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We were very sad to be informed that Geoffrey Copus passed away on 10 June at 88 years.
Geoff was a significant local historian and published author. His focus and expertise was on Orpington, Chelsfield and Pratts Bottom. Geoff was an active member of many local history groups and the go-to person for queries on the aforementioned areas.
Geoff was a genuinely nice guy, he was old school nice. He was firm with his opinions but also very fair and open to discussion. Very much a family man, Geoff would always update you on how his family were and how they kept him active and young. Our thoughts go out to his wife Brenda and their family at this difficult time.
Rest in Peace Geoff, may all of your legacy local history work serve and assist others going forward for many years to come.
I would add that Geoff helped me considerably in my research on Chelsfield Grange and he supported Sue Short in writing her book on Pratts Bottom. Geoff and I corresponded on local history matters over 15 years and he never failed to furnish interesting titbits. His favourite character was the nefarious and highly embarrassing “Archbishop” Mathewe who lived in PB because he ticked all of Geoff’s boxes as an unconventional churchman. Geoff and Brenda have been our friends for a long time and our thoughts are now with her and family.
Tony Lavelle, PB Webmaster.
The June edition of the Village Newsletter will be published soon!
Watch this space to see it first!
Broke Hill closed at the end of last year and has been sold to Quinn Estates, a development company based in Canterbury. The site is entirely in Sevenoaks District and is designated as Green Belt. Sevenoaks Council are in the process of reviewing their Local Plan and Quinn Estates have put the site forward as a potential site for development, to include around 800 homes, commercial floorspace, public open space, a secondary school and community facilities. Sevenoaks Council are currently considering whether the site should be removed from the Green Belt to accommodate this. Whilst Quinn Estates could make a planning application at any time, we are not expecting them to do so at the moment.
The next stage will be for the Council to consult on their draft Local Plan, which may or may not include Broke Hill as a potential development site. The consultation is expected to be in Summer 2018 and at that stage, the Residents’ Association will be in a better position to form a view on the proposals. In the meantime, the Association has been in contact with the Council and with Quinn Estates and will be monitoring progress with the proposals.
The Association’s AGM will be on 16th May in the Village Hall and an update on Broke Hill will be provided. It will also be an opportunity for residents to express their views on the future of Broke Hill. Quinn Estates have produced a brochure outlining their ideas and that is available on the Pratts Bottom Community Website at www.prattsbottom.co.uk
In September 1940, at the start of the Blitz, a German 500kg landmine was dropped by parachute in the field alongside the lower end of Rushmore Hill, causing extensive damage to several houses. Margaret, daughter of Cyril and Amy Fowler who lived in the house from 1930 to 1955, kindly lent this and other fascinating photos.
Toads will shortly be migrating back to the ponds from which they hatched and emerged last year. From dusk, our patrols (wearing Hi-Viz jackets and using torches), will be attempting to save many of these animals as they cross our dangerous roads. Many are killed when crossing Rushmore Hill, Main Road, and Shelleys Lane, but please inform us of any other locations.
We specially request that motorists slow down from around dusk onwards for the next month to six weeks.
Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group.
P.S. We always welcome new patrol members!