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 A collection of maps and other historical documents were perused during the tea break.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.

Events

Meetings are announced in the Parish Magazine.

 

2015 Programme

 

All meetings will be held at the Victory Hall starting at 8pm. 

Saturday, 25th April 2015 – EXHIBITION

“All Change – The Railway comes to Balcombe” on Saturday 25th April, 10.30am to 4pm in the Victory Hall, is focused on the coming of the railway through Balcombe in 1841 and particularly the effect it had on the lives of the inhabitants and the economy of the village.

The exhibition will cover the construction of the Balcombe Tunnel, the Ouse Valley Viaduct and the Railway Station.  It will also explain why so many large country mansions were constructed within the parish of Balcombe. Such houses in themselves created a substantial increase in employment opportunities for local people.

 A 5" gauge locomotive, Hornby 00 locomotives and carriages, and an "N" gauge locomotive will be on display and we will also have some of our recently acquired archive material on show.

Tony Perkins will be there with the Parish Records and Census data on his computer, and will be happy to help you find out about your Balcombe ancestors!

The Society’s book, “Balcombe at War 1914-1918” will be on sale at the Exhibition at £5 per copy.

Entry price at the door is £1 per adult and children free. Everyone is welcome and it is a great opportunity to meet up with friends and family.

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Our Autumn Talks then start in September:

All our talks are held in the Victory Hall, Stockcroft Road, Balcombe, RH17 6HP, starting at 8pm. Everyone is welcome and tickets are sold at the door, £1 Members and £3 Visitors (including refreshments.)

Wednesday, 23rd September 2015

David Porter: 'Life over a Railway Tunnel.’ David Porter will give us some of the history of the Brighton line, with mention of Balcombe, and an amusing insight into his life at Clayton Tunnel North Portal.

Wednesday, 21st October 2015

David Rudling: 'Bignor Roman Villa Excavations 1811 – 2010.' David is the Academic Director of the Sussex School of Archaeology. David's research interests and specialties include: Roman-period rural settlements and land-use, religion and ritual in Roman Britain, multi-period landscape archaeology, and ancient and medieval coins.

Wednesday, 11th November 2015 

Martin Hayes: Great War West Sussex: The Home Front.’

Currently conducting a research programme into the effects of the Great War, Martin Hayes has amassed a great deal of information. He is the County

Local History Librarian

 

Membership

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),

including refreshments.

President: Graham Gosney

Vice Presidents: Joan Dutton, Leslie Fairweather

The Committee

Chairman: Alan Dearden

Vice chairman: Roy Bliss

Secretary: Julie Budgen (01444 811 641) (julie.budgen@btinternet.com)

Treasurer: Rob Smith

Membership Secretary: Jasmine Waters

Programme Secretary: Sheila Illsley

Study Group Leader: Harry Malthouse

Tony Perkins

Gillian Lindsay-Stewart

 

Further Information

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

Links

Balcombe Memories

Comments   

 
# Guest 2012-02-14 13:59
Dear all, I am currently tracing my grandmothers family history she was Ellan Comber. I have found that for at least 5 generations the combers were living in or around Balcombe. I have the normal dates birst deaths marrages but would like to know more about the people, what they did, why did they move out of the village. all flesh on the bones information. I really hope you may have this or can point me in the right direction.
Yours Alison Keefe
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2012-03-07 19:56
These are all the COMBER names recorded in St. Mary’s Churchyard in 1979.
If you let me know what names you have in your family tree I can let you know the inscriptions, if they were legible in 1979.

