|Jim at the Golden
Jubilee meeting at Monmore Green Stadium in
1978. On the extreme left is Marie's grandson
Simon. Courtesy of Simon Hinks.
||Jim was a great fan of Wolverhampton's speedway team and
often visited Monmore Green Stadium. On one occasion he was
asked to ride his Rudge Multi around the track during a
meeting and afterwards several of the Wolves riders tried it
out for themselves.
Many people will fondly remember Jim
Boulton after attending one of his many talks which covered
a wide range of subjects including transport, cinema and old
adverts. They were given to many of the local societies and
were often amusing and always very popular. He was
especially happy when talking to a group of ladies.
In the late 1980s it finally looked as though
Wolverhampton was due to get a much wanted transport museum.
The local authority planned to use the derelict low level
railway station for the purpose and even considered the
purchase of a railway locomotive. Unfortunately it was not
to be, the plan was abandoned and this greatly saddened Jim
who occasionally mentioned it in conversation.
|In the 1980s through to the early 1990s artist Paula
Woof painted the series of murals that are on display on
Wolverhampton railway station’s footbridge. The murals
feature famous Wulfrunians and Jim can be found on one of
them standing next to an early Sunbeam car.
1990 was a difficult year for Jim because his friend and
companion Marie sadly passed away. This left a great gap in
his life and he became even more involved in his leisure
activities, and his book collection rapidly grew.
|Jim with Marie's
grandchildren Jacky and Simon. Courtesy of Simon
Jim the cook.
Jim never owned or wanted a television and wouldn’t
have a telephone. The only way to contact him was by letter, he had a
complete trust in the postal service. He loved to read and this became
his main hobby, always on the lookout for an interesting book. Jim's
kindness manifested itself in many ways. One of his friends from New
Zealand, Bob Entwhistle, collects stamps and Jim would always obtain the
latest set of first day covers to send to him.
Similarly the wonderful and helpful
neighbours in Ounsdale Road were rewarded with presents, and
first day covers were always sent to the son of his
favourite neighbour across the road.
|Early December was always a busy time for Jim because he
did his bit for the local children in the lead-up to
Christmas. He was Father Christmas in the nearby school and
very popular with the children. They seemed to enjoy meeting
their Santa Clause and he enjoyed meeting them.
friends and neighbours also did their bit for him. Every
Christmas he had a large number of Christmas cards and many
presents, often consisting of warm clothing to help out when
walking his dog Koko and such things as biscuits and cakes.
He often commented on the large number of mince pies that he
In 1996 while snoozing on a chair in the kitchen he was
awakened by an unexpected noise from his study. On
inspection he found that two teenage boys had broken-in,
obviously totally unaware of Jim’s presence. The intruders
fled taking one of Jim's jackets but the experience unnerved
him and in order to prevent this happening again he agreed
to have a dog.
Wombourne's Father Christmas.
|At home with some of the
numerous items in his collection. Courtesy of Simon
His old friend Vic Cox found a suitable companion from Midlands
Animal Rescue and right from the word go Jim and Koko became
Jim never trained Koko who tended to rule the
roost. The pair were inseparable and a frequent sight together
in the Wombourne area, where they went for a walk several times
each day, covering many miles in the process.
When visitors arrived, Koko would get very excited and rush
around barking loudly. In an attempt to keep him quiet Jim would
hand some dog biscuits to each visitor with the instructions to
give one to Koko each time he barked. Koko however soon realised
that if he barked he got a reward and so unwittingly Jim trained
him to bark. Koko is a friendly dog and would often hold out an
outstretched paw to be shaken.
Koko in 2005.
Jim in characteristic pose at Bantock House
It was always a pleasure to visit Jim and see his
latest books covering a wide range of topics. There was always something
interesting to see from his collection and the conversation could be
about almost anything.
One of Jim's ambitions was to win the National
Lottery and purchase a traction engine. Had he been successful in this
venture he would have donated it to the Black Country Living Museum. His
other wish on winning the lottery would have been to purchase an
expensive luxury car with a lady chauffeur, but sadly this was not to
Jim was always in excellent health
until well into his 80th year, no doubt helped by
his frequent walks with Koko. Several years ago a friend
persuaded him to visit the doctor for a check-up. This he
duly did and the much younger doctor told him “you are
fitter than I am”.
Unfortunately this didn’t last and he
started to complain about aches and pains and began to visit
the doctor regularly. After a number of tests in the local
hospital he was diagnosed with myeloma. The incurable
disease progressed more rapidly than expected, his last
public appearance being at a Black Country Society book
launch in Wordsley Church on 12th March, 2005.
Jim soon found himself in hospital for several weeks and
his condition seemed to greatly improve.
Another view of Jim at Bantock House
Jim leaves Broadway bungalow for the
|Unfortunately on his return home he quickly deteriorated
and passed away on 7th September, 2005 during a
second brief spell in hospital.
The funeral took place on
19th October and well over 200 people filled Wombourne
parish church. Local shops closed for the occasion and most
of the locals came to say their last goodbye. Jim was
cremated at Gornal Wood Crematorium and his ashes were
Jim had a large number of friends and is well
known to many vintage vehicle enthusiasts. He will be missed by them
all. His neighbours were wonderful and extremely supportive,
especially near the end when he needed a lot of help. One in
particular, Joy Price, looked after his affairs and did everything
that she could for him. Luckily Koko has now found a new and
permanent home with a gentleman in Sedgley.
Jim believed he was the last of his line; as
far as he knew there were no surviving blood relatives. His uncle
Jim H. Boulton emigrated to Canada in 1904, but unfortunately the
two branches of the family lost contact with each other. Thanks to
this article Jim's second cousin Lea has been in contact with me and
the family are now discovering their late relative from Wombourne.
Jim would have been delighted to have known that he still had a
cousin in Canada, it's a great pity that this couldn't have happened
in his lifetime.
Jim was a kind man, one of nature’s gentlemen, always
willing to help anyone. It was a pleasure to know him and like many of
his friends and neighbours I will miss him dearly.