Linda Heath and all those members of the History Society who assisted her with manning our display at the Heritage Open day at the Letherhead Institute. The theme was the Celebration and Jubilation of Leatherhead and the founding of the Letherhead Institute.

AGM 2013

The executive committee have discussed and agreed to change the month of next year’s AGM bringing it forward from April to March on a continuing basis to enable the report of the proceedings to appear in the May Newsletter instead of the August issue. The date for next year’s AGM will be Friday 15th March.
David Hartley


This quarter has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous - last quarter we had a Newsletter of 32 pages and now only 24 can be filled - there really has been a shortage of submitted articles. The Society is still very dependent on a faithful few - everybody gets older as the years go by and new talent is badly needed. The Newsletter does give everybody an opportunity to contribute and nobody should hold back from writing an article on any topic of interest.

The Society is fortunate to have two levels of output, the Newsletter and the Proceedings. Articles in the Proceedings need to be more formally researched with the sources referenced. The Newsletter invites less formal articles but still of great interest to the members. Hopefully the size of this edition is an exception and can be excused by holiday periods or even the weather!

A great success has been the publication of the book The Bookhams in World War II which in just a few weeks from the end of September nearly sold out its first print. The Society agreed to take on its publication after it had been produced by the Military History Group of the Bookham U3A. A reprint is now being looked at to ensure there are enough available for the Christmas market. It can be obtained from the bookshop in Leatherhead or from shops in Bookham such as The Wishing Well or the Post Office. It is full of interesting tales and also some 138 illustrations. It revives so many memories of now so long ago.
Martin Warwick

Some old aerial photographs of Bookham

Have you ever wondered what Bookham must have looked like at the beginning of the 20th century when the population was just a few thousand? Please click on the link above to find out how to buy our CD of seven full size digital high resolution images

from the August 2012 Newsletter
Chairman’s Report

There was a good turn out of members for the 65th AGM on Friday 20th April. A total of 62 members and visitors were present to hear the talk following the AGM, given by John Wettern on the theme ‘Surrey A Hundred Years Ago’.

The Executive Committee met on Monday 21st May to ratify the approved resolution of the AGM to amend Rule 5 and to appoint four Trustees of the History Society, namely the Chairman, Hon Treasurer, Fred Meynen and David Wall. This change to our Constitution and rules together with the names of the new Trustees have been submitted to the Charity Commissioners by our Hon Treasurer.

Your new executive Committee for 2012-13 will comprise the following office holders:
Chairman: David Hartley - (Trustee)
Hon Treasurer: David Lokkerbol - (Trustee)
Membership Secretary: David Wall - (Trustee)
Sales Secretary: Goff Powell
Programmes & Lectures Secretary: Fred Meynen – (Trustee)
Proceedings Editor: Barry Cox
Newsletter Editor: Martin Warwick
Website Editor: Frank Haslam
Records Secretary: Roy Mellick
Archaeology Secretary: David Hartley
Museum Manager: Alan Pooley
Doug Hollingsworth – Committee member
Linda Heath – Committee member

Posts that remain to be filled (but see below):
Hon Secretary: - vacant
Museum Curator: vacant
Librarian: (Letherhead Institute) vacant
Publicity officer: vacant

It is unfortunate and disappointing that I have again to raise an appeal to the membership that we need to fill these vacancies, particularly that of Hon Secretary, a role I personally have been carrying out since the retirement of our previous Hon Secretary at our AGM in 2011. Fortunately since last year John Wettern has volunteered to take the minutes of our EC meetings (but only as a temporary arrangement). Also Vivien Hollingsworth kindly agreed to take the minutes at this year’s AGM otherwise the Society would have been without a proper record of that meeting.

Some stark choices will have to be made this year if we do not get a volunteer to fill the role of Hon Secretary or any of the other posts vacant from the membership. I have already made my decision that I will not continue to perform the function of Secretary.

[Since the Newsletter was published we gratefully record that: Barry King is now our Secretary; Lorraine Spindler is now our Museum's Curator and Natasha Bligh is our Publicity Officer, which means we are still looking for a Librarian!]

My thanks go to Roy Mellick our Records Secretary and that steady, committed group of members who are the History Society’s Parish Archivists namely:

Ashtead Parish - Jack Willis
Bookham Parish - Roy Mellick
Fetcham Parish Documents - Alan Pooley
Fetcham Parish - Photographs & Maps - Ed Tims
Leatherhead Parish Documents - position vacant
Leatherhead Parish Photographs - Linda Heath
Leatherhead Parish Maps - Alan Pooley

Again you will see that we require a member to fill the role of the Leatherhead documents archivist following the retirement of John Derry in 2010.
The role of the Society’s Historical Enquiry Service continues to be performed by Alun Roberts.

We should acknowledge the role played by Alan Pooley, Peter Tarplee and the team that work behind the scenes at the Museum, the Friends of Leatherhead Museum and the volunteer Stewards who work at the museum to keep it open, all performing a very useful and vital function to the success of the Museum.

Finally we should acknowledge the honorary roles of our President and Vice President, Gordon Knowles and Peter Tarplee both heavyweights of our Society who have both past and present guided our History Society.

Other Business

The transfer of title of the Museum to the History Society and on to the Official Custodian of the Charities Commission has been completed by our solicitors. The Chairman and the Hon Treasurer have just signed a new five year lease on a storage facility for the museum artefacts.

In the light of the re-opening of the Dorking Museum it is perhaps timely that we should be re-considering our collection policy for the Museum, so we do not duplicate the collections and that we explore other means of presentation and use of space. There is also need to consider the long term storage issues for Archives and Artefacts. It was proposed at our last AGM that we should canvas opinions of the membership on the desirability or otherwise, of receiving the Newsletter by email. This is not something members should get anxious about as there are no immediate plans to phase out the publishing of a paper copy of the Newsletter. However some members have expressed an interest in receiving their copy by email as a PDF document. This option is available to those who request this together with their email address.

We have in conjunction with Alan Pooley our Museum Manager being considering ways of introducing interactive multi-media facilities into the museum to attract more families and visitors by telling the story of Leatherhead & District behind selective objects. David Lokkerbol has prepared a draft proposal for what we have in mind elsewhere in this Newsletter. It would be helpful to have your feedback.
David Hartley

Advertising in the Newsletter

With the expansion and growth of interesting articles in the Newsletter the executive committee are looking for local sponsors to take advertising space on a quarterly and or annual basis to defray the cost of production of the Newsletter. The Newsletter is circulated free to all the members at the third Friday meeting in February, May August and November and is then distributed free of charge to visitors to the Museum and at
subsequent events and meetings at which the History Society is participating. In addition the Newsletter is available as a PDF document via the website or on request will be emailed for circulation to a wide audience.

Rates are as follows (text and artwork must be provided):

  One Edition Annual Rate
Full Page £40 £160
Half page £20 £80
Quarter Page £10 £40

Customers are encouraged to consider advertising on an annual basis for four issues (February, May, August and November).
If you are interested in supporting the Newsletter, please contact me on 07947471165.
David Hartley


It is good to see so many articles with a variety of interesting topics in this edition of the Newsletter. Looking back over five years the Newsletter has almost doubled in size. It would however be good to see yet more new authors submitting articles.

Many older members of the Society must have past memories that would be good to see recorded in future Newsletters. A particular reason for making the point at this time is that some members of the Military History Group of Bookham & Horsley U3A including myself have worked on a book entitled The Bookhams in World War II - it should be available later this month (August 2012, 128 pages, highly illustrated).

In gathering the material for the book so many intriguing stories of life during the war have emerged. It would have been tragic to have lost the information it contains and now with the production of the book it has been recorded for future years. To some of us World War II was part of our life experiences but to anyone less than perhaps sixty years old it is history, something that happened in the past. To today’s twenty year old is there any difference between the Napoleonic Wars and World War II in terms of being part of British history?

[The book is now available - please click on The Bookhams in World War II or go to our Publications page.]

So have you a memory or an experience? We would like you to tell us about it. Your memories could be sent as emails or even in handwriting (still done!) and a photograph or two is invaluable.
Martin Warwick, Editor of the Newsletter.

Proceedings of the Leatherhead & District Local History Society

I am now looking to receive articles for the next issue of our Proceedings. I would need to receive the final copy by early January, but it would be very helpful if prospective authors could let me know in advance that they intend to send me an article, together with a brief note of what it will contain. Much as I value our established authors it would be particularly nice to get articles from new authors and I should be very happy to help with advice and comments on prospective articles: email me on staff@lheadmuseum.plus.com
Barry Cox, Editor of the Proceedings.

from the May 2012 Newsletter
Chairman’s Report

On the morning of Saturday 31st March our museum at Hampton Cottage was officially re-opened by the Chairman of Mole Valley Council, Cllr Bridget Lewis-Carr, for the 2012 season attended by her consort. The event was well attended by members of the History Society, the Friends of Leatherhead Museum, visitors and photographers from the Surrey Advertiser and Leatherhead Advertiser as evidenced by the photos appearing in those papers on 5th and 6th April.

Cllr Lewis-Carr and her consort were welcomed by the chairman of the History Society who introduced her to a number of our members. Alan Pooley our museum manager provided a personal guided tour of the museum showing her many of the new exhibits and displays. Gwen Hoad presented a bouquet of spring flowers to Cllr Lewis-Carr on behalf of the history society.

I am pleased to report that the executive committee is moving forward with the renewal of the lease of the storage facility at the Priory for a further five years, a vitally important storage facility for the operation and running of the History Society’s Museum, ably run by Alan Pooley and his team of volunteers. Further support and assistance would be welcomed and if you are interested and can spare time to be involved please contact him at the Museum. On Monday mornings between 9am and noon Alan is at the museum and the work that they do to keep the museum running smoothly can be seen and discussed.

The Letherhead Institute (67 High Street Leatherhead, KT22 8AH, telephone: 01372 372813) will be marking 120 years of its foundation in 1892 by George Dixon of Cherkley Court on Saturday 19th May 2012 at 2pm. A display has been prepared under the theme of ‘Celebration and Jubilation’ in the Library on the ground floor whilst the Leatherhead Community Association has prepared an exhibit on Leatherhead past and present in the Dixon Hall on the first floor. Free cream teas will be available and the Mole Valley Silver Band will entertain you. There is an open invitation to all members of the History Society to attend this celebration.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will centre around an extended weekend on 2nd to 5th June, marking the 60 years of her reign. This is an opportunity for us all to take part at a local level in some way supporting local initiatives.

The Olympics will be held in London from 27th July to 12th August followed by the 2012 Paralympic Games from 29th August to 9th September. London last hosted the Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948. The Olympic Cycle Race will touch us all in Leatherhead one way or another with the cycle road race scheduled to take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July. The men’s 250km race will be on the Saturday and last for approximately six hours with 145 riders. The women’s race will take place on the Sunday and last for 3½ hours, and will be 140km with 67 riders. The road race includes a 9.6-mile (15.5km) circuit around Box Hill before finishing in The Mall in London.

The theme of celebration will continue this year with Heritage Open Day in Mole Valley under the title of ‘Celebration & Jubilation’ made up of numerous exhibitions and events planned and arranged around Mole Valley on 6th September – 9th September and hopefully we will have a lot to celebrate both past and present - a full programme of events will be given later.
David Hartley

A Local History of Leatherhead in Fifteen Objects

The 2010 Radio Programme History of the World in 100 Objects was inspirational. It provided an incredibly visual way (on radio!) of seeing the development of civilisations. It now turns out that Surrey Museums are collating a History of Surrey in 50 objects and are seeking help from the Local Museums who are each asked to identify 15 of their own objects. This fits very conveniently into our own thinking about how to move the Museum presentations forward. So, how to get it done?

