Much-loved King’s Lynn busker Juggling Jim has died

A screen shot from the documentary about Juggling Jim. Picture: Submitted.

A screen shot from the documentary about Juggling Jim. Picture: Submitted.

Tributes were being left at his usual pitch in a doorway in the High Street today.

Tributes left to King's Lynn busker Juggling Jim. Picture: Chris Bishop

Tributes left to King's Lynn busker Juggling Jim. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

A man who was pronounced dead in a property in Nelson Street yesterday has been named as the much-loved street entertainer.

Known to generations of Lynners as Juggling Jim, he was a familiar sight strumming his battered guitar, with broken strings or performing juggling tricks which always seemed to go wrong.

A tribute pinned to the door where he performed said: 'Juggling Jim rest in peace. The show is over, you got a standing ovation. You will be missed.'

Bunches of flowers, juggling clubs and hoops have been left by well-wishers including fellow entertainer Sally Beadle, who said: 'He said you've got to keep the audience guessing,' she said. 'You've got to have something fresh for them.'

A tribute left in the doorway where Juggling Jim performed. Picture: Chris Bishop

A tribute left in the doorway where Juggling Jim performed. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant


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A card signed Hayley said: 'Rest in peace Jim, thank you for the music.'

Autumn Taylor, 63, from Wisbech, said she used to stop and say hello to Jim whenever she visited Lynn.

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'He was a great entertainer, it's sad that he passed away,' she said. 'He was here in all sorts of weather, now he is entertaining angels in heaven.'

Little is known about the man behind the slapstick routines - whose real name was Anthony Bowen.

A tribute left in the doorway where Juggling Jim performed. Picture: Chris Bishop

A tribute left in the doorway where Juggling Jim performed. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Last year, he told a YouTube documentary filmed by College of West Anglia student Brodie Rake: 'I get called all sorts of things up here. Juggling Jim's the one most people know me as, or Old Jim sometimes.'

He revealed he had been married but his wife passed away. He said his second partner who he lived with had a terminal illness but walked out on him.

His age remained a mystery. He told Mr Rake he lived off his performances.

'It makes me a living, it's not too bad,' he said. 'It's a routine, it's a structured performance.'

Donations being made at the memorial for Anthony Bowen 'Juggling Jim' at King's Lynn High Street. Pi

Donations being made at the memorial for Anthony Bowen 'Juggling Jim' at King's Lynn High Street. Picture: TAZ ALI - Credit: Archant

In the documentary, named 'The Enigma of Juggling Jim', he said he liked to write songs and plays in his spare time and go the cinema. His favourite movie was Back to the Future II.

When asked what the key to happiness was, he said: 'Just do your own thing, do what you want to do.'

Ian Ashford, owner of Castle Costumes on Norfolk Street, said Juggling Jim used to visit his shop to buy juggling balls and santa hats - his favourite kind of headwear to keep warm.

He said: 'He was iconic and a really nice chap. I was very sad this morning to hear of his death.

Memorial for the late Anthony Bowen 'Juggling Jim' at King's Lynn High Street. Picture: TAZ ALI

Memorial for the late Anthony Bowen 'Juggling Jim' at King's Lynn High Street. Picture: TAZ ALI - Credit: Archant

'I've dropped off a santa hat at his tribute site. A character like him deserves a memorial for people to remember him by.'

His usual pitch was near Next in Lynn's High Street, although he took a break from lynn to perform outside the Spar shop in Hunstanton High Street.

A parody account on Twitter said today: 'The High Street won't be the same without him. RIP Juggling Jim.'

Police say his death is not being treated as suspicious. An ambulance spokesman said crews were called just before 10am to reports a man was in cardiac arrest.

dav

dav - Credit: citizenside.com

dav

dav - Credit: citizenside.com

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