Jimmy Godden passes away


Jimmy Godden died on Monday night and the UK industry has lost another great character.

The entrepreneur, who had a string of arcades in Kent, had cancer and he leaves a wife Rochelle and three sons, James (from his marriage to his first wife Julia), Jeremy and Jordan.

Jimmy Godden was born just after the war in 1945 and was working for local estate agents in Kent as a general handyman before he married Julia Cooper, who was from a showman family.

Julia’s father operated the Rotunda in Folkestone, a local attraction, and this is where Jimmy started his career in the amusements business. Later he ran the Ramsgate Pleasure Park and in 1996, he bought the massive Dreamland site in Margate, which was sold to Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company in 2005. He also had arcades in Ramsgate, Dover, Folkestone, Margate and Leysdown-on-Sea.

Jimmy Godden was a former Division 1 Chairman of BACTA and helped the trade association in its property dealings, notably in the purchase of BACTA House.

“Jimmy was a great man, extremely clever, with a very strong character,” said Harry Levy, of Harry Levy Amusements, also based in Kent. “He helped me to get started as a business. The very first build of machines I undertook was for him and I worked closely with him for years.”

A reflective comment from Roy Deeming  –  ”JG (Roy’s name for Jimmy Godden) was a man with a great ability and business acumen, he was also a man that had another hidden side to him.  Over many years he became a very good friend and to show his other side, whilst I was seriously ill JG visited me at home on numerous occasions and gave both support and sympathy, which I am convinced helped me on the road to recovery. JG was a true friend that will stay in my heart forever.”

We understand that the funeral is planned to take place on April 11 at 2pm, but will supply more details of the venue in due course.







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