The Headley Society
Established 1985

respects the past,
but also
cares about the present
looks to the future

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The Headley Society logo (3K)

Founded 1985

Whether you live in Headley, or simply have an interest in discovering its history and looking to its future, then you can do no better than join The Headley Society.

What Does The Headley Society Stand For?

We are not just an Historical Society—we are keen to promote and encourage forward-looking plans within the parish of Headley which will be of lasting benefit to present and future generations.

Our Constitution—

The Society is established for the public benefit and interest in the area comprising the civil Parish of Headley and the neighbourhood—

Among other things, we—

In The Past ...

Ever since its inception it has been a lively society, and below we list just a few highlights—

The Headley 1990 Exhibition

In the Spring of 1991, each club or society in the village was asked to create a display of what they had done during the year 1990. It was very well supported, and gave a fascinating 'snapshot' of a number of aspects of village life at the start of the 90s.

And again in 2006 …

Organised by The Headley Society, nearly 50 organisations and societies in and around Headley combined their resources to offer a display of their activities to the general public over the late May Bank Holiday weekend 2006. Doors opened 2–5pm on Saturday 27th May, 11am–4pm on Sunday 28th May, and 10am–1pm on Monday 29th May. Entry was free, and refreshments were available. The weekend was judged to have been a resounding success.

‘To The Ar And Back’

Written in 1992 by Joyce Stevens, our co-founder and Chairman, this little book describing some of the more interesting buildings in the heart of the village has sold well, and has been updated and republished in 2003. It is available at local outlets or through the web link above.

Arts & Crafts Show

In 1992, the Society organised an Arts & Crafts show to enable local artists and craftworkers to exhibit their work. The diversity and quality displayed was quite astounding, and many new friendships were struck during the event.

Village Postcards

One of our members, Wendy Bennett, has offered some of her paintings of scenes in the village to be reproduced as postcards by the Society for sale in local outlets.

Headley’s Past in Pictures

What did the village look like in the past? We have created a photographic record of the pre-war village from old postcards and other sources. The resulting book was published by John Owen Smith in December 1999 (updated 2003). See also comparison of past with present photos of the village.

Monumental Inscriptions

We have checked the records of inscriptions on gravestones in Headley churchyard, correcting any errors, and added any which have been erected since a survey was last done in 1980. The results have been sent to the Hampshire Record Office, and are also available to searchers either on paper or via the Internet.

Photographic record of Headley 1999–2000

We sponsored a photographic record of scenes and activities in the parish at the turn of the millennium.

Headley Miscellany

We have produced this series of 6 booklets on topics of local interest to the Parish. See below for details.

Laverty Papers

We transcribed the notebooks of the Rev Mr WH Laverty, rector of this parish 1872-1928, and put the results on our website, giving people a great source of information about the life of the people in the parish at that time.

Headley Archive

With the support of the Parish Council, we have set up a Village Archive in the room above the council office. This will act as a repository for items of local historical interest which might otherwise be lost or thrown away. Any items of value will be copied, if possible, and passed on to the Hampshire Record Office for safe keeping. See relevant web-page for latest situation.

Monthly Speaker Schedule

Our monthly speakers have fascinated us with talks and displays covering such diverse subjects as the National Curriculum and the management of local heathland. See current and past lists.

WW1 Memorial

We have investigated and documanted the background of each of the 92 names on our War Memorial relating the WW1.

For The Future . . .

Not content to sit on our laurels, we have plans to continue our active programme of events into the future. Below are some of the ideas we are currently considering—but if you have better ones, please let us know!


We wish to interview people in the parish with a story to tell, and have bought the equipment to do this. Any offers of assistance are welcome.

Speaker Programme

Our monthly schedule of speakers remains the corner-stone of our organisation. See below for details.


We meet in Headley Church Centre at 8pm on the first Thursday of each month .
Visitors are always welcome (£2 entry per meeting), but
membership at only £10.00 for a full year is a more cost-effective way of joining in, and also entitles you to participate in certain events reserved for ‘members only’.

Current Programme (see also previous speakers)

Local organisations are encouraged to come and 'Tell us in Ten' — speak for 10 minutes about themselves before the main speaker begins.

