Geoff Copus

Geoff Copus(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.

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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.

WW2 bomb damage to Chelsfied Grange

Photo courtesy of Margaret Fowler

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.

Letter from Penny and Thelma

My dear and very special friends,

How can we thank you enough for all the love and tangible gifts you showered on us over our final weekend.  It has been such a special and memorable time – one we will never forget.

We plan to buy a garden seat with some of the money – but there will be a few other things as well, so that we will be surrounded by tangible memories of you all; with pictures of Pratts Bottom to grace the walls of the sitting room.

It has been such a privilege to be part of the community here – we have made lots of friends over the years; we have shared in happy times, painful times; rather wet and snow-bound days, and chilled in the sunshine too, not least at various fetes and picnics.

Our prayer is that St Mary’s and All Souls will remain at the heart of their communities, and continue the very practical work of making real the love of Jesus.  We look forward to hearing how things develop and to news of lots of special events, lives changed and growth continuing.

With much love and our prayers,

Thelma and Penny

Rushmore Stores opening hours

Our local village shop, Rushmore Stores, re-opened in May and sells:

  • newspapers and magazines (feel free to order to ensure supply)
  • hot and cold drinks
  • cakes and sandwiches
  • ice cream
  • greetings cards
  • general groceries including organic, vegan and gluten-free options

Opening hours are

  • Mon 7.30 am – 6.30 pm
  • Tues 7.30 am – 6.30 pm
  • Wed 7.30 am – 1 pm
  • Thurs 7.30 am – 6.30 pm
  • Fri 7.30 am – 6.30 pm
  • Sat 8.30 am – 5.30 pm
  • Sun 8.30 am – 1 pm

Farewell to Penny and Thelma, Sat 16 July

All Souls churchAfter 14 years of ministry to Pratts Bottom, our associate vicar Canon Penny Avann and our evangelist Thema Jones will be leaving the village. Penny is retiring and they will be moving away. Their last weekend here will be mid July.

There will be a Farewell Event for them on Saturday 16 July in the Village Hall from 2.30 to 5pm. This will be a “drop in” style afternoon tea. For an idea of numbers please let Brenda Johnson know by email to lancejohnson100 (at) hotmail.com or phone 858840.

Read Penny’s Letter