Latest News from Betchworth and Buckland Society


The committee invite you to join us for the Society's 2017


Christmas Drinks

 Sunday 17th December

Buckland Reading Room from 12 midday

Members £6, guests £8, children under 12 free.


Come and join us to kick off the start of  the festive season! 

Book by 12th of December please by Email:





Andrew Wright, Countryside Manager of the National Trust's Surrey Hills area delivered a fascinating talk in the Reading Room at the Betchworth & Buckland Society's Autumn Lecture on 13 October. 

Andrew explained how critical different grass types were for successful grazing,sheep and cattle being quite different, how much detailed effort went into the design of  cattle grids so that noise and vibration was reduced, and how the Trust had designed a buried cable so that cattle would not stray across a defined boundary line.

Andrew handled all questions thoroughly and at the end we all knew far more about the Trust's technical challenges than we thought existed.

It was a most illuminating evening.

Thirty five people attended and a collection raised £104.00 for the National Trust.






13 October 8 pm, Buckland Reading Room


Join us and hear Andrew Wright, Countryside Manager of the National Trust's East Surrey Hills, talk about what the Trust has been doing.  

Free entrance but a retiring collection.  Refreshments will be provided.  

Please reserve a place through David Lynch on 01737 210423 or



24th November 7.30 for 8pm, Reigate Heath Golf Club


We will have our annual dinner at this popular venue where we have held the event in recent years.  Look out for the new menu on offer!

Tickets £32 from Fiona Brindley on 01737 841005 or email



17th December 12 noon to 2 pm, Buckland Reading Room


Please join us at this traditional event just before Christmas and meet up with friends and neighbours.  Further details to follow!







Formed in the 1950s to help protect and conserve the quality of life in Betchworth & Buckland, the Society has had a very successful first half of 2016.  While maintaining a watching brief on developments in the two villages and supporting initiatives which chime with the Society's objectives, the committee has hosted a full programme of social events, providing members with opportunities to get together.  The ever popular Quiz Night (plus supper) in February saw eleven teams of eight fight it out with quizmaster Charles Hardy wanting answers like 3.14159 and Lady Gaga ( I can't remember the questions).  In April we welcomed Steven Stockton, Senior General Valuer from Bonhams, to the Valuations Tea Party.  Members brought a huge variety of antiques and objet d'art for Steven to value, from a Napoleonic cavalry helmet to a snuff box.  Steven's commentary on all the items was very informative and left some members feeling richer!  The guest speaker at the Society's AGM in May was Peter Barclay, Vice Chairman  of the GACC, who gave members an update on the progress of the decision about airport expansion and provided an insight into the state of the aviation industry and whether there is any real need to expand runway capacity.  There is still to come: on 15th July the Summer BBQ (Buckland Green), 14thNovember the Autumn Lecture (Nicholas Owen, journalist and broadcaster), 18th November the Annual Dinner and 18th December the Christmas Drinks Party.  Come and join us.

Trevor Cooke Chairman





The swing and slide have now been installed on Betchworth's Goulburn Green and were officially opened on 9th June. The Betchworth and Buckland Society are delighted to have donated £500 toward the project.





On 14th October Society members and guests who packed into the Buckland Reading Room were privileged and enchanted to hear an excellent presentation from the journalist and broadcaster Nicholas Owen on, “How to survive half a century in the media”. The title was something as an understatement as he began his career with the Surrey Mirror in 1964, in the print media. For almost an hour Nicholas revealed, in a clear and authoritative way to an enraptured audience, the extent of his enthusiasm for and dedication to reporting and broadcasting. Speaking without notes and with no repetition or hesitation, just clarity of expression, he covered his working life, including with the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph, his switch to television and his time as the ITN Royal Correspondent and news anchor for ITN and the BBC, plus his work for radio.  He provided insights and anecdotes about journalism and presenting; the people he had had the privilege of working with and for. There was also some well-earned advice for budding journalists and presenters about, among other things, not talking “informally” while still on air! He also spoke seriously about some of the difficulties of reporting on topics of great social tension and shared some of his experiences when working in the North East, covering industrial plant closures. He was emphatic about the need to take opportunities in life when they were presented, especially in journalism – if the door was open, go through it. Nicholas then answered questions from the audience, who would have been happy to spend another hour listening to him. Many thanks were given to Nicholas for an excellent evening and, while refreshments were served, members were given the chance to talk to Nicholas, who was pleased to sign copies of his autobiography. The evening raised £300 for one of Nicholas’s favourite charities, The Tadworth Children’s Trust.

The Society’s next event is the Annual Dinner at Reigate Heath Golf club on Friday 25th November.

Richard Worsley     


Tadworth Court.jpg


Every year over 40,000 children are left with a brain injury after an accident or illness.  Many children make a good recovery, but thousands have to live with ongoing, long-term problems.  Some children are left with severe physical or learning difficulties.  Some children experience more subtle difficulties which nevertheless have a big impact on their lives.  The Children's Trust supports thousands of children right across the country.  They provide rehabilitation to help children make the best recovery possible after a serious accident or illness, both at their national specialist centre and in the community to give children with brain injury the opportunity to live the best life possible.



