Story of the bench and how Jim fixed it

editorial image

SCARBOROUGH businessman James Corrigan has paid tribute to lifelong friend Sir Jimmy Savile and revealed the story behind Sir Jim’s very own bench.

He explained that a number of Sir Jim’s friends, including Mr Corrigan’s father, were members of what Jimmy called the “Scarborough Team”.

People would contact the team if they wanted to get in touch with Sir Jim, as he had no agent.

Another member of the team was John Dunn, whose passing was commemorated by Sir Jim fixing a memorial plaque to a bench at the top of McBean steps, which lead up from Foreshore Road. Mr Corrigan said: “About a year later, Savile said ‘I’ve got something else to show you’.

“There was another bench next John’s with a plaque which read ‘Jimmy Savile, but not yet’. Jimmy said ‘I thought John looked lonely’. We all had a good chuckle about it.”

Sir Jim’s plaque was stolen and replaced a couple of times, but the bench has now become the site of a touching tribute. Following Jimmy’s death on Saturday, a well-wisher has stuck a makeshift plaque to the bench, along with a couple of home-made cardboard Jim’ll Fix It badges.

Mr Corrigan said: “I’m not sure who did it, but all of the Scarborough Team knew that bench as Savile’s bench.”

He added that he suspects the tribute might have been left by Julian the hairdresser, whose shop faces the bench in St Nicholas Cliff.

Mr Corrigan, who grew up with Sir Jim as an uncle figure as he and his father were such close friends, is now calling for a permanent memorial to be made in Scarborough.

He said: “Jimmy was such an advocate of Scarborough. We need to start a debate about having a bronze statue in the town. He did such a lot of work for Scarborough – he loved the place.”

Sir Jim lived on the Esplanade, where the entrance hall still displays ‘Mrs Agnes Savile,’ his mother, on the wooden nameplate.