Jan 4th — How to Research your Family — Steve Priestley
    — plus, a 'Tell us in Ten' by Headley Climate Action Network
Feb 1st — The Surrey Border Movie Makers visit us again with entertaining short films
Mar 7th — AGM + 2 more Family History Stories by Headley Society members
Apr 4th — Grayshott Beat — Roger Sherburn-Hall tells of his time as a local village policeman
May 2nd — Queen Victoria: the view from my sitting room window — Iain Kennedy
Jun 6th — Fishermania: the Celebrated Kitty Fisher — Bob France
Jul 4th — 100 years under the flightpath: Farnborough — Jo Gosney
Aug 1st — 6.30pmVisit to Bulls Farm, Grayshott — courtesy of John Childs
Sep 5th — Harlots, Dung & Glory (Portsmouth, part 4) — Andrew Negus
Oct 3rd — Grannies can do Anything — Tess Burrows
Nov 7th — A guide's guide: working in historic houses in the 21st century — Sarah Somerville
Friday Dec 6th — 7.00pm Christmas Social in Headley Village Hall — with the Kings Pond Shantymen
Jan 2nd — More Family History Stories by Headley Society members
Feb 6th — Romany Lifestyles — David Rose
Mar 6th — AGM


Committee of The Headley Society

Chairman — John Owen Smith — (01428) 712892 — contact
Hon. Secretary — vacant
Hon. Treasurer — Ian McLean

Committee Members:
Linda Dixon
Stuart Ellison
Caroline Lemka
Geoff Sykes

President — Betty White

Email — headleysociety 'at'


Prints of Headley in the 1960s

The Society can produce prints on hand-made paper from five WOOD ENGRAVINGS & LITHOGRAPHS of views in Headley made in the 1960s by the late NORMAN WILSON. These are reproduced by kind permission of the late Sue Allden.

The prints sell for £5 each. Click here for a preview of them.

For further information or to order, contact Nicky Wilson on 01428 713113 or at one of the Society meetings.

Headley Miscellany

We have produced six booklets on topics of local interest to the Village: Volume 1 was issued in 1999, Volume 2 in 2000, Volume 3 in 2001, Volume 4 in 2002, Volume 5 in 2003, Volume 6 in 2004

They have now been republished as A Headley Compendium along with the text of Canon Tudor Jones' original book Headley 1066–1966.

The Compendium is available from local outlets priced at £9.95 or from Jo Smith's website.

A Parcel of Gold for Edith Letters from Australia 1853–1875 by Joyce Stevens

Your late President has written this illustrated book, which relates the story of her great-great aunt, Ellen Suter, who emigrated to Australia at the age of 19 to escape the poverty of Portsmouth. The tale began for Joyce when she suddenly discovered 7 letters that Ellen had written 'home' to her brother, Joyce's great grandfather, who was then a papermaker in Headley.

Available from local outlets priced at £4.95, or from Jo Smith's website.

Monthly Walks

Jo Smith leads circular walks around local footpaths and lanes starting at 11am from Headley Village Hall on the first Sunday of each month. These are organised in conjunction with the 'Walk for Health' campaign, are taken at a leisurely pace and are generally about 6 miles long. We aim to be back for a pub lunch around 1.30pm! Contact Jo for further details. The routes are variations on some of those published in his book Walks Around Headley.

See current schedule

Headley’s Past in Pictures

The first part of the project has finished, and the book Headley's Past in Pictures was published in December 1999 (updated 2003). This covers places in Headley parish.

A second book Characters of Headley's Past was published in 2017. This covers people in Headley parish.

Botyh available from local outlets priced at £7.95, or from Jo Smith's website.

If you have any old photographs which you are prepared to lend us for a short period, please contact us. We will take good care of them.

Examination of Monumental Inscriptions

The first part of this project is complete. Information has been put into the computer and is now available either on paper or on the Internet.
Following the completion of this part of the project, the next phase will involve checking the sheets against church burial records in order to include those buried who have no headstone. Please contact us for further details.
As a first step to doing this, we bought from the Hampshire Genealogical Society a computer file containing approx. 3,000 burial records for Headley which they have collected as part of their county-wide survey. This was checked for accuracy against the original church registers before being loaded onto our website.

The Headley Archive

The Parish Council has kindly allowed us to use the room above their office for holding historical information about the parish, including some of their own records. We have so far stored and indexed a number of old maps and other documentary information, and will add to this in the future. See latest list.
Anything of real value would be lodged at the County Record Office in Winchester and a copy kept in Headley.
If you have anything which might be of interest to us, (eg. from an attic or house clearance), please contact us.

Speaker Programme

See details of our monthly speaker programme.


The Headley Society — was 35 years old in 2020. Ever since its inception it has been a lively society, and below we list just a few highlights of the past:

Previous Programmes

Current programme

— This web site maintained by John Owen Smith

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