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Newark man's memory to live as RAF memorabilia is transformed into mini museum

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Following his death last year, a Newark man has had his RAF memorabilia transformed into a mini museum for friends and family.

John Franks, a well known man in Newark for his all year round lights opposite Aldi, died on March 1, 2021, after battling cancer.

He left his plane memorabilia to friends, who have used it to create a mini museum.

The mini museum has been created in memory of John (56503335)
The mini museum has been created in memory of John (56503335)

They surprised his wife with a grand opening.

Local councillor Debbie Derby said: “I met John through the Newark and Sherwood Federation about 14 years ago.

“We got along so well over the years, so I adopted him as my dad and called him Papa Smurf; he was part of our family and also his partner Joan Sills.

“He gave me away when my hubby and I renewed our wedding vows to a 1940s theme back in 2016.”

John Franks and Debbie Derby (56503338)
John Franks and Debbie Derby (56503338)

Debbie continued: “He left all his plane memorabilia to us, he was big on the RAF.

“We didn’t have room in the house and didn’t want to store his loved collection in boxes, so we made a mini museum in his memory, and it is also an ideal man cave for my husband Mick to do his models.

“We brought Joan over and did a grand opening, she absolutely loved it.”

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