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Geoffrey Benjamin Roper 1936-2024

It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of Ben Roper.


Ben founded our practice with the late John Smith in 1959.  Ben and John were good friends, but their differences created the perfect partnership and enabled the practice to flourish, and both became very well respected in their fields.


 Ben always brought a high level of professionalism to every aspect of the practices life and successfully steered it through the many decades of his stewardship.


Although Ben was qualified as a Quantity Surveyor he had a natural aptitude for design.

This was balanced with an expert and always fair legal administration of projects.

His consistent professionalism reassured and instilled in their clients a confidence that their project was well managed and under control.  

This was usually achieved by diplomatically reigning John back from his latest flight of fancy.  


The team they created were entrusted to work on some of the Peak District’s most significant buildings and many historic churches and a cathedral within the wider region.


Ben was the master of the understated line.  He would review my written work before it was issued and always managed to find, what he termed a “closely adjacent”; when he spotted I had used two words where one would have done.  


Similarly both Richard and I can remember how our hearts would sink as Ben silently looked over our latest drawings on the board before finally pronouncing the inevitable …”had you thought….?”  At which point we instantly knew that he had spotted a glaring mistake that we would now have to laboriously scratch out and redraw.


Ben helped to champion many young architects, surveyors and interior designers through the practice.  He gave his time to explain the complexities of the profession and helped them to take their first steps in their professional lives.


In later years Ben remained our Mentor – we often talked to him about the practice and the decisions we were facing, we always listened for the simple one or two words offered as they would succinctly direct us to the correct path.


Above all Ben was a true Gentleman.  We already miss him more than we ever thought we would.  We cannot thank him enough for creating this business that so many people have been able to develop their professional skills within, that has delivered so many fine projects for their clients and for the extensive body of work that he has left.

Thank you so much Ben, for everything.

From all of us at Smith and Roper.

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