MANY readers will be aware of the surname Worley, of which there are several different families living in the High Wycombe district.

Perhaps the most well-known with that surname were the chair-making families, although this will be disputed by fans of Wycombe Wanderers, who will well-remember their speedy and tricky winger Len Worley.

Len was the Stanley Matthews of amateur football, a right-winger who dribbled round defenders and delivered deadly crosses into the penalty box.

His first game for the Wanderers was on September 25 1954 and he played 512 times for the club, scoring 67 goals.

He also played as an amateur for Charlton Athletic and Tottenham Hotspurs, the latter club trying to sign him on professional terms. Both times he returned to the Wanderers, finally retiring in December 1967.

The Worley family were also prominent in the transport business from the late 1800s up to the mid-20th century.

A carrier/haulage business was established in Frogmoor by George Worley in c.1883. He was a native of Chalfont St Giles who came to Wycombe in the 1850s to learn chair-making, and eventually established his own factory.

Like all the chair-manufacturing firms in Wycombe George required his product to be transported to the retailers, mainly large stores in London, and to other customers.

Most importantly the chairs needed to arrive without damage and George realised the importance of carefully packing them to prevent damage during their journey to the customers. So the haulage operation was set up, initially in Frogmoor Gardens, and George was soon joined in this business by his brother William.

In the late 19th century the Wycombe chairmakers were still using the horse and cart as the main means of transport.

This was even though transport by railway had become available, but in their early days the railways were notorious for damaging goods, either during loading onto the wagons or during transportation itself.

So the chair-makers continued to prefer transport by horse and cart. The chairs were skilfully wrapped in plaited straw and paper to protect their highly polished surfaces, before being loaded onto the wagon.

The carters then set off on their 30 mile journey to London. An extra horse was required to pull the wagon up White Hill near Holtspur. This horse, which was permanently stationed in a field at the bottom of the hill, was hitched up to the wagon, and then released at the top to find its own way back down the hill.

The Worley haulage business thus continued to thrive well into the mid-1900s and also diversified into the motor garage business.

Many readers will remember the Worley garage at the bottom of Hamilton Road, near the junction with Hughenden Road.

Reader Ann Davies, who as a volunteer assists members of the public at Wycombe library with their family history, was surprised a few months ago to get a visit from a great grand-daughter of George Worley. The lady wanted to find a home for some family items from WW2.

These included an illuminated card from HM Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), which had been sent to her grandmother as a ‘thank you’ for having taken many evacuees throughout the war into her home in Roberts Road.

These items have now been deposited at Wycombe Museum.