June 9, 2021 10.50 am This story is over 13 months old

Our barber, our friend: Lincoln thanks fundraising Frank

Touching stories have emerged about adored Frank

Explore the cobbles and corners of Lincoln and you will discover the shining stars making the city the wonderful place it is.

For more than 50 years, Burton Road barber Frank Connell, 73, has been a friend to not only hundreds of loyal customers, but also to boundless charitable causes.

Now, with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic creating a cloud over his barbershop, the local community have pulled together to show him their support, and make the case to give him a well-deserved boost.

Frank has been described as a local treasure | Photo: Rachel London Photography

Neighbouring business owner Rachel Whitaker said she was a longtime admirer of Frank, whose fundraising efforts have amassed more than £1 million over the years.

“Yesterday I asked him how his business was,” she explained, “and he told me that after 53 years in his Burton Road shop business is struggling after COVID.”

It appeared a surge of self-taught hairdressers over lockdown left many deciding to manage at home, for good.

Feeling there was something she could do to publicise his work, photographer Rachel grabbed her camera.

| Photo: Rachel London Photography

“I put together a post on Facebook and it has been shared across the city 347 times and counting.

“The whole city seems to know and love Frank, and literally hundreds of stories have emerged about absolutely insane things he has done for other people.

“It’s still being shared and comments are still coming in because he is such a local treasure.”

| Photo: Rachel London Photography

Frank’s inspirational efforts have been a driving force behind many notable projects in the city, often spearheaded by the Cooke and Connell team (a partnership with Joe Cooke).

He has thrown himself into ambitious projects from Dambuster print auctions, to the Lincoln United disabled area and the city’s iconic Tritton Road tank memorial.

| Photo: Rachel London Photography

| Photo: Rachel London Photography

| Photo: Rachel London Photography

The city has erupted with support for Frank in the hours since his story and photos were posted online.

| Photo: Rachel London Photography

Veronica McBain said: “Frank is a legend. He’s done so much for the community and his fundraising efforts are beyond words. Let’s support Frank people.”

| Photo: Rachel London Photography

| Photo: Rachel London Photography

| Photo: Rachel London Photography

Richard Croft wrote: “Frank First cut my hair as an apprentice at Edward Elson’s on Bailgate in 1962. He still cuts it now, though there’s less to cut. Frank is a national treasure.”

Some of the stories are out of this world. 

There’s no doubt Frank has made his mark on the hearts of many Lincoln people, and the city is extending its appreciation without hesitation.

Good luck Frank! Love from Lincoln.