Jim quit his job in banking to follow his passion and become a tennis coach, but when his knees could no longer stand 50 hours on the courts each week, he turned to racket stringing. Jim now strings for the worlds greatest players such as Nadal and Murray, reaching their exacting standards with astonishing speed and accuracy.
Thousands of people attend every year and millions watch at home, but there’s one side of the tournament that few are aware of. This is Wimbledon as you’ve never seen it before, through the eyes of Jim, one of the unsung heroes of Wimbledon.
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Questions & Answers
- What's your first memory of London? I'm originally from Essex, and in 1967 I had a scooter and me and my friends rode to London, which was the reverse of what most people were doing at the time.
- What do you miss when you're away from London? Lots of people see London as mysterious and complex, but I still feel at home there and find it to be friendly. Londoners tend to be family orientated, especially in the East End.
- What's your favourite neighbourhood? The East End, for the community atmosphere. I also like in and around the Thames.
- What's your favourite building? I think The Shard is amazing to look at. Also some of the modern architecture down by the o2.
- What's your ideal day out in London? When you are in Central London everything is within a mile's walking distance. So I would like to walk about sightseeing. I like to see the history of London, as it's very British, and it makes me feel at home.
- What's your ideal night out in London? When I was younger it would have been going to a West Ham match, then going out with my friends after.
- What's your most hated building? I don't hate any buildings as they all resonate with me as being from London, ugly or otherwise! Although possibly the high-rise flats in the East End.
- What's the best view in London? There is a hill at the back of the courts at Wimbledon where you can see out over the whole city. It's especially nice at night.
- What's your favourite open space? Hampstead Heath.
- What's your favourite bar, pub or restaurant? An Italian restaurant called the Olive Garden, in Wandsworth, which I like to go to when I'm working at Wimbledon.
- What's the most interesting shop? Gamages before it closed down. It was a department store in Holborn that sold toys and sports equipment, and had a large model railway.
- What's been your most memorable night out in London? Back in the 60s I would go to the Times Club, right about the time when freedom first came to the teenagers; we had money to spend, and clubs opened our eyes to the different types of music and fashion that we could follow.
- Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? I would take them to Central London, as there are so many things to do with a mile-radius. I wouldn't go to any place specifically, but just walk around and see the buildings.
- What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? Any journey between 8.15am and 9.15am! The shiftings of the huge volumes of people is quite incredible.
- Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Sherlock Holmes.
- What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? I recently watched a BBC documentary called Timeshift, that was a look back at the bank holiday 'battles of the beaches', when hundreds of mods and rockers flocked to seaside resorts on scooters and motorbikes.
- If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? The 1960s, when there was huge cultural change, especially around Carnaby Street.
- For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? Michael Caine.