The History of Orpington and the Surrounding Area

About three years ago OVFM put on a show entitled ‘Old Orpington on Film’ where we showed old films of Orpington and the surrounding area. It was such a well received show, we held a further successful repeat screening which made us realise that we ought to make more films about the history of the local area; thus our History Of Orpington project was born.

On this page, we are making two films from this project available for general viewing:


An Unwelcome Piece of Orpington’s History tells the story of Ivy Millichamp who lived in Orpington and was the last civilian to be killed by enemy action in the Second World War.



A Time When Orpington was Still a Village was made when we tracked down over 100 paintings of Orpington by local professional artist Richard Rayner made mainly in the 1890s showing a very different Orpington from the one we know today.  The film compares Rayner’s views with the views today.  Some are quite similar but most are totally different.



We hope you have enjoyed watching these films and if you would like to get involved in our History of Orpington project in any way we would love to hear from you.


Whether you have any stories or historical images you’d like to share, suggestions for a topic to be covered, or maybe even provide a script yourself and take an active role in the production side of things, please contact us via email at info@ovfm.org.uk and we will be happy to hear from you.


If you would like to see more of the films we make at OVFM, do take a look at these selections from our extensive archive where we have something for everyone from comedy, documentary, classic newsreels, and more to keep you entertained by clicking the links below:






Thanks for reading.


  1. Thanks very much for sharing these two films that I enjoyed watching. Informative and entertaining – well done.

  2. Great to see how Orpington looked years ago, it also showed me places that I was not aware of.
    Thank you

  3. Two brilliant films David, thanks for sharing them with us. Weren’t you lucky to have all those paintings. I’ve done a few of Crockenhill but not that many.

  4. I lived in Somerset Road from 1964 as a 4 year old and grew up there so this was very interesting to watch – thank you for sharing

  5. I live in Knoll Rise and my house is behind the long fence adjoining the footpath to the Station. Loved seeing this film and the paintings and would have loved to actually live in that sleepy Orpington village with the beautiful buildings and leafy scenery as opposed to the way it is today. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Just enjoyed watching these 2 films. As an “Orpingtonian” born and bred there in Court Road way back in 1956 I found them very interesting and nostalgic.

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