Tag Archives: Mike Patching

Horley Church Clock Restoration


Clock motoHorley, has many times had the descriptive word ‘Timeless’ appended when describing the qualities of the village, and for many years now we have been ‘timeless’ in that the church clock has not been in a working state of repair, and hasn’t been heard since 2004, but now we are temporarily even more timeless, as the clock mechanism and one of the faces has been removed for restoration.


South facing clock North facing clock

During the process of rehanging the bells in the tower, the linkage that connected the clock mechanism to the hammer that struck the tenor bell, and the two clock faces  was removed to facilitate the removal of the bells.  At the time it was hoped that it would be a relatively simple process of re-installing it afterwards but not so.  It was found towards the final stages of rehanging the bells that a major beam was far more rotten than had been though to the extent that the whole beam would need to be replaced.  Whilst this beam was attached to the bell frame it was not vital to the integral strength of it but was vital in supporting the mechanism of the clock.  The new beam has been kindly donated by a village resident and can currently be seen near the bell ropes on the ground floor of the church.  If you notice it, you will see that it is in two halves whereas the original one it replaced was in one piece having been installed when the church tower was built.  Before the refurbished clock mechanism is returned later this year, this beam will be hoisted into place, drilled and secured to the tower wall and the bell-frame and the linkage re-attached.

Clock History – 1850 The Horley Curate, N J Pinwell  wrote in the church register:

“In the summer of 1850 when examining the interior of the beautiful church at Cropredy, I discovered a supernumerary clock, which had been cast aside by that parish upon the purchase of a more modern one. It struck me that it would be a very useful and desirable thing for Horley.  I then applied to J Loveday, Esq. of Wilmscote in Cropredy to endeavour to obtain it for me by purchase.  This he did and I purchased it accordingly.  I then mentioned it to my neighbour Mr Hitchcock and he then agreed to pay half the expense of the purchase and also to lend his cash for it.  These promises he fulfilled.  We then consulted together about the necessary repairs before mentioning the matter in vestry.  I enquired at Banbury a few days after, of two watchmakers I found. The repairs would be (without additions) from 15 to 20 pounds.  Thinking that the parish would object to the amount, I applied to a man of Hornton, a self  instructed clock maker C.Webb. He had done repairs to the dials when at Cropredy and thought that one was absolutely necessary and the other to be viewed from the school as desirable.  Webb’s estimate amounted to only five pounds and ten shillings besides the index to the interior (new) 30 shillings and a few trifles, altogether under eight pounds.  I produced the estimate to the next vestry and after some conversation between Mr Hitchcock (Clergyman’s church warden) Mr Gardner (Parish Warden) and Mr Hall, tenant of Miss Stuarts farm and Mr Goodman who rented the vicarage who were the parties with the Curate comprising The Vestry.  The entry of the estimate was entered in The Parish Book and I understood that I was to proceed.  On the faith of this I did so and then mentioned other matters absolutely necessary, to  W Hitchcock such as the dial stones, the making of the holes in the tower, putting up the dials (the drawings gilding and painting I did myself) he asked as to the top proprietary of these things and said he had to do as was proper and would be allowed, and so of the casing to keep the dust off and the addition at the top of the tower, it being too low so the weights, owing to the position of the tower (if this last had not been done) would have hung down to the pulpit.  When all was complete we brought the matter before the vestry, they refused to pay anything. After much talk Mr Hall recorded Mr Hitchcock’s liberal offer of five pounds and an offer of one pound from Mr Gardner though others present would give nothing and so it was left for the church to pay the rest how it could.  I wrote to Sir John Cope and he gave an order to his attorney for two guineas.  Miss Stuart gave ten shillings and her mother who had no property here, one pound.  I can hardly ask the vicar (Rev Sir John Seymour) as he has been at such enormous expense in repairing what others ought to have left in good order otherwise from his truly liberal spend.  I know he would not leave his curate with more than a fair share of this burden, especially as it is an expense incurred for the general good.  So much for Parish liberality and fairness!”

The clock was installed and functioned satisfactorily for near 100 years by a process of periodically, manually winding the weights back up every other day.  After WW2, Air Commodore Iliffe Cozens (Manor House) modified the mechanism, by installing a series of electric motors and relays making the need for weights redundant, and to run off the mains electricity supply, with a back-up of a large 12v battery to account for power cuts. He also installed an ingenious system of switches to advance or retard the time on the clock without the need to climb up the tower.

This worked well for the next 50 years, being run and maintained by Iliffe and the one or two ‘apprentices’ he educated in the intricacies  of the clock.  The last of these was Tom Anthistle, but after his untimely death in 2004 there was no one versed in the workings of the clock so it fell silent.

Now, Church Warden Tim Allitt has overseen a project to restore the clock and as a result funds have largely been accumulated from sources such as the National Lottery and local donations, enabling the chosen contractors, Cumbria Clocks to remove the clock workings and the South-facing dial, refurbish them at their works in Cumbria and re fit them in a similar form as that below.

