Sir Jim to be buried in Scarborough

Sir Jimmy Savile OBE - Freeman of the Borough of Scarborough receive their Honorary Freeman Badges at the Town Hall today. 071769r'in News   26/4/07    pic AH
Sir Jimmy Savile OBE - Freeman of the Borough of Scarborough receive their Honorary Freeman Badges at the Town Hall today. 071769r'in News 26/4/07 pic AH

SIR Jimmy Savile’s final resting place will be in Scarborough, it has been confirmed.

The TV legend will be buried in the town next Thursday, following a funeral service at St Anne’s Catholic Cathedral in Leeds on Wednesday.

The exact location and time for his burial are still to be confirmed.

Friends and supporters say they are delighted to hear that Sir Jim will be laid to rest in the town he loved.

Scarborough businessman and family friend James Corrigan said: “He had been around the world probably 10 times and for him to choose his final resting place as Scarborough confirms what he said to me, that this was his favourite place.

“It just shows how close to his heart Scarborough was.”

Former Mr Marvels owner Malcolm Stephenson, who had known Sir Jim for 47 years, said: “I’m absolutely delighted - it’s what he wanted.

“He told me he wanted to be buried somewhere he could ‘see the sea’.”

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill said: “It shows where his heart was and that Scarborough held a lot of happy memories for him.”

Scarborough Council leader Tom Fox said: “When you think Sir Jimmy travelled the world, visited so many exotic places, and then always returned to Scarborough, it is a tribute to our town and his love of it.

“We are privileged by his wish and as a community we are proud that Scarborough will be his final resting place.”

Sir Jim was a regular at the Rendezvous Cafe in Northway and owner Nigel Dack said he was delighted to hear the news.

He said: “I spoke to him often in the cafe and he was one of the most pleasant blokes I’ve ever met.”

Cunard spokesman Eric Flounders, who is originally from Scarborough, has also given his reaction to the news and paid tribute.

He said: “I always thought he would be buried in Leeds next to his mother, and the fact that he has chosen Scarborough shows just how much he loved the place.

Mr Flounders added: “Jimmy and I shared two big passions, Scarborough and Cunard, in that order, and in the twenty five years I knew him I don’t think we ever ran out of things to say on either subject.

“These twin interests merged very well when I persuaded him to join QE2 - his favourite ship - as we sailed past Scarborough on the ship’s fortieth anniversary voyage in 2007.

“I well remember leaning over the bridge rail and watching this tiny figure way below trying to negotiate his transfer from a little fishing boat, bobbing up and down in the swell, to QE2 which continued to travel along at five knots past the Castle Head.

“It would have been a difficult manoeuvre for anybody short of the SAS, let alone a virtual octogenarian, but he managed - aided by the Captain bellowing down from the bridge ‘Jump, Jimmy, jump!’.

“He last travelled with Cunard as recently as last September when he joined the new Queen Elizabeth on her maiden Round Britain voyage - again passing Scarborough.

“One of the best things about Jimmy was his approachability, and he never tired of being accosted by members of the public; he always had a word for everybody.

“He often used to wear a silly hat with flaps ‘so he wouldn’t be recognised’, but he knew very well that it actually attracted attention.

“His favourite gag when encountering a married couple was to say to the man ‘’It’s nice to see a father taking his daughter out’, at which the wife would invariably blush and say ‘Oh, Jimmy’. It never failed.

“He was marvellous on the ships- always speaking to anyone and everyone as he made his way round the decks.

“But despite that, he was very private and I doubt if any of his friends really knew him properly.”

Sir Jim’s funeral service, with a catholic mass, is to be held at 2pm at St Anne’s in Leeds, the same place that the funeral of his beloved mother ‘The Duchess’ took place in 1973.

It is expected to be a huge affair, with members of the public as well as family, friends and celebrities, expected to attend.

The cathedral has a capacity of up to 600 people.

Details about the Scarborough burial will be confirmed nearer the time.

Discussions are ongoing about erecting a statue of Sir Jim in Scarborough. Those involved have asked it to be made clear that no public money will be used for this and that it will be privately funded.

A source close to the family has also asked the Evening News to make it clear that national reports of Sir Jim being in an open casket are completely untrue.