John Gibson: Now Frank has a brush with fame

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A LIKELY lad. Little did he dream while he tinkered with a penny tin of paints at primary school in Leith that one day his work would merit recognition by the top people in the art world.

“I’ve improved over the years, I like to think, and I’m chuffed to bits my painting of the Great Michael, a Newhaven-built warship, is featured in Terror of the Seas, a book entitled Scottish Maritime History 1513-1713 written by St Andrews University academic Professor S Murdoch.

“This painting, I’ve been pictured with it humbly showing it off standing at Great Michael Close in Newhaven. You might say my ship’s come in. It ranks alongside my Shakespeare Was a Hi-bee as my favourite work,” says Frank, who for several years had his own art shop opposite Leith Town Hall and still does commissions from his Granton home.

He wants to sell his painting of Old Granton Harbour to the Leith Maritime Museum and donate the cash to the Royal Dragoon Guards Benevolent Fund. Frank is at 552 2489.

Dyer straits

Let me be first to congratulate Alexander McCall Smith on his honorary membership award from the Historic Incorporation of Bonnetmakers and Dyers.

It dates back to the Middle Ages and possibly even the middle-aged had never heard of Mr Smith.

I once knew a bonnetmaker and dyer, until she pulled the hat down over my ears. She had a bee in her bonnet. End of relationship but we should have got an award for endurance.

They wore cloches in those days. Or was it fascinators?