Clock movement

Clock bits Clock componetsThe old mechanism was dismantled and lowered to the ground in manageable pieces, and the clock faces were dealt with by two abseilers suspended from the top of the tower, and lowering the pieces to the ground.  When the clock face was removed the original face was behind it and can still be seen in place until the new face is refitted, it appears to be made of stone or slate but intriguingly doesn’t bear the mysterious J’s or t’s that appear on the dial being refurbished.

Clock abseillers

It is hoped that by late spring the clock and all its works will be back and functioning again as it has done for over two centuries.

Mike Patching

(First published in Horley Views Magazine March 2016 edition)

Horley Walk Original Maps Drawings

I came across these original drawing maps for the Horley circular walk that Mike Patching, Margaret Condon and I worked from with Kevin Larner (CDC).   I will also share the artwork and photos that are contained in this leaflet https://thehorleyviews.com/horley-village/horley-circular-walk-2/ . Debra

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Mike Patching Receives His High Sherriff’s Community Award

Mike PatchingThis week Mike was recognised for his outstanding contributions by receiving The High Sherriff’s Community Award, here is what Mike has to say:

I feel very privileged in writing this and being able to say a sincere ‘thank you’ to the Horley Parish Council for nominating me for the High Sherriff’s Community award. I consider it a great honour, and when your peers, who are also good friends and neighbours, initiate it, it is something extra special. I am pleased to have been in a position to be involved in and able to assist with, the various community activities mentioned in the citation, and with which I will continue to be associated.

For just about the whole of my life I have lived in small villages in Oxfordshire, and believe strongly that to fully appreciate what that brings to the quality of life, then you need to involve yourself with what is going on around you, and where possible encourage and support local, traditional and long standing institutions, particularly where they involve young people, by applying the lessons and skills that make up the fabric of life, which if shared can bring great pleasure to yourself and help and support to others.

At the centre of most of what I do and probably that of which I am most proud, is the Michael Hardinge Trust. My involvement in which is near 40 years and has enabled me to have sight of much of what goes on in this busy village, and thereby present opportunities to help and get involved, which I’ve enjoyed (most of the time!) My aim has been to make The Trust, which is near 400 years old, relevant to the age, inclusive and of benefit to the whole village whilst retaining the spirit of Michael Hardinge in the original deed of trust. In about eight years time The Trust will date back 400 years and my aim has been to make sure it is in shape for a long time in the future. Although the MHT occupies what sometimes is an unacceptable amount of my private time, I have managed to punctuate it with some light hearted and relaxing stuff like mowing the cricket field on a warm afternoon, or involving myself with the various stage productions, either on the stage or behind the scenes! Also writing bits for the local newspaper is very relaxing (except when I have overlooked the deadline). The Trust has sailed some fraught and stormy waters most of which the rest of the village would not have been aware but like any ship, that is down to the crew and I have got and had over the years an excellent crew who have been a huge help to me and their input has no doubt lead me to this point for which I thank them sincerely. I would encourage the young people of the village to get involved it’s fun, enjoyable and has a positive effect on the village.

I also enjoy interacting with the children that come to Horley for field trips, or going to their schools to assist with their Forest projects or help with cycle proficiency. To hear their happy chatter and listen to their little stories is very satisfying, although some of them have the most heart rending circumstances in which they live and look at coming to Horley as a holiday even if only for a day. With the cuts and economies in the education budget I fear that these trips might slowly tail off. I hope not.

There are many good, talented and philanthropic people in this village any one of which would have merited this award, all of whom I have worked with and who have helped and supported me, to them I say a sincere ‘Thank you’, particularly to my wife Sue who has helped tremendously throughout and borne the brunt of my reactions to the many frustrations I have encountered along the way. It is through collective effort and the support of the village at large and the beautiful, surrounding countryside, that Horley is such a pleasant and sought after place to live. Thank you to all the people who have sent me cards, emails, Facebook posts, telephone calls and greetings in the street, all capped by a memorable ceremony at Christchurch College last night.

Sincere thanks and best wishes. Mike

Mike award 

See more about this nomination Mike Patching – High Sheriff Award

Mike Patching – High Sheriff Award

Mike Patching is recognised for his outstanding contributions to the local community

Untitled_21038740314_lMike is to be awarded Oxfordshire’s High Sheriff Award in recognition of his significant and lasting contribution to community life in Horley and with schools in the local area.

The High Sheriff of Oxfordshire issues awards each year to people who have made a difference  to their community over many years, and whose contribution has not been recognised in some other formal way.

The Parish Council put Mike’s name forward for this award for his valuable work over the years. Some of the many activities and projects includes:

  • Chairing the Michael Hardinge Trust , and the overall management of the Old School with all the fund raising and community efforts that this Horley Charity provides under Mike’s stewardship. These included the Summer BBQ with live music, the Children’s Concert, Summer Games, nature competitions and many more child centred events and activities.
  • Working with local schools to provide educational visits and trips about nature and the countryside for children both in  school and around Horley. Also assisting in cycling proficiency testing amongst other things.
  • Supporting Horley Footlights, where Mike has helped on and off stage in all aspects on putting on a production.
  • Support for the Cricket Club keeping the pitch in peak condition for summer matches and maintaining their mowing equipment and organising the annual Children’s Games there.
  • Providing regular updates in the Horley Views magazine  on the Michael Hardinge Trust and a features on nature and the countryside every season.
  • Contributions to the team that created the Horley Circular Walk.
  • Support for the Church and Ladies Guild in organising the Summer Fetes and Christmas Markets, Chamber Music Festivals and Barn Dances, as well involvement in special projects such as the Bells Restoration and other community efforts to ensure the use of our very special Grade 1 listed church St Etheldredas.

