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Xylophone Man Tram Update

8 September 04 words: Jared Wilson

An update on the 'Name A Tram After Frank' campaign, for those of you that signed the petition

After Nottingham's legendary busker Frank Robinson (aka Xylophone Man) died in July, the LeftLion collective and a few of our friends set about trying to commemorate his memory in the city with a permanent memorial.

We had originally approached Nottingham Express Transit about naming a tram after Frank several months before his death. At the time we were told he was `unsuitable', despite the fact that NET were asking for input from the public to name the first fifteen trams after people from Nottingham. We later found out that we were not alone in suggesting Frank for this honour. We have asked several times to see the number of votes the final choices got, but as yet NET have not released them.

After Frank's death we realised that we had to do something to make sure that his memory in the city was honoured appropriately. He had busked the streets of Nottingham almost every day for more than fifteen years. Frank set a shining example to all musicians in the city, for his perseverance if nothing else.

The petitions on the LeftLion.co.uk forum, the petition online site by Jez Dean and the physical petitions that were signed at the Loft Soul Picnic, have between them gathered the support of more 3,200 people. All these people signed the forms (either by hand or by verifiying a secure email address) agreeing that they wanted to see (a) Nottingham Express Transit name the next available Nottingham tram after Frank and (b) Nottingham City Council build a permanent memorial in his honour.

Full copies of these petitions have now been gathered up and sent to Nottingham Express Transit and Nottingham City Council. They were sent on Thursday 26th August and have now been received by all parties. As well as Nottingham Express Transit, copies of the petitions currently lie in the care of Nottingham MP's John Heppell (Nottingham East) and Paddy Tipping.

The next step for us will be to get feedback from the MP's and about what they wish to do to satiate this overwhelming display of public feeling. 

Colin Lea, Marketing Manager of NET has written to LeftLion and said: "Next time we ask the public to nominate or vote for new tram names we will be sure to bear Frank in mind."

Whilst this is a positive step, some would argue that they did in fact 'bear Frank in mind' last time, before deciding he was 'unsuitable'. Over 3,000 people have since voted that he is suitable. Together we cannot let his case be ignored again...

 

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