First, of course, is to agree which 15 objects. My own list is below, but other, more knowledgeable, people, may well have better ideas. The criteria behind selection are:

  Theme Object
1 Agriculture Spring Trap
2 Archaeology Ashtead Villa model
3 Arts Lion head from Ashtead Pottery
4 Children Bone Skates
5 Communication Telephone Switch Board
6 Entertainment Thorndike Theatre Carpet sample
7 Food Iron stove
8 Home Goblin Teasmade
9 Housing Hampton Cottage Model
10 Industry Ronson Lighter
11 Leisure Swan Brewery Sign
12 Science PIRA Instrument
13 Sport Campbell Steering Wheel
14 Transport Enamelled Railway station name
15 War Mine fragment: Cherkley Court

Next would be to work towards telling each object’s story. For this we need a group to take it forward. There are a number of tasks and skills. These include – Research behind the selected objects, writing the story/presentation, photography of the associated images, reader to provide voice overs, production of the individual presentations. Various IT formatting skills, etc….

Ultimately we would like to present these 15 object stories on a number of platforms for the Museum’s audience. These might include use of photo screens (the ones used at home to scroll through family photos), audio guides, QR tags (barcodes that can be read by smartphones), booklets, DVD, the World Wide Web. Once we have the stories we can worry about rolling across all platforms targeting different types of audience but especially young people.

If you would like to join me in putting this exciting project together please contact me ASAP staff@lheadmuseum.plus.com
David Lokkerbol

April 2012

A new publication by Linda Heath

The arrangement of this booklet is designed as a stroll round the village, entering it from the bridge, then walking up Bridge Street and the High Street; turning right to the parish church and back along the Dorking Road and Church Street to the crossroads at the centre of the town with the Stocks House. We shall finish our tour via North Street, Randalls Lane and Kingston Road.

There is to be a book signing at Barton’s Bookshop, 2 Bridge Street, Leatherhead KT22 8BZ on the 26th May from 10am to 3pm.

Leatherhead in Georgian Days
please see more about this and other publications on our publications page

from the February 2012 Newsletter
Chairman’s Report

Welcome to 2012. Taking a glance back into 2011 there were three talks arranged in the autumn lecture programme at the Letherhead Institute

The talk by Dr Catherine Ferguson on the subject of the Loseley Manuscripts provided a fascinating account of the More Family at Loseley and managed to draw Leatherhead into the frame in referring to the then vicar of Leatherhead. In October, we were treated to a fascinating talk by Linda Heath on Emma, wife of Charles Darwin. In November Dr Richard Goodenough spoke on Researching the history of the Country House which took us step by step through his efforts to discover and reveal the history of his own home in Kent. I would personally like to thank the Lectures Committee for arranging these talks and look forward to their continued success in 2012.

I would like to mention the work of the Leatherhead Lions in raising public awareness last October to International World Sight Day (reported elsewhere in the Newsletter).

We started this year off in January with the presentation of the Tanners Marathon Shields and a donation to the History Society of £500 from the Tanners Marathon Association. The shields will form part of a temporary display at the reopening of the museum on 29th March.

This year the AGM will be held on Friday 20th April in the Dixon Hall at the Leatherhead Institute to be followed by a talk as part of our Spring Lecture Series given by John Wettern entitled Surrey: A Hundred Years Ago. It is important that the membership support the Society and Executive Committee in maintaining the work and objects of the History Society by attending this AGM. There are a number of vacant posts to be filled and decisions to be made.

I ask you to reflect and think on the ’Legacies and Gifts’ appeal launched in this Newsletter. It requests you to consider making an endowment in the form of a legacy or gift from your Personal Estate to maintain the History Society in its work and objectives into the future to the long term benefit of the society.
David Hartley

Peter Wells, L&DLHS Librarian: An appreciation The Executive Committee is sorry to say goodbye to Peter Wells who has been our librarian since 2006. He has been a conscientious and willing worker for the Society, not only as librarian but also as co-ordinator of the Historical Enquiry Service. He also served as a museum steward for several years. He quietly got on with these jobs, and although he was latterly unable to attend Executive Committee meetings because of lack of transport and problems with hearing, he kept the committee informed of his progress. It will be difficult to find his replacement.
Gwen Hoad

Legacies and Gifts The Society was formed in 1946 for everyone interested in the history of the area including Ashtead, Bookham, Fetcham and Headley as well as Leatherhead. By making a bequest to our Society you will make a real contribution to its efforts to preserve and record our rich heritage. For those who wish to do so, the Society will ensure that you are acknowledged and remembered as a benefactor.

What could my gift or legacy do? There are many areas in which additional resources are badly needed. For example resources are needed to digitise our research material to make it available to a wider audience and to secure continuing storage for documents and items in the interim.

Which kind of gift or legacy? A legacy to the Society can take the form of a sum of money, a share of your estate or specific assets such as a portfolio of shares or a house, which would then not be liable for inheritance tax. It is also possible for a bequest to be in the form of a residuary gift, whereby the Society receives whatever is left of your estate after other bequests have been made. You can leave it to the Society to decide how your bequest is used or you can specify an area of work you would like to support.

Inheritance Tax? As the Society is a charity, the value of any gift you make to the Society in your will is deducted by HM Revenue and Customs from the value of your estate before any inheritance tax liability is calculated. Money that might otherwise have been paid in tax can instead be used to help support the Society in its work.

Further information? If you are considering a gift or bequest and would like more information we are very happy to discuss the options. If you have already included the Society in your will, we would appreciate being able to say thank vou. In both cases, you are welcome to make initial contact with our Chairman, David Hartley

16 Dec 2011 - New book - Over the Bridge The Southern Side
By Brian Hennegan and Goff Powell.

Over the Bridge
The Southern Side

By Brian Hennegan and Goff Powell.
Memories and More from Two Leatherhead Lads. (The Circus Kingston Road to North Street Leatherhead)
ISBN 978-0-9552785-7-0: 100 pages, 150 illustrations: £9

In 2009 the Leatherhead & District History Society published a book by Brian Hennegan entitled Over the Bridge which related the author’s memories of growing up in Leatherhead Common in the 1940s and 1950s and in the main, covered the area to the North of the Kingston Road railway bridge. It had been suggested that a sequel should be written which looked at the area to the South of the railway bridge. The idea was taken up, so Brian Hennegan and Goff Powell have joined forces and this book is the result ..... full details

from the November 2011 Newsletter
Chairman’s Report

This is the last Newsletter for the year and hopefully our prospects and that of our country will look a little brighter by the time we prepare our next issue in the new year. We can and should perhaps be looking forward to the new opportunities to celebrate and promote our History Society and Museum even in the midst of a recession. With the Queen‘s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics these national events will present scope for us at a local level to promote membership and our aims and objectives.

Looking back to September we were actively supporting Heritage Open Day 2011 in Leatherhead, Fetcham and Ashtead and members worked hard in preparation at the Letherhead Institute but with some disappointment that more did not turn up for the event. Our members of the History Society made a commendable effort to prepare and provide the displays as did members of the LCA who turned out to provide teas and coffee but the public support was just not there.

Nevertheless the History Society provided three very interesting interpretations on this year’s theme of Work Rest & Pray illustrated with a display of pictures provided by Linda Heath reflecting on Work & Rest and John Wettern’s contribution basing his display of Pray on a selection of the engraved illustrations from ‘Views of Surrey Churches‘ by CT Cracklow 1827. These were contrasted with current photographs of how some of the churches look now.

Alun Roberts provided a full and interesting display on the life of Edward Stenning and WH Brown and their involvement and development of St Nicolas Hill Leatherhead in 1908. This exhibit is now currently on view at the Leatherhead Museum - do try to get there and take a look.

An excellent fourth display was provided by John Morris a former member our Society on the life of Nathaniel Bland of Randalls Park.

The Mole Valley District Council was also represented by a display of photographs of Historic Houses in Mole Valley and Derek Renn one of our distinguished members dutifully led this year’s walk around Leatherhead due to the incapacity of Linda Heath following an accident at the beginning of September.

Our museum at Hampton Cottage fared quite well with an increased number of visitors partly due to the Friends of the Leatherhead Museum organising their coffee morning to coincide with the Saturday morning of HOD - thanks should go all round to the Friends and those stewards on duty on the day.

St Giles Church Ashtead

John Watts the assistant curate of St Giles organised this year’s Heritage Open Day theme to encompass his church service, celebrating 400 years in Church and community. John approached the History Society and asked if we could provide a display to reflect both the theme and the Church in ‘Stewart Period’ around the time of the printing of the King James Bible in 1611.

This proved something of a challenge but nevertheless we rose to the occasion and provided three boards (see photo) providing both pictures and maps to reflect something of the image flavour of that time. This project brought home quite vividly that times were so very different then, in fact another time and place, far removed from today’s issues, they certainly had their own problems to deal with. The feedback was positive and thanks should be acknowledged to our members Gwen Hoad, Jack Willis our Ashtead archivist for the use of pictures and maps and to Alan Pooley our Museum Manager who allowed us to use some of the artefacts on loan from the museum to illustrate the display.

Fetcham Park - 300 year old site of a Grade II listed Mansion

Thanks go to our members Alan Pooley, Peter Tarplee and Goff Powell and others who were actively involved on Heritage Open Day at Fetcham Park House. This year’s theme of Work Rest & Pray looked at the house from 1924 to the present day, an interesting interpretation. There was a great turn-out of visitors to the house and this year’s event was a great success.

Peter Tarplee‘s Talk - Development of the Railways in Mole Valley

Fetcham Village Hall was the venue for Peter Tarplee‘s talk on the Sunday of Heritage Open Day. The title of his talk was the Development of the Railways in Mole Valley. The first railways arrived in the Mole Valley in 1849 and it was another 10 years before trains ran to Leatherhead, the line from Leatherhead to Dorking and on to Horsham in 1867.

Peter provided a full and detailed account of these and other railways up to the present illustrated with a very full collection of photographs as in Peter’s book Railways Around Leatherhead & Dorking priced at £10.00 which is now published and is available from Goff Powell (telephone 01372 374923 or email goffATgoffpowell.plus.com [replace AT with @ before sending]) or can be purchased directly from our Museum Bookshop.

An acknowledgement and thanks should go to the author Peter Tarplee and to Martin Warwick our Newsletter Editor for his work, help and support in putting this book together and to Goff Powell who has the job of marketing and sales.

Summer Barbecue

On Saturday evening of 17th September the night of our barbecue the weather was so bad that it almost turned into a disaster. Too late to cancel the event we decided to go ahead and following a torrential downpour of rain around 6.30pm we managed to get a brief respite for about 2 hours to proceed with the Barbecue.

Thanks to the support of Fred and Margaret Meynan, Julia Lack, Roz Hennegan and Shirley Adams who prepared and set out the food and with the loan of the two gas fired barbecues, one from Dough & Vivien Hollingsworth and the other from Fred and Margaret Meynen, we were in business. Goff Powell and Brian Hennigan dealt with the lighting effects and yours truly managing the barbecue.

Musical entertainment was provided by John Muhlhaus (one of our members) and his partner Dinah Bean who responded to the appeal in the August Newsletter. We were then ready to rock and roll (not literally). John and Dinah were generous with their time and gave us renderings of well-known standards which took our mind off the weather for the rest of the evening. If you would like to engage or recommend John and Dinah (the least we could do considering that no charge was made for the entertainment they gave us) John Muhlhaus lives in Bookham and is a multi-instrumentalist playing both solo and as a band member under the name ‘Doctor‘ John. His partner Dinah Bean is a singer of long standing in the Teddington area. Together they provide musical entertainment for private parties and functions. Their music includes songs from the thirties up to the sixties and they can be seen on YouTube (just type in their names). For bookings contact John on 01372-454331 or Dinah on 07941-275779.

