Popular Ilkeston organist Jim dies

Jim Turner. former organist and lollipop man who died. ilkeston.
Jim Turner. former organist and lollipop man who died. ilkeston.

A well-known former Ilkeston lollipop man and organist has died.

James Turner, known as Jim, died on July 24, aged 77.

Mr Turner, who worked at Stanton as a concrete research operator, was taught to play the organ by his uncle Tommy and his mother Annie Turner had one at their house in Richmond Avenue.

Throughout his life he played at various clubs and pubs in Ilkeston, including The Concorde, The Pioneer, The Middleton Club, The Stute, The Ilford Club.

He also played for various dance schools including The Vambria Walters School of Dancing.

He went on to do summer seasons at Butlins Clacton and Pontins at Minehead and Puckpool on the Isle of Wight.

He taught many pupils to play both the piano and keyboard throughout his life, from youngsters to the elderly.

Daughter, Sue, said: “His claim to fame as he said was playing for Des O’Connor in July 2002 at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham where he was presented with a bottle of brandy with a special label commemorating this.

“He also played for Frankie Vaughan.

“He was also a lollipop man on Cavendish road from the 1970s to 1988 for Field House Infants school .

“On his retirement he received a letter from the Derbyshire Constabulary thanking him for his service.

“He showed lots of children across the road and then showed the children’s children across the road too.

“His neighbours would often stand outside his home in Kirkby Avenue just to listen to him playing the piano.”

Mr Turner played for many weddings and funerals and was an active member of All Saints’ Church in Stanley Common where he was also the church organist.

His funeral will be held there on Friday, August 14 at 3pm followed by burial in the churchyard.

A wake will be held at The Stute on Hallam Fields Road,

His family welcome anyone who knew him to attend.

Sue said: “My mum (Sheila) had passed away in November 2012.

“He then met Barbara, his partner, in August 2014 and they had been travelling up and down the UK holidaying at many places.

“They had regularly been away on many day trips, and if they ever went in and saw a piano you could guarantee he couldn’t keep his hands of those ivories.”