Sunday, 30 August 2009

Frank Whipple

Walking back from the footy yesterday (4 wins out of 4!) I saw this in a small park near Bethnal Green station (not far from where my girl lives!). My first thougth was that it was put together by a gardner who, on the point of retirement, decided to leave his mark in bloom. I looked up the name when I got back and the only famous Frank Whipple (to be honest I was surprised there was even one) is an artist who specialises in painting nuns with big whimples. Seems as though the subject inspiration came from his name. The pictures remind me Beryl Cook stuff: vaguely amusing but pretty simplistic when you get down to the detail. Maybe, I thought, the shape beneath the name in the plants is supposed to be a whimple. Then I cam across this article and it shows that the Frank Whipple is in fact much more worthy of note. He's a 101 year old who still cares for his disabled daughter. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/house-and-home/gardening/whos-frank-an-east-london-community-project-is-making-a-horticultural-hullabaloo-of-unsung-heroes-1727734.html
I used to get my students to collect oral histories (based on the premise that 'with every old man that dies a library burns') as a way of acknowledging the importance of ordinary people in history. This is an even better way of celebrating the contributions of real people.

1 comment:

Mandymoo said...

I hope I'm not still caring for Beth when I'm 101 years old. Surely I'll get time off for good behaviour!!! What a fantastic man.

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