Twenty five members of the Society braved the elements to attend this barbecue and I would like to thank them for their support and for the work of tidying up after the event.

The Role of Honorary Secretary

I find it very disappointing that two Newsletters have come and gone and I have not had any response or enquiry to my appeal for someone to step forward to take up the role of Secretary to the History Society. We cannot continue to operate without your support - it is not just a question of you paying your subscriptions, we need you to become engaged and get involved in the running of the History Society and its activities, otherwise we will have no Society.
David Hartley - Chairman

September 2011


from the August 2011 Newsletter
Chairman’s Report

I don’t know how many of you are actively interested in visiting museums and galleries either national or international whilst on your summer holidays or whilst visiting friends and family in other parts of the UK or Europe? Also do you support and subscribe to the National Trust or English Heritage or any other historical body or organisation? How many do you visit in any one year and what if anything attracts you to history, historical sites, museums and galleries?

I would be interested to hear from you, with your thoughts and comments on these subjects which with your permission we could publish in future Newsletters.

The other day I picked up a small leaflet from our museum, the first I had seen of its type with the title ‘Surrey Museums Month April 2011’. It is an A5 size leaflet that folds out to display a map of Surrey marking the location of all museums in Surrey together with a full listing of current and forthcoming events at the museums and galleries.

It lists a staggering 44 museums in Surrey - the leaflet is in full colour with easily readable text and pictures and is the result of work by the ‘Surrey Museums Consultative Committee’ (SMCC), a partnership organisation supported by Surrey’s District & Borough Councils and the Surrey County Council. They deserve to be commended for their effort which hopefully will be continued to be supported by this partnership and the various councils, subject of course to funding.

I would encourage you all to get yourself a copy while they are still available because you, your children and your grandchildren and friends could find it of great interest. If you cannot find a copy contact the SMCC by telephone 01483 518052 or visit their website www.surreymuseums.org.uk

David Hartley

from the May 2011 Newsletter
Chairman’s Report

Welcome to both members and visitors to this Newsletter.

We are on the lookout for new dynamic and busy individuals who can find some time to spare to assist in one of the activities, at the museum, writing an article for the Newsletter or carrying out some research for publication in our annual Proceedings on local history relating to the parishes of Ashtead, Bookham, Fetcham or Leatherhead.

Following our most recent executive committee meeting it was unanimously agreed that we need to raise the profile of our History Society and the Museum and gain new members. We have a lot to do and we need addition help particularly now that we now own and maintain the museum building in addition to the usual day to day running of the museum and its artefacts managed by Alan Pooley the museum Manager and his team.

One way of course for us to raise our profile is for members to spread the word talking to friends, neighbours and relations and even strangers about the work of the History Society and its Museum.

We have an urgent need for a volunteer to fill the vacant post of Publicity Officer left vacant following the retirement of John Wettern our previous Newsletter Editor who was always keen to promote the Society and the Museum.

Fortunately John Wettern and Fred Meynen are due to meet a candidate for this post in the next few weeks and we will of course keep you informed as to progress. If there is however anyone else interested in this role we would be delighted to hear from them.

I would like to welcome and thank Roy Mellick, a recent new member to the Society, for taking up the positions office of Records Secretary and the post of Bookham Archivist. Roy is currently actively involved in the Bookham U3A Military History Group.

We are still seeking a volunteer with local historical interests to take on the post of Leatherhead Archivist following the retirement of John Derry.

Finally our able Hon Secretary Vivien Hollingsworth has now retired following this year’s AGM after some six years in the post and we have no immediate replacement - it will be difficult for us to continue to operate and function correctly and effectively as a History Society without filling this office. I appeal to our membership for a volunteer for this important post.

Three Important Events

Ashtead Village Day on the 11th June on the Playing Fields at Lower Ashtead adjacent to St Georges Church we intend to have a stand and display to promote and sell our publications. We need help in erecting a gazebo and setting up and manning the stand during the day - offers of assistance would be gratefully received - contact me on my mobile 07947 471165 or landline 01372 377839 or email Hartley1949@msn.com

As this is the first time for many years that we have attempted an open air site in Ashtead please support us at this event.

Bookham Village Day Saturday 18th June with the theme ‘A Day at the Races’ gives plenty of scope for dressing up and putting on the style. The History Society will provide an appropriate display and promotional material as well as books for sale. Our stand will be inside and we would like your support to man the display for an hour or so to promote us and sell the occasional membership and books - please visit our display.

Heritage Open Days on 8th - 11th September in Mole Valley and the Society and Museum will as usual take part in this event with a display at the Museum at Hampton Cottage, 64 Church Street Leatherhead and in the Dixon Hall at Leatherhead Institute.

Full details of all events will be fourthcomming in due course - we would like to see more members participating and supporting this year’s event - contact me by phone or email or Alan Pooley our Museum Manager on Monday mornings at the Museum by phoning 01372 386348 or email staff@lheadmuseum.plus.com
David Hartley

Proceedings, Vol 7, no.4 2010

The listing of the contents has been added to the Proceedings pages.

February 2011

This News page now provides access to online copies of the Society's Newsletter, November 2007 to date (see the link above). Issues will be added about a month after members have received them. This service is introduced because in recent years the Newsletter has reported on more matters of interest and in greater depth. Thought is being given to the addition of some earlier issues.

from the February 2011 Newsletter
from the Chairman's Report

Members should all have received the notice for the 64th AGM on the 15th April 2011. We hope that as many of you as possible attend the meeting. It includes the election of officers for the year and also the major change to the rules of the society.

Item 5 on Agenda - The Election of Officers to the Executive Committee
In the May 2010 Newsletter I informed you that Vivien Hollingsworth our Honorary Secretary had confirmed her decision to retire at the next AGM after six years in that post. I am disappointed that since that notice no one has come forward or offered to take up this post.

On 24th October 2010 I received an email from John Derry our Leatherhead Archivist and acting Records Secretary, tendering his notice of these two posts with effect from the end of 2010 - unfortunately I received this news too late to record it in our November Newsletter.

These three positions remain to be filled and as they are vital to the wellbeing and health of the History Society we must try to resolve this matter at the AGM.

The issue of lack of support in taking up office holder posts on the Executive Committee is not tenable. We cannot be expected to continue to operate effectively without your tangible support, we need you as volunteers to join us to fill these and other posts vacant - please refer to my previous comment in our May 2010 Newsletter page 3.

Item 10 on Agenda- Changes to the Rules of the History Society
Item 10 on the Agenda for this year’s AGM is to ratify the amendment and revisions to the Rules of the History Society following the mandate given to us at last year’s 63rd AGM to proceed with the merger of the two charities that exist, one to own and maintain the museum building and the other to operate and run the L&DLHS.

These Rules have now been revised and brought up to date and once approved will be sent to the Charities Commission and issued to our membership with this year’s May Newsletter.

Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Derry on behalf of the History Society for his good work and support in taking on the post of acting Records Secretary for the History Society following the death of the late Brian Godfrey in December 2008 and for his role as our Leatherhead Archivist, a job he has carried out with diligence since 2003. We wish him well and hope that he will continue to support the History Society with his membership and that we will see him from time to time at our society’s lectures at the Institute and at our AGMs in the future.

from the November 2010 Newsletter
from the Chairman's Report

On 17th September we convened an Extraordinary General Meeting of the History Society just prior to the start of our main lecture for the autumn season.

The purpose of this meeting for those who were unable to attend was to adopt the resolution to amend the Objects Paragraph b) of the History Society to include the words `to own, maintain and manage the museum at Hampton Cottage, 64 Church Street Leatherhead', our previous Objects made no provision for owning and maintaining the museum's building fabric.

The motion was unanimously approved by all those members present. This now fulfils the requirement of the Charities Commission and clears the way forward for the merger of the two charities into one single charity to proceed to a satisfactory conclusion later this year.
David Hartley

from the August 2010 Newsletter
Chairman's Report

Merger of the Museum Trustees with the History Society

Following the AGM in April when the executive committee received the clear mandate of the members present for the resolution to merger of the Museum Heritage Trust into the Leatherhead & District Local History.

Progress has now been made with the museum's Trustees and their Solicitors, the Trustees' position is now regularised to enable the merger to move forward.

As part of this process the History Society are obliged to make some minor but important amendments to the Objects of the Society as recommended by solicitors for the museum Trustees to enable the History Society to own and maintain a museum. Our current objects only allow us to run a museum. Ultimately the official custodian appointed by the Charities Commission will hold the title to the property on behalf of the History Society.

An extraordinary general meeting has been called for Friday 17th September at 7.30pm in the Dixon Hall at the Letherhead Institute. This extraordinary meeting is to vote on the resolution to amend the Objects of the History Society as previously described - you will find formal notice for this extraordinary general meeting in this Newsletter and if for any reason you have not received a copy please let me know immediately and a copy will be provided to you.

Following this meeting our usual September Friday evening lecture will start at 8pm and will be given by our President Gordon Knowles.

Positions Vacant

We still need your help and support - unfortunately your silence has been deafening. Following our May Newsletter I had hoped to find that one of our members would have some spare time to pick up one of the positions on our Executive Committee. Here is your opportunity to shape the future of your History Society - we need to fill the following posts in order of priority;

Honorary Secretary
Records Secretary
Publicity Officer
Part-Time Curator

Please speak to me if you would like more information or would talk about any of the positions on offer

David Hartley

Heritage Weekend 11th/12th September 2010

As usual, we shall be taking part in Heritage Weekend on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September. The theme the committee has chosen this year is Georgian Leatherhead, and to attract publicity on the website, it is entitled By George!

There will be displays of Georgian Leatherhead in the Institute on both days; (including two Georgian residents, James Barlow and Benjamin Simmons) the Museum will be open on both days, and there will be a walk round the town centre from the Institute on the Saturday afternoon which will focus on Georgian buildings past and present.

The parish church of St Mary & St Nicholas will be open on Saturday 11th September from 10.00-12.00 and Sunday 12th from 14.00-16.00 hrs. There will be opportunities to see and hear the magnificent Georgian organ made by Thomas Parker in 1766, re-installed in 2007. There may also be visits up the tower to the bell ringing chamber.

Linda Heath

Letter to the Newsletter Editor - Can you help?

Dear Mr. Warwick,

My name is Donna Workman-Streater and I am hoping you may be able to help me with some knowledge on my family. I reside in Sydney, Australia and have actually recently visited Leatherhead but unfortunately, had little luck in finding any information.

My mother is a Loxley and her father, my beautiful Da, was Leonard Arthur Loxley. His father was George. I believe there were 4 children in the family; another brother who emigrated to Argentina and definitely, a sister Lilianne. My grandfather emigrated to Australia in 1912 to join the Australian Army as a Light Horseman. He was sent to the Middle East and the Somme and was seriously injured and hospitalised in France. He returned to Australia to marry my grandmother.

Growing up, I used to write to my cousins who lived in Leatherhead. Their names were Margaret, Carol and David. My mother used to write to Eric Loxley, a postmaster, who unfortunately passed away several years back. I know there are a Peter and Kathleen Loxley, but they also are deceased.

I am very keen to find my history as it is something I very much want to pass on to my children. One of my sons is actually attending Exeter University at present. I have tried extensively to find my cousins, but have had no luck at all.

If you can offer me any information or if you could pass this email to someone who may be able to help me, I would be truly appreciative.
I am very proud of my heritage as my grandfather was a beautiful, beautiful man.

Kind Regards,

Donna Workman-Streater donnastreaterAToptusnet.com.au (replace AT with @ before sending)

Dated Buildings in the Leatherhead area - Help needed!

