Horley Town Council - Town Awards
This prestigious award is traditionally presented to worthy individuals for their outstanding service to the town of Horley. A person may be nominated by any member of the public, for example for voluntary work, or for a particular service to the community.
Previous Recipients and their Award citations
Michael Ruffhead (2021)
Michael Ruffhead has been nominated for a Town Award for his commitment to making Horley a better place to live.
The Proposer and Seconder of this Award say the following:
“Michael has outstanding values, he strongly believes that we should all contribute in some way to our local community. He takes real pride in being part of the town of Horley and helping to make it a pleasant place for his friends and neighbours to live in. He enjoys the positive meetings he has with people when out litter picking on a voluntary basis. He sees the reward through the feedback from the local community. Michael is very committed to his litter picking and will spend many hours in all weathers carrying out his work. During lockdown, Michael also chose to join a group of volunteers to work on garden areas within Horley, another opportunity to contribute to his community.
We have a celebrity in our midst, Michael is ‘Facebook Famous’ with some amazing comments on local social media, from which he takes great pride. He is a true superstar, a man who doesn’t look for any reward other than knowing he has played a part in making the local community a nicer place for everyone.”
It is for these reasons that this Town Award is to be presented to Michael for all he has done to make Horley a better place.
Yvonne Kinasz (2021)
Yvonne Kinasz has been nominated for a Town Award for the invaluable work she does with the Horley Walkie Talkie Group, which she set up a few years ago to help the residents of Horley. The proposer of this Award says: “I am writing this citation as a fairly non-active walker who has followed the success of the Horley Walkie Talkies. I have noticed this group grow from its conception as an ‘afterwork, beat the Christmas weight’ idea to a welcoming community group that has made a difference to so many lives, especially over the last twelve months. This growth is due to Yvonne’s enthusiasm and ideas, such as regular updates on Facebook, photo postings and now the ‘hanging hearts’ to be found in the Langshott woods. This would not have happened without inspired leadership, so I have no hesitation in proposing Yvonne for this award.”
The seconder of the Award has added: “I heard about “Horley Walkie Talkies in the middle of 2020. The group offered walks, principally locally, of various lengths and abilities, which at all times met the Government rules prevailing at the time, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. I joined and have enjoyed both the exercise and the company of new friends. Yvonne has made a point of accompanying anyone new to the group on their first walk and will often do an extra lap with someone if they are going through a difficult time , unemployment, being furloughed or the illness or loss of loved ones sadly being common themes. Images, with consent and banter, are frequently shared on Facebook during the gaps between walks. A final aspect has been the chance to get outside after the confinements we have all faced due to the rules/enforced homeworking etc. and boost that vitamin D intake.”
Alan Jones (2018)
Alan Jones was appointed as Clerk to Horley Town Council in April 2002, after a long and illustrious career in Investment Banking. Following the example set by retired Clerk John Rigby, he continued to bring the Town Council “kicking and screaming” into the 21st Century, upgrading IT equipment and introducing vital security measures. In 2008 Alan oversaw the Town Council’s move from the “delightful” wooden hut to newly refurbished offices in the Albert Rooms. Thanks to successful grant applications, Alan was able to have CCTV cameras installed in all the Town Council’s parks. Subsequent grant applications have allowed the cameras to be regularly upgraded. Alan has been a huge support to the Horley Royal British Legion each year, assisting with arrangements for the Remembrance Services, and has always been there at the Sunday Parade and Service. Alan was instrumental in developing the Town Council’s website and was delighted to be presented with the Website of the Year Award in 2008. Outside of his banking and Local Government careers, Alan had been a Justice of the Peace since 1993 and has only recently stepped down from the role. Cllr David Powell, Chairman & Town Mayor, Horley Town Council said, 'Alan has always gone “above and beyond” in his role as Town Clerk, responding to weekend emergencies and visiting local residents to try and help solve their problems. Since retiring in December 2017 he continues to assist the Town Council in a Consultancy role, enabling us all to still benefit from his wealth of Town Council and Local Government knowledge.
Roy Martin (2018)
Roy was a valued member of the Town Council’s staff for over 30 years, until in 2017, at the age of 95 years, he decided he must retire! During Roy's time at the Town Council, he gave dedicated service as parks warden by ensuring the grounds were maintained to the highest standard. His cheerful and friendly attitude to local residents was well known. He played a key role in ensuring that the prestigious Memorial Gardens were well kept, as endorsed regularly by the South and South East in Bloom judging panel. Roy gave much support to the administrative team at the Town Council offices too. He would take pride in his work and was always willing and helpful. He would often be seen at Town Council events and other community engagements, welcoming residents and visitors. The Councillors and staff are immensely grateful to Roy for his dedication and support, which always went far above and beyond the call of duty. The Town Award was presented to Roy for his distinguished and exceptional service to Horley and we all wish him well in his retirement.
