Appeal to find family of Underground creator

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Are you related to one of the most famous people ever to be born in Spalding?

An appeal has been launched to try and track down relatives of Frank Pick, who is to be honoured with the unveiling of a blue plaque in the town next week.

It is hoped any relatives that can be tracked down will attend the event.

Frank Pick (1878-1941), rose to become managing director of the London Underground and is credited with creating its present day image – everything from its famous Tube map and signs to its art-deco stations.

He was born in Bridge Street, opposite where the Halifax Building Society 
now stands.

The special ceremony will be performed by Sir Peter Hendy, present day Commissioner for London Transport, who was knighted for his role in the 2012 Olympic Games, and will be making a special visit to the town.

“This is long overdue recognition for Frank,” says Howard Johnston, a Cambridgeshire businessman and transport publisher and writer who was born near Spalding and has sponsored Spalding and District Civic Society to install the plaque.

Mr Johnston added: “The trouble is, details of Frank’s early life are sketchy because he left Spalding at a very early age after winning a scholarship to a top public school in York, and never returned. We would love to see a few of his relatives at the opening ceremony.”

Frank, pictured here about 1939, was the eldest of five children born to draper Francis Pick, and that his wife Fanny’s maiden name was Clarke. His siblings were called Ethel, Marion, Martin and Sisson. Frank’s grandfather on his father’s side was Charles Pick, a farmer with eight children, and his maternal grandfather, Thomas Clarke, was a blacksmith and lay preacher.

Frank was married, but had no children. He surprised his family by choosing a career in railways instead of law, but quickly rose through the ranks because of his inspirational management.

l The plaque dedication ceremony takes place in Bridge Street, Spalding, at 12.30pm on Saturday, June 15.

l If you are related to Frank Pick, or can shed any light on his family, please contact the Spalding Guardian at tracey.sweetland@jpress.co.uk or hj@howardjohnston.co.uk