FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

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epigramophone
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FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by epigramophone »

Alastair Murray has just given me the sad news that Frank passed away shortly before Christmas, after a spell in hospital.

Frank's contribution to the history of EMG and Expert cannot be overstated. He singlehandedly rescued these great names from obscurity and published the results of his extensive research in his book "The EMG Story". When I acquired my copy with it's personal dedication from Frank, Alastair warned me that once I had read it I would want one of these hand made machines, and so it proved.

Several years ago Frank, who had a background in historic buildings, bought a ruinous Tudor farmhouse and outbuildings which he painstakingly restored. Every year Alastair and I would spend a day there and marvel at the progress Frank had made. We have lost a dear and valued friend.

The funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised, and Covid-19 restrictions will make attendance difficult.
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Frank's project 009.JPG
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Orchorsol
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by Orchorsol »

My goodness, that's a shock, and extremely sad news. I regard myself as very fortunate to have met him and spent time with him listening to and talking about EMGs, and I'll always treasure the two Oscar Natzke records he kindly gave me - indeed they are reverentially marked as such in my collection. Please pass my condolences and best wishes to his family if you happen to be in touch Roger, and many thanks for letting us know.
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kirtley2012
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by kirtley2012 »

The time I met Frank showed he was a force of nature, always on the move, I’d be surprised if he took his boots off or lay down to sleep, or indeed if he slept at all, the most active and driven man of his age I’ve ever met, the time he asked me what Ginn machines I had and as I only had one at the time when I replied “An Expert Junior” and his reply of “well we’ve all got to start somewhere” made me chuckle

Rest easy Frank, I might have to go and give my copy of the EMG story another read through

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emgcr
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by emgcr »

This is a great shock and very sad news indeed. It is also totally unexpected as Frank has always been unusually strong, fit and active both physically and mentally. He always gave the impression of being the type of human being who would go on forever. He was about to undertake the restoration of a derelict tower in the middle of a wood.

As Roger says, he was THE EMG guru entirely responsible for the enormous worldwide interest in all things Ginn and has inspired every one of us for a great many years. He was also a kind and generous man with an excellent searching maverick intellect. His company, writing and good counsel will be sorely missed. RIP.
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by chunnybh »

I am totally gutted. The finest man I ever met. RIP

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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by old country chemist »

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Frank James was one of the most interesting men I ever had the pleasure to know, in a scale of 1 to 10, her was very near the top. Yes, it has been a very sad day for me-and I see for many of you, who knew him, and held him as a very good fried. I won't ramble on too much, but the way I met Frank was back in the early 1990s. I heard someone was writing a book on the EMG, Ginn and associated external horn machines. I wrote to him offering my services of drawing some pictures for the book. Frank wrote back-well we did in those days!-and I did some illustrations of the premises occupied by the famous manufacturers. It took off from there, and I regularly went to his homes, Yartleton Farm then later the lovely old Brook Farm at least once a year with either Phil Lewis, then later, Roger Mackey. Those yearly visits were always memorable ones indeed! He will be much missed by all who had the pleasure to know him as a friend and the "EMG Guru". His knowledge of the finest acoustic machines was boundless, always finding out more information, or when we visited, another couple of machines to view, and play. He was also an author, and had a very good knowledge of house restorations. He also had a keen interest in old transport.
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I am putting on a few pictures. Roger has put on the "before and after" pictures of Brook Farm, so I will put on Yartleton Farm and some of Frank.
Rest in peace old friend-there will never be another like you.

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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by epigramophone »

Ah yes, Frank's 1936 Armstrong Siddeley 17 Horsepower "Sports Foursome". Old cars were another passion shared by Frank, Alastair, myself and several other forum members.

The following pictures show Alastair admiring the restoration as it proceeded :
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1936 A-S 17hp Sports Foursome 001.JPG
1936 A-S 17hp Sports Foursome 002.JPG

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kirtley2012
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by kirtley2012 »

Alastair, I love the picture of Frank in repose under the looming EMG horn, I imagine many of us are found to be in a very similar scene most days!

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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by CarlosV »

I never met the gentleman, but read his book, among the best researched on the field besides being enjoyable to read. My condolences to the family and friends.

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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by Curt A »

I never had the opportunity to meet him, since we were separated by an ocean, but looking at the before and after pics of Brook Farm gives a real insight into who he was... That type of talent can't be replaced. RIP Frank...
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