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Dr Jim Marshall

Past Bait Rat


Rats Register No. 777. Initiated on

Proposer: Davy Kaye.

Installed as a Companion Rat on 23 August 1992.

Changed to a being a Water Rats, so that he could hold office.

Bait Rat in 1997; King Rat?s Award 1997; Badge of Merit 2004. O.B.E.(2003).

Jim Marshall was born in Acton, West London, into a family who ran a Fish & Chip shop and which included boxers and music Hall artistes. For many years his life was dominated by tuberculosis of the bones causing him to spend many years in a plaster cast from his knees to his armpits, and in and out of hospitals.

When he was 15 diminishing family finances forced Jim to take jobs in a scrap-metal yard, a jam factory, and a shoe shop. Having learned tap-dancing he was hired as a dancer and singer with a 16 piece orchestra. He took up drumming and travelled to gigs on his bike with his drum kit being pulled by a trailer.

Having failed the physical fitness test he was not able to serve during WW II, so he worked as a tool maker in an aircraft engineering firm. After the war taught drumming and eventually had 65 students. He used the profit from his teaching to buy a music shop in Hanwell, London in 1960. Among his customers were Mitch Mitchell, Richie Blackmore and Jimmy Hendrix. At Pete Townshend?s suggestion Jim added guitars and amps to the stock in his shop. However, these guitarists weren't happy with the quality of the amps and asked Jim to come up with something better. With Ken Bran and Dudley Craven on board, Jim finally got the sixth prototype correct.

Jim quickly built his enterprise into a consistently successful firm. Jim won the Queen's Award for Export Achievement and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2004. Jim was regularly listed among Britain's wealthiest individuals.

Because of his parents financial difficulties during his youth Jim became one of the 'wealthy' people who was an extremely generous person. Among the beneficiaries of his wealth was the hospital that helped him so much during his youth The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. His other major charities were the TV & Radio Industries Award; the Entertainment Artists Benevolent Fund; The John Ratcliff Hospital in Oxford; The Variety Club of Great Britain, The Macmillan Nurses and of course The Grand Order of Lady Ratlings and the Grand Order of Water Rats. The Rats are particularly grateful for his last gift which will help countless people who visit their Headquarters 'the cost of a lift between our three floors'.

Jim is survived by his children Terry and Victoria and his step-children and various grand children.
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