Ron Pearce (2018)
Ron has lived in Horley for most of his adult life and has been involved with the Royal British Legion since 1939. He saw extensive service abroad during World War Two and was awarded the Legion of Honour a couple of years ago for his participation in the “D” Day landings in 1944. Ron became a member of the Horley Royal British Legion in 1974 and was appointed a County Vice-Chairman in 1987, a role he continues to fulfil. In 1988 Ron was elected as the Horley Branch President, a post he has held ever since. Between 1990 and 2000 Ron was instrumental in raising some £130,000 towards the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, organising collections in and around the Horley area. Ron took over the role of County Treasurer in 1999, a post he still holds. Ron’s service to the Legion was recognized some years later when he was awarded a “Gold Medal”, one of the highest accolades a Branch or County can award. Ron was subsequently given life membership of the Royal British Legion, in recognition of his outstanding service to the Legion at local, county and national level. Ron has always been a very active member of the local Royal British Legion and organised the Parade & Service of Remembrance at the Horley War Memorial for many years, helping it become one of the biggest Remembrance events in the local area. Thanks to Ron’s efforts and unstinting support over the past 79 years the Royal British Legion in Horley continues to thrive and give much needed support to local servicemen and women.
Michael Nicholls (2017)
Michael Nichols first visited the St Bart’s Job Club in 2008 and soon found his niche doing very worthwhile voluntary work. Michael had noticed the abundance of litter in both the Old and New Churchyards and soon took it upon himself to be a voluntary litter picker, going out early every day, whatever the weather. Not only are the Churchyards now free of litter, people are also less inclined to drop rubbish in such a well-cared for area. Passers-by and dog walkers soon began to comment on the vastly improved appearance of the Churchyards. Following a reduction in the Churchyards Maintenance Grant in 2012, representatives of the Churchyards Committee and volunteers offered to cut the grass in the Old Churchyard free of charge. Michael Nichols became one of these valuable and hard work working volunteers and can regularly be seen mowing the grass, taking great pride in his work. Michael sees a need and, without prompting, takes the initiative and gets the job done. Michael’s efforts are not just confined to the Churchyards themselves. Whenever there is a need for help with maintenance work, moving furniture or decorating the Church for Christmas, Michael is there, ready and willing. This Award is to recognise Michael’s unstinting efforts carried out so willingly and cheerfully.
Helen Peters (2016)
Helen and her family moved to Horley some 37 years ago. During her time in Horley Helen has been very active in the community. Animals have featured largely in her life and she has been a volunteer for both the RSPCA and the Cats Protection League, taking in stray and unwanted cats into her home and the cattery she established in her back garden. Helen was a well- known dog walker in Horley and organised litter picks with other dog walkers, for which she received an Environmental Award from Reigate & Banstead Borough Council. Helen also assisted the Dog Warden by putting up signs around the Court Lodge Estate and on Court Lodge Fields, reminding everyone to clear up after their dogs. With her husband John she was also very active in helping to run the Horley Sports Social Club at the Innes Pavilion, as well as assisting at Horley Swimming Club. More recently she was Treasurer of Court Lodge Residents Association. Helen has always been passionate about all matters affecting the local community and has never been afraid to confront Local Authorities (including Horley Town Council) and chase them for answers, should they not respond.
Brian Buss (2015)
Brian Buss has been actively involved in the community for many years. He was a member of the Round Table and then the 41 Club. Since retirement over twenty years ago, Brian has helped to re-vitalise the Horley History Society and was a founder member of the Horley Local History Centre, set up in conjunction with Surrey Libraries. He has been a stalwart volunteer, manning the History Desk at Horley Library twice a week, helping members of the public with their own research. Brian has researched and written a number of local history books with subjects such as “Horley in Wartime”, “The History of Public Houses in Horley” and many history notes. Brian continues to give talks to various local groups and is a worthy recipient of the Horley Town Award for his outstanding service to the community.
