Arthur Edward Copping (1865-1941) was a well known author, journalist and traveller, who lived at River View in Kiln Road. Educated at the North London Collegiate School, he spent 22 years working for the Daily News.
He is best known locally for his 2 books , featuring the adventures of a Leigh fisherman Alfred Boyton : “Gotty and the guv’nor” (1907) and “Gotty in furrin parts”(1908). They were the result of a yachting expedition undertaken by Boyton and Copping. From all accounts Boyton or Gotty was an exceptional individual, who had many claims to fame, including Southend greasy pole champion for 14 consecutive years.
On Copping’s return from a world trip in 1928 “he lost no time in declaring that, while South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the other countries he has visited, are all very well in their different ways, none of them in his opinion, come up to “good old Benfleet” and “dear old Thundersley.”
“I was delighted to resume acquaintance with Niagara Falls” added Mr Copping, but not so delighted as I was to see Benfleet Creek again. The myriad twinkling lights of Quebec made a dazzling picture as we steamed slowly by them the other night, but they did not possess for me quite the same attractive brilliance as the street lamps along the Kiln Road.”