The Betchworth and Buckland Society 2016 Annual Dinner at Reigate Heath Golf Club on 25th November gave 63 members and guests the opportunity to get together and kick start the Christmas party season in fine style, with RHGC providing the ideal venue, an excellent menu and a choice of fine wines. The current Chairman gave a brief review of the Society’s year and took the opportunity to introduce his successor, Mr. Richard Worsley, who will take over on 1st January 2017



On 18th December the Society had its regular Christmas Drinks at Buckland Reading Room.  This was a well attended event, fuelled by delicious canapes and mulled wine prepared by the committee which helped to herald the start of the Christmas festivities in the villages.

At the end, our outgoing Chairman, Trevor Cooke, was presented with a gift of a bottle of malt whisky and a golf voucher on behalf of the committee, by Charmian Stow.  Trevor has been a splendid Chairman for the past five years and is succeeded by Richard Worsley.

Thanks are due to Debbie Jones and Fiona Brindley for masterminding such a popular event for the Society.





On Saturday 28th January, Rotary Club of Reigate hosted at Betchworth Village Hall, a stunning dramatic performance by Farnham Maltings theatre group of the play Yorgjin Oxo.  Written by Thomas Crowe, the play was first performed in 2005 with the relatively unknown Tom Hiddleson in the lead role.

The capacity audience was greeted by "Nordic" hosts serving "Marshland Tea" and pastries prior to their being transported to the wet marshlands which formed the backdrop to the story.  The tale was told by the players who wove themselves amongst the audience creating a magical backdrop.  The creative skill of the players enthralled us with sounds of rainfall, wildlife, squelching mud and the "Impossible noise" that were all embracing.

The performance was followed by wine and nibbles.  A wonderful night was had by all.             Diana Bromley





'Mary,Mary', Denise Moseling our quizmaster announced was our next round of questions.  Jokers were played, but to our consternation 'Mary Mary' proved to be quite contrary.  Teams rallied round and found answers to these gardening themed questions. Not quite as we thought on famous ladies.

A big thank you to Denise for setting the questions and being a superb quizmaster, making it such an enjoyable event for the 80 contestants.  Our evening had started with a sumptuous homemade meal prepared by local chefs, Jeannette and John Foreman.  The committee extended a warm welcome to newcomers and we look forward to seeing them in future events in 2017.

An exciting close run finish - 1st Liberal Elite, 2nd Buckland Shaggers and 3rd The Ignorant


David Lynch        




AGM – 22 May 2017

Chairman’s Report

2016 was a successful year for the Society in meeting it’s environmental and conservation objectives and a very full social programme.

As in previous years, the committee has had some changes.  At the end of the year, we managed a smooth transition with Trevor Cooke stepping down as Chairman to be replaced by myself.  I was very pleased that Pat Frankland agreed to replace me as Treasurer.  Apart from being well qualified, Pat also does a similar role at Buckland & Betchworth Choral Society whence she is known  to several committee members.  Our momentum seems to have continued despite these changes.

Recently Debbie Jones has resigned from the committee as she has become a Buckland Parish Councillor and an officer of two other local groups. I will say more later but we will miss Debbie’s significant help in recent years with Fiona Brindley in running events very well.   I am pleased to say that Dave Lynch has agreed to replace her here.   The level of organisation of these high quality events have made it more of a two person job than we have had in the past.

We have 10 members on the committee, and I would be very pleased to hear of anyone willing to join, especially to take an interest in Planning.


The Society had 129 members at 31 December.  This is a 24% increase on 2015, I think that the low figure in 2015 was due to the change in our year end to December, which caused some households to slip between the cracks.   We welcome new members, and deliberately keep the subscription to £10 per household.  There are some forms left around the hall tonight, pleaselet anyone you know have them who are not members.

For new residents, it is a good way to meet new people and keep the villages as you found them!

Environmental Protection

Our intention to monitor local planning applications continues. We also monitor the activities of the two Parish Councils so we can make a constructive input to planned developments.

Please note that although we are a Neighbourhood Form or a Community Group with a respected local voice, individual neighbour comment is felt to be most powerful in altering developments of an adverse nature.  If you don’t like something planned, please do send MVDC a letter by post or email, numbers do count.

Last year we monitored the following developments;

  • Reigate Heath SSSI

We continue to report on the de-notification of the SSSI status of parts of Reigate Heath.

Simon Elson of SCC is in touch with Natural England and we continue to monitor the situation.

  • Gatwick Flight Paths

We continue to support Plane Wrong in its campaigns for better routing, especially for the benefit of the south of Betchworth.

  • Gatwick Area Expansion

The long awaited decision was eventually settled in 2016, in favour of Heathrow. The Society had supported GACC and this outcome was good news, although Gatwick Airport promised to keep on fighting for expansion.

