"...The popularity of the toy theatre declined and by 1937, when Mr. Pollock died, the shop and the Pollock family were struggling to pay their way.The Chingford Historical Society believes this is why he was buried in a common grave with no memorial stone." - The Chingford GuardianWhen I read that this week, I thought, "This is a great shame and should be rectified..."
To that end, the Facebook toy theatre group has started a crowd-funding project to raise the necessary funds to buy a modest stone to mark Benjamin Pollock's grave. Long overdue, Pollock1 was one of the giants of toy theatre sheet creators and printers, and should rightly be recognized within a proper memorial.
We hope all those who cherish toy theatre, and appreciate Benjamin Pollock's place in its history, will join us in contributing to this worthwhile cause.
1 - Benjamin Pollock was probably the only a shop-keeper in Hoxton, once a down-trodden district of East London, to get a Times obituary. When he died in 1937, aged 80, he had kept alive the tradition of toy theatre publishing for sixty years, and was visited by famous people - actors, authors and celebrities - including Robert Louis Stevenson and Serge Diaghilev.
There are still people living who visited Benjamin Pollock's shop and remember his old-world courtesy and dogged persistence with his unusual trade.