Provisional lists of the buildings in the Leatherhead district which bore an inscribed date were published in the Newsletters for May and August 2005. Five years later seems an appropriate time to produce a consolidated list, and I invite you again to contribute. Do not think that the ones you know are obvious - they may not be to others. Derek Renn 17 Burrows Close, Great Bookham Surrey KT23 3HB.Tel 454 880 (no email)


from the May 2010 newsletter
Chairman's Report - AGM

I am pleased to report that there was good turn out at our AGM held on 16th April 2010 chaired by our President Gordon Knowles.

The resolution for the merger of the two charities into one single charity with the name of the Leatherhead & District Local History Society was carried unanimously.

The President stated that the title to the property known at Hampton Cottage 64 Church Stree Leatherhead known to us as Leatherhead Museum is to be held on behalf of our History Society by the Charities Commission's Official Custodian. Your Executive Committee together with the Trustees of the Museum and History Centre Trust will continue the process of the merger to a successfully conclusion.

Following this year's AGM Peter Tarplee our Vice President and former Chairman of the History Society concluded the evening with an interesting lecture on the History of Milner House, formally known as the Long Houseand re-named after Sir Fredrick Milner the founder of the Ex-Services Welfare Society.

There will be a book launch of the forthcoming publication Past Industries of Ashtead, Leatherhead & Bookham by Peter Tarplee at the Leatherhead Museum on Friday 28th May 2010 at 7.30pm - look out for the notices and please come along in support.

I wonder how many of you have visited the museum recently and seen the number of very new displays, others that have also been re-organised it is well worth a visit.

I have also noticed a new free leaflet available when I was on duty as a Steward, one that I had not seen before called Leatherhead Town Tree Trail produced by Mole Valley District Council and the support of the Mole Valley Conservation group. The leaflet contains a very useful tree trail map with an ample key to the descriptions. This nicely designed folding leaflet complements a number of others leaflets from the same source with the tiles of Leatherhead Heritage Trails and Bookham Heritage Trail as well as the older Ashtead Village Heritage Trail. Unfortunately, there appears to be a clear omission from this collection of trail maps - where is the Fetcham Heritage Trails? Fetcham has much of interest as any of the previous examples and deserves to be put on the map.

Membership Subscription 2011
Your executive committee have agreed that there will be a £3.00 increase in the subscription for a Full Member from 1st January 2011 from £15.00 to £18.00. Associate membership subscriptions will remain unchanged.

Hon Secretary -Vivien Hollingsworth
Recently I received a letter from Vivien Hollingsworth our Honorary Secretary expressing a wish to retire from this post as soon as a suitable candidate and successor can be found.

Vivien has served you and our executive Committee for the last six years, always diligent and cheerful, efficiently carrying out her many duties in the post and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her personally for her work on committee and on behalf of the History Society wishing her well in pursuing her other interests.

The Museum's New Email address
Our Hon Treasurer David Lokkerbol together with Alan Pooley our Museum Manager have rationalised the museum's email account. Please make a note of the new e-mail address for the Leatherhead Museum staff@lheadmuseum.plus.com
The original email address will still accept messages but it will be closed down in due course. It would be a good opportunity to take advantage of this new email address by sending us and the museum some feedback and comments pertinent to the changes that have taken place at your museum or what has been reported and published in this Newsletter.

The existing website address of www.leatherheadlocalhistory.org.uk remains unchanged.

Positions to be filled
We urgently need to fill the outstanding positions on your Executive Committee. In the order of priority:

Honorary Secretary - we urgently need to fill the post of Hon Secretary as quickly as possible for the sake of continuity. Anyone interested in taking on this role would they please contact Vivien Hollingsworth who will be very supportive and will be able to induct you into this post.

Publicity Officer - a talented, dynamic networker who has the vision and the energy to promote and publicise the work of the History Society, the Museum and the Friends of the Museum.

Records Secretary - a passion for historical documents, and photographs, someone with a logical mind who has the ability process and enter data using Microsoft Access, Excel and Word, who can work team building with parish archivists and local U3A groups.

Part-Time Curator - one can complement the work and objectives of the Museum's Manager Alan Pooley and his team in meeting and developing the museums accessions policy. The presentation and display of artefacts and an outreach programme promoting the Museum to a wider audience.

Report of 2010 AGM

At our AGM on April 16th chaired by our President, Gordon Knowles, the Executive Committee was re-elected, and a new Treasurer (David Lokkerbol), and Membership Secretary (David Wall).

Presenting the Committee's report, the Chairman and Archaeology Secretary (David Hartley) again appealed for members to fill the vacant posts of Museum Curator, Publicity Officer, Records Secretary and Bookham Archivist. The backlog was worsening, and continuity of service was only possible by essential tasks undertaken by Alan Pooley, Peter Tarplee and John Wettern, who would help any new volunteers by 'showing them the ropes'.

Mr Hartley had been delayed in his own efforts to arrange for the analysis, conservation and storage problems of the Society's records: some might be transferred to the Surrey History Centre at Woking.

Very substantial donations from the Friends of the Museum and a grant from the Surrey County Council's Local Partnerships Scheme had paid for new carpets and N for a new entrance giving easy access to the Museum for the disabled from the garden. This wheelchair access had been officially opened by Councillor Tim Hall, who had been instrumental in obtaining the SCC grant. The Surrey Museums Consultative Committee had paid half the cost of new display panels which could be used almost any where Doug Hollingsworth reported briefly on the repairs to the Museum walls, gutters and gate.

A resolution (by the respective trustees of the two charities) to merge the Leatherhead Museum and History Centre with the Society was accepted unanimously for submission to the Charities Commission. The Museum would be run by as subcommittee, keeping separate accounts.

Mr Hartley thanked the Lectures and Visits Committee for their efforts (nearly 500 people had attended the events) and those supplying and serving the refreshments. A laptop and digital projector had been purchased for Powerpoint presentations. A list of members willing to give talks had been published and sent to other organisations and the local press. Frank Haslam (Website Manager) reported that www.leatherhead local history.org.uk was getting 250 'hits' a month, one-quarter coming from overseas.

Brian Hennegan's book Over the Bridge: Memories of a Leatherhead Lad from both sides of The Bridge was selling well.

Peter Tarplee's new book Early Industries of the Leatherhead District would be launched at the Leatherhead Museum at 7.30pm on 25 May, which would also be an extra opportunity to see the new display of local industrial history objects upstairs

Presenting the accounts, David Lokkerbol thanked David Wall for acting temporarily as Treasurer before he took over. He drew attention to the fall in income from investments compared with past years due to the continuing worldwide financial crisis. Recovery was not yet in sight, and an increase in subscription was overdue. He was setting budgets, so that the subscription met the cost of the basic benefits available to members all over the world. After some discussion, a £3 increase was accepted by the members.
Derek Renn

* * *


This is the title of the latest book to be published by the Leatherhead & District Local History Society. It will concentrate on many of the industrial activities in the area over the years. There are plenty of books and documents giving much detailed information about churches and larger houses but it was felt that there should be records about how the ordinary people lived and worked and earned their living.

For example, did you know that the first electric blankets were made in Ashtead and that this was one of the first examples of industrial rehabilitation of mentally disabled ex-servicemen? There was once an artificial silk industry here before the works was taken over by the company run by the inventor of the vacuum cleaner. Ashtead was a centre of photographic manufacture until the firms became swallowed up in the Kodak empire and these factories were then used for making leathercloth and steam cars then pottery.

Ronsons were, of course, famous for the development of cigarette lighters and Goblin for vacuum cleaners but both firms also produced many other products. Bookham had a small engineering works in the early part of the twentieth century but once the Great War got under way this enlarged from 2,000 square feet to 56,000 square feet. After the war this factory made engines which were used in around 80 makes of motor cycles, 30 makes of cars and 12 makes of aeroplanes. By the time of the second war hydraulic equipment for over 15 types of plane were made here and the size of the works had doubled.

see also our Publications page

Brick making was a local industry whose history goes back to Roman times and carried on until the 20th century. These and many other industries are described in the profusely illustrated book and it is hoped that this publication will fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge of the past times in Leatherhead and district.

The book, which was written by our member Peter Tarplee, is expected to be available during May and will cost £8-99. Copies will be available from local booksellers, Leatherhead Museum and, post-free, from our Sales Secretary (at 64 Church Street, Leatherhead, KT22 8DP); cheques should be payable to ‘L&DLHS’. The book will be launched at Leatherhead Museum where there will be displays of many of the operations described. This will take place at 7.30 pm on Friday 28th May 2010. All members, friends and anyone interested in the past history of the area are cordially invited to attend and have a glass of wine with us.

Surrey Heath Local History Club has been added to our Useful Links page

The contents page of Proceedings Vol 7 no.3 has been added to the website.

In recent years the L&DLHS Newsletter has increasingly included articles in addition to those dealing with the running of the society. As an experiment it has been decided to begin providing a record of these and the issues in which they appeared. Accounts of talks are not included as these can be found via the Programme page. Comments about this trial page are welcomed by the website editor.


16 April Annual General Meeting - see Programme page for a report


from the February 2010 newsletter

Dear Members
Yet another Newsletter and yet another appeal for all its readers to supply articles for it. Currently the articles repeatedly come from the same small faithful few but I feel sure there are more of you who could write something of real interest to our readership. You all have experiences in perhaps your working days which give an insight into life as it was — perhaps it was a wartime memory, perhaps a person you met. It is fascinating to see how Brian Hennegan's book describing life not so long ago in Leatherhead has aroused so much interest — surely there are many more stories to be told. They are the tales we would love to see in the Newsletter.

The most important topic in our History Society is the proposed merger between the Society itself and the Museum. Currently the History Society and the Museum operate under two distinct Trusts or Charities. Trusts are controlled under the Charity Commission and are legally established bodies. However what has been true for so many years is that the funds of the History Society are mainly used to support the Museum. This does not really make sense and the obvious correct course of action is to amalgamate the two trusts. From the Charity Commission point of view this is no problem. What does it mean to us?

Under a combined arrangement there would only be one Trust called the 'Leatherhead & District Local History Society' but its objectives would include those which are currently covered under the Museum Trust. In practice it would not make a major difference as the control of the museum would operate under a sub-committee of the main Trust.

It all sounds so simple but of course anything like this has to be done properly and will in fact take time. Hopefully you all will not notice any change in the practical operation of the Society.

Chairman's Report

Dear Members
Welcome to this our first Newsletter of 2010. Like Janus of Roman Mythology, used here to symbolise transition, change and progression of the past to the future we have the opportunity look back and reflect on the events of last year, some events of national, local and personal importance to us. This year I hope we can look forward with a new sense of optimism to something of a new beginning for our History Society.

A case in point is for six months of last year following the AGM we were languishing without a Hon Treasurer and a Membership Secretary, worrying how the History Society was going to continue without filling these important posts. After some successful networking by members of the committee, two members in the persons of David Lokkerbol and David Wall offered their services to fill these posts of Hon Treasurer and Membership Secretary respectively. Thanks to all those concerned, especially those two new office holders, we are now back on track and moving forward in these difficult times.

There are still however a number of vacancies on your executive committee which we would like to see filled this year. I have previously referred to these posts in the last November Newsletter and should you be interested I would be pleased to hear from you.

Proposed Merger of Two Charities Some of our membership may or may not be aware that there is in existence two separate registered charities, one designated the 'Leatherhead and District Local History Society', the trustees of which are your elected executive committee who manage the business of the History Society and run the day to day business of the museum.

The second charity is the 'Leatherhead Museum Heritage Centre Trust'. The Trustees are responsible for the management of the Trust's assets, the property and building fabric of the Museum at Hampton Cottage at 64 Church Street Leatherhead.

As part of our role and responsibility your executive committee has been in mutual discussion with the Trustees of LMHCT to set in train the proposed merger of the two charities into one Charity under the L&DLHS for the purpose of consolidation and efficient future management of the History Society, the Museum Building and the Society's artefacts.

