Jim was born on 29th August 1936 in Rye Lane, Peckham, living over the top of a bus garage. In his early childhood they moved to Belvedere in Kent, where during the war he watched dogfights over London from the top of Bostall Heath.
At Brook Street school there were rumours that it was Jim that changed the clock of the boys' school by half an hour so he could get out early to meet the girls as they came out. School introduced him to boxing. He also used to walk a young boy called Joe Brown to and from school. This boy later formed a group with the Bruvvers.
National service saw Jim gain his parachuting wings and playing football alongside Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards. He went on to play football for Charlton Athletic and was in the 2nd team. He did play for the 1st team on several occasions.
He also talked of rowing a boat along Woolwich High Street during the floods of 1953.
Jim met Margaret Holmes when he was 5 years old and used to chase her and tell her he was going to marry her, but they went their seperate ways. It was through his cousin Vera that they were reunited. Jim married Margaret a few years later on the 18th April 1964 and stayed married for a total of 47 years. They have two sons, Stephen and Ian, and two grandchildren, Alicia and Connor.
Jim started his career as a carpenter but soon found the pleasure of working behind a bar. He was the Assistant Steward at Crayford Social Club in the early 1960's before taking his first pub, The Fountain, in Strood in 1968. This soon became a popular pub with the wrestling fraternity and the likes of The Bear and Johnny Kincaid soon became regulars when they were wrestling in Rochester. Many of them followed him to Dartford.
The family moved to Dartford in 1971 where they took over running The Phoenix. They were to stay there for the next 14 years. Here he set up darts teams on mondays and wednesdays for men. Thursdays for ladies. Tuesdays was cribbage, and the weekend, live music.
His weekend beanos to Hastings became legendary as did his day trips to Margate, which included opening a bar at the side of the road for the darts team and passing motorists.
Food served in The Phoenix soon earned him the nickname of Vinegar Jim - from the smell of fish 'n' chips. His sense of humour saw the likes of Soup in a Basket and the Irish Mixed Grill that included roast potato, sauteed potato, croquet potato, mashed potato, all served with chips.
Jim took over their third pub, The Prince of Wales in Dartford whilst still running The Phoenix. The next move was managing a series of clubs. Jim became the Steward of the Meopham Country Club, the Battersea Labour Club and he finished his career at the Royal British Legion, Chessington before moving to Margate to enjoy retirement.
Back in 1972, a man called Charlie Webb introduced him to The Ancient Order of Druids and Jim was initiated into Taurus Lodge number 559 on the 16th March 1972. By the 20th August the same year, he was exalted into Chapter number 6 and became an Archdruid. Unfortunately the date of his raising into Grand Lodge is too faded to read.
Druidism became a part of his life and when the Maidstone Lodge needed help, it was Jim who became their Noble Archdruid and was often performing initiations for them. His druidical life continued after moving to Margate when he quickly joined the Thanet Lodges. He had a particular liking for the Beaconsfield Lodge 460.
His druidical life in Margate saw him as the sidekick to Barry Wood when Barry became the Imperial Grand Archdruid. Together the two of them toured all the UK Lodges and he was present when Brother Barry initiated his son Ian into Taurus Lodge during their Centenary year. He also saw his son Ian follow him into the Royal Arch Chapter and the Imperial Grand Lodge.
Jim passed away on the 29th January 2012 and will be greatly missed.