1931 - 2018
Jim passed away suddenly but peacefully, at his daughter's home in South
Wales on 31 January 2018, just one day short of his 87th birthday. He was a
well known, popular and respected steward / obstacle builder and master
painter at National events for over 20 years.
was born in Liverpool in 1931 and from an early age was involved with
horses. It was a pleasure to sit and listen to the tales of his escapades,
which were told with the wry Scouse humour that only Jim was capable of.
From meeting the boats transporting horses from Ireland to Liverpool docks
and then walking/driving them to the local dealers, to the times when he
would wash, plait and drive a pony to shows only to have to walk home when,
after finishing in the ribbons, the owner sold the pony on.
In the years
that followed he could be seen on screen, driving a Hansom cab etc, in
Granada’s version of Sherlock Holmes and other film productions. He later
drove a horse pair at National level for a number of years.
In between these
activities he worked as a heavy plant operator, meeting his late wife when he
was driving a digger whilst building a dam in North Wales.
Jim helped Joe
Pullen at Tatton National HDT for some years and upon retirement he and his
wife decided to spectate and help at other events.
Unfortunately the sudden
death of his wife seemed to put this in doubt, but on the insistence of his
daughters he was sent off to Drumlanrig with his caravan to take his mind
Upon arrival he was taken under the wing of “the ladies” and
from there his involvement with stewarding etc. evolved.
Over the ensuing
years Jim could be found at nearly every National trials, arriving at many a
good week before in order to help set up the event by turning his hand to
any job that was required.
At one event he was seen driving a vibrating
roller to flatten an arena and at another taking one into a large marquee to
smooth out the grass. In later years his specialty was painting and he did a
thorough job with as little paint as possible.
I never knew you could water
it down that much !!!
He was a polite but firm steward and was respected by
all the drivers. Jim was not one for too many rules and I remember getting
rather worried when after a slight altercation with a competitor he made me
get the rule book out just to check that he was right.
As a measure of his
regard he is the only person to have twice been awarded the David Broadbent
Trophy, recognising his work for British Carriagedriving.
I could carry on
and probably write a book, using the reminiscences I know and have also been
told by other people.
With the recent passing of Don Wood and now Jim, as
someone said to me, it’s the end of an era. Sleep Well Jim.
Val Thomas and the Ladies and
Gentlemen of Wrinkly Row.
Jim’s funeral will take place on Wednesday 21st February 2018 at
Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff at 4.30pm. A small reception will be held,
afterwards, at his daughter’s house on Marshfield Road, Castletown, Cardiff,
where Jim had been living with his daughter and family for the past two
years. The family have requested either floral tributes or donations to the
British Heart Foundation.