GEOLOGIST Dr Colin Phipps, who had lived in the Malvern area since 1955, has passed away in London, aged 74.

Dr Phipps has been involved in the exploration for oil in the South Atlantic for decades, and last year announced that his company, Desire Petroleum, was in the running for a major drilling programme around the Falkland Islands.

His previous company, Clyde Petroleum, based at Coddington Court, was one of Britain's leading independent oil companies.

Dr Phipps served as a Labour MP for Dudley West for some years, and later became involved with the foundation of the Social Democratic Party.

Dr Phipps died peacefully in hospital, on Saturday, January 10, with his family present.