Jamaican born man who 'loved Burnley with all his heart' dies just days after his 99th birthday

A Jamaican born father of six, who made Burnley his home, has died just a few days after celebrating his 99th birthday.
Jimmy pictured celebrating his 98th birthday last year at the Royla Dyche with his friend Paul Lorriman.Jimmy pictured celebrating his 98th birthday last year at the Royla Dyche with his friend Paul Lorriman.
Jimmy pictured celebrating his 98th birthday last year at the Royla Dyche with his friend Paul Lorriman.

Dozens of friends and relatives had helped Jimmy Hinds to celebrate his landmark birthday just days before he died peacefully in his sleep at his daughter Yvonne's home.

Paying tribute to her father Yvonne said: "Dad always said that was how he wanted to go, just to fallasleep and not wake up so he got his wish."

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Jimmy moved to the UK during World War Two when he signed up for the Royal Air Force along withmany of his peers from Jamaica.

Jimmy at work as a diecasterJimmy at work as a diecaster
Jimmy at work as a diecaster

Located at several bases across the country the group, who loved to dance, regularly visited dance halls across the North West and Jimmy met his wife, Irene, at the Empress ballroom in Burnley.

When the war ended Jimmy had to return to Jamaica but as soon as he could he returned to Burnley and married Irene. They started a family and as Irene was busy with the children Jimmy always cooked the Sunday lunch of Jamaican chicken curry, rice and peas.

Yvonne said: "It was very hard for mum and dad in the early years for a mixed marriage in Burnley.

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"They, and the rest of the family, suffered from racism from many people.

"However we all helped to change people's opinions over the years as, like everyone, we all share the same ups and downs that life throws at us."

A skilled engineer, Jimmy worked at various diecasting places in Burnley.

During his youth in Jamaica he completed an apprenticeship in carpentry and was also a champion cyclist.

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A big music fan, particularly 1970s and 80s soul music Jimmy was a familiar face on the pub and clubcircuit in Burnley and was a regular at the former Cat's Whiskers, Annabella’s and Angels nightspots.

But he rarely took a drink, preferring to drive everywhere. The family, including the couple's three daughters and three sons, lived in Hulme Street close to Burnley Barracks, and Yvonne recalls they were the only family living there who owned a car.

She said:"My dad loved the music, dancing and being around people.

"When he could no longer dance he liked to watch others enjoying themselves."

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A keen fan of all sport, Jimmy followed the Clarets and had a Daily Mirror delivered regularly by his good friend Paul Lorriman. He could then check the form as he loved a flutter on the horses, placing his last telephone bet with Paul, just a few days before he died.

Tragically Jimmy outlived all of his three sons, his middle daughter and wife Irene, yet despite these devastating losses he was a compassionate and caring person, who went out of his way to help young people who had difficult home lives, both in Burnley and Jamaica.

In his seventies Jimmy returned home to Jamaica to care for his older brother but had spent the last five years back in the Burnley area living with Yvonne.

Relatives, dozens of friends, former colleagues and people who had known Jimmy for years turned out to pay their last respects at his funeral which included a tour of Burnley and celebration of his life at the Royal Dyche. And they toasted Jimmy with a tot of his favourite Appleton rum.

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Yvonne said: "My dad loved going to the Royal Dyche and the landlady Justine Lorriman and all the regulars made him so welcome.

"He loved the fact that people of all ages and from different backgrounds went in there."

And although he loved Burnley and thought of it as his home, Jimmy's dying wish was to be buried in the family tomb on the small citrus farm in Frankfield, his birthplace in the mountains of central Jamaica where his parents, aunts and uncles and other relatives have all been laid to rest.

Yvonne and other family members are planning to make the trip there with her father's ashes to honour his last request.

She said: "He loved Burnley with all his heart but he did say he would be too cold if this was his finalresting place."