The end of an era!

Mike Patching retires from the MHT

The first item on the agenda at the meeting of the Michael Hardinge Trust (MHT) on the 3rd of August 1987 was to welcome a new trustee, Mike Patching; and now, nearly 34 years later, including more than 31 years as Chairman, Mike has decided to retire.

This has not come as a total surprise to the rest of the Trustees. All of us have been aware for some time that he has been, in his own words, “contemplating retirement for some years”, and during those years, as he explained in his retirement statement to us, he’s been waiting for what he felt was “the right time” for the Trust and for him to leave. Also, by his own admission, he isn’t getting any younger!

Mike also says that he thinks that “following covid lockdown and the much heralded ‘New Normal’, it is a good time for change and to move forward afresh”. It also came as no surprise to all of us who know him, that he added “I will continue to support the trust in any way that I practically can in the future”.

There is of course another person who has made a significant contribution to this era that has come to an end. Sue, Mike’s wife, also served as a Trustee and indeed Secretary of the MHT for a number of years. Well known for her organising of and support for village activities over many years, she has, no doubt, also had to tolerate the regular intrusion of Charity business into family life. The Trustees wish to put on record our appreciation and thanks to her for all that she has done over many years.

Many of the community activities and social events in our village are closely intertwined with the Michael Hardinge Trust, either linked to fund raising or the use of the Old School as the venue for events organised by others in the village. Just a reminder of a few of these; Jubilee street parties, Burns Night suppers, Horley Footlights, whist drives, quiz nights, the summer fete, the Cinema Club, and the programme of winter talks.  As Chairman of the Trust, Mike has always led by example in promoting, organising or, at the very least, supporting the active involvement of the MHT.

When Mike took over as chairman, the last, long retired, Schoolmistress at Horley School, Morag Saunders, in what may be thought of as a direct educational ‘line of descent’ back to Michael Hardinge himself, was still the tenant in the cottage. The Trust’s finances were, shall we say, ‘finely balanced’ and as well as funding the MHT’s charitable aims, the buildings needed some considerable money spending on them if it was to prosper into the 21st century.

With Mike’s wide network of contacts, and no doubt the ‘old copper’s’ instinct for sniffing out a lead and following it, the MHT has been able to secure charitable grants and sponsorship to enable maintenance and property projects that have improved the quality of facilities such as the upper floor over the toilet block, for example.

His leadership role in the charity was a significant factor that led to him being given the Oxfordshire High Sheriff’s Award in 2016. This was in recognition of his ‘lasting contribution to community life in Horley and with schools in the local area’.

When Michael Hardinge died in 1627, he left his “house” [the Cottage as we now know it] to the “inhabitants” of Horley to be used as a schoolhouse to educate the children of the village. His intention was that this should be “for ever”. When the Charity was established in his name in 1896, his wishes were directly reflected in the registered aims of the Charity and remain so to this day. After the school closed in 1969 the building became a field study centre for local schools, their visits regularly including talks by Mike in the schoolroom followed by him leading the staff and children on guided nature walks and pond dipping. A fine example of how, with Mikes active involvement, Michael Hardinge’s legacy lives on.

With our best wishes and thanks to Mike.

The Trustees of the Michael Hardinge Trust.                      

  May 2021                                            

Big Clean thank you

Big Clean – Thank you!

A big thank you to all those who took part in the Big Clean of the church on Saturday morning.  It was a couple of hours of hard work, but what a difference!  Not a cobweb in sight (anywhere within reach at any rate – and that was quite a long way as you can see!)

We are thinking of having a quarterly Big Clean at key points in the year, e.g. around Harvest Festival, before Christmas and Easter and in early June before the wedding season starts. Volunteers are always welcome!

Singing at last!

Just to remind everyone that this Sunday we can, at last, sing again!

Our new Rector Alicia  has organised an outdoor Benefice Service at 5pm on 30th May at Hadsham Farm Horley with a hymn chosen by a representative from each of our eight churches.

Please bring a fold up seat or waterproof ground sheet if you find sitting most comfortable.

This is all age worship with everyone welcome.

Horley Parish Council Meeting on Thurs 27th May at 7pm

A meeting of the Horley Parish Council will be held prior to the Annual Parish Meeting at The Old Schoolrooms at

7.00 pm on THURSDAY 27th MAY 2021. 

The meeting is open to the public.  Anyone wishing to address the Council on an item appearing on the agenda is requested to notify the Clerk of the Council two days in advance of the meeting.

 Due to current Covid regulations could attendees please confirm their intention to attend to the Clerk of the Council David M.Beck – email or 0785 2998172

For anyone wishing to see a copy of the agenda for the meeting please contact the Clerk of the Council, David M. Beck email or 0785 2998172

David Beck

Clerk to Horley Parish Council



The annual Horley Parish Meeting will take place at The Old Schoolrooms at 7.30 pm on 27th May 2021.  This is an open meeting organised by the Parish Council at which any parishioner is welcome to address the meeting or ask questions. HOWEVER, due to current Covid regulations could attendees please confirm their intention to attend to the Horley Parish Clerk David M.Beck –   or 0785 2998172


  1. Introduction of Parish Councillors
  2. Michael Hardinge Trust Annual Report  – John Tite to report
  3. Cricket Club – David Beck to report
  4. Parochial Church Council – Representative to report
  5. Ladies Guild – Representative to report
  6. Red Lion Public House – Dave Morris to report
  7. Parish Council – Chairman of the Parish Council to report
  8. Any other business – Any questions or issues raised by members of the public


Village Spring Clean will be next Saturday…

The annual village Spring Clean (litter pick) will take place at 10:00 on Saturday 22nd May.  

If you can spare some time to help out please could you gather in front of the Old Post Office on the corner of Banbury Lane at 10:00 on 22nd May. Litter pickers, protective gloves and rubbish and recycling bags will be provided by CDC.  If you have you own gloves, that would be great, as you are urged to protect yourselves against any risk of infection, and take care to wash your hands thoroughly after the Spring Clean has been completed.

Let’s keep Horley looking fabulous!

Parish Council AGM – Thursday 13th May

The Annual General Meeting of the Horley Parish Council will be held on-line at: –

7.30 pm on THURSDAY 13th MAY 2021.

 The meeting is open to the public.  Anyone wishing to observe the meeting or address the Council on an item appearing on the agenda is requested to notify the Clerk of the Council two days in advance of the meeting, in order that on-line access to the meeting can be arranged.

 For anyone wishing to see a copy of the agenda for the meeting, it is available on the village website, or by contacting the Clerk of the Council, David Beck email or 0785 2998172

David Beck

Clerk to Horley Parish Council