Published: 29 August 2013
A celebration of the life of Jim Thomson Clachnacuddin C.C. took place in Inverness on Wednesday 28th August.
Jim was a cyclist through and through. He was an exceptional person with wonderful personal qualities and real warmth. He did well at Eastwood Secondary School in Glasgow where he studied French, at which he became extremely fluent, driven by the desire to read the best cycling magazines which were all written in French. He adored France and later when married to Sharon spent many holidays there.
Jim’s competitive nature found focus in cycling when he joined the Stamperland Wheelers where he made lifelong friends with Dave, Bobby, Ernie, Jakey, Linky, Rusty and Big Sammy. They rode out to races early on a Sunday morning on the Gourock Road, changing into their woollen shorts with the chamois leather insert. No lycra comfort in these days. The 25 miles of racing were then followed by the Sunday run. Holidays were spent cycling around Scotland staying in Youth hostels, scrapping up every rise in the road despite Ernie’s assurance at the start of each day that we would have none of that. Jim, ever the philosopher would reply “It’s always going to be like that”.
Alan Campbell from Deeside Thistle joined up with the ex Stamperland Wheelers, Jim, Dave Meeks and Bobby Macgregor, all in their 30s by then, to embark on continental cycling adventures over many years that saw them riding the Paris-Roubaix route, the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites. They tackled the famous climbs like Galibier, Ventoux, Tourmalet and many more. Where continental racing was concerned, Jim was a real historian. He would regale you with heroic struggles in races of yesteryear, which were recalled in great detail and with real affection. Jim was the one who would do the extra stint at the front when the going got tough and he was the one the others turned to when ordering dinner in french got a little complicated.
Jim was always immaculately turned out on his bike, he had style, and now in Inverness, was soon winning time trials for Clachnacuddin CC. He had also, by then, added hill-walking to his cycling activities.
When racing took a back seat, he turned to timekeeping and was much in demand by clubs throughout the north, timing Scottish Championships on many occasions. His accountancy skills were also much in demand. Many years were done as club and centre treasurer as well as auditing accounts for various organisations. He was a great servant to both club and centre.
Jim had a great sense of humour, always kind and self-effacing, not having a bad word to say about anyone. He always took, in good part, the jokes about his writing which was rather difficult to read.
Thanks are due, for many of these memories shared, to Jim’s brother Croy and friend Alan Campbell who both spoke at the service.
Jim and Sharon moved north to Inverness in 1973. They had contemplated going to New Zealand at that stage. It was assuredly our gain that they chose to go north.