COMBER, Alfred Trayton MH 22
COMBER, Alice MJ 3
COMBER, Ann D 10
COMBER, Celia H 9
COMBER, Clara MJ 5
COMBER, Elizabeth H 4
COMBER, Elizabeth H 8
COMBER, Elizabeth H 10
COMBER, Elizabeth Ann A 16
COMBER, Elizabeth Sarah F 15
COMBER, Ellen F 11
COMBER, Frances Harriet MJ 4
COMBER, Hannah D 8
COMBER, James F 11
COMBER, Jane F 11
COMBER, John D 7
COMBER, John H 5
COMBER, John H 9
COMBER, Judith D 11
COMBER, Louisa A 18
COMBER, Richard H 8
COMBER, Sarah A 17
COMBER, Sarah H 2
COMBER, Thomas D 9
COMBER, William A 19
COMBER, William H 3
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2012-04-26 18:07
To Balcombe History Society,

I am tracing my family tree and currently searching my Adams ancestors.
My great grandfather, Frend Adams, lived in Balcombe in the 1930's. With his sons James and Charles Adams he ran a coal business in Balcombe. It was called F.Adams and Sons. I would like to know more about their business and wondered if you might be able to help. Does anyone in the village remember the business?

I believe the business stopped at the end of the 1930's.

Thank you for your help,
Janet Bull
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2012-05-04 10:01
Quoting Janet Bull:
To Balcombe History Society,

I am tracing my family tree and currently searching my Adams ancestors.
My great grandfather, Frend Adams, lived in Balcombe in the 1930's. With his sons James and Charles Adams he ran a coal business in Balcombe. It was called F.Adams and Sons. I would like to know more about their business and wondered if you might be able to help. Does anyone in the village remember the business?

I believe the business stopped at the end of the 1930's.

Thank you for your help,
Janet Bull

Quoting Janet Bull:
To Balcombe History Society,

I am tracing my family tree and currently searching my Adams ancestors.
My great grandfather, Frend Adams, lived in Balcombe in the 1930's. With his sons James and Charles Adams he ran a coal business in Balcombe. It was called F.Adams and Sons. I would like to know more about their business and wondered if you might be able to help. Does anyone in the village remember the business?

I believe the business stopped at the end of the 1930's.

Thank you for your help,
Janet Bull

Quoting Janet Bull:
To Balcombe History Society,

I am tracing my family tree and currently searching my Adams ancestors.
My great grandfather, Frend Adams, lived in Balcombe in the 1930's. With his sons James and Charles Adams he ran a coal business in Balcombe. It was called F.Adams and Sons. I would like to know more about their business and wondered if you might be able to help. Does anyone in the village remember the business?

I believe the business stopped at the end of the 1930's.

Thank you for your help,
Janet Bull

Dear Janet I have a photo of F Adams Coal truck in the yard At Mill Lane Balcombe.Email me !
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2013-02-27 22:08
Hello,
I am researching the names Beaucombe, Baucom, Balcombe and variations of these names. Is your village associated with persons with any spellings of this name? Do you know of any genealogy websites for persons of this/these names in UK? (There are many in US, but I have found none online for UK.)
How old is your village? Thank you for any information you might offer.
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2013-10-23 06:28
By my great uncle's last count, there were about 38 differently-spe lled versions of the name in the States. He traced our family back to Balcombe, supposedly @ 1638, when the first arrived in North America, around Massachusetts. Don't know that this helps. Just happened to be browsing and saw your comment.
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2013-05-08 14:49
I am trying to trace my family who used to live in Balcombe. William Squires was born in 1865 - he ran the butchers shop he married Olive Blaber and they had several children one of which was my great grandfather also called William 1889 who moved to felixstowe. I have managed to trace back to James born 1831 and his father William 1797 but would like to hear anything about the Squires family
Reply
 
 
# Julie Budgen 2013-05-19 10:31
My husband's grandfather was also a son of William Albert SQUIRES b.1866c who married Olive Blaber.
His name was James Percy SQUIRES b.1900. He married Helena MOSES. Their daughter, Doris SQUIRES was my husband's mother. We still live in Balcombe!
Julie
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2013-07-09 17:19
Hi there, my father was Anthony Squires (he had one brother - Wilfred) Obviously my paternal grandfather was a Squires - but am ashamed to say don't know his first name. My father's family had a grocery store in the village and had something to do with the coal merchants. I must find out more about my history! Will let you know details. Regards Rachel Smith. (I now live in Balcombe)
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2014-01-10 16:03
Your grandfather – Walter Alfred born 1891 married Esther Burnett. Your father and my grandfather William would have been cousins.

