Mr Orpen had a strong sense of civic duty and was prominent in village affairs. He was chairman of the Parish Council, an Overseer of the Poor, a trustee of Love’s Charity, a manager of the village school and secretary of the flower show.
He was also a talented rose grower and won the National Rose Society’s challenge cup in 1898. Somehow, he also found time to be an expert on pigs. He wrote books on both rose growing and pig breeding.
It is clear that he was both liked and respected because, when he died in 1917, more than 100 workers from the brewery went to his funeral.
In his will, he left money that was to be used to provide the village with a meeting place for its activities – but not until after the death of his widow. Mary Eva survived until 1937 when the Parish Council received the then generous sum of £4,328. On 1 December 1938, the Orpen Memorial Hall was officially opened.
Village Bulletin – Issue 84,
More about Osmond Orpen on the Orpen Close history page.