Ann Middlecote (2013)
Ann has been a devoted and loyal Clerk to Smith’s Charity, Horley for over forty years, giving support to the Trustees, way beyond the call of duty. She has shown loyal service to this worthy cause, which has enabled local residents to benefit from the Charity.
Ian Yeo (2013)
Ian has been nominated for this Award for his exceptional years of service to the town of Horley. A long standing member of the Police Team once described Ian as “an all round nice bloke and a good cop who knows virtually everyone in the town and is well respected by the community and colleagues alike.”
Doug Kilborn (2012)
Since retirement, Doug has made a strong voluntary commitment to the task of spearheading the management of and improvements to the Strawson Hall, which operates as a registered charity, managed by Trustees and a Management Committee. The Strawson Hall was originally given to the community of Horley by G F Strawson in 1919, to enable young men returning from the war to have a meeting place. It is now used throughout the year by a variety of community groups.Through consultation with user groups Doug has developed a sensitive appreciation of their differing needs. As Chairman of the Management Committee he has shown great tenacity and skill in processing various Grant Applications, clearly identifying the Committee’s aims and objectives. Doug has worked tirelessly over a considerable period of time to ensure the survival of the Strawson Hall. Grant aid has now been obtained and substantial improvements made to the fabric of the building. Thanks to the huge contribution made by Doug and the Management Team, the Strawson Hall will live on to serve the people of Horley into the future.
Peter Moxley BEM (2012)
Peter has had an immense impact on the lives of so many people, both old and young, in the Horley area. A retail bank manager for much of his working life, Peter’s charitable work started more than twenty nine years ago. He is a fundraiser at Young Epilepsy, encouraging the support of local businesses and organisations and increasing awareness of issues surrounding epilepsy. Peter has been a dedicated and enthusiastic member of the Horley Lions Club since 1982 and was instrumental in bringing back the much-loved Skittles Week, which involves around 250 participants and raises money for local charitable causes. Most people will recognise Peter as the Father Christmas on the Lions Club sleigh. He has also compered an annual Horse Show for many years, raising large sums for the Riding for the Disabled Charity. Peter has been actively involved with the Horley Cricket and Hockey Club since 1982, beginning by coaching younger players to Surrey Junior level and then serving as Chairman and subsequently Treasurer. Following the success of last year’s Jubilee Fun Day, he is currently at the forefront of the revival of the Horley Carnival, due to take place in July this year.
Veronica Ballard (2011)
Veronica Ballard was a teacher at Burstow Primary School for 37 years and Secretary / Chair Person of Horley Surrey Girl Guiding for over 45 years. She was awarded the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award as well as other Long Service Awards. A member of Horley Local History Society & Camera Club, setting up local exhibitions, giving talks and writing history books. Veronica was also a CAB Advisor and behind the scenes volunteer at the Archway Theatre. Veronica is a dedicated volunteer and her keen interest in local history together with her many camera skills encourages people she meets to open their minds and learn.
Alison Brice (2011)
Alison Brice was a former CAB Advisor, assisting older people to claim benefit entitlements and deal with various problems. A member of Regent Hall Management Committee, giving important advice to the management staff on a range of issues. She founded the Regent Hall Book Club and, although she later lost her sight, she has continued to organise the Book Club meetings. She gives voluntary support to everyone at Regent Hall especially those who are faced with letters and completing forms. She gives so much of her own time and expertise to the benefit of so many people.
Dr Jim Williamson (2010)
Dr Jim Williamson, now retired from general practice, is warmly remembered by his patients for his kindly and compassionate manner. Jim is always a gentleman in whatever he does. He quietly gets the job done with good humour, together with great consideration for the feelings of others. Jim was made a Vice Chairman of the Horley District Scout Council, in recognition of his own and his family’s contribution to Scouting. Jim was a School Governor at Sangers Junior School for a number of years and continues his association with the area as a judge for the Court Lodge in Colour competition, as well as being involved with both the Horley in Spring and Horley in Bloom events. Jim’s wife, Antonia, has been a constant source of support to him and he was delighted to do the same for her in her many years as Chairperson of the Friends of St Barts. They freely make their garden available for fund raising activities, with Jim’s trains bringing great delight to visitors. Jim is a much respected member of St Francis’ Church and is a long standing trustee of Smith’s Charity – Horley. In recent times Jim has been Chairman of Horley Churchyards Committee and has been instrumental in moving forward improvements to both the Old and New Churchyards. Using his compassion and understanding he has been able to bring order to untidy and non standard graveyard plots, without causing upset to the people concerned.
