The history of the practice can be traced back to 1879, when Dr Walter Hardin practised from his house, now known as Chilling House, in Leigh High Street. Dr Hardin was succeeded in 1881 by Dr Fraser, who moved the surgery to Park House, Leigh, where he remained in practice until after the First World War. Several patients still remember "old Dr Fraser". He was eventually joined by his son, Dr Beaufort Fraser, who came to Hildenborough to live at Mountains, where private patients were seen in the sitting room, and "panel patients" were seen in the servants' quarters!
After senior Dr Fraser retired, Dr Rochester Berkeley joined Dr Beaufort Fraser. He continued the practice association with Leigh, settling at Applegarth, near the green, where he had his own surgery. Dr Fraser decided to leave in 1937 and Dr Berkeley took Dr Stanley Davison into the partnership. He settled in Hildenborough and, as Mountains was no longer available, he bought the bakers shop on the corner of Mount Pleasant and converted it into a surgery, where the practice was based for the next 30 years.
At the out break of the Second World War, Dr Berkeley was called up, leaving Dr Davison to cope by himself. Because of wartime transport problems, Dr Davison set up ports of call in several local villages. Most of these were not used after the war.
Dr Berkeley decided not to return to Leigh after the war but as Dr Davison's' son, Guy, was studying medicine, he continued to work single-handed until Guy could join him in 1954. Tragically, Guy Davison was killed in a shooting accident two years later and it was after his death that Dr Peter Skinner joined the practice. Since then the practice has steadily increased in size from two to thirteen partners today.
A branch surgery opened in the Shipbourne Road in Tonbridge in 1961, but the main surgery remained at Mount Pleasant until 1967, when extra accommodation was desperately needed and we moved to a converted dairy at 79 Tonbridge Road.
In spite of two extensions, this surgery also became inadequate for the growing needs of the practice. So in 1991 we moved to a purpose built medical centre at Westwood. In 1998, we replaced our Tonbridge surgery with the purpose built Trenchwood Medical Centre. The practice today serves a population of approximately 17,000 patients in Hildenborough, Tonbridge and the surrounding villages.
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