Frank Tapping (1889 – 1963)
Written by Mark Tapping
Soon after the end of the war Frank moved to more comfortable premises which he bought at 192, High Street, Aylesbury. However, always wanting to be busy he then obtained employment with a firm of mineral water manufacturers, also in High Street. His daughter undertook hair dressing training and then veterinary training while his son Mark, returned from military service and rejoined his former employers, not very long afterwards being transferred overseas. In 1950 his daughter, Jane, was married in Walton Church, Aylesbury, to Allan James Buck, and left home. Frank, now some 60 years old, had been overstraining himself and at last was persuaded to retire from regular employment and the couple now moved for the last time, in 1951, to a little bungalow he purchased in Lion Road in the village of Nyetimber near Bognor Regis in Sussex and near to Flo’s widowed sister Edith Montague. Here the couple settled down comfortably although Frank still unwilling and indeed unable to relax completely, from time to time took employment with a local market gardener with who he soon became very popular because of his reliability and unfailing cheerfulness.
Always fond of children, Frank particularly enjoyed the visits from time to time of his children and grandchildren, and his various nephews and nieces. In 1953 his son Mark was married in Southern Rhodesia to Cathrina Maria Francina Louisa Kotzé, member of an old Afrikaner family of German origin, and in 1959 for the first and last time Frank met his only grandson, Thomas, when Mark and his family were able to spend and all too short holiday in England from Rhodesia.
Although still tending to overwork if given the opportunity, the milder climate and the sea air of the English south coast did Frank good and in Nyetimber he was happy during the last years of his life. A life which had spanned a period of technological revolution from the time when coal and steam power provided the main source of power, to the use of electricity and atomic power. From crude capitalism to the socialistic welfare state. From the Victorian to the New Elizabethan eras. Although not a mechanically minded man, Frank was sufficiently adaptable to make full use of new methods and facilities. Soon after the introduction of regular broadcasting services he acquired a crystal wireless set, followed later by a normal radio receiver and eventually replaced by a television set. (It is interesting to recall that his step-son was at one time employed by J.L. Baird, the television pioneer, but lost his job when Baird’s workshops were destroyed in the “Crystal Palace” which burned down in 1936). Frank purchased a motor car an early as 1926. 1927 (an Austin 7) and about the same time installed a telephone across the fields to Woodlands Farm at considerable expense.