I have lots of information with regard to the shops etc there was a Coal Merchants, Butchers, Grocers and the other brother was a Gamekeeper.

Please feel free to get in touch if you want more info. I was living in Crawley until 2005 but now live in West Wales

Kerrie Loughlin

Admin Assistant
Tel: 01267 225523
Fax: 01267 222896
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2013-07-15 11:08
My family are from the Peak District but moved there from around the Balcombe area between 1831 - 1837.

I was wondering whether there were any records of workers being moved from land in order to clear the way for the London - Brighton railway. I can think of no other reason why they would have moved so far north.

Regards,
Anna
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2013-08-14 15:08
I am researching my family tree and my husband's grandfather Frank Stillwell was employed at Brantridge Park in the early 1900's as a chauffeur, I have a photograph of him on a horse, which I think may be taken at Brantridge Park, I would very much like to know if I am right and would be pleased if you are able to help me confirm whether it is indeed correct. If you send me an email I can send you a copy of the photo to look at. Would also very much like to know who was living at Brantridge Park and its history before the Earl of Athlone was resident in 1919. Hope you are able to help or put me in touch with someone who can. Many thanks
Sue Bicknell
Reply
 
 
# Julie Budgen 2013-12-01 11:11
We are looking to see if we can come up with any information for you.
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2013-11-12 14:38
I am researching the Forsyth family history and am interested in Robert Forsyth who was a Scottish born police constable living at Balcombe Police station in 1911. He had previously been stationed at Scaynes Hill (1909).
To illustrate the family story, I would love to find a photograph of the old police station if anyone has one. :roll: Can anyone help at all?
Best wishes
Julia
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2014-01-31 14:54
Dear Balcombe, I am trying to understand the background to James and Emma West (ie their wealth and social position). They had a number of children born about 1800-1815. They were baptized in Marylebone, but shew their birthplace as Balcombe on censuses. Anybody know anything of the Wests?
Reply
 
 
# Andrew Edmondson 2014-02-03 13:40
Hi Julie,

Attached is all I have on the West family. These are the only records I can find in the time frame from the CD which I received on Saturday.

11/12/1791

William

William

Joane

WEST

15/09/1793

George

William

Frances

WEST

08/07/1787

Mary

William

Frances

WEST

01/07/1798

Sarah

William

Sarah

WEST

29/03/1802

Mildred

William

Frances

WEST

Regards
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2014-02-16 17:06
Dear All, My grandparents, Lilian & John PERNULL were living in a house named "Little Smeeds"in Balcombe in the late 1930-middle 40's.....I am wondering if anyone knows of this house. Where it may be & if it still stands? or if any of the older residents may have known the family....I also believe that a cousin would have gone to a local primary school in the area...I.would be most grateful for any information possible. Thank you for your help, Kind regards Lesley Cook
Reply
 
 
# Guest 2014-02-17 20:54
Hi , I think you may mean Little Smeads in Balcombe , it can be found on the Haywards Heath Road , between mill lane and meadow close , the post code is RH17 6NG

regards chris pierpoint
Reply
 
 
# Ed 2014-04-15 19:14
Hello,
Does anyone have any information on the ancestors of Alexander Balcom born c.1630? He is as far back as I can trace in my genealogy study.

Thanks,
Ed B.
Reply
 
 
# Ed B. 2014-04-15 19:16
Hello there,

Does anyone have any information on the ancestors of Alexander Balkcom born c.1630? He's as far back as I've been able to trace in my genealogy study?

Thanks,
Ed B.
Reply
 
 
# martin pernull excel 2014-07-28 15:22
evening my greatgrandad hans von pernull and lillian pernull , lived in little smeads , but the house he lived in did not exsit till after 1952 and also someone paid for his up keep of his grave until this time , we have connections with chuchill , and royal family , is it possible to tell me who owned the house ,
kind regards
Reply
 
 
# Ronald Sayers 2015-02-01 18:27
Hi,
Researching my ancestors, does any one have anything at all on Thomas Sayers Born approx 1722 who had 14 children with wife Mary between 1753 & 1776, last one being Isaac Sayers. All children were baptised at St Marys Church, Balcombe. Trying to find out if they lived in Balcombe.
Reply
 
 
# robert balcombe 2015-04-01 18:50
Hi Andrew.
my name is Robert Balcombe originally from the east end of London.
I was just wondering if you know the how and when the village acquired the name of BALCOMBE
Regards
Robert
Reply
 
 
# Andrew Edmondson 2015-04-28 15:17
Quoted from Leslie Fairweather’s book – 'Balcombe, the Story of a Sussex Village' ……….

