(from Orpington History Organisation Facebook page)
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.
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.
A few weeks ago some proposed changes to Biggin Hill Chapel were passed by the Council. Some people are continuing to object to these proposals and a group has been formed, ‘Biggin Hill Chapel Action Group’. They had a first meeting two weeks ago, which was well attended. The second meeting is on 30 May 7.30 pm at the Biggin Hill WI hall, Lebanon Gardens, Biggin Hill and because all the candidates have been invited it technically has become a ‘hustings’
All the archives Sue Short collected in the four years leading up to 2009 were displayed in the middle part of the village hall. The material was collected when Sue was researching the history of the village for her book: … Continue reading →
These flint tools were found in the garden of Chelsfield Grange. The two smaller items, an arrowhead and a small blade, are obviously made by a skilled knapper. The larger items, a hand axe and a scraper, are less obviously man-made but, on closer inspection, they each fit snugly into the right hand, shaped to allow the index finger and thumb to grip them fimly while scraping hide from meat. The white skin, or cortex, of the flint has been left to provide a comfortable surface to fit into the palm. The cutting edges have chips knocked off all the way along on each side. From similar items found in southern England they would appear to be about 8000 years old in what would have been the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) in this region, before the advent of farming from the Middle East. At that time Britain was still (just) attached to the Continent, allowing humans and animals to migrate freely.
Sue Short has sent in some amazing photos of the field behind her house, known as Longbottom (the field not the house) with a “river” flowing through it. Dry valleys such as the one we live in have not had rivers in them since the end of the last ice age about ten thousand years ago!