Poland House

In Sidney Michael Poland's will, his residence and enormous garden were left to the village with the intention of turning the house into a home for elderly villagers.

Sidney Michael Poland

The house was retained in trust for the lifetime residence of his sister and when she died in 1950 Trustees were appointed and a registered charity formed. The house was not suitable for use as a home for the elderly and so it was demolished and the garden divided into a number of plots between Brockham Lane and Mill Hill Lane. One of the plots was retained by the Trustees and using the money raised by the sale of the plots Poland House was built and endowed.

Amenity land was also retained allowing public access by the river in an area known as the Old Orchard and the adjoining woodland. Additionally the Bowls Club originally used by Mr Poland and his sister was developed and enhanced by Trustees and club members, is now a significant asset for the village. The original building was enhanced with an additional wing following a donation from Mr Peddel a resident of Brockham Lane donated a considerable sum that allowed for two more homes to be built and named after him. In 2007 working with funding from Betchworth United Charities two more spacious homes were built and several
of the other homes refurbished.

The first chairman of trustees was Mr Ralph (pronounced Rafe) Lane, followed by Alistair Stone and Robert Bartlett. The current chairman is Martin Smith. The first trustees for the Poland Trust (1957 Charity Scheme documentation) were as follows:

  • Bernard Johnston

  • Ralph Lane

  • Harold Palmer

  • Mary Romanes

  • Richard Talbot

  • Eric Thompson

Recent Secretaries have been Mrs Lorraine Wilkinson and Mrs Ann Meadows.

There have been a number of wardens including Mrs Pat Potter, Mrs Betty Flynn and Mr Barry and Mrs Kate Denman