FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

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emgcr
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by emgcr »

Thank you Alastair. That is one we certainly have not seen before and which adds greatly to this thread.

THE Expert listening to the Expert Senior as you so rightly say.

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emgcr
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by emgcr »

Here is a message from Richard Goddard who is a long-standing member of this Board but who has recently been unable to post for unknown technical reasons despite repeated (failed) attempts by myself to contact David on his behalf. He was the custodian of the fine Overstall gramophone for many years which is now in the possession of Alastair.

"I was this morning browsing the TMF, and was both shocked and saddened to read of Frank James' death. I met him only once in about 1994/5, and at that time he was beardless and with the same shock of hair but then it was scarcely touched with grey. I too spent a most enjoyable day with him and his wife and son; the deal being that I should present myself on the Tues morning armed with a piece of fine Cheddar Cheese, and a bottle of wine....this being deemed my payment for the Overstall. At that time in Bury St Edmunds, my local town, there still existed a grocer's shop which had been in Abbeygate Street since the early 18th.C, and really, apart from the installation of electric lighting, nothing had changed; the staff, mostly very elderly men all wore floor length white tablier, and all the cheese paring was done in the shop in full view of the customers. Two full truckles came in each case, wrapped in muslin and black waxed, and the skill of those elderly men in paring was quite something to witness. The cheese needless to say was miraculous, and cost in the region of £1.00 per pound. Not an insignificent sum at that time.
Altogether a most enjoyable day with the James family, I bore home the wonderful Overstall gramophone."


Here it is in action a couple of years ago when I was lucky enough to be the go-between for a short while :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uk8OaaIi4A

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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by old country chemist »

Thank you very much, Graham, for posting Richard's message about the Overstall machine. I am deeply indebted to him for letting me be the next owner after him. After George Overstall had to move to a nursing home in the 1990s, Philip Lewis, a great chap, who did a lot for George, took on the machine, then Philip gave it to Frank James, and then from Frank to Richard, then me.
I must admit it is used almost daily. I have tried many soundboxes on it, some good, some bad, some indifferent, and a couple that are well suited to this gramophone-a No 4 mica,an "Orchorsol" and a no 2 Meltrope given the "Wild" treatment. Happy memories of rushing up to Georges home in an evening, and to go through his record card index, and pull out perhaps 10 discs to listen to. George would then disappear into a walk in cupboard, and without delay, return with the specified 78, and we would have a pleasant evening, interspersing each record with chat.
\My apologies for rambling on, as this is really a post about our dear friend Frank James, but since he was the owner of the gramophone, I felt it not really out of place to mention my happy times with it.

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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by old country chemist »

Hello all, One of the presents for my birthday was a book on male collectors. There were collectors of traffic cones, metal rail signs, milk bottles,clocks, and gramophones. Yes, Frank is pictured in the front cover with a multitude of horns, listening intently! There is a page plus the photograph inside the book outlining his passion for the high class machines.
I imagine the author, Brian Jenner must have thought Frank a worthy one to adorn the front cover.
No date in the book, but probably around 2000-2010 would to my mind be a reasonable date of publication.

Some of my other presents were a
Scan_20210123.png
1930s tin plate train carriage and oil tanker-Great! AND a super book on the Hornby clockwork and electric Trains given to me by my old friend "epigramophone"

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Inigo
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by Inigo »

Happy birthday, then!
Inigo

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chunnybh
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by chunnybh »

I know Frank had "Walter Hancock His Common Road Steam Carriages" published in 1975 and had co-authored "The Hancocks of Marlborough" in 2010. Does anyone have any more info on any other publications he may have been involved in?
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by old country chemist »

Hi chunny. I have e mailed Anni James to ask her if she knows the other books that Frank has written over the years, other than the "EMG Story" I expect the forum members would be interested to know-I certainly would.
I found a picture of the nicest EMG gramophone- a Mk10b (?) that Frank owned for a while up to 2019. Lovely machine, sounded out of this world. AND the condition was immaculate.
FRANK JAMES HOME 2017 008.JPG

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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by epigramophone »

I remember this machine very well, and was surprised that Frank sold it. I have often wondered who the lucky buyer was.

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emgcr
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by emgcr »

Yes, I remember that one too---exceptionally nice Mk Xa in all respects. I didn't know he had sold it.

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Steve
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Re: FRANK JAMES 1940-2020

Post by Steve »

When I visited Brooke Farm in August last year there was (from memory) just a couple of Mk 10's and the South Africa Expert Senior radio-gram thingy, which I believe were all going to Chunny?

Of course Frank's 10B was residing in the living room but I guess his family will be keeping that now.

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