The office of High Sheriff is a ceremonial role involving a mix of charitable and community functions. It is the oldest secular office in the country outside of the monarchy but without the extensive powers it used to have. It is unfunded, voluntary and non political. The current High Sheriff 2015/16 is Tom Birch Reynardson. There will be a formal award ceremony in Oxford on 29 February which Mike will attend.

Congratulations Mike, very well deserved and thank you for all your efforts over the years;  it is very much appreciated. We hope you will share your pictures of the ceremony and what this award means to you and Sue.

A Vanished Past Vol 2 – Who Has Contributed?

A Vanished Past, Horley Oxfordshire a glimpse of ­­the village and people. Vol.2. 

Horley Clare Marchant Vol 2

This photograph on the front cover of the view from Plot Hill is by the late Iliffe Cozens


  • People continued from Volume 1: Morgan to Young
  • The Who’s Who of Lane Close                        100
  • Looked after children                                      102
  • Travellers                                                            106
  • Above and below the surface                        109
  • Homes and gardens                                         115
  • Families and their Animals                            137
  • Getting About                                                    153
  • Shopping, Services and Utilities                   179
  • Language and Superstition                            211

The Contributors:

The late; Mrs Gladys Barcock,  Honor (Morgan) Berry,  Mrs Florrie Dunwoody, Miss Joan Pearson, Mr Robert Pearson,  Mrs Mary (Astell) Riley, Mr Eric Turner

A-  Edward Allington, Eileen (Barcock) Alexander

B – Carol (Dunwoody) Baker, Alice (Saunders) Bowmaker for allowing free range of John Saunders’ photographs, Maureen (Eeles) Banks, Ann (Saunders) Barrett, Roy Bayliss, Mrs Kathleen Betteridge for information and photographs of the Maybury family, Mrs Harry Bishop, Jane (Tustian) Blake of Hanwell, Christopher Blythe and Richard Blythe, Betty (Hirons) Burns and her daughter Marolyn Burns

C – Mary (Bayliss) Callow, Gwenda Cliff (for information about the Roylance family), Charles Cozens and Eleanor Cozens

D – Barry Dunwoody

G- Reg and Elizabeth Green, William Griffin for material about the Bagnall family, William Gunn

H – Stanley and Wendy Hamer, Peter Hart of Hornton, Pat (Shawyer) Hassan-Jan, Doreen (Green) Hemmings, Victor and Joy Hillman, Shân (Morgan) Hoy, Mrs Dorothy Humphris for material about the Viggers and Hamer family.

J – Mary (Hemmings) Jarvis, Alison (Jelfs) Intravia, Hazel (Jelfs) Collaby, Martyn Jelfs, Jane (Kay) Jones

K – Channy Kennard for material about the Maul family

M – Anthony Meadows

O – Stephen Oliver for material about the Howe and Oliver family

P – Mike Patching, Hugh and Anna Pearson, John Plumbe for Allington photographs, Monica (Simmonds) Powell, Anthony Pratt

R – Rose (Kettle) Rawlings, Joan Robinson

S – Mrs Barbara Standish, Brian Standish, Mrs Stanley, David Stanley, Roger Sumner

T – Daphne (Bullock) Thomas, Susan (Wright) Thompson, Linda (Rose) Twistleton

U – Christine Upton for material about Horley Children’s Home

W – Phillipa (Varney) Walker

V – Timothy Varney

Other sources:
  • Mrs Audrey Turner custodian of the two Women’s Institute Scrapbooks of 1965 and 1985.
  • The Trustees of the Michael Hardinge Trust, for some of the school photographs
  • Clive Wrench and the Horley Cricket Club
  • Daniel Batchelor for permission to use photographs of the Hornton Quarries
  • David Seccull for permission to use photographs from Wroxton, The Village and its People in Photographs. 1993. Out of print.
  • Richard Milward for permission to use Richard R Jones’ watercolour of Horley.
  • The Oxfordshire County Council
  • The Banbury Museum
  • The Rector of the Ironstone Benefices and Horley PCC

Clare Marchant, June 2015

Clare MarchantThe is an contents extract from all volumes of A Vanished Past, each Volume is £15 +P&P  or you can buy both Volumes 1 & 2 for £33 incl. p&p.

They are available directly from Clare , Shaftesbury House, 15 Circus Street, Greenwich, London SE10 8SN or marchantclare@hotmail or call on 020 8858 8529. Cheques payable to Clare Marchant.

Clare Marchant was born in Horley Vicarage, Oxfordshire in 1941 and spent her formative years there until 1965. She now lives in Greenwich, London

First published in 2015. All rights reserved. The rights of Clare Marchant to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of © Clare Marchant.  Copyright for each image rests with the contributor.