A further explanation is presented elsewhere in this Newsletter together with the notice of the AGM, nomination papers and the special resolution that is to be ratified at our AGM on Friday 16th April 2010.

The merger of the two Charities should not affect the good work of the 'Friends of Leatherhead Museum' under the Chairmanship of Dr Fred Meynen. The Friends provide much needed fundraising and manage the Museum's volunteers Stewards without whom the museum could not function properly.

Members' Interests Reluctantly have to report that since the last Newsletter in November I have received only one further expression of interest in any of the subjects on offer. The total number of responses is 22 members. There is in my view insufficient numbers in any one interest group to make it economically viable.

I would like to thank those members who took the time to respond not to be daunted -we will revisit the subject again at a future date.
David Hartley

Proposed merger between the two Registered Charities, the Leatherhead & District Local History Society and the Leatherhead Museum and Heritage Centre Trust. Notice for AGM 2010.

1. When the Museum Trust was established under the guidance of Stephen Fortescue, it was deliberately separated from the Society to safeguard the building in the event of the winding up of the Society for whatever reason. Also, it meant that should the museum fail it would not take down the Society with it. It also kept the finances separated.
2. Over the years both bodies have survived and generally prospered. The Museum Trustees have been able to maintain the Structure and enhance it by building the recent disabled access.
3. There has always been a sharing of certain expenses between the two charities, in particular, insurance.
4. The Trustees and the Society Executive Committee now feel that it is appropriate to merge the two charities, both are concerned with the Museum in its totality.
5. The Charity Commissioner is content for the merger to take place, provided we send him the nil accounts of the Trustees after funds are transferred and a copy of the minutes approving the merger.
6. It is intended that the Trustees will be replaced by a Museum Fabric Sub-Committee of the Society Executive Committee to carry on the work hitherto undertaken by them.
7. The Chairman of the Society and the Chairman of the Trustees therefore recommend to this Annual General Meeting that it approves the merger with effect from this date.
Gordon Knowles, Chairman of the Leatherhead Museum and Heritage Centre Trust
David Hartley, Chairman of the Leatherhead & District Local History Society


from the November 2009 newsletter
Chairman's Report

Dear Members
I am pleased to report that following our August Newsletter we received two responses to our appeal for the vacant posts of Treasurer and Membership Secretary. I would therefore like to welcome both David Lokkerbol as our new Hon Treasurer (01372 375756) and David Wall as our new Membership Secretary (01372 374773) and offer them the full support of the executive committee and our membership at large.

Whilst we have been fortunate to be able to fill these two very important posts which have been vacant since our AGM in April, we also have an urgent need to find other members to fill the following positions, all these are part time, voluntary positions open to members of the History Society.

Records Secretary
The first is that of Records Secretary to co-ordinate, manage and develop a long term strategy for the History Society's Archives, a keen interest in local history and research in general would be a basic requirement.
Bookham Archivist
The next post is of Bookham Archivist, would ideally suite a member who lives locally and has keen interest in the Parish of Great & Little Bookham who would be able to accommodate and look after the Bookham archive currently in temporary store in Peter Tarplee's garage.
The late Brian Godfrey held both these positions, but perhaps it would now be advantageous to split these two areas of responsibility.
Museum Curator
The next post is of Curator to our museum at Hampton Cottage at 64 Church Street, working together with our Museum Manager Alan Pooley carrying out the agreed museum policies and procedures, curatorial role, actively promoting the museum to a wider public audience.
Publicity Officer
Finally we have the post of Publicity Officer which in my mind requires an active, dynamic and creative individual who likes to meet and deal with the press, business and the public at large, reaching out to promote the History society, its lectures and activities as well as our local museum.

Heritage open Days 10th -13th September 2009 proved to be another well supported and successful weekend of events at which the History Society provided one of several a displays in the Dixon Hall at the Letherhead Institute and the Museum at Hampton Cottage. I would like to thank all those members and stewards on duty who gave up their time to support of this years event.

I would like also to take this opportunity to personally thank Peter Tarplee my predecessor as chairman who has actively represented the History Society on the organising committee for Heritage Open days in Mole Valley since 1996, he has now indicated his retirement from the organising committee in Mole Valley at the end of this years' event. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his active support, promoting the History Society on this committee as part of a national event supported by English Heritage.

We are currently looking for a new member to take on this role and represent the History society at next years organising committee for Heritage Open Days in Mole Valley. Is there is a member of the society out there who has the energy and interest to volunteer to fill this role, someone who will be able to allocate some time to attend the required meetings on our behalf? I would be interested to hear from you - the role could perhaps be linked with role of publicity officer referred to above.

Members' Interests Questionnaire I would like to have concluded this piece on a more positive and optimistic note but I must express something of a disappointment at the general lack of interest shown to our members interests questionnaire launched in our August Newsletter entitled 'Interested in History' - to date I have received only 21 replies out of a possible 200 strong membership which is more than a little depressing.

I propose to defer my report on member's interests to the February 2010 Newsletter in the hope and anticipation that there are members out there who have forgotten or mislaid their member's interest forms and who wil, given the time, respond to this important source of feedback for your history society.

Between now and going to press in January for our February Newsletter I am hoping you will all respond to this poll. In the event that you have mislaid this form there will be copies available at the Museum. Failing that, you can if you so wish just put your name address and telephone number on a piece of paper together with a short list of the subjects you are interested in and put your response in an envelope and post it for my attention or just drop it into our Museum - you have my attention I hope I will have your support, thank you.
David Hartley

1 Nov 2009: Member Brian Hennegan spent seventeen of his formative years, from the early war period up until 1956, over the bridge on Leatherhead Common, or North Leatherhead as it is now referred to. He is a member of the local History Society and has an interest in transport of all kinds including Aviation. He is currently serving as a volunteer at Brooklands Museum where he is a member of a team engaged in the restoration of a Hawker Hurricane Aircraft. Just to seal his credentials, he can still walk from home to the centre of the bridge in three and a half minutes.

His book OVER THE BRIDGE, MEMORIES OF A LEATHERHEAD LAD FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BRIDGE, just published by the Society, tells the story of a childhood and early adulthood spent in North Leatherhead - a must for anyone who lived in the area during the 1940s and 1950s ... and for those who wish they had.


from the August 2009 Newsletter
Chairman's Report

Hello and welcome to this our summer Newsletter - the weather has been excellent when compared to this time last year. Saturday 20th June marked the events of Bookham Village Day and Ashtead Village Da. Unfortunately the two events clashed and it would have been appropriate to have supported both events in some way - as it was we were already committed and signed up to Bookham's 'Village Day' earlier in the year. Next year perhaps we can support both Village Day for Ashtead and Bookham.

The theme this year for Bookham was 'Beach Party', appropriate enough for all those children and their parents who attended on that very sunny Saturday. The History Society provided a display in the Old Barn Hall at Bookham. We took as our theme 'Going to the Seaside' - those British Holidays and the many 'Day Trips' to the South Coast and elsewhere by coach, train and car in Britain from 1910 - 1980s. Do you remember those long coach trips or car journeys to the coast, those terrible traffic jams on those A and B roads, those long hot summer holidays and Bank Holiday Weekends - there are many memories wrapped up with that time.

Our display illustrated something of this theme using facsimiles of seaside holiday posters, produced by railway companies of the time, together with contemporary pictures of holidaymakers huddled or building sandcastles on the beach, a big subject with many facets. My thanks to Goff Powell for providing some of the early pictures of charabanc, bus and coaches with their day trippers and references to local coach companies. Thanks also to Vivien Hollingsworth, Peter Tarplee, Goff Powell, Gordon Knowles and others in suppor, manning the display. There was a lot of interest shown and Goff achieved a very good level of book sales on the day of the History Society's books.

L&DLHS Archive - Update: Having reported to you in our May Newsletter the date of 21st May was set for a meeting of the History Society's archivists and other members to discuss the future of our archives. We held this meeting at the Letherhead Institute which was quite a lively affair, well attended by our parish archivists for Ashtead, Fetcham & Leatherhead. Bookham unfortunately was not represented by its archivist due to the untimely death of Brian Godfrey our former Records Secretary and Bookham Archivist. The Bookham archive is now currently lodged with Peter Tarplee pending finding a volunteer to take over the archive and a decision being reached on the future of the society's archives in general.

John Derry the archivist who usually deals with the Leatherhead documents has temporarily stepped in to act as our Records Secretary, the rest of the persons present at this meeting were invited senior members of the society who have a keen interest in the future of our archives. It proved to be a very useful first meeting which gave all members present a chance to express openly their feelings over the future of the archive and how our record should be maintained for now and the future. A general consensus emerged from this meeting that the future of the society's archive would be better served if our original archives were to be deposited on loan at the Surrey History Centre at Woking enablinge preservation and access to a wider audience for research.

A second meeting was arranged and held on 30th June at the Letherhead Institute when Mike Page our invited guest was introduced who is Team Manager of Heritage Stewardship and Preservation at the Surrey History Centre. He addressed us on the subject of depositing our archive at the history centre at Woking. Both archivists and members also had the opportunity to ask questions on points of concern over what was involved in this process.

Mike Page was thanked for his time in coming to speak to us on that Tuesday evening, it was agreed that we now have a better understanding of what is involved which would enable us to move forward with our proposed objectives.

It was agreed in principal that the Bookham archive is to be used as our first 'Test Case' for depositing at Woking, hopefully sorting out any problems that may arise with this process before moving forward with the other parish records.

Just by way of reassurance and clarification to all those members who were not present, we are not looking to dispense with the services provided by our local parish archivists - they will continue to be a valuable asset to our society and we still need a volunteer to fill the post of Bookham archivist.

There is also still much work to be done on sorting and collating, bringing the indexes up to date and entering the information into the database. There is also scanning and digital photographs and copies of digital recordings to be made.

Martin Kruger and David Wall of the Leatherhead U3A attended this meeting at our invitation, in anticipation that they would be able to participate, lending support for the work to be done.

If you feel you would like to help in this process please contact me or John Derry via the Leatherhead museum. Finally I would personally like to thank all those invited members and archivists who attended this meeting for their constructive and valuable support on behalf of the History Society.
David Hartley

Ernest William Culley

Members will be sorry to hear that Bill Culley died on 21st June 2009 after a long and painful illness. Bill had been a very active member of our Society and is perhaps, best known as the author of 'Bookham in the Twentieth Century'. During the late 1990s David Bruce had suggested that Bill should investigate the history of Great and Little Bookham since 1900 and he did this largely by interviewing a number of the older residents of the villages. From the information he obtained he gave a number of talks in the Old Barn Hall in aid of our Society. This information was then produced in book form by the Society and 'Bookham in the Twentieth Century' is our most successful publication to date. Despite many efforts we have found nobody to produce similar books for the other parts of our area of interest. Books about the recent past are the ones that sell in large numbers.

Aside from local history, Bill had many other interests; some of you will have seen his paintings, particularly of Bookham. He was a keen gardener and very interested in music, particularly jazz. He was a pianist who until a few years ago regularly played with a group of friends.
By profession he was an analytical chemist and after service in World War II as a flight mechanic he worked in the scientific branch at County Hall, London until he retired in 1986.

Our thoughts at this time are with Ena and their son and daughter.
Peter Tarplee

Alan A Jackson

Alan Jackson, who died in February this year (2009) aged 86, was a member of our society for many years and whilst he lived in Ashtead he edited the society's first history of the village, Ashtead, a village transformed. He moved to Dorking when be retired and became editor of the Dorking Local History Group and the Dorking and District Preservation Society as well as helping in the library of Dorking Museum. He edited or contributed to many books on the area, notably Dorking, a Surrey Market Town through twenty centuries, Dorking's Railways and The Railway in Surrey. He was the author of many books on the social and transport history of the south-east of England and a past-president of the Railway and Canal Historical Society.

