Many of you will be saddened to hear of the passing of Jim Shiels ('Geordie Jim'). Although illness had prevented him from attending our Friday sessions in recent times, Jim's association with Bingham Folk Club goes back to its very early days and his singing was always admired by everyone who heard it. He was also a member of The Stormy Weather Boys shanty group for many years. Rob Townshend is a fellow member of The Stormy Weather Boys and knew Jim as well as anyone. His thoughts sum things up perfectly:
'Jim was a very stoic person, coming from a fearless core strength. He took everything in his stride and was well regarded in the group for his ability to 'just do it' without any drama.
His voice was tradition at its finest. He could start a song on key every time, without any prompt. The Stormies have an unfillable hole in their line-up and will miss his presence and solid contribution.
I last saw him at the City Hospital two weeks before he died. He was delighted to see me and we talked, probably in greater depth than ever before. He was aware of the fact that he had little time left, but did not dwell on it. Bloody typical of the man!
We need to be reminded that throughout his illness he was looking after a wife who also has a serious long-term condition, which he did without complaint.
Everyone had the profoundest respect for Jim as a person and a performer. He was there. He was solid. Now he is gone and he will be missed by a lot of people, and I am one of them.'
Jim's funeral took place on Thursday 11th May at The All Saints' Church in Cotgrave, Notts.