Winnicott Close

There haven’t been many examples of two brothers serving the town as Mayor but Richard W and J Frederick Winnicott are among them. The two were sons of Richard Winnicott snr. who, in the 1850s, established what was to become “one of the finest wholesale warehouses in the West of England.” This was Winnicott’s in Frankfort Street. It had started out as a simple ironmongery and plumbing business but went on to give the brothers great wealth and both of them came to serve two terms as mayor, Richard in 1904-5 and 1924-5 and Frederick in 1906-7 and 1921-22.

Sir Frederick was undoubtedly the most illustrious, a great philanthropist he was knighted in 1924 and made a Freeman of the City ten years later. He laid the foundation stone for Plymouth Central Library and some years later provided the stained glass window there in memory of his wife, and he provided the Mayflower Memorial on the Barbican. Sadly the Winnicott premises in Frankfort Street was destroyed during the war, and Sir Frederick, who was born in 1855 was still alive to see it – he died in 1948. Worldwide, the name Winnicott is well known today in pediatric and psychoanalytical circles as Sir Frederick’s only son, Donald Woods Winnicott (1896-1971) is still one of the most revered names in those fields today.