Member of the City of London Court of Common Council 1959-84, Chairman of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, pastmaster of the Company of Gardeners and a leading light in the many gardens and open spaces in the City. Born Crouch End. Published two books: 'Beauty and the Borough' and 'The Flowering City'. His nickname was 'Flowering Fred' but looking at his portrait we somehow don't think he did much weeding himself.
A comprehensive biography can be found on his Wikipedia page, but our colleague, Andrew Behan, has also added some further research.
Frederick Ernest Cleary, CBE, was born on 11 April 1905, the son of Frederick George Cleary (1880-1966) and Ada Kate Cleary née Chinery (1880-1961). He was baptised on 18 February 1906 at Holy Trinity Church, Haverstock Hill and the baptismal register shows the family living at 199 Prince of Wales Road and gives his father's occupation as an electrician. The 1911 census shows him as a schoolboy living with his parents at 24 Hugo Road, Tufnell Park.
In 1929 he married Nora Helena Robinson (1899-1966) in the Edmonton registration district and they had two daughters: Pauline M. Cleary (1931-2011) and Patricia A. Cleary (b.1938). Telephone directories from 1930 to 1935 list him at 60 Ferme Park Road, London, N4 and from 1936 to 1945 at Oakmead Lodge, Waverley Road, London, N8. Kelly's Local Directory of 1937 lists the property as 9 Waverley Road, London, N8.
The 1939 England and Wales Register confirms his address and shows him as a chartered surveyor and also as an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) senior warden at Hornsey. Also registered at this address, in addition to his wife, were his parents, his father being listed as a GPO electrician.
He was a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS) and having served as a member of the Festival ((referring we presume to the Festival of Britain) sub-committee, Hornsey Borough Council, the London Gazette reports that he was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1952 New Year Honours List.
When he and his wife departed from Southampton on 28 August 1953 as 1st class passengers bound for New York, USA, aboard the RMS Caronia of the Cunard Steam-Ship Company the ship's manifest recorded him as chartered surveyor and gave their address as c/o E. S. V. London, W1. When they returned, arriving at Southampton on 2 November 1953 as 1st class passengers aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth, the manifest showed him as a director and their address as Bishops Ride, Sheldon Avenue, Highgate, N6.
Telephone directories from 1954 to 1967 list him at 5 Sheldon Avenue, London, N6 and from 1968 to1984 at 33 Grosvenor Square, London, W1. As a business ratepayer and a Liveryman he was also qualified to vote relating to at property at 39 Moorgate, London, EC2 from 1945 to 1962 and from 1963 for 145 Moorgate, London, EC2.
As the Chairman of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, in the 1979 Queen's Birthday Honours List the London Gazette shows he was made an Ordinary Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).
In addition to his London addresses he also lived in the Dover, Kent, area. Telephone directories from 1949 to 1964 list him at Brown Cottage, St Margarets Road, St Margarets Bay, Dover and from 1965 to 1982 at South Sands House, Beach Road, St Margarets Bay, Dover.
He died, aged 79 years, on 17 June 1984 at his South Sands House property and probate records show that when probate was granted on 16 October 1984 his effects totalled £872,209.