Profile: Jim Jarratt

About This Author

JIM JARRATT is a writer, songwriter, multi instrumental performer, occasional actor and Northern regionalist with a keen interest in history. Born in Bradford in 1950 this one time actor and countryside ranger has had a somewhat colourful career, doing Shakespeare at school while playing Working Men’s Clubs in a ‘beat group’ at the tender age of 16! During those years he was active in two youth theatre groups, Barnstormers and the West Riding Youth Theatre where he got a good grounding in performing arts. After sixth form Jim spent three years at St Katharines College in Liverpool. There he fell in love with the then burgeoning local folk scene driven by the Spinners and Jackie and Bridie, but decided against becoming a teacher. Returning to Yorkshire, Jim spent time in and out of work, gigging here and there as a club performer playing in a Country and Western band! In the mid seventies he was lucky enough to work with folksinger Bob Pegg of ‘Mr. Fox’ fame, with whom he appeared on television in ‘Secret Diaries’ and at the Ilkley Literature Festival. It was around this time that he began writing his highly distinctive local songs and monologues, some of which were published by the Arvon Foundation in 1975 and showcased on BBC Radio Leeds with the Waggoners Folk Group in Bradford. Jim began seriously writing in the 1980s when working as a Countryside Ranger, and wrote various features and articles appearing in the Guardian, Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Journal and Pennine Magazine. One of his Guardian pieces, ‘Government Surplus’ ended up as the centrepiece of the O.U. s foundation course module in social sciences. His first two countryside guidebooks The Fielden Trail and The Watersheds Walk were published by Smith Settle in 1988, and 1994 saw the publication of his Ivory Towers and Dressed Stones (Cicerone Press), two themed walker’s guides to the follies and curiosities of Yorkshire And Lancashire respectively., which he promoted on YTV’s ‘Dales Diary’ with Luke Casey. Throughout the nineties and into the millennium, Jim worked as a mobile street orderly with the local council, a job he dovetailed with occasional freelance proofreading sub editing for Macmillan Educational and Kogan Page, none of which got in the way of his musical/theatrical interests. At the end of the nineties Jim returned to the theatre playing his wide range of musical instruments in local productions of Catherine Cookson’s The Fifteen Streets and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Jim retired from his day job in 2013. He still writes songs and records and sells CDs of his work, having made 16 albums to date, which he promotes with a prolific music video presence on You Tube. He still performs too, folk gigs and not too long ago in ‘Dancehall of Dreams’, a ‘Performance Ensemble’production by Community Arts and Ensemble Theatre guru Alan Lyddiard, which ended up at the Leeds Playhouse. These days he spends much of his time consolidating the large amount of written work he has accrued throughout his busy life. Despite this however he still has further writing projects on his ‘bucket list!’ – there’s life in the old dog yet! Jim lives in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire with his wife, tucked away deep in the Pennine Hills he loves.

This Author's Books

Take a strange vision on the streets of York, a dark elemental force that doesn’t dig the Small Faces, and an old lady’s tale of the fastest two way flit ‘i Bradforth. Add a Templar’s curse in the suburbs of ‘70s Liverpool and the tale of a Yorkshire Sold....
ISBN: 9781788765114
Published: 14 September 2018
The Timple Canario is the coolest, sweetest little guitar in the world – in the Canary Islands that is!This ‘Gringo’s Guide’ to the instrument, the only one you’re ever likely to find in English, tells you everything you need to know about finding, housin....
ISBN: 9781788766043
Published: 16 November 2018
It rains a lot in West Yorkshire, particularly around the eccentric (some would say funky) little former mill town of Belston Bridge, which lies tucked away in the folds of the Pennine Moors, close to the Lancashire border.Some say the rain there never se....
ISBN: 9781788764681
Published: 9 August 2018
OH NO! IT’S THE COUNTRYSIDE WARDENS!It’s autumn, 1979, and workshy slacker Jim Franklin is a happy bunny. Having successfully seen off the unwelcome attentions of the D.H.S.S. by satisfying various employers as to his total unemployability, his way now se....
ISBN: 9781788767569
Published: 7 March 2019
SONGS FOR THE LIFE. Volume 1. ‘Songs for the Life’ Volume 1. is an anthology of songs which is the product of almost 50 years of performing on the ‘Folk Scene’ of Northern England. All the material in this book has been (and sometimes still is) performed ....
ISBN: 9781788769471
Published: 26 July 2019
SONGS FOR THE LIFE. Volume 2. ‘Songs for the Life