Tribute to ‘kind and generous’ Frank Farr

Kindness and generosity personified is how Frank Farr, who died last week aged 91, will be best remembered.

Despairing at ‘thieves and cheats’ sneaking into his allotment at night and helping themselves to his home-grown produce, he once simply said: “If they just asked me, I would gladly give it to them. I don’t want anything for it. I will always help if I can.

“I will help anybody. It gives me more pleasure to give things to people than it does to receive.”

Frank’s Patch, in East Budleigh, which he ran for 49 years, was a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of life.

Time stood still, and you were transported back to a bygone age where people had the time to stop and natter – a skill Frank excelled in.


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In the winter, he ushered you in front of the electric fire in the shed while, in the summer, the sound of show tunes drifted across the village from his record player – cranked to full volume so he could hear it from the furthest corner of his plot.

Frank represented a bygone age of honesty boxes, leaving your front door unlocked and of a time when ‘manners cost nothing’.

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He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the countryside.

Fashioning a broom from silver birch, tickling trout, flushing rabbits from the hedgerows or creating stunning Christmas wreaths and chaplets, Frank could turn his hand to anything.

In recent years, his ferreting skills were immortalised on YouTube to preserve the dying trade.

Paul Creber, who edited Frank’s popular Journal Bygone Days column, said: “Frank always provided such an engaging insight into a world forgotten by too many of us. He was a bridge spanning a century which has seen the fastest changes ever in human history.

“I always loved his simple insight into the way human qualities have remained the same in the face of all that change.”

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