West Norfolk council leader pays tribute to King’s Lynn’s Juggling Jim

Shrine to Juggling Jim
Shrine to Juggling Jim

West Norfolk council leader Brian Long has paid his respects to Anthony Bowen following his death last week.

Mr Bowen, known to many local people as ‘Juggling Jim’, died after suffering a cardiac arrest in Nelson Street.

In a statement, Mr Long said: “We were all very sad to hear that Mr Bowen had died. He was one of our town’s best-known characters and he will be missed by many.

“We have been contacted by a few people who’ve expressed a wish that some kind of memorial, possibly a plaque, to Jim be put up where he often performed his act.

“If this is something there is a lot of local support for, we’d like to try and make it happen. We’d be happy to contact the owners of the building, to see what could be possible.”

The shrine at the scene of where Mr Bowen used to perform has been moved to seating near Wimpey.

Mr Long said: “We had to make the difficult decision of when to clear these away, and we completely understand the depth of feeling that has prompted people to leave them. The doorway is a fire exit for nearby businesses, and we can’t allow their safety to be put at risk.

“We’re aware that a crowdfunding page has been raising money to go towards Mr Bowen’s funeral costs, or a memorial, and I’d like to invite the organiser to get in touch.

“Donations have also been made in cash, and if I can help to get these two funds together so they can do the most good, I’d like to do that.”

Mr Long can be contacted at: cllr.brian.long@west-norfolk.gov.uk or by calling his office on 01553 616245.

The details of Mr Bowen’s funeral have been released.

Funeral directors AJ Coggles have agreed to give Mr Bowen a “dignified funeral” free-of-charge at Lynn Minster on Wednesday, February 15, at 12.30pm.

The service will be followed by a private burial, within his father’s grave at Gayton.

There will be a collection at the service for West Norfolk Mind, or donations can be sent to AJ Coggles, at 1 Blackfriars Street, King’s Lynn, PE30 1NN.

Online donations can be made at: www.ajcoggles.co.uk (follow the link to memorygiving).