Tribute to Mr Jim Carr (5.11.1945-5.6.2019)
It is with sad news that we report the passing of BVGS and North Birmingham Sport legend Jim Carr on 5th June 2019. His former colleague at BVGS Pete Cragg has prepared a tribute to Jim.
On the first Wednesday of every month a group of retired ex Bishop Vesey staff meet to exchange pleasantries and to find out about each other’s activities and developments over the last month. These meetings are generally happy occasions. However, the last meet was very sad when the news came through during our gathering that Jim Carr had passed away during that morning. What is the connection between this group and Jim Carr?
Jim’s first involvement with Bishop Vesey GS began when his two sons Robert and Ian entered this school. Mr and Mrs Carr were very supportive parents and would attend all activities that their sons were involved with. This support did not finish once their sons had completed their education here. Mrs Carr became a school governor, while Mr Carr realised, being a keen sportsman all of his life, that there was an opportunity to use his sporting prowess and coaching qualifications to help the school in the running of rugby and cricket teams. Rugby wise he helped to coach junior rugby squads and he often managed a B team each season. He particularly loved to see the players’ enthusiasm in games and matches despite the lack of high skill levels as seen in the A teams. He regularly told the story of one occasion when he had refereed a U13 B team match where a set of twins (the Roadknights) were the two props of the scrum. Both the boys, Alex and James, got stuck into the hard work required by front row forwards with total commitment. Mr Carr approached one of the twins at the end of the game asking if they had enjoyed the match. The reply was “Yes sir. I loved it. Did we win?” the Vesey team had won comfortably!
Mr Carr also was asked to act as one of the members of staff on two of the senior rugby tours; one to Canada and one to Australia. His senior experience and his bubbly enthusiasm towards ensuring that everyone experienced a trip of a lifetime was very much appreciated by both Veseyans and the opposition!
Due to his own love of cricket, Mr Carr’s biggest contribution to BVGS would probably be his role as member of staff in charge of senior cricket. He used his coaching qualifications and experience of coaching junior Warwickshire CC teams to ensure that his players performed at their very best levels against high class opposition; fixtures that Mr Carr had organised as part of his duties. He was also instrumental in helping the school obtain sufficient funds and sponsors to improve on the cricket facilities such as the practice nets, pitch covers, side screens etc. Once more one of the key factors of his success was how he interacted extremely well with the pupils and how they responded positively towards reaching the high targets that Mr Carr had set. At the end of the season Mr Carr would organise a meal at a local “curry house” to celebrate their successes, many of the staffs’ and pupils’ fondest memories will be of events such as this out of the school environment.
The director of sport, Mr Howell, fondly remembers the many hockey away fixtures where Mr Carr was hired to drive the school minibus. There was always a great deal of humour coming from the driver’s direction!
When the school sports hall was first opened it was felt that it was being underused in the evenings. One of the conditions of receiving grant money to build the hall was to ensure it was available for public use. Mr Carr was employed as the lettings manager for the sports hall. Due to his vast network of connections in the sporting world it was not very long before the hall was being extensively used for cricket nets, football and basketball. The funds from these lettings obviously helped the school maintain and improve on its other sporting facilities.
All of this he has managed along with his other activities. These included: performing duties as a husband, father and grandfather; belonging to a choir with regular concerts; helping with a food bank; assisting with the development of educational teaching in a region of Malawi, raising funds to help equip their schools; a season ticket holder with Wasps and Warwickshire CCC (also a tour guide to the latter); joining his church group to run lunchtime meals and after lunch activities in their church hall for senior citizens to name just some of his endeavours.
The connection was that the majority of the Vesey staff knew Mr Carr well as do many hundreds of people who have come across Jim. If his spirit is to live on then I can only ask you to follow in his beliefs that he so admired in the Roadknight twins. That is if you wish to gain fulfilment and satisfaction in any aspect of your lives then you simply “get stuck in” and apply yourselves 100% no matter what level you are able to perform at.
Mr Peter Cragg.
Member of BVGS staff 1989-2014