Jim Beddoes - a personal memory
|Here is a little of what I remember of the life of one of the most generous of benefactors to the village of Polperro.
Jim arrived in Polperro I understand virtually penniless either late 40s or early 50s with his wife Eileen, I was still at school and I remember them renting an old gypsy caravan situated in an old quarry halfway up Polperro new road from our neighbour Miss Brangington.
Jim was a brass founder by trade, and rented the old forge from Leonard Pearce where he made brass gifts for the tourist trade, piskies and donkies I remember well. The following year he took the business had expanded and he took on two helpers. Then bought the forge from the Pearce family, all this time working extremely hard. He made living accommodation up in the roof space for him and his wife.
The time as to what year, now gets a little foggy he did so many things in a very short time so I may have the sequences mixed up.
He bought treetops on Landaviddy Lane and then a building in Buller St at East Looe, which he converted into a shop and flats. About this time he became a Liskeard Councillor representing Polperro and instigated getting the street lights extended up the village.
In approx 1956/7 he bought the meadow at Crumplehorn, which was at that time used as an overspill car park for the sum of £6000 (the district council were unable to see it being profitable at that figure). That same council then asked him to make provision for the coaches to be parked there, as they wanted to stop them going any further into the village.
I understand that he met a person on a train who helped him by lending the money to purchase the willow gardens and the bottoms of the fields up the valley which enabled him to extend the car park to what it is now. Jim was very much a hands on person and did a lot of the work building the walls to the river himself. At about this time he tragically lost his Eileen.
T this time we lived next to the car park and could not have had a more considerate neighbour.
Jim's generous contributions to the community during his connections with Polperro are endless, a few I know of but I am sure there are many . He helped financially creating the age concern room in the village hall, he supplied a number of seats to the Harbour, the parish council he financed to create a seating area above the beach and the following year to pay for the path to be rebuilt in that area. He always allowed the members of the Fishermen's choir to park free when attending practice or concerts.
His final gesture to the village that I know of, was to pay £25000 towards the upgrading of the toilets at Crumplehorn. He once said to me 'I feel it is my responsibility tp support this work as my customers are the ones who need it!'
Not only was I as neighbour of his for many years but I also worked for him as a builder, he was one of the most approachable people I have ever known. The village gave him the opportunity and he had the drive and foresight to take it on! Polperro is the better for him having come among us.
He once said to me when you have nothing you risk losing nothing.