Michael Green remembers Jimmy Jones MBE


“We met in 1963, when he walked into the Phonographic Equipment showroom in Ladbroke Grove. It was early in my career, and I didn’t know many people.

He said. ”I am Jimmy Jones of Great Yarmouth”, and without thinking I said. “I am Michael Green of Ladbroke Grove”.

That was the start of an amazing friendship that has endured the years until he died a week ago on Tuesday night. We became very close and indeed attended many family events together over the years. We also did extensive business together and never had a problem that could not be resolved.

He suggested I come to Great Yarmouth and he would introduce me to everyone in the town. I did and got there on a cold snowy day in February 1963. True to his word, he introduced mw to the concessionaires on the Pleasure beach, which was owned by his father-in-law Albert Botton (Jimmy had moved from Bristol when he married Jane).

He also took me along Marine Parade, where there were a few arcades at that time. We went to an arcade called Arcadia, owned by Dennis Hazell who was actually handing it over to Charlie Thurston who had just bought it. That was the beginning of another great relationship until Charlie died a few years ago. My relationship with the Thurston family carries on today with Charles Junior and John who were just little kids back in 1963.

This gives you some idea of the man and how he cared for everyone and was the first to help if he could.

He was a very keen footballer and played for a number of years, until ano domini took over. His interest in the sport continued and he became a director of Norwich Football Club and played a key role in their success. In later years, he became President of Gorleston Football Club a team he loved and nurtured right up until he died.

Jimmy came from a very respected West Country showman family and had a great knowledge of rides and side shows. He put this to great use during the years he worked at the Pleasure Beach – ultimately taking on the CEO position after Both Albert and Lottie died. The Beach is now run by Jimmy’s son Albert who is carrying on the family tradition in an excellent way.

He was awarded his MBE in 2009 for his untiring efforts for his work in football and helping young sports boys and girls. He never boasted about this great achievement or any of his other successes in life.

The world and our industry has lost a great person, the likes of whom we will never see again.

Jimmy was quiet and unassuming even though he ran a very large and successful business. He also built an excellent single site operation called JJ operating. The other J was Jim’s wife Jane. He finally sold the operation to Brent Walker in the late Eighties.

It has been an absolute privilege to have known and spent many good times with Jim.

Goodbye my old pal, till we meet again.”

(click on image to see it full size)

From Coin Slot Jan 11th 1966

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