‘Duty done’: Tributes pour in for ‘incredible’ Northampton poppy seller Fred

Fred Barrick was loved dearly by the local Royal British Legion branch and Duston.

One of Duston’s most recognisable faces, who was affectionately known locally as the ‘Poppy Man’, passed away suddenly on Monday with his daughter by his side after he fundraised for 51 years.

The Royal British Legion Duston and District branch, where Fred Barrick was both chairman and president, have paid tribute to a ‘tenacious’ man.

Poppy appeal organiser, Darrin Stevens, said: “Fred was incredible, the branch would not exist if it was not for him. We now have 120 members and Fred has been around for a really long time and has been the catalyst for keeping everyone together.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“He could not stop selling poppies, he couldn’t give it up and he raised a considerable amount of money. I don’t think people will realise the impact he had on Duston, he’s our hero. He raised beyond thousands.

“He went to Sainsburys when it was first built and he would stand outside the door in the rain and snow every year because of his tenacity and grit. We will walk in his footprints now every time we do the Poppy Appeal.”

Fred Barrick, who was ’89 years young’, was often stood outside Sainsburys supermarket and petrol station in Weedon Road with a smile on his face.

During his fundraising years, he would often cut short his Great Yarmouth holidays with his wife Eileen so he could be back in Northampton for the two weeks prior to Armistice Day to jingle his collection tin.

The inspiration for Fred’s fundraising was inspired by his two year stint in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineer in the British Army where he completed his national service.

After he reached a 50 year milestone for collecting poppies in 2018 Fred reluctantly had to call it a day due to ill health.

His granddaughter Nikki joked that being the ‘stubborn man’ he was he soon returned and was back again the following year, this time at St Luke’s surgery.

His granddaughter Nikki Errington said: “On behalf of my mother Lorraine, my sister Gemma and I, we thank the Royal British Legion Duston and District Branch for their support and to all those that have sent kind messages at this very sad time.

“My pap was a warm, kind-hearted, selfless family man who was always one to help others. His motto was to ‘always look after your own’. He was so proud to also be a great-grandfather.

“He will be so sadly missed, he was our hero and his memory and stories to tell will live on.”

A Just Giving page has been set up to support his daughter and granddaughters at this sad time. If you can donate to the families Just Giving page, please click here.

Northampton Chronicle and Echo