James Balloch (1937-2018) was a poet whose The Death of Ophelia was published by Aesop Poets in 2019.|
Matthew Plant and Garry James wrote the following tribute to James Balloch:|
James Alan Balloch - 'Jim' to his friends - was an extraordinary man, delightful, unpretentious, understated, a thinker. He was clever, articulate, creative, sensitive, hardworking, warm, knowing, but with a non-judgemental sense of humour. He had an unconscious natural ability in becoming a friend to anyone; he was sociable but often alone.
Jim was born on 20 June 1937 in Hornchurch, the London Borough of Havering, before moving to Coventry at a young age and finally settling in Oxford, detached from any family.
He was a self-educated man, teaching himself to read and write Latin. This, with his love of literature in various forms including Shakespeare, the classics and poetry, was his consuming passion. Jim spent his working life in the print industry, employed by Hunts Lithoprint, originally located in the heart of Oxford, just off Broad Street, earning him the name of 'Jim the Trim' due to the vast amount of printed materials he would handle and guillotine.
Jim wrote his poetry and thoughts over many years. He spent over forty-six years with Hunts Lithoprint, for whom he was still employed until his death on 12 January 2018, aged 80. A cherry blossom tree, forming a resting place in Jim's memory, has been planted at one of his favourite locations, the pond, Oxford University Parks, Parks Road, Oxford.
Jim always got on with everyone he came into contact with. He was gentle, reserved and unassuming and very popular with his friends and colleagues.