Nov 12 2014

Jim Perrie – 1949 vintage

PerrieOver the years, Jim Perrie, the clubs’ Antipodean decānus, has very much established himself as the James Bond of Barnes Runners. With his killer good looks and disarming, eye-twinkling charm, men want him and women want to be him.

A true pillar of the local community, Jim did not – contrary to folklore – grow up in south-west London: his youth was actually spent in Tolkien’s New Zealand, battling trolls and “buzzing” hobbits with his Ford F-Series Ranger.

In the early 1970s, the “Hunk of Hamilton” would fearlessly lead his young acolytes on discovery expeditions of the Waikato River – from the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu right down as far as Lake Taupo. Those who were brave enough to follow him would leave as boys… and return as men. Or women.Perrie

The years have passed and the Waikato Plains have transformed into Barnes Common. The Tasman Sea is now Barnes duck pond and the Tongariro River is the Thames. But Jim is still leading people on his now famous exploratory Mystery Tours of the world around us – from Sheen Cemetery to Clifford Avenue… from the mean streets of Barnes to Mortlake High Street (where every breath could be your last).

In the intervening period, Jim has had a number of birthdays. And he has acquired not inconsiderable experience in marking them. He is, in fact, about to have another one – his 65th. In keeping with custom, he should like to suggest that as many members of the club as are available to join him for the usual milk and biscuits at the Coach & Horses should do exactly that this Saturday, 15 November.

Jim will be holding court from 2 PM onwards in the pub’s private function room at the back (which will have been specially converted into a throne room for the occasion). Please drop by: honour him… pay tribute to his eventful life… rub his head (according to the Maori of Ngaruawahia, doing so bestows upon the rubber prolonged fertility and sharper dress sense). Celebrations will continue for many hours and will transition seamlessly into the Sunday morning run (a leisurely-paced circumnavigation of Richmond Park) – so bring your plimsolls.

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