Leatherhead Aviation Services - an example of how our website helps our work

In the last issue of the Newsletter I wrote a piece giving further information about the aeroplane propeller in our museum which had originally come from Leatherhead Aviation Services. Recently the Society received a further enquiry concerning Leatherhead Aviation Services from someone who was seeking information about his father-in-law who had been a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps and as a civilian after World War I. We were able to tell him that the person concerned was, in fact, the pilot of the Leatherhead Aviation Services Avro 504 which crashed near Slough injuring all three persons on board including W G Chapman, the owner of Leatherhead Aviation Services.

In turn we learned from our enquirer that the pilot, Arnold Graham, did recover from his injuries and in 1922 left England for Africa and India to work as a civil engineer on railways, the profession he had trained for before joining the RFC. He had been born in Calcutta in 1891.
These instances are two of many where we learn more about our local history following someone looking on the Society web site and seeing reference to a subject in which they are interested. The reference to something in a lecture or Proceedings article is all that is required.
Peter Tarplee

Born in Leatherhead - found fame in America
Harry E Cooper - 'Lighthorse Harry'

Harry E Cooper born in Leatherhead on the 6th August, 1904 was a prominent PGA golfer of the 1920s and 1930s in America. His father Sidney was a professional golfer who had served as an apprentice to old Tom Morris at St Andrews.

His family moved to Texas when Cooper was young and his father took a job as a club professional in Dallas. Cooper turned professional in 1923. A perennial US Open contender (with seven top-10 finishes and second place in 1927 and 1936), 'Lighthorse Harry', as he was nicknamed, was also placed second in the 1936 and 1938 Masters as well as reaching the semi-finals of the 1925 PGA Championship. In all he finished 20 times in the top-10 at major championships.

In the 1936 US Open at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey, Cooper was involved in a highly controversial match with Tony Manero, who was suspected of cheating. Manero defeated Cooper by two shots to win the tournament. In later years Cooper would say that he had a mental hangup during major tournaments and couldn't picture himself in the winner's circle. His greatest successes were across the border, as he won the Canadian Open in 1932 and 1937. He won 31 PGA Tour titles in all and the inaugural Vardon Trophy in 1937; his 31 titles were a record for PGA Tour players born outside the US until surpassed by Vijay Singh in 2008. He was active as a senior golfer, placed sixth in the 1955 Senior PGA Championship. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.

Cooper was the golf professional at Glen Oak Country Club in Glen Ellyn, Illinois from 1930-1937 and at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois from 19411942. He piled up many other titles, including wins in the first three tournaments held on Medinah Country Club's No. 3 Course. He dropped an 18-hole playoff to Tommy Armour in the 1927 US Open and advanced to the semifinals of the 1925 PGA Championship, falling to eventual champion Walter Hagen. Statisticall, Cooper's best year was 1937 when he won eight times on tour, and was both the leading money winner and the first winner of the Vardon Trophy.

After his PGA tour career ended he became the head professional at the Metropolis Country Club in Greenburgh, New York. He held that position for many years. Following his retirement from Metropolis he took a teaching position at Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York, where he remained until his death. He was remarkable for his ability to work in the golf industry into his nineties.

In the 1960s and 1970s, he was the Director of Golf on the Oceanic Cruise Liner, which sailed between New York City and the Caribbean during the Christmas season.

Cooper is often classified as the greatest golfer who never won a major tournament. Some claim this classification is erroneous because Cooper won the 1934 Western Open, which many considered one of golf's major championships at that time. Although in its early decades the Western Open was widely regarded as a major championship, this designation was unofficial and it is generally not included in tallies of golfers' major championship wins.

Cooper had no children. He died in a hospital in White Plains, New York on the 17th October, 2000 aged 96. He is interred beside his wife Emma in Lot 15, Graves 1 and 2, in the Kensico Gardens Section of the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. His grave is now marked with a headstone, but his grave marker erroneously shows 1906 instead of 1904 as his birth year.

There were several Cooper families living in Leatherhead around the turn of the twentieth century and I can only assume some descendants may still live in the district. Any other information appertaining to Harry Cooper would be appreciated.
Goff Powell


from the February 2009 Newsletter
Chairman's Report

This our February Newsletter is the first issue of the new year and is a particularly importance due to the fact that the Notice and papers for the 62nd Annual General Meeting of the History Society are distributed with this issue.

There are some important issues to be discussed concerning the History Society therefore I would earnestly encourage you to attend this meeting on Friday 17th April, not least because we need nominations to fill two of the very important posts on your Committee, namely that of Hon Treasurer and that of Membership Secretary. The History Society cannot properly function without the positions being filled.

I look forward to receiving your nominations for these posts and for the other positions vacant.

I am sorry to have to report the untimely death of Brian Godfrey who was our Records Secretary and Bookham Archivist, who will be much missed for his hard work and dedication to the History Society and the Museum.

Also I have been informed that one of our long standing members of the Society, John Bull passed away in December.

Following Dr David Birds talk to our Society in October we have received and published here his interim excavation report on Ashtead Roman Villa 2008 which we hope will be of interest to our members.

Before winding up this piece I would like to give a plug for more research at a Local, County and National level. As a History Society's we should in theory be engaged in all sorts of research, but how many of us are? We have our own archive, a wealth of material pertaining to local parishes of Leatherhead & District. At a county level we have available to us the Surrey History Centre at 130 Goldsworth Road Woking GU21 6ND, telephone 03456 009009 email: shs@surreycc.gov.uk on line at www.surreycc.gov.uk.

At a national level we all have access to the National Archive at Kew Richmond Surrey TW9 4DU, telephone: 0208 876 3444, on line at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk. I have just received their January Newsletter by email which is full of interesting research topics including the launch on the 13th January of the 1911 census.

So why not make the most of our resources and start planning a research project today.

David Hartley

Brian Godfrey

Members will be saddened to hear of the death on 1st December 2008, of Brian Godfrey, aged 80. Brian, together with his wife Jill, was a very active member of our society. He took over the responsibility of all the society's Bookham records from David Bruce some years ago and from 1997 he was the society's Record Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee. Whilst he held this post Brian was conscious of the need for all our indexes to be computerised, and he had achieved this with all the Bookham material as well as most of the remainder of the records. The ultimate aim, of course, was to have at least the indexes on the web and searchable.

Also whilst he was Records Secretary Brian formalised the way in which the society dealt with historical enquiries. All enquiries, whether by telephone, e-mail, letter or verbal, are carefully recorded and then monitored to ensure that the enquirer gets a response as soon as possible. At the Friday evening lectures Brian was also busy; he arranged for the projector and microphone equipment to be in place and so he was an essential member of the team responsible for organising these meetings. For many years now Brian has served on the Museum Committee thus ensuring liaison between the museum and all the society's archivists.

Brian's interest in local history and archives extended beyond our society. He was a volunteer at the regional office of the National Trust where he carried out research, principally on the earlier days of Polesden Lacey.

By profession he was a physicist working in the National Health Service but he had many other interests. He was an enthusiastic sportsman, orchestral musician and bell-ringer as well as a very active member of Leatherhead Methodist Church.

He will be sorely missed by our Society and others and all our thoughts at this time are with Jill and her family.

John Bull

Members will be sad to hear that John Bull, one of our earliest members, died shortly before Christmas. John was a long-standing and very loyal member of our Society. He was Treasurer from 1974-1977, Assistant Treasurer from 1977-1982, and Museum Treasurer from 1983-2004. Part of this time he was also Chairman of the Museum Trustees. Before retirement he worked for the Midland Bank in their printing department and was occasionally able to have some printing done for the Society.

He was an avid DIY man and had every conceivable piece of equipment, particularly electrical ones. He was always willing to help with the museum in every capacity, both practical and administrative. For many years he maintained the fabric of Hampton Cottage, almost single-handed. He was good at going up ladders, though possibly on the large side for such activity!

John's interest in the museum was unfailing and he attended most of the Society lectures until quite recently. His genial personality and his unfailing courtesy will be much missed by all who knew him.

Stephen Fortescue and Linda Heath

Index to Articles in the February 2009 Newsletter

Archaeological Secretary's Report 3 Leatherhead Clock Tower 14
Ashtead Roman Villa & Tileworks 8 News from Friends of Museum 20
Ashtead Trail & Walk 17 News from Museum Committee 3
Aviation Incidents 16 Obituary - Brian Godfrey 22
Brooklands & the Hurricane Talk 13 Obituary - John Bull 19
Chairman's Report 2 Recent Library Additions 21
Early Water, Electricity & Gas 15 Rooke Memorial 4
Editorial 1 Sir Frederick Milner 6
Future Events 22 Visit to The Spike & Visit Slip 23
Heritage of Mole Valley 18    


1 February 2009
Members Brian Bouchard and Frank Haslam launch the Ashtead War Memorials website - see via the War Memorials link, which also connects to the Leatherhead War Memorials website edited by Frank, and his new page for Fetcham War Memorials, the latter based on information provided in the late John Stuttard's History of Fetcham.


from the November 2008 Newsletter
Chairman's Report

Did you know that this November is the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War? Like most anniversaries they are very important events that should be marked, therefore The National Archives, the Imperial War Museum and the Surrey History Centre at Woking and some other organisations will all be remembering the event.

On Saturday 25th October I attended the Surrey Local History Symposium at Chertsey. Our history society joined with other history societies to listen to a programme of talks, making our contribution to the start of the 90th anniversary celebration with the title of Surrey and The First World War. The range of subjects were diverse and interesting ranging from Aircraft Production in Surrey Display in Word War I and the Frith Hill Prisoner of War Camp to talks on The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory at Richmond and The Mobilisation of the Woodlands in Surrey in the First World War.

What most impressed me were the displays mounted by each of the participating local history societies, the effort put into drawing on local history archives, photographs and personal family histories - this in a way proved to be a very fitting memorial to all those soldiers who had died and those who survived the conflict in the first of the modern wars.

I would be interested to hear from any member of our history society or Friend of the Leatherhead Museum who has First World War photographs, service records and memorabilia of soldiers, sailors and airman family members or otherwise who are recorded on our local War Memorials and in Books of Remembrance in Leatherhead and District during the period 1914-1918 War. The district as far as this research project is concerned, will cover all the parishes of Ashtead, Great and Little Bookham, Effingham, Fetcham, Headley, Leatherhead and Mickleham.

Turning to other more pressing local history society matters I would like to make an urgent appeal on behalf of the History Society and the Executive Committee for volunteers to fill two very important posts, namely that of Hon Treasurer and Membership Secretary. Due to his personal family commitments our former Treasurer Ron Clark has tended his resignation. Our Membership Secretary Jenny Morris did indicate some twelve months ago her desire and intention to give up this post.

These two posts need to be filled as a matter of urgency and are critical to the health and the functioning of the History Society. I am hopeful that one or two of our members out there would be able to step forward and offer to fill one of these most important vacancies.

If you would like to volunteer your help, would you please contact our Hon Secretary V Hollingsworth on 01372 801357. Thank you.
David Hartley


from the August 2008 Newsletter
Chairman's Report

As chairman of the History Society I am disappointed at the decline in attendance in support of the fundraising efforts of the Friends of the Museum and for other events such as National Archaeology Week. The turn out was truly disappointing at this years event, only three representatives of the History Society were present when our invited guest, the Chairman of Mole Valley District Council arrived to launch the event.

The attendance in general last week at this event was no better with a distinct absence of any of the membership visiting the museum, exhibition or supporting the walks lead by Gordon Knowles and Gwen Hoad on the two Sundays of 13th & 20th July.

