Frank Farland is the father of twins Bess Farland and Nell Farland, usually nicknamed Port and Starboard. He is also "Uncle Frank" to Tom Dudgeon. He is the sole parent of the twins, with help from his neighbour Ella Dudgeon and Mrs McGinty, their housekeeper. The twins sometimes refer to him as A.P. or Aged Parent (CC17)
The boatman says to Mrs. Barrable and the Ds: "Mr. Farland's twins. All but sisters to young Tom, they are, what with Mrs. Farland dying when they was babies, and Mrs. Dudgeon, the doctor's wife, pretty near bringing them up with her boy. She'll not have time for 'em all now, with a new young 'un of her own, Been as good as a mother to them two girls has Mrs. Dudgeon .... " (CC1)
He works in Norwich as a solicitor; the firm is called Farland, Farland & Farland (BS10), so is presumably a family firm. In (BS32) Frank refers to my partners - who might give him the sack if he does not get back to work! He rings Walters at the office on Norwich 1066; a Private exchange, though he says to Walters "Nip round to the office ..." (CC17). Like Captain Flint in PP, he first got a wrong number from the operator! The firm is solicitors to Sonning's, boat-builders at Potter Heigham who have boats cast off and shackles stolen (BS10,32). Frank is working on the Bollington case during the story Coot Club (CC17).
Is Frank Ella's brother?[edit | edit source]
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You are standing into danger. This article or section contains conjecture.
Since the twins call Tom Dudgeon's mother Ella Dudgeon Aunty and Tom calls Frank Farland Uncle Frank it is quite possible that the two neighbours are sister and brother or related by marriage. On the other hand it was commonplace for close family friends to be called "Uncle" and "Aunty" even when no blood or marriage relationship existed.