Frank Worthy Holpin and his wife, Florence lived at 1 Saw Mill Lane in Thornbury in the 1946 electoral register. Frank was born on 22nd July 1912, one of the eight children of William Holpin and his wife, Celia Alice (nee Smith). Read more about his parents and their family
Frank went to the Buckover School when the family were living in Grovesend, but later transferred to the Council School in 1918. Before the war Frank did odd jobs for the building trade.
Frank was a keen sportsman. He played football for Thornbury for many years and was club captain for a time. He also played two seasons for Welton Rovers in the Western League. He was also fond of cricket. Frank seems to have got into some mischief or possibly it was a sign of the difficulties experienced by ordinary Thornbury people in the 1930s. The Western Daily Press of 22nd January 1933 had an article headlined “Trail of Feathers leads to arrest : P.C. Too Smart for Thornbury Youths.” Frank seems to have been one of three lads who took four live chickens from a chicken house owned by John Taylor. The lads were obviously not hardened criminals as the policeman simply had to follow a trail of feathers to catch the young thieves! Because of their previous good character they were put on probation and ordered to pay the cost of the fowls and the court costs.
In 1938 they were listed in the electoral register as living at 15 Market Site. The family must have moved to Saw Mill Lane in the early years of the Second World War. They were not listed as living there in the 1939 electoral register, but by 1941 the school records of the Council School show them in Saw Mill Lane when the child of an evacuee family (the McWhirters) started school. The Gazette of 12th July 1941 has an account of a road accident and gives Saw Mill Lane as the family address: “Three Thornbury people were injured when the motor car in which they were riding as passengers overturned on the out skirts of WSM. They were Florence Holpin (32) who received cuts on her head, Annie McWhitton (36) and Wallace McWhitton (4½ ) who had received lacerations to the head. All live in Saw Mill Lane.”
During the war Frank cut timber. After the war he worked with Bert Pridham in the electricity company which later became the MEB. His work included digging holes for electricity poles. He worked in this job for 19 years until he was forced to retire owing to ill-health. Frank also spent 21 years as a volunteer fireman at Thornbury Fire Station.
Frank was known locally by the name of ‘Wormy’ – this may have been a corruption of his middle name of Worthy or the way he wriggled in and out of the opposition like Stanley Matthews.
Frank married Florence Attwood in Thornbury in 1940. Florence came from Oakhill in Somerset. She was working as a housekeeper for Gayners on the Plain. S he met Frank at Almondsbury Tump which was a popular place for young people to socialise away from town. They were courting for seven years. Frank and Florence had two boys: Ron in 1942 and Edward John two years later.
In the 1950s the family moved to 40 Bath Road, one of the Council houses on the Market Site. Frank Worthy Holpin died 17th January 1971 aged 58 years. At the funeral the firemen formed a guard of honour.
Florence Holpin died 9th May 1997 aged 88 years.