Maybe archaeology is not your thing, or you were committed to other things? You and the Membership must decide what is wanted from the Society and the Museum. Without your support attending talks, lectures and events we will have no History Society. Make your voice heard, speak to your representatives on committee and let us try to move forward and build an interested, interesting and healthy Society.

We need to engage with you the membership and the general public at large and other local interest groups if we are to survive. We also need your help in running the day to day business of the History Society and we need new volunteers who are prepared to give up a small amount of time to sit on committee. We have a committee of dedicated members who have held responsible positions for a number of years, who have carried out their duties without complaint. A number of committee members have now indicated that they wish to retire from committee having done their stint and performed a very valuable service to the History Society to peruse other activities.

So what do we do? We need new members to step forward and take up some of the positions vacant - some we have advertised previously in the Newsletter and others are more recent and need to be filled one way or another before or at the next AGM. None of these posts are particularly onerous but they do require a commitment to attend a bi-monthly committee meeting on the third Monday every other month.

We are currently looking for a new Membership Secretary and a Records Secretary to co-ordinate the work of the archivists of the various parishes.

We need someone to act as an Independent Examiner of the History Society's Accounts. We also need new committee members to just serve on committee, bring in new ideas and make a contribution to the debate as to how the History Society should move forward and serve you better.

Other posts that currently remain vacant are Curator to work with the Museum Manager and a Publicity Officer.

David Hartley


from the February 2008 Newsletter
Chairman's Report

Hello and welcome to our first Newsletter of the New Year. It has not been a particularly auspicious start to the New Year for our Museum or the History Society and it has certainly started with a bang literally, with a car running out of control into the front of the Museum on Sunday morning 6th January. You will have probably all seen the newspaper coverage. [see our photo report]

The Museum Trustees and Alan Pooley the Museum Manager have done everything necessary with the insurance assessors to put the work in hand to reinstate and carry out the reconstruction works as quickly possible in order that the museum is readv to open on time in April.

Notwithstanding the time of day the unfortunate accident happened, it has in fact raised the wider issues of public safety of pedestrians, museum staff and stewards during daylight hours. This is an opportunity not to be missed to raise the matter of heavy lorries and articulated vehicles who try to negotiate these streets and we will be exploring some of these issues with the County Council in the next few months.

With this Newsletter members will be receiving the notice and agenda for this year's AGM. I do hope that you will all come and use the opportunity to make constructive comment on matters and issues that concern you both about the History Society and your museum. Your Executive Committee, Trustees and the museum manager deserve your feedback and support.

We also have the positions of Curator and Publicity Officer vacant and we will also ask you to ratify our appointment of Martin Warwick as Newsletter Editor and Ronald Clarke as our New Treasurer as our present Treasurer Mrs Norma Robertson has previously indicated her desire to retire at the AGM after a number of years in the post.

So what now of our plans for 2008? I would like to see both the history society and our museum form stronger links and networks with other history societies and museums of Guildford, Ewell and elsewhere in Surrey. At a local level we can and should build on existing and form new links with groups such as the U3A in Fetcham and Bookham to see how we can reciprocate and assist each other in research and on joint projects.

Your executive committee have spoken about new books and publications and it's my hope that we can launch or at least start some new projects that will lead to publication and will explore other aspects of our local history and range of interests in Leatherhead and District. There may in fact be members of the history society who have or are currently working on projects, or have a manuscript suitable for publication under the umbrella of the history society - if so please speak to us.

It's quite reasonable in my opinion that the history society should support and publicise some of the talks and lectures that members give to other groups and societies. I attended recently a very interesting and informative talk given by Peter Tarplee my predecessor and now vice president of our history society to the Epsom & Ewell History and Archaeological Society (EHAS) on the subject The beginning of Public Utilities in Surrey. Peter's knowledge and interest in industrial history is well known to some of us and to those within his circle of like minded colleagues. Peter, Linda Heath, Derek Renn, Goff Powell and others do give these regular and occasional talks and lectures.
David Hartley

Museum Appeal Volunteers and Ideas The first stage of the appeal could be said to be over as the main donations from members and friends have been received and we can only expect further contributions to be minor. Many thanks for the generosity you have shown. There is always much work to be done. Fortunately the recent accident and demolishment of the bow window will probably be entirely met by insurance.

Grant giving bodies are mostly looking for new work to give funding - it is easier to obtain a grant to build an extension than to maintain an existing asset. Because of this we will need to stage money making events. If we are to raise further funds we will need volunteers to help us and offer need ideas. The Trust itself is bound by a limit of only six trustees.
Please help us with your ideas and your time.
John Morris
Treasurer & Trustee 01372 362524


from the November 2007 Newsletter
Chairman's Report

Welcome to this our November Newsletter. We start first with the news that Martin Warwick who may be known to a number of local residents and members of the L&DLHS who live in Bookham, Martin has stepped forward and volunteered his services as our Newsletter Editor, to fill the vacancy left with the retirement of John Wettern with this edition of the Newsletter. (Ref. August Newsletter 3/2007) Martin has a number of interests and already edits the National Trust's ‘Polesden People' newsletter and the ‘Bookhams Bulletin' of Bookham Community Association, as well as working with other local groups. Your Executive Committee believe that Martin will prove to be a worthy successor to John Wettern. We all wish Martin well in his new office and offer him our full support.

To John Wettern we offer our grateful thanks and appreciation for his dedication and years of service as Newsletter Editor. John previously held the post of Editor during 1999-2002 and again during 2006-07. John as usual has always used his best endeavours to promote and publicise both the History Society and the Museum over the years with some notable successes, we hope he will continue to do so with great effect where and when the opportunity arises.

Heritage Open Day 6th-9th September, reported elsewhere in this newsletter was from all accounts was another successful event, for which we should thank the Heritage Day organising committee for all their hard work and all those members and volunteers who made a contribution.

The Soirée at the Leatherhead Museum on Friday 28 th September is also reported elsewhere in this Newsletter. However I would like to record my personal thanks to all those Friends and Members of the Museum and History Society who turned up on a very damp and wet evening in support of the event and to all those who worked to make it a success. I would also like to record that Stephen Fortescue the well known local historian and surviving founder member of the Museum and the History Society and former past President attended with his wife having travelled up from Devon , they have kindly written to thank us for our hospitality.

Finally this is the last Newsletter before Christmas and as a timely reminder the Museum will be closed from Saturday 15 th December there are a wide range of Local History Publications available to purchase which could perhaps make a suitable Christmas gift.
David Hartley


September 2007
The MVDC Heritage Weekend

The displays at the Letherhead Institute were as published in the official programme: Food & Rationing during World War II presented by Linda Heath; Leatherhead Museum Appeal presented by John Morris; The Parks in the Leatherhead District presented by David Hartley; The Inns and Public Houses of Leatherhead & District presented by Goff Powell.

two of the featured displays: Hartley

May 2007

(Report by the Chairman to the Society’s members at the Annual General Meeting, held on 20th April, 2007)

The History Society in 2006 has had its highlights and some successes, touched with a little sadness at the loss of some members of the Society who have died. Most if not all the activities of the society have been ably reported in the Newsletter throughout the course of last year by members and need not to be repeated again here.

Our President and your executive committee with other members of the History Society, namely our Museum Manager and his team, our Curator, the Friends of the Museum and their Chairman as well as our Stewards have all worked tirelessly on your behalf to ensure the smooth running of the business of the History Society and the Museum.

The current Newsletter Editor has done valuable work in keeping the Newsletter on the road. At the beginning 2006 we had no Editor the prospect of loosing this vital organ of communication with the membership looked very much on the cards. My predecessor as Chairman together with our Hon Secretary managed to hold things together. Through his contacts our editor has served us well with that all important ingredient, publicity, vital to the success of any local history society and/or museum.

Finally we have the Editor of the Proceedings and all those members who submitted contributions to last year’s bumper Diamond Jubilee publication to make it a success. Last but not least we have our member who runs and manages our website and provides a public face of our History Society and museum.

I have deliberately refrained from naming you all individually as we should by now all know who you are and the roles you play in contributing to the success of our History Society.

I would like to extend my personal thanks to our Hon Secretary for her help and support through this last year and to you all for your contribution and commitment to the success of the Society during 2006.

I consider myself fortunate to follow in the footsteps of a long line of Chairmen, and to serve on the Executive Committee with my colleagues. My predecessor who had last year served for ten years in this post may well have retired as Chairman but he has since been actively involved with other matters at the museum and serving on the committee for Mole Valley Heritage Weekend as well as on Surrey Archaeological Society sub committees. If I needed any examples for good role models I would have plenty to draw on from within our History Society, and long may it continue.

Having said all that and truly pondered our future as a History Society I must express a little disappointment at the lack of new volunteers coming forward to take up the vacant positions highlighted in the February Newsletter. My view is that the strength and weakness, and in fact the health of our Society and the Museum, are very much dependant on the sum of its parts and we need to be able to fill these posts as a matter of urgency.

Without a membership and the support of you our volunteers the Society would not exist, therefore the fact that it does surely means that the work of this Society will only be diminished if we fail to find further support plus a fresh intake of new members and willing volunteers. Without this infusion it puts an added burden on those already carrying out their offices and others who are active on your behalf. I for one do not want to see the prophetic comments of Stephen Fortescue at the Dallaway Lecture of 2006 come true : -
“Research must be continued and be published, and so must the collection or reconstruction of artefacts for the benefit of future generations. Otherwise, the Society will become merely a social club with a monthly dose of local history”

Now is the time to redouble our efforts to attract new and (relatively) younger members to our History Society, involve them, and tap into their interests as well as our own. The proposition will no doubt involve some change and adaptability in order to attract new members.

Graham Evans our Museum Curator and member of the executive committee attended his last AGM. It presented an opportunity for us the members to say farewell and wish him good luck with his move down to Sussex. Graham informed us that he would be opening a Tea Room and invited us to drop in if we were passing. Graham was Curator of our Museum artefacts for some six years during which time the Museum has undergone a number of changes under the successful management of Alan Pooley with the assistance from the Chairman and Friends of Leatherhead Museum. Graham participated in the team effort bringing success, growth and reputation of the museum, especially in the quality of its displays.

In recognition of his service to the History Society and museum Graham was presented a signed card from the Executive Committee together with a cheque and a bottle for which he gratefully thanked us all

The President of the History Society

Linda Heath our President stood down at this year’s AGM after many years of service to the History Society both as President and as Chairman of the Executive Committee and in many other capacities. Linda will continue with some of her many interests both in and outside the History Society and the Museum, and will be making a presentation at the Heritage Open Days at the Letherhead Institute on the 6th- 9th September.

Linda’s departure at this years' AGM afforded an opportunity for us all to thank her whole heartedly for her work on our behalf. In acknowledgement of her contribution to the History Society a presentation was made by Gordon Knowles the new incoming President. Gordon presented a signed card from the Executive Committee on behalf of the membership, together with a photo of a garden table for her patio terrace, purchased in lieu of a cheque together with a colourful bouquet of flowers. Linda graciously thanked everyone present for their kind thoughts and best wishes and the membership applauded in response.

The last act of the outgoing President was to draw the 60th Annual General Meeting to a close.

The New President

On behalf of the Executive Committee the Chairman welcomed Gordon Knowles as the new President of the Leatherhead & District Local History Society.

Leatherhead Aviation Services

Following the annual general meeting our former chairman Peter Tarplee gave an excellent illustrated talk on the full and eventful life of William George Chapman who among many other things operated the Leatherhead Aviation Services at Byhurst Farm, Maldon Rushett for a time. He spoke of the plane whose propeller is now on display in the Leatherhead Museum. An interesting life of a man who flew by the seat of his pants so to speak.

