Balcombe History Society was formally constituted on 14th October 2008 (see draft constitution).

Details of Meetings

An inaugural meeting took place on Tuesday 14th October 2008 and was attended by 80 residents. Votes were cast for Chair, Vice Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer and other officials. Several short talks outlined future activities and were enthusiastically received. A collection of maps and other historical documents were perused during the tea break. During the meeting, several residents shared some of their interesting personal research into the village. At the conclusion of the meeting, it was announced that there were already more than 60 members signed up.


Meetings are announced in the Parish Magazine.

Balcombe History Exhibition

The postponed Balcombe History Exhibition will be held at the Parish Room on Saturday 21st May from 10.00am* to 12.00 noon. More information in above link.






Membership is open to all. Annual subscription is £6 per person (£10 per couple). An entrance fee of £1 will be charged at meetings to cover costs (£3 for guests).

The Committee

Chairman: Alan Dearden

Vice chairman: tba

Secretary: Julie Budgen

Treasurer: Rob Smith

Membership Secretary: Jasmine Waters

Programme Secretary: Sheila Illsley / Gillian Lindsay-Stewart

Archive Group Leader: George Wiginton

Study Group Leader:  Harry Malthouse

Tony Perkins




“Treasures from our Archive” – is the title of the Society’s Exhibition on Saturday 3rd May. This will be held at the Victory Hall, open from 10am to 4pm. A wide range of interesting exhibits will be on view, many of them new to us and never been shown on display previously. Everyone will be welcome – entry price is £1 and children free. More than forty archive items and local pictures will be available for all to enjoy. Many of the albums are from records kindly donated by Joan Dutton and put into presentation format by Tony Perkins. Our renewed thanks to them both for their contributions to the Exhibition.


Some of the medieval coins and the C14 bronze water jug found in Balcombe in 1897 – “The Balcombe Find” - will be on display. Some of the groats, half groats and pennies minted in the reigns of Edwards I, II and III and Richard II (on loan from a private collection) will be exhibited and this will be a rare opportunity to see these items. A history of this discovery will be available and on display.  The Coroner’s Inquest jury at the Half Moon Inn declared that the 12 gold coins and 742 silver coins were Treasure Trove. We shall have pictures of these gold Nobles – now held by the British Museum, on view.


“Balcombe at War 1914-1918” is a new Balcombe History Society (104 page) book and will be on sale at the Exhibition at £5. This book describes the experiences of Balcombe families and is based mainly on the names on the War Memorial at the Victory Hall. It has been written and edited by Roy Bliss, Jasmine Waters and Richard Davison. Michael Noble designed the evocative cover. These three busy people, our World War One study group, set out to research some of the effects the war had on life in Balcombe and on its people. Their work of the last five years results in this book. They will be at the Exhibition to tell you how they set about it.

Over 200 men from Balcombe families served in the War. The total of those killed is not completely clear but 39 of them who did not return are named on the War Memorial at St. Mary’s Church. As much information as available about each of the men who fell in the War, including extracts from the War Diary, is provided in the central chapter of the book. The story includes “life on the home front” and the work of the VAD hospital in Stockcroft Road, as well as village events in the war years. This is a comprehensive study of special interest to Balcombe families and is a fitting tribute to all those who gave their lives for this country.

Further Information

Further information can be obtained from the Secretary Julie Budgen (tel: 01444 811641)


Balcombe Memories


# Guest 2013-11-24 22:31
I'm writing a book about Nelly Erichsen, a friend of George Bernard Shaw, and have found a diary entry from 1893 that talks about a day trip to to visit Balcombe, near Haywards Heath and dine at Sherlock’s Cottage. Does anyone know what this was? an Inn? or a private residence? I'd be grateful for any help
# Roy Crofton 2017-10-18 09:56
I am wondering whether the book Balcombe at war 1914-1918 is still available?

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