A NONAGENARIAN hospice shop volunteer stuck at home due to mobility problems hopes to be back behind the till soon.
Jim Bomber, 93, has volunteered six afternoons a week for 10 years at the Claire House Hospice shop on Mold High Street.
But as he lives in a first floor flat in Y Coetir, Mold, ill health has kept him away since May. Now with a ground floor flat secured nearby, Jim hopes to be back in the next few months.
Originally from Kent, Jim joined the Air Force aged 17 and during the war was stationed in Hawarden and stayed in ‘civilian digs’ in Sandycroft.
“I had to be in by 9pm in the evening because the landlady’s husband was a ganger on the railway and had to start work at 5am,” recalled Jim.
“We used to go out in Shotton, Queensferry and Chester. There was a butcher’s shop, Mosedale’s, in Queensferry that used to have a big wall and everybody used to congregate there for chats.”
The strict curfew didn’t stop Jim meeting the love of his life, Peggy, when he went to see a film at Queensferry picture house where she worked.
The couple married at St Ethelwold’s Church in Shotton before Jim was posted to SIngapore.
“Three hundred and fifty of my colleagues on the first boat to Singapore were lost at sea,” said Jim.
“I was on the second boat, and then Singapore fell so we were sent back to Hawarden.”
The couple lived with Peggy’s parents in Shotton before getting a council house in Queensferry. They were married for “64 lovely years” and had three children, Pamela, who lives in Tafarn y Gelyn, Paul, who is based in Rhyl, and Peter who lived in France but died aged 61. Jim has four grandhcildren and four great-grandchildren.
After leaving the Air Force Jim worked as a painter and decorator at the Air Ministry at Sealand then worked in weights and measures at John SUmmers and Sons in Shotton. Later on he helped his wife in her antiques shop in Mold’s King Street, experience which he has found valuable in pricing items at the shop and advising on which goods are antiques and which are new.
“When my wife passed away I was walking around the flat and didn’t know what to do with myself,” explained Jim. His children suggested volunteering and he started at Save the Children pricing and ticketing items and soon secured a permanent shift at Claire House Hospice shop.
“I love it, the staff are magnificent,” said Jim.
“I work on the till and take the money and they trust me with that, which I think is fantastic.”
Claire House Children’s Hospice assistant area manager Carol Derosa said:
“Jim has been absolutely fabulous. He has been sorely missed by the customers and staff. Customers are asking where he is and sending gifts.”
Shop manager Angie Lloyd added:
“Jim is well thought of and will always be a valued member of the Claire House team. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you’re always most welcome at Claire House.”
If you can help at the Mold shop please contact Angie Lloyd on 01352 750191.