Please let a committee member know if you are aware of any other matter  which requires the Society’s involvement.

Support for local causes

During the year we continued to support The Campaign to Protect Rural England £30,The Surrey Hills Society £25.00, The Friends of St Mary’s and St Michael’s, £138 each,  Family Activities for Betchworth & Buckland  £100 and the Buckland Flower Festival £100, and the Children’s Trust at Tadworth £217.

Last month too we donated £500 to Friends of Broome Park and The Betchworth Toddlers Group.


Financially, our balance sheet is very strong.  We have over many years maintained healthy reserves in case of needing to fight threats to the community. With some long held risks finally lapsing from the scene, we do appreciate that our reserves are unnecessarily high. The committee has recently discussed this and will make our plans known in due course.


Jackie Ellison has made progress with the website so that our online presentation to the world is possible.  Jackie operates all communications with members, so please let her know your email address if we still contact you by post.

2016 Events

Debbie Jones and Fiona Brindley had a very busy year running well supported events which appealed to a wide number of attendees. 

The February Quiz night was a big success, followed by a valuation afternoon in April when Bonhams ably advised members of the wealth in their attics and garages. 

The summer BBQ on Buckland Green was again blessed by fine weather, fine attendance and fine organisation.

The Autumn Lecture was given by Nicholas Owen who talked about his 50 years in the media which covered Royalty, industrial disputes and the importance of initiative in career management.

The Annual Dinner in late November was again at Reigate Heath Golf Club, well attended and enjoyed by all in a private environment.

Finally the Christmas Drinks in this Reading Room was enjoyed, as a traditional start to the festive celebrations.

The rest of the year sees us having a BBQ on Goulbourne Green, Betchworth, Autumn Lecture, Annual Dinner and Christmas Drinks as before.

I would obviously like to thank all of you for your support for the Society and the hard working and dedicated Committee without whom nothing would happen. In this respect I must thank Trevor Cooke, Iain Laurenson,  Anthony Eisinger, Pat Frankland, Debbie Jones, Fiona Brindley,  Dave Lynch, Paul Rietchel, Jackie Ellison and Charmian Stow.

Those members not on the Committee who help are to be equally thanked, whateverhelp is given is appreciated.

Society Committee 2016/17

Trevor Cooke (2016) Chairman

Charmian Stow Vice Chairman (2016), Membership Secretary and Betchworth Parish Rep. 2016/17

Iain Laurenson Secretary

Richard Worsley Treasurer (2016), Chairman 2017 on

Fiona Brindley Events

Debbie Jones Events

Anthony Eisinger Planning

Jackie Ellison Publicity

Paul Rietchel Buckland

David Lynch Betchworth.


Thank you!

Richard Worsley



60 Years and getting Stronger

The Betchworth & Buckland Society celebrates its 60th year in 2017 and what better way than to have a memorable and well attended AGM with the Director of the AONB, Rob Fairbanks, who gave an in depth and very informative talk on the varied activities and involvement of this organisation which the Society is proud to support.  We were enthralled and captivated by such a knowledgeable speaker bringing his enthusiasm to life with slides, graphs and statistics including:

(1)   Surrey has a 40% coverage of Woodland   

(2)  1 Registered Beach (Frensham Pond)  

(3)  2nd most cycled route in the world (Boxhill)    

(4)  25% of open area for recreation

(5)  41% of Company Directors in the U.K live in Surrey

By way of a departure this year we had an interval wine and cheese which allowed members to mingle and catch up.  So a big thanks to Fiona and Debbie for laying on these refreshments.

Members left replete and buzzing with facts and figures grateful in the knowledge that we live in such a beautiful Area Of Natural Beauty.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the collection for Surrey Hills Society which raised £160.

Our next meeting is the summer BBQ on Sunday 2 July at 2.00 pm to be held on Goulburn Green so please put this date in your diary and join us for another enjoyable event with friends and family - for tickets please contact Fiona Brindley 01737 841005 and for more details on the Betchworth & Buckland Society please go to the website:



To All Members

You are invited to help celebrate the Society’s Diamond Jubilee by joining us for our


On Sunday 2nd July Goulburn Green from 4pm


        Bangers & Bubbles !   With live music from Annie O’Dell !


Tickets £10 (£12 non-members) children 5-12 half price. Pre -Booking is essential

You should have received your booking form via email.  Please complete your form and send to

       Fiona Brindley: The Orchard, Rectory Lane, Buckland, Betchworth. RH3 7BH

Tel: 01737 841005

    or Email

Entrance is by Ticket only.  Forms must be returned by 26th June.

Bring along rugs or picnic tables if you can, as we only have a limited supply of tables and chairs from the Hamilton Rooms.

FABB will be hosting a Circus skills children’s event on the Green from 2:30pm contact                                            

Parking (sign posted) either at the Church car park or the school car park – please do not park on The Walled Garden access

Look forward to seeing you there!

Betchworth & Buckland Society Committee







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