The tree was sold as part of the Chequers Public House in 1722. In the 1960s was home to a charitible tramp, who could live there becuase the tree was deemed to be on Common Land. Unfortunately the elm's life came to an end in February 2008,when it collapsed to the ground after probably a thousand years of life.
(Sold in 2011. ) The chair has to be seen to be believed. It is vast in size, measuring around two metres wide and more than two metres tall. It is a truly majestic chair created from the remains of a tree with a fascinating and well-documented history.A brief history of the chap who lived in the tree:
Charlie Knowles was a colourful character in Horley during the 1960s, not only because of his white beard and his sporty grey top hat, but also where on numerous occasions he spent his nights. For almost two years he slept under the remaining elm tree in the car park of the then "Chequers Hotel", now the "Gatwick Thistle Hotel". One reason for doing so was said to be his belief that the tree was on Horley Common and he wanted to exercise his right to use the common.
Hotel client's as well as the staff employed there became accustomed to his presence, the last mentioned often plied him with food and offered him shelter during bad weather. Charlie often walked many miles, mainly for charity and it was on one such walk at the age of 53 years he was knocked down and killed. He was taking part in a June London to Brighton charity walk when it happened at Hooley. Many who knew and respected him always called him Cheerful Charlie and willingly clubbed together to buy a wreath for his funeral.
For years after many Horley residents and others from elsewhere enquired about the cheerful chappy who slept under tree.
White Sycamore Doorman’s chair
This chair, made from sycamore was ‘spalted’ by fungus – this gives an effect that makes the wood look rippled with chocolate, particularly beautiful in such a light coloured wood. Honey fungus begins to rot the wood, the dead layer is removed in the making process and when polished this wonderful marking is revealed. (SOLD) Totally unique hand carved chairs from Colin Ford.