This last year has been a lost year for many.
Loss of confidence and even, in some cases - a loss of hope.
Hamilton Hall started its weekly Newsletter Blog e mailed to thousands each week and this - it seems - has been a life saver for many - in keeping in contact with others.
It also seems that no other gay mens group, of which there are many, has kept in touch other than now they are re opening and re organising, and until now, for over a full year - members have felt abandoned by 'so called' community groups who have actually - failed - during the most important time - a national lockdown, a pendemic where people are afraid and need company, even if by e mail or Skype.
One dear friend I lost touch with was Jimmy.
Now,- many of you know Jimmy.
Many remember him as the man from Glasgow who chatters away real friendly, and where for most of us, a great deal of what he said - was completely lost in a Scottish accent few could follow.
It use to make me laugh watching him chatting to guests and knowing they didn't have a clue what he was saying, but he chatterd on regardless.
The look of complete confusion on their faces... was a laugh.
He was a regular visitor at Hamiton Hall and took our leaflets and brochures all over the country sharing them with othjer gay venues, and let's face it, everyomne knew Jimmy. he was a real sweetheart.
He helped and aided so many - in so many different ways and had the kindest of hearts, always there to help and for one season he helped out at Hammy Hall as I wa sbetween staff, and he was so protective of me and Hammy Hall, it was so thoughtful and kind.
I remember camping with him once, me and a friend had our own tent and then Jimmy turned up and we helped him put his tent up as he didn't have a clue. He emptied his car and FILLED that tent with stuff and I swear his car was like the Tardis, for the amount of stuff he took out far exceeded the size of the car and it amazed how he got so much in to take so much out.... his tent was FULL.
Thiousands of my guests here knew him. Many loved and many couldn't follow his accent at all but love dhim anyway. he has a heart of gold.
After almost a year of Covid - I hear that Jimmy is unwell with dementia / alzheimers and this does sadden me. We have all missed certain thing this last year and the worst - it seems - is company. I have been here at Hamilton Hall with Philip who lives here and originally David who left after 4 years - just after New Year - and now Gary, my live-in staff member - and we spend evenings playing Scrabble or sharing a Netflix series and although busy during the days - we do spend time together over dinner and beyond for the evening at least.
For many, living alone has brought penalties.
Jimmy had a family and tons of friends and usually spent the summers under canvas at one of the gay mens camp grounds, and we lost touch during this year and it saddened to hear his mental health has so suffered and now Dementia has set in and we may never see him at Hamilton Hall again.
Bless you Jimmy - for - well it must be at least 15 years you have been coming to Hamilton Hall and you were family and will be dearly - dearly missed.
Our thoughts and our prayers go to Jimmy and whatever happens - wherever the future takes him, and us , and you - know that you are in our hearts, dearly in our hearts, and that we love and care and think of you often. Hamilton Hall will never be the same again after so many regulars have ' taken their leave' during this last year as Jimmy is not the only one we hear bad news from - it's just Jimmy was so well known.
The sad thing was when putting this together I spent over an hour sorting through thousands of pictures here at Hamilton Hall over the last 2 decades and I cannot find one of Jimmy, which I am sure we must have but I cannot find. I can see him in my minds eye and it seems, that's where it will stay, unless anyone out there can e mail me a picture for old times sake.
So a big prayer to the Universal Mother to keep an eye on Jimmy for us and let his time be full of smiles until he moves on and leaves us behind, until we also move on and will see him again, some day.
Love you Jimmy. Hope you are doing well and who knows, we will meet again, don't know where, don't know when, But I know we'll meet again some sunny day.
If you have pictures or stories of Jimmy, do share them with us here.
John: I agree. I could never understand Jimmy and he was such a love. Gary
Jimmy was always there. He seemed like staff. He was so considerate and helpful. Amazingly thoughtful man. Tony.
Jimmy looked after a young man in Bournemouth as he was homeless and had family and legal problems and like a son to Jimmy, he took him under his wing and spent years helping and guiding this complete stranger and this was who he was. He helped anyone and everyone even to the detriment of his own health. He was / is an angel. Michael.
Camped with Jimmy some time in the past. Such a laugh. Great friend and great human being. Mark.
As a regular to HH I remember Jimmy well. It seemed he was always there. He will be thought of with great affection by many. Rob.
Shared the Dorm with Jimmy a few times and heard his snores, and even that was with a scottish accent. Sean.
Bless him. Absolutely. Many take on the gay scene whereas Jimmy gave. He gave of himself in so many ways and the gay scebne is just so not that way these days and he will sincerely be missed. Malc.