Celebrating the men of Orpington this Father's Day
Posted on 7th June 2017 at 14:17
There's nothing typical about the "Orpington Man"
Coined by journalists in the 1960's, the phrase "Orpington Man" was used to describe a 'typical' member of the voting public. But while there's nothing wrong with being 'Joe Average', here at Orpington Connected we know that there are lots of men with connections to our town who are far more than just ordinary - and this Father's Day, we thought we'd pay homage to a few of them.
Charles Darwin - undoubtedly the most famous of our Orpington brethren, the world-renowned naturalist, geologist and biologist worked on his theories of evolution by natural selection in Down House, just south of the beautiful village of Downe. Moving from central London to Downe in September 1842, he remained there until his death in April 1882.
John Lubbock 1st Baron Avebury - a contemporary of Charles Darwin, Sir John Lubbock was brought up on the High Elms Estate, near Downe. Although he joined the family profession of banking, and served as MP for Maidstone, he's perhaps best known for his significant contributions to archaeology, ethnography and biology - in particular, he is celebrated for having helped to establish archaeology as a scientific discipline and, as a friend of Darwin's, was influential in 19th century debates on evolution.
Gary Rhodes OBE - Orpington resident Gary Rhodes, English restaurateur and TV chef, known for his distinctive spikey hair, was awarded an OBE in 2006. Famous for his love of British cuisine and has fronted shows such as Masterchef, now spends time promoting his restaurant interests in Dubai.
Retired Premier League Referees - Orpington based Barry Knight and Steve Bennett both spent time as Premier league referees. Barry Knight in 2005 sent off Newcastle team mates Lee Bowyer and Keiron Dyer for fighting. Barry retired from the Football League in 2008 after injury. Steve Bennett refereed the 2005 League Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool, which Chelsea won 3-2 after extra time. In 2007 Steve officiated in the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United, another final that Chelsea triumphed after extra time, by 1 goal to nil. Steve is still connected to Orpington Rovers FC as the Club President.
Andy Green OBE - St Olaves alumnus Andy Green is the current holder of the World Land Speed Record, and the first person to break the sound barrier on land. On 15 October 1997, he reached 763.035 miles per hour (1,227.986 km/h) - the first supersonic record.
Jeremy Beadle MBE - former Orpington schoolboy Jeremy Beadle was a television presenter, writer and producer. Rarely off our screens during the 1980s, he was the first mainstream television presenter to have a physical disability. Most impressively, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2001 New Years Honours list for his services to charity - his total charitable fund is estimated to be a whooping £100million.
Though not all Orpington men can be scientists, adventurers or fundraiser extraordinaires, your own dad is probably just as impressive to you in his own way; don't forget to show him just how proud of him you are this Father's Day!
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