Characters of Headley's Past
John Owen Smith

Cover of Headley's Past in Pictures ISBN 1-873855-27-3

Personalities, groups, occupations and businesses of the past which have helped to create the Headley of today

RRP: 7.95

Availability: Usually despatched by return of post

Order Form

Front cover: Albert Percy 'Bert' Heather (b.1905), cowman at Long Cross Farm, with Basil Albert Gamblen (b.1922)

Paperback - 134 pages, over 200 photographs, plus historical notes
John Owen Smith; ISBN: 978-1-873855-68-3; April 2017

Associated titles: Headley's Past in Pictures by John Owen Smith; Gladys Laverty's Recipe Book by John Owen Smith; Walks around Headley by John Owen Smith; Heatherley by Flora Thompson; Grayshott by JH Smith; Headley Compendium

Introduction . Chapters . About the Author . Further information


This book is dedicated to Joyce Stevens, a life-time Headley resident, and an inspiration to the rest of us who love the village and strive to record its history.

Every village has had its 'characters', and Headley is no different. But the title of this book is not meant to imply that all who are included here were exceptional. It's true, some found fame beyond the bounds of the parish - however, by and large, this book shows ordinary people going about their everyday lives in a typical English village.

I had promised this book as a follow-up to Headley's Past in Pictures which I published in 1999 - eighteen years ago. What took me so long?
In designing the book I was faced with a dilemma - I had many pictures of certain subjects but few of others, and I wanted to produce a book which gave a balanced view of the many different people and organisations which went to form the heart and soul of the village we see today.

I also had to decide what represented the 'Past'. Photographs of recent years are more plentiful, and generally of better quality, than those of more distant times - but their day will come. In my mind I worked to an arbitrary cut-off near the end of the 20th century. This has not always worked, but to me the 'feel' of the selection seems about right.

But the chief delay has been in convincing myself that I'd collected as much information about the people depicted as I could - and of course you never do stop feeling that there is a bit more to come. However, time moves inexorably on and with each year there are sadly fewer people to ask.

So here I offer you a selection which I hope you will find fascinating and informative. And if you do have anything you can add, please let me know.


Joyce Stevens - a dedication
Headley Park
The Holme School
Pageants & Drama
Headley Families
I'Anson & Whitaker
Wishanger Lodge

List of Celebrities associated with Headley

About the Author

John Owen Smith was born in 1942 and trained as a Chemical Engineer at London University, but spent most of his working life designing commercial Information Systems for the paper-making industry. Following redundancy, he 'fell' into researching and recording the local history of east Hampshire, where he now lives. His output of historical community plays, lectures, articles and books includes:–

For further information on Headley, see the village history website

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share information on the history of Headley. See address details on Home Page