Kathleen Tremble (2010) (Posthumous Award)
Kathleen moved to Horley with her family in 1966 and quickly became involved with the local community. She was a member and Secretary of the Horley Residents Association and was active in the setting up of the Horley Sports (Social) Club. Kathleen was involved in the campaign to keep Horley in Surrey and worked hard to raise funds towards the building of the Horley Anderson Centre. Kathleen was a passionate supporter of literacy and, as a volunteer at Court Lodge, Sangers and latterly Manorfield Schools, helped a great many Horley children learn to read. Kathleen was active in the development of Manorfield School and for nearly thirty years served as a Local Education Authority Governor, until just before her death in March 2010. For many years Kathleen was Chair of Governors and worked tirelessly to give the best possible education to Horley’s children. She was also active in the initial setting up of the Horley Learning Partnership, one of the first such confederations in the country. Kathleen loved people and always wanted the best for all those around her, a rare member of the community who lived to make life better for others without making a fuss. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
Tom Anglim (2009)
Tom is a well known local figure and, whatever the weather, can always be seen in town in his bright yellow rocket shaped invalid car. He seems to know everyone and can always be seen chatting to somebody, however there is another side to Tom. Despite his illness, which necessitates the use of his vehicle, he spends a great deal of his time working for local organisations and can often be seen balancing bags of books for distribution to local charities or rattling a collection tin outside one of the town centre shops. He also works at the Tadworth Court Children’s Hospital shop one day a week. After military service he joined Surrey Police at Guildford and moved to Horley when Crawley was being developed as a new town. In 1969 he attended the air crash at Fernhill and was subsequently awarded the Queen’s Award for Bravery. He brought up his two boys and a girl in Horley and remained in the local police until he was retired on medical grounds. After that he worked as an insurance assessor dealing with car accidents. Tom has shown great courage and determination in the face of a painful and debilitating illness and gives his time freely and cheerfully to help others.
Robert Garfitt (2008)
Robert has served the people of Horley as both a Borough and a Town Councillor. He was Mayor of Horley Town Council from 1988-1989 and Deputy Mayor of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council from 1990-1991. Robert has also served as a Justice of the Peace for many years.
Andrew Partridge (2008)
Andrew has served as a school governor for almost 25 years and has spent much of his time helping Horley’s young people. He has been a committee member of the Horley Vimy Twinning Association since its inception and has worked tirelessly to promote Horley’s link with Vimy. As a member of the Horley Lions Andrew has helped raise around £20,000 per year for local charitable causes.
Andrew Kent (2007)
Andrew has worked extremely hard, and to great effect, for the people of Horley. He was Chairman of the Horley Residents Association from 1993 until 2007 and a Horley Town Councillor from 1996 until 2007. His methodical, patient and immensely detailed work on the Horley Master Plan has been outstanding. He served on the Horley Master Plan Task Group and the Horley Master Plan Advisory Committee. Andrew coordinated responses to the Local Plan, the County Structure Plan and presented evidence at Inquiries. He was instrumental in producing documents on flood risk in Horley. He has worked tirelessly to improve and protect the local environment, bringing great knowledge and commitment to this role. He launched Horley in Bloom in 1995 and coordinated the competition until 2005.
James Alan Tracey (2007)
Alan was the longstanding Chairman of the recently disbanded Police & Community Partnership Group, ensuring over the years that the people of Horley had meaningful direct contact with the local Police. He is also Secretary of the Naval Section of the Royal British Legion. He has worked hard for the Archway Theatre and has tirelessly supported both Cooper Lodge and the Brambles Respite Care Centre, in his role as a volunteer entertainer.
Barbara Hall (2005)
Barbara Hall has been supporting local charitable organisations for more than forty years. In recent times she has become even more involved in the town of Horley. Barbara has been a member of the patients committee at the Kings Road Health Centre for many years and has recently become a non-executive director for the NHS East Surrey PCT. She is also actively involved with Open Line through the Horley Help Shop.
David Hall (2005)
David Hall has been supporting the local community for over forty years. He has been actively involved in local voluntary work and charity work, as well as being a School Governor and a former member of Surrey County Council. David is Chairman of the Horley Local History Society, and is very involved with the Local History Centre which is based in the Library. He also continues to conduct his own researches into the town’s history.
