Tributes paid to timeless character

VILLAGER Frank Dickman was terrified of fire which ironically claimed his life, said relatives.Mr Dickman's nephew, David Doe and his wife, Margaret, recalled with great affection the 85-year-old eccentric bachelor who had chosen not to live with the times.

VILLAGER Frank Dickman was terrified of fire which ironically claimed his life, said relatives.

Mr Dickman's nephew, David Doe and his wife, Margaret, recalled with great affection the 85-year-old eccentric bachelor who had chosen not to live with the times.

"He was always walking about with green wellingtons," said Mr Doe, a small holder from Hoo. "That's how a lot of people knew him. Time meant nothing to him. He was never in a hurry.

"If you said you'd pick him up at 11.30 am it was always 12 noon by the time we picked him up."


You may also want to watch:


Mr Doe, who made weekly visits on a Friday to take his uncle to the doctor, tearfully recalled "one of Suffolk's real true characters" who had lived at the Little Blakenham farm all his life.

"He used to ride his bike down to the village until two years ago. He would always stop and talk to anybody," said Mr Doe, 63, who affectionately called him Uncle Dicky.

Most Read

"He would tie his jacket up with a bit of string and his braces were made out of string which he put over his shoulder and tied it round."

Mrs Doe said Mr Dickson was terrified of fire after a blaze at his home in early 1960, which wrecked half his house.

"Years and years ago his house burned down, not quite as bad as this time, but that frightened him," she said. "He was in the far end of the house and came back into the kitchen and met flames.

"So never had an open fire in his house. He just had a little oil stove which he would cook on and that was his heat. The irony was he was petrified of fire and then this happened. It was a dreadful thing to happen and was so upsetting."

Mrs Doe, 64, made fresh pies every week to take to Mr Dickman, who lived in remote Six Acre Farm, which had no heating or electricity.

"He was a very humble man and was so old fashioned," explained Mrs Doe. "He never had any money. He didn't work. A pound was a lot of money to him and if he had £5 he thought he was well off.

"He was in the dark ages and never got into this century. His house was really run down. A derelict little cottage with no running water. He got his water from a well.

"Everybody knew him. He was eccentric. There's no doubt about that. Everybody I have spoken to since have rung up and said it is really the last of the old characters gone."

The much-loved pensioner, known as Frankie by villagers, died in a blaze in his isolated cottage last week. (Feb 14).

Three quarters of the cottage was completely destroyed by flames which neighbours could see from their homes some distance away.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus