TRIBUTES have been paid to popular and well-loved Barnoldswick man Jim Stocks (68), who died on New Year’s Eve.
Jim’s wife Shirley has thanked everyone who donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, the charity she chose to help in his memory as he was a “true blue Yorkshireman”.
Born and raised in Barnoldswick, Jim’s father had come to the town from Huddersfield during the Second World War as an engineer.
Jim was a pupil at St Joseph’s Primary School and Barnoldswick Secondary Modern, before undertaking an apprenticeship in joinery.
As a young man, he was a keen sportsman, playing cricket and taking up potholing. He was also a talented dancer in his late teens and, with his love of Elvis and jiving, won competitions. In later years he would also play in pub pool teams and take up golf.
Following a devastating earthquake in Skopje, Macedonia, in 1963, Jim travelled with a local youth group to the area to help in the aftermath. It was there that he met his first wife and they had a daughter, Cheryl.
After they had gone their separate ways, Jim was working in Germany in the 1970s as a sub-contractor, fitting big store and shop fronts.
He decided to have a break at the hotel where Shirley, originally from Darlington, was staying.
After becoming a couple they stayed to work at the hotel together, and it was in front of 250 guests at a Christmas party that Jim proposed to Shirley.
The couple came back to Barnoldswick and married in 1975, after which they bought and remained in their home in Wellhouse Road.
Jim established himself as a joiner and started his own business.
Shirley said: “A lot of people in the town will remember him for the work he has done, like fitting the shop where James Bontoft is and the pharmacy.”
Jim lived life to the full and Shirley said he was well known in and around Barnoldswick, always sociable and happy to strike up a conversation.
He became a member of Ghyll Golf Club and even when he had to stop playing after a work injury, he remained a member at the club.
He was also a talented artist and many of the couple’s friends and family have his artwork in their homes.
One of the pieces he sold was of the Greyhound, which is now displayed in the pub.
Shirley said he also enjoyed walking the couple’s Jack Russells Bonnie and Clyde when his health permitted.
“He had a heart attack seven years ago and we realised then he had quite a few health problems and had to take a slower pace of life.”
Jim was admitted to hospital at the beginning of December with pneumonia and his health declined with kidney failure.
He passed away with Shirley at his side on New Year’s Eve.
She said: “I would like to thank everybody – family, friends, work mates, neighbours, my dance group Super Troopers, and the community. Everyone has said such lovely things about Jim.
“It was only when he passed away I realised just how many lives he had touched and how many people he knew.
“We have raised £475 for the Air Ambulance and hope to hand the cheque over to them soon. It has been an amazing response and everyone has been so kind.”