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Family of popular market trader ‘Tank’ are ‘gutted’ they weren’t invited to plaque unveiling

today3 July 2022

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The daughter of well-known and respected cobbler, David Knight, affectionately known as ‘Tank’, said she was ‘gutted’ to learn that a commemorative plaque had been unveiled without the involvement of his family or friends. The plaque was installed at the Idlewells Market in Sutton in Ashfield in May this year to mark his death in 2021.

Nicole Paylor said she can’t bring herself to visit the plaque and that she was unsure why something was placed in the market and officially unveiled without the involvement of the family. Mr Knight was a popular figure at the market as he worked as a cobbler there for many years. He was described as a ‘gentle giant’ with a ‘heart of gold.’

“A lot of customers knew my father from the market as well as a lot of traders. My father was very insistent about not having a funeral so we decided to go with a memorial plaque or bench instead. A friend had asked the market if this would be OK and they said ‘yes’. We thought it sounded brilliant but it would need to go through the council so could take a while,” she explained.

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“On Father’s Day, I came across a Facebook post saying Idlewells Market had unveiled a plaque on May 5. It was a surprise to find it and it stated that friends and family had unveiled it but we never knew it was going to be put up so none of his friends or family were there. We don’t have a headstone as we gave him a direct cremation, which is what he wanted, although his friends wanted somewhere they could go to pay respects.”

For a number of years, Mr Knight ran The Market Cobbler at the Idlewells Indoor Market. But Mr Knight, who lived in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, died last year at the age of 62.

After a good stint working in the indoor market, the cobbler business relocated to nearby Market Street, in Sutton town centre, where Mr Knight continued to run the business. Mr Knight, who was 6ft 2ins, was known for most of his life as Tank.

Ms Paylor felt very upset that the memorial had gone ahead without involvement from any of the family. She highlighted that she feels as if she is being punished for not going ahead with the funeral and said she cannot bring herself to visit the plaque.

Mr Knight was having vascular problems in winter last year and he was diagnosed with vascular arterial disease. He developed leg ulcers and, in the end, had both his legs amputated before his death.



Nicole's father on her wedding day
Nicole’s father on her wedding day

“It really upset me as we are still going through a lot. We don’t have the death certificate yet and he didn’t want a funeral so it left me with the dilemma of doing one to say goodbye or respecting his wishes. A plaque where everyone could go to have a natter would have been a headstone in a way,” she said.

“To find out on Father’s Day, I was absolutely gutted. I felt like I was being punished for not giving him a funeral. We got a lot of flack for not doing that but it was what we wanted.”

When it comes to righting the wrong, does Ms Paylor think there is anything that the market could do in order to make amends? “There is nothing that could make it right. It’s a lovely gesture that they’ve done and how can you be mad at something that’s been put up to remember someone? There is a part of me that is happy that it is there but there is another part who thinks it shouldn’t have happened. Why wasn’t the family or I included?”

She added: “It’s already up and it’s been unveiled over a month ago now. I couldn’t even put any money towards it or photos. They also used a different photo from the one that we were planning to. I felt it was completely out of my control and I don’t know what can be done.”



Nicole Paylor on her wedding day with her father
Nicole Paylor on her wedding day with her father

Ms Paylor doesn’t feel that she can go to see the plaque as she feels unwelcome. She stressed that the family have been contacted by people who are only just finding out about the plaque and wondering why they weren’t invited.

This is adding to the family’s stress during an already stressful time as they wait for the results of the inquest into their father’s death, Ms Paylor added.

“I don’t think I can go and see it as it feels forbidden for me. I don’t feel like I’m welcome to go and see it but I would have loved to have gone then had a drink or a natter after. Now it’s all been done and it’s nothing to do with me so I feel left out, It was his birthday yesterday so I wondered if I should go but I can’t bring myself to.”

A spokesperson at the Ashfield District Council said: “Ashfield District Council was pleased to support the installation of a plaque at Idlewells Market to help commemorate the life of trader David Knight who was a very popular member of the Sutton community.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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