Boxing chief Frank Warren backs bid for memorial to Highbury flower seller
PUBLISHED: 14:35 14 March 2011
BOXING promoter Frank Warren is supporting calls to honour a popular flower seller with a memorial plaque.
Bill Little traded outside Highbury and Islington Station and his family are calling for a lasting tribute on the spot where he sold flowers.
Transport for London, which is redeveloping the Highbury Corner area where Bill stood every day, has been urged by his family and now Mr Warren to create a permanent memorial.
Mr Warren said: “Bill was well known and was a very popular figure to people in the locality and ran his flower stall for more than 30 years.
“I feel a memorial plaque would be in line with the wishes of many people and be a fitting tribute to one of our own.”
Former Arsenal footballing legend Charlie George and Gwyneth Strong, who played Cassandra in Only Fools and Horses, have also backed the campaign.
Bill, who died in May 2002, first began selling flowers in Covent Garden aged 14 and bought his pitch at Highbury Corner in the 1970s.
The father-of-three would serve around 200 customers who snapped up his special offer sprays at £1 from 7.30am to 7pm every day.
His son Andy said: “Thirty years is a long time to be standing in one place every day.
“This memorial plaque would be a fitting tribute. Not just because he is my dad but because he was someone who was well known and well liked and almost part of the furniture so to speak.
“This would be a great thing to do on his behalf. My father worked in all kinds of weather and never once did he have a day off.”
Bill was featured in the Islington Gazette in September 1990 when he said: “Some people have their hobbies but my only hobby is work. I’ve never had a day off so I must be a lucky man. I must answer 500 questions a day mainly from people wanting directions but I don’t mind as long as they don’t stop me serving my customers.”
Bill’s family have written to TfL with various letters of support and they are awaiting a reply.
TfL plans a £2million revamp of the busy roundabout at Highbury Corner which will see the gyratory system removed.
The tree-filled traffic island in the middle could become an accessible green area, with part of the square pedestrianised to allow access.
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