My friend Jimper Sutton

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Jimper Playing petanque at Salt Farm Shop Summer 2014

This is my tribute to my old school mate, fellow countryman and petanque player.

Jimper and I were class mates at school, he always had a good yarn in those days, though a bit X-rated at times. Jimper put his creative mind to writing and I am sure many people have read his stories and articles.

In recent years Jimper and I would play petanque and were in the same team. It started when the Pipemakers Arms were playing a home match and Jimper came along to watch. After the match he had a go at playing and was hooked on the game. The next week he came and said he been practising. I said you do not have any boules to play with, but he replied, I’ve been down at the beach throwing half bricks at a golf ball. I thereafter referred to him as half brick Jimper.

We were playing a league match at the Pipemakers when Jimper came limping along to play saying he had been to the hospital and had a growth removed from his foot. He started to play but every time he walked there was a squelch noise as his shoe was full of blood. But he carried on to the end of the match.

Jimper was playing in a competition at Fairlight when he said to a player from the opposing team, “Don’t I recognize you?” The reply was, “You should, because I caught you poaching many a time”. Jimper said, “No one ever caught me poaching” and back came the response, “that’s because I enjoyed the rabbits and game you gave me!”

Jimper being a great supporter of charities always entered the life boat petanque competition at Rye Harbour and played in the annual Rye News petanque competition that takes place on the Strand Quay.

Both of us being countrymen we always discussed what had been happening in the countryside the previous weeks and being keen vegetable growers would talk about how the runner beans and broad beans were growing. Jimper, being Jimper, always had takes about how good his vegetables were but sometimes he did admit they were a disaster, like the cabbages he tried to grow. I could spin him a good yarn and he fell for an April fool prank one year. I will miss the banter we had about our old school days and observation of nature and where, or if, the field mushrooms are growing on the marsh.

RIP Jimper

Photo: Dennis Leeds-George

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