Douglas Simpson (2004)
Doug has been a tireless campaigner for environmental issues in Horley for over 25 years.Although probably best known as Chairman of the Meath Green Protection Society, Doug is also active in many other capacities. These include his Deputy Chairmanship of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Reigate Branch), his regular attendance at meetings of the Police and Community Partnership Group and his long-standing membership of the Horley Residents Association. He also served for some years as a member of Surrey County Council.
Whenever our local environment has been threatened, Doug has given his time and effort to support our town. He spent many hours preparing and presenting a submission at the Local Plan Enquiry. Despite his recent ill health, Doug continues to use his apparently boundless energy to achieve the best possible environment for Horley residents.
Gill Partridge (2004)
Gill is the Chair of the Horley-Vimy Twinning Association and has worked tirelessly to promote an exchange of language, culture, friendship and tolerance between nations. In doing so she has promoted a very positive image of Horley in the Vimy/Arras area of Northern France.
This link extends beyond the many families who enjoy a very special relationship with the people of Vimy, and includes regular visits by local schools and sports clubs. Many friendships have been forged, some permanently. Gill gives her time and commitment to the community unselfishly
Gordon McGinty (2004)
Gordon was appointed to the steering group of governors who were charged with overseeing the creation of the new secondary school, which opened in 1989. Before that he had been a loyal and committed member of the Court Lodge Comprehensive Governing Body.
Since Oakwood opened in 1989 Gordon has served in many capacities as a Senior Governor, including having hold the post of Vice Chair. Although he understands the need to maintain proper law and order, he has a genuine empathy with children who face a greater challenge in getting their lives in order.In every way Gordon has been an outstanding governor and role model to children. He gives his time generously, is unselfish in any advice he offers and has been in every sense of the phrase “a real friend of Oakwood”.Gordon is also a highly respected governor at Court Lodge Infant School as well has having served many years as a Town Councillor.
John McFarlane (2002)
Throughout his life in Horley, John McFarlane has given selfless service to the community in countless ways. He served as a Reigate & Banstead Borough Councillor for eighteen years during which time he was Deputy Mayor in 1985 and Mayor in 1987. John has been active in Horley Lions since 1963 and is currently Chairman of the Welfare Committee. He is a member, and past-Chairman, of the Management Committee of the Citizens Advice Bureau and has been President of the Horley Residents’ Association for the past five years.
He has a passion for local history and has, over many years, made immense contributions to the success of the Horley Local History Society. For the past five years, he and Sylvia have given stalwart support to the Archway Theatre on front of house duties. John is an approachable man with a wealth of experience who is always ready to offer practical assistance and sound advice. Neither retirement nor recent major surgery have dulled his spirit, reduced his enthusiasm or blunted his wonderful sense of humour.
Mr Richard Smith (2000)
The award is made in recognition of Richard Smith’s commitment to Horley as Chairman of the Town Council. After a period of instability and uncertainty, he brought to the appointment the qualities necessary to re-organise the Council and worked tirelessly to focus its efforts on important initiatives to ensure a bright and prosperous future for Horley. He encouraged companies and developers to see Horley as a community with great potential for investment and commercial growth. Working closely with the Managing Director of BAA Gatwick and her senior staff, he was instrumental in establishing a close and productive liaison between the Town Council and the airport, and in securing airport investment into Horley.
During his period of office, close working relationships were also formed with the Horley & District Chamber of Commerce, the Horley Branch of the Royal British Legion, Horley Round Table, Connex South Central and Railtrack. Richard took the lead in supporting the Detached Youth Work Project and in the campaign to assure the future of the Keys Youth & Community Centre at Court Lodge and, under his leadership, an ambitious programme of maintenance and improvement to the town’s recreational areas was introduced.
His four years as a Town Councillor, three of which as the Chairman of the Council, has left a legacy which will make Horley a better place in which to live and work. He remains passionate in his desire to raise the profile and reputation of the town.
Mrs Penny Jeffers (2000)
This award is made in recognition of Penny’s loyal and dedicated services to education as Head Teacher of Court Lodge Infant School. Penny cared passionately about her children and was particularly aware of the need to instil in them a sense of community; to raise their self-esteem and recognise their own potential. As a dignified, yet tenacious, campaigner, she rallied staff and parents in successful representations to oppose closure of the school, and later, to preserve the school’s playing field. She also worked tirelessly to achieve her ambition to establish a nursery at the school; the first in the town.
Penny is a quiet, approachable and self-effacing person who always put her children and their needs first. She has left a lasting impression on those who were privileged to attend the school, and who look back on their formative years with great love and affection for an outstanding Head Teacher.