Saturday 6 November 2010

A "Copper" plaque

In Rottingdean this morning the City Mayor unveiled a plaque at 1 Challoner Cottages, Rottingdean, the old family home of the famous singing Copper family.  James 'Brasser' Copper, d.1924, and his brother Thomas, were honorary members of the English Dance & Folk Song Society, founded 1898. James' two sons John & Jim continued the singing tradition as did Jim's son Bob (1915-2004) who learnt songs at his "grandfather's knee". Present day descendants, including Bob's grandchildren, are carrying on the tradition and many were present at the unveiling.

Bob was also one of the last members of the family to experience at first hand the age-old farming and fishing economy of the village and set his recollections down in a number of superbly evocative books, notably: Early to Rise; A Song for Every Season; Songs & Southern Breezes. He received the EDFSS Gold Badge Award in 1978 and an MBE in 2004, a few days before he died. 
Various recordings of the family's singing have been made since the 1950s and, the definitive collection,  'Come Write Me Down', which comes with two booklets full of biographical detail is still availible.  The family are involved in The Imagined Village project.

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