Wharram Builders and Friends

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My first boat, my unique boat is a tiki 26. Grazie Jim

Very sad news.  A man never to be forgotten.

I met him once, maybe twenty years ago, when we spent a week on Gaia.  He struck me as a true gentleman, a one-off with his own ideas, with a healthy disregard for convention and a disarming charm.  He had a child-like mischievous sense of humour, together a modesty that belied his strength and what he had achieved.  I'll never forget the way he chuckled at the term "living legend".

His fondness for the ladies was well known.  He seemed to "love women", not only loving individual women.  He once insisted on taking my wife shopping for a dress, something few men would do.  She still has that dress and occasionally still wears it for a special event, even now referring to it as James' dress.

May he rest in peace

RIP Jim. We are so lucky that Jim (and Hanneke) left us with their book "People of the Sea" as well as his achievements and his designs -

 Jim had a profound intellectual hinterland. He learned to self-study in the "radical city" of Manchester, the city of Marx and Engels. In Manchester's Central Library:

"I learned to self-study; to go into any subject from the basics, with an open mind, guided by the library's marvellous card-index system, My political studies at the end of the Second World War included writers like H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, and William Morris, whose Arts and Crafts ideals are still an important part of my design philosophy. In addition I studied the economics of Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, and of course the great British economist John Maynard Keynes.

I became chairman of a Labour Party youth group; I gave lectures on H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw to women's guilds and co-operative groups; and I was ear-marked for training as a future Labour Member of Parliament.."

I don't think James Wharram ever met John Berger, but that would have been an interesting conversation.

That generation, the one coming through from the war -haven't been matched since.

My life could not have had the form that it did without James Wharram. Although I never met him, I was always inspired by him. Very few people are able to do great things, better things, pushing out the boundaries, which contradict the mainstream views as James Wharram did. Humanity is poorer without him.

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