It was probably the axons who gave Balcombe its name, although opinions differ. It seems likely that the name is derived from Bealda’s cumb, meaning Bealda’s valley. Bealda would have been the chief Saxon of the area; a cumb or coombe is a valley on the flank of a hill. The awkward sound of Bealderscumb would, over the years have been contracted to Balcombe* or, as in America where the Balcombe family emigrated, to Balcom. But others believe the name had a different derivation. Judith Glover, in The Place Names of Sussex believes it means evil valley from the old English ‘beaulu cumb’. She thinks some unpleasant happening – perhaps an accident or murder – has been associated with the settlement. But then, there can be few settlements which haven’t had the odd unpleasantness. Another derivation may be ‘Balca’ a ridge, ‘ham’ a dwelling: dwelling on a ridge.

The late Douglas Foxwell, for many years a distinguished resident of Balcombe, designed the village sign based on a ‘ball’ of hot iron and a ‘coombe’, a wooded hollow or valley with high ground on three sides. At each side of the sign is depicted a pollarded beech tree for stoking the iron furnaces.

Readers must make up their own minds which explanation they find the most plausible for the name of their village.

* It has had many different spellings over the years:
Balecumba (1121); Balecumb(e) (1272, 1292, 1327); Belecumbe (1279), Baldcombe (1279); Baldcomb (1284); Baulcombe (1639); Bawcombe (1688); Bawcombe (1688); Bolkham (1715).
Reply
 
 
# Ann Armstrong 2016-06-26 09:22
Hi. I am trying to compile a list of all the places I lived in England. We lived in Balcombe in the early 1950's in a house on Haywards Heath road, beside a bridle path that lead down to the Mill Pond. I see on Google Earth that the bridlepath is not there now, but a new road. My father worked as a farmer, his employer having 2 farms. One was pass the Mill Pond and the other was in the opposite direction. Would this have been for the Balcombe Estate or would there have been other large land owners in the area. My sister and I did go to the local school. I do remember my time living in Balcombe as very happy. Thanks Ann New Zealand
Reply
 
 
# Tracey Howard-Baker 2017-05-17 01:52
Hi,
I am researching my family tree and would be interested in information/pho tos of Pierces Folly, Portus Folly, 1 Haywards Heath Road and the shop/s that the Lilliotte family owned/ran back in the 1920-40's. Gr grandparents Isabella (died 1928) and Peter Henry Lilliotte (died 1945) along with daughters Gertrude Ethel (died 1927), Mary Ellen (Molly - died 1977) and Phoebe Hester Bateman nee Lilliotte (died 1975) and her husband Edward Albert (Ted) Bateman are supposed to be buried in St Mary's churchyard would love photo of headstone and to find any living relatives of Phoebe & Ted if still in the area. Other children married into families who moved away from the area, but still had property there via their father and their descendants may have moved back i.e., Canham, Mitchell so would be interested to hear from anyone with a connection to the Lilliotte family.
Reply
 
 
# Martin excell 2017-05-30 17:29
Was little smeads cottage , part of forest farm
Reply
 
 
# Lynne Horton 2017-08-05 12:07
I am researching my ancestor William Andrew Malthouse (1862-1911) who lived in Balcombe and would be grateful for any information that you might have - I note that the study group leader has the surname of Malthouse and whether he is a descendant
Reply
 
 
# antony perkins 2017-09-11 08:32
E-mail me at antony.perkins3@btinternet.com and I can send you the list of Malthouses in Balcombe from 1841.
Reply
 

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