Tributes to Chidham and Hambrook parish councillor

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A COMMUNITY has united to pay tribute to a man who was central to village life.

Chidham and Hambrook parish councillor Arthur Cooper died of a heart attack on June 27 at the age of 83. Born on December 8, 1932, Arthur ‘spent his life helping people’.

A popular character and keen gardener, Arthur served as a councillor for 40 years.

His brother Bud said his gardening skills were in ‘great demand around the area’.

“The village was his life,” said Bud.

Arthur began gardening and growing vegetables after taking over the running of Malthouse Nursery in Chidham, which his parents had run. It closed after the death of his mother in 1991.

Former Bosham parish councillor Bud added: “I couldn’t wish for a better brother. We were very close and I shall miss him.

“He served on the council because he was interested in the village.

“He was a popular man both around Chidham and Bosham. People loved him.

“He did the gardening for an elderly lady in Hayling Island and she had a daughter who lived in America.

“When she died, her daughter invited 
Arthur on holiday in Texas. He went out every year for about five years. Yet he’d never left the village.

“On the morning he died, he went out and watered his tomatoes and runner beans.

“He was already talking about what he was going to grow in his garden next year. Arthur lived in his own little world and time didn’t mean a thing to him.

“He came to see me at least once a week and would always bring something with him. Customers will miss him greatly.”

Chidham and Hambrook Parish Council Cliff Archer said Arthur was a ‘real friend to countless people’, ready to come to the aid of anybody in need of help.

Mr Archer said: “Arthur served as a staunch, hard working parish councillor.

“Our hearts go out to Arthur’s family and friends who I know will miss him.

“Arthur was incredibly kind, and generous and always helping people. He had a sense of fun, a good sense of humour and always had a smile on his face.”

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