I hope Peter will consider publishing his research or submit it to the Editor of the Proceedings.
David Hartley,
History Society Chairman
[A full account of Peter’s lecture will appear in the next editionof the Society's newsletter]


Feb/March 2007

Contents list of Vol 6 No.10 of the Proceedings added
Report of January talk by Lucy Quinnell on Rowhurst added
2007 Programme updated


Dear Members, Welcome to another full and interesting year, with a full programme of lectures and visits organised for the year ahead by our Lectures Committee comprising, Fred Meynen, Linda Heath, Derek Renn, Goff Powell and John Wettern. They are responsible for planning and organising the events throughout the year on your behalf. I hope you will continue to support them in their efforts. I am sure this committee would welcome your suggestions on topics of interest or speakers for a forthcoming programme next year. If you have a suggestion please contact Fred Meynen on the phone number given on the inside cover of the Newsletter. He will look forward to receiving your comments.

Attendance has been good during last year, thanks to your support, and increased numbers of members and visitors have attended the talks at the Leatherhead Institute. This has been due to good advance publicity in the local press. You may like to speak to your friends and invite them to join you at some of the events planned for this year.

The Leatherhead Museum and Heritage Centre Trust Just a brief note in support of the Trustees of Leatherhead Museum who are launching an appeal for funds to provide for the long term maintenance of Hampton Cottage, a Grade 2 Listed Building, the home of the Leatherhead Museum. John Morris, the Hon. Treasurer and a Museum Trustee has written elsewhere in this Newsletter outlining the case for this appeal. The Executive Committee of the History Society supports the aims and objectives of the Trustees in launching this appeal, and would encourage all members to support this effort.

The President of the History Society It is with some sadness that I have to report that Linda Heath our President has decided to give up the Presidency of our society at in April. Linda is a dynamic, busy lady who has many commitments, both public and personal to which she would like to devote more time.

Linda has served the Society very well over the years both as President and as Chairman and in many other capacities. She has assured me that she will try to continue her many interests in the Society and the Museum. I wish her well and thank her personally for her support and for the time and commitment she has given to the Society over the years.

The Executive Committee has nominated Gordon Knowles to be our next President of the History Society, and we hope the membership will endorse our recommendation at the Annual General Meeting.

The Museum Curator Graham Evans our Museum Curator and member of the Executive Committee has written to the committee to confirm that he will be standing down at the next AGM. Graham will be making some changes in his life with a move down to Sussex during the course of this year. Graham has been our Museum Curator for some five to six years during which time the Museum has undergone a number of changes and has grown in reputation and in the quality of its displays and presentations. He has also been personally responsible for producing the many posters for the Museum and the History Society announcing forthcoming lectures and events. We all wish him well in his new beginning in Sussex, and thank him for his commitment and time given to the Museum as Curator. Graham, if you have any time on your hands, Sussex Archaeological Society could provide you with a useful outlet. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on.

Election of Members & Positions Vacant Finally I would like to address you all and make an appeal for members to come forward as volunteers, or allow themselves to be nominated to fill the following important vacancies : ?
Museum Curator, Newsletter Editor, Publicity Officer.

In the case of Newsletter Editor and Publicity Officer posts, John Wettern has been very helpful in preparing a job description and terms of reference. He would, I am sure, be supportive in assisting any prospective candidates in settling into these posts. [Yes indeed ! Ed.]

All these are voluntary, honorary positions, and anyone who is interested and is able to give some time for these activities should contact me or the Hon. Secretary before the Annual General Meeting.


November 2006

Report of the Dallaway Lecture in October added.


Lately my interests with the Society seem to have centred round aeroplane propellers. Firstly, we received in the museum a propeller donated by Mr Finch of Bookham. This was found under a bench in Luff’s garage in Kingston Road, Leatherhead. It had belonged to Leatherhead Aviation Services which was operated by Mr William Chapman who was Luff’s predecessor at the garage at 268, Kingston Road. The aviation company operated from an aerodrome at Byhurst Farm at Malden Rushett and carried out quite a lot of joy riding trips as well as charter work. Research on this has turned up quite a lot of information, particularly from Mr Chapman’s grandson and from the Croydon Airport Society as well as a number of interesting contemporary press cuttings. I am hoping that a more complete account may appear in the Proceedings.

Having found out all I could about the Leatherhead Aviation Services my attention was drawn to a recent article in The Leatherhead Advertiser about the building firm Presland Brothers which stated that as well as operating a breeze block making plant they made aeroplane propellers during World War I. More interestingly, they were said to have made the propellers for the Vickers Vimy in which Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic in 1919. We have been trying to verify this but, so far, have found no proof (except the newspaper article).

The original Vimy plane is on display in the Science Museum but its propellers are replacements as the original ones were damaged when the plane landed in Ireland. Correspondence has taken place with the appropriate curator but they have no details of suppliers of parts for the original plane. One of the original propellers is in Brooklands Museum and this was examined by Doug Hollingsworth but none of the markings give us details of the maker. Preslands operated from 14, St Johns Road and ‘The Withies’, Garlands Road until at least 1931 and I shall be very pleased if anyone can provide any information about this company – particularly their propeller making activities. Mr Orliffe Wilfred Presland, one of the two Presland brothers, lived at ‘Travelon’, Ottways Lane, Ashtead.

Incidentally, the markings on Mr Chapman’s propeller, which is on display in our museum, show that it was made by Betjemann & Sons who were cabinet makers in Pentonville Road, and were part of the family of the poet and journalist Sir John Betjeman.
Peter Tarplee


October 2006

Report of September's talk on Roman Surrey added.


August 2006

Appreciation of the late David Heath LVO
Appreciation of Geoff BarkwayDFM
Statement by the new chairman of the Society, David Hartley
Report on National Archaeology Week 2006 at the Leatherhead Museum
Review of a new book from the Society THE INNS AND PUBLIC HOUSES OF LEATHERHEAD AND DISTRICT by Goff Powell.


Should the records of the Society be more accessible in this age of the computer?

The simple answer is YES - but to achieve that aim your help is needed and a computerised index is the first goal.

Those members who look after the records need assistance with the compilation of a new detailed index and its transfer to an ACCESS database. Specialised knowledge is not required; only a desire to help and a willingness to learn a few simple rules of procedure. There is a lot of straightforward work to be done which needs a lot of hands to do it. Please let me know if you can help; our records managers cannot do it all on their own!
Brian Godfrey, Records Secretary (01372 454654)


to 25 Feb 2006 update of both the History Society and Museum pages. Contents of Procedings Vol 6, no 9, 2005 added. Appreciation of the late David Bruce

21 Jul 2005 Report of May's talk on George and Abraham Dixon added: pages have also been added on National Archaeology Week

24 Feb 2005 Report of January's talk on the History of the Claremont Estate added: Appreciation of JC Stuttard, Editor of our annual Proceedings since 1990, who died on 23rd January 2005. Programme updated. Plans for Leatherhead Museum's 25th Anniversary. Member Gordon Knowles' book Surrey and the Motor added to the Publications page.

13 Jan 2005 Report of December 2004's Christmas Miscellany added.

7 Jan 2005 Report of November talk on Papermaking in the Tillingbourne Valley (The Other Damnable Invention) added

19 Nov Report of October talk on The History of Croydon Airport added - see Programme

17 Oct Report of 17 September talk on Old London Bridge added - see Programme

25 Jul Report of May (Lambeth Palace) meeting added; images added to Museum pages on pottery and the new 'Museum open' sign

19 May Reports of the March (Plateau Group) and April (AGM and update on the Census Project) meetings are added - see Programme

1 April Leatherhead Museum opens for 2004

31 Mar Derek Renn's report of the February Meeting in the Leatherhead Advertiser is added. The Museum opens on 1 April.

14 Mar All the General Indexes of the Proceedings of the Society are now accessible on the website - see Proceedings - apart from the years 1997-2006 which is not yet published. All may be searched - see Search

23 Feb All the Contents pages from the Proceedings of the Society are now accessible on the website - see Proceedings - and may be searched - see Search

20 Feb For Derek Renn's report on the January talk by Dr Nigel Barker - see Programme

The Society's 2004 Lecture season commenced on 16th January 2004 - see Programme

Leatherhead Museum closed on 13th December 2003 and will reopen 1st April. Friends of the Museum AGM is Monday, 26th April : the time 7.30 for 8.0 p.m. Apart from the official business there will be a talk on Local Reminiscences and some refreshments. A chance to ask awkward questions (we had some good ones last year), also to meet some of our fellow members. Friends, please do come along.

2003's Museum Exhibitions The exhibition 'Leatherhead and its Titanic Connection' [which told the story of a local family who were aboard - who they were, why they sailed, the sinking and the aftermath] was a very difficult exhibition to follow and enquiries are still coming in - in fact we have had to print an adapted form of the exhibition in booklet form (available from the Museum or when closed, Corbetts in the Swan Centre). The exhibition was due to be changed in August but due to the popularity it ran on until the close of Heritage Weekend, the latter part of September, an extra 6 weeks!

Please see the Museum's pages for news of a 16 page A4 ‘souvenir’ containing replicas of many of the documents that were on display. As a preface there is an article describing the fateful voyage of the Titanic and telling the story of the Collyer family.

scale model of R.M.S. Titanic which was on display at Leatherhead Museum.

With only a couple of months left to the end of the season, I assembled an exhibition on the origins of Leatherhead's name - a frequently asked question as most stewards will know - and also about the one time unconnected leather industry that there was here.

"Who Put The Leather in Leatherhead" as it was named, apart from the town's name origin, told the story of three different trades that existed here up until the mid 1920's, the tanner, the harness & collar maker and the retailer. Chitty's Tannery, The Old Leather House (both of which have now unfortunately disappeared) and the building of The Approach, by a Mr. Smith, Boot & Shoe retailer were of special note. A small section of the display went on show at Chertsey. A 're-vamped' form is hoped to be displayed at the S.A.S. Symposium in Ashtead in February.

For those interested, The Origins of Leatherhead's Name will be available as a leaflet from the Museum shortly.
Graham Evans, Feb 2004

The Society's 2003 AGM took place on 25th April 2003.

Thursday, 3rd April 2003 marked the re-opening of Leatherhead Museum in Church Street after a programme of refurbishment during the winter months. Opening hours were on Thursdays and Fridays from 1pm to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.

New illuminated show cases enabled visitors to see an even greater variety of historic objects.
These included an enhanced World War 2 section and a display of products from famous industries including Ronson and Goblin. Full sized figures in uniform add a touch of realism : these include an air raid warden and a bandsman.

A new display - including a scale model of the liner - explained Leatherhead's connection to the TITANIC disaster (see above).

Old favourites to be seen included the Victorian kitchen, the Roman villa model and the well in the garden - now illuminated. A tempting array of books, postcards and souvenirs was on sale at the museum shop.

Strenuous efforts were made by The Friends of Leatherhead Museum to boost the number of visitors in 2003. Their efforts were assisted by the appearance of a new colour leaflet depicting some of the objects on display. A contribution towards the cost of this was received from Mole Valley District Council.

Visits from local schools are expected. Teachers interested in arranging such a trip are invited to ring or email the museum.

A report of the 2003 Annual Meeting can be seen at Friends AGM

6th October 2001 marked the Museum's 21st Anniversary. Celebrations in the town included an enactment of a Victorian schoolroom by children from a local school and rides on a Victorian horse bus.  

The Friends of Leatherhead Museum are responsible for providing volunteers to act as stewards, on duty during opening hours.   They are urgently seeking further volunteers. Anyone interested should phone us or send us an email.  It only involves three hours once a month. Please contact John Wettern

Society members with home computers are currently collaborating to record information taken from the Census returns of 1851 to 1891.

The analysed results will yield valuable information about life in the Town during the 19th Century. Non-members wishing to participate will be welcome.