A man who don't refuse
A man who don’t refuse
Here is a man, who don’t refuse,
To make or mend your boots and shoes;
His work is good and also quick and
What is more, he gives no tick,
But when he dies, he fears no coals,
Because he’s saved so many soles.
I found this poem while looking through an old Basildon Recorder paper dated 11 October 1961. It makes no reference to our area but I have decided to include it because it appeared on a board outside Frank Plume’s shoe and repair shop in Langdon Hills.
Frank moved to Laindon in 1952 from Stratford where he had started learning his trade 35 years previous. While in Stratford he lost his wife and children during the war so he moved to Romford and started up his business again before moving to Laindon. The verse was given to him by an old Laindon resident who as a sailor had travelled extensively in Australia. This old gent had come across the verse in a bush town shoe shop; he learnt it by heart and on his return, gave it to Frank.
Frank was impressed and a few days later painted it on a big piece of hardboard and displayed it outside his shop, bringing many a chuckle to those passing by. In the nine years that Frank had his shop in Langdon Hills he estimated that he had cobbled hundreds of thousands of shoes but it was the fashionable stilettos that gave him the biggest headache.
With the slow demise of the Laindon shopping area in 1961, Frank decided to move his shop to Basildon and at the time of the newspaper report, was preparing a new sign to go over his new shop. Beneath the words “Hospital for Boots and Shoes,” it read: “Here is a man who don’t refuse…….
The question is, does anybody remember Frank and his shop in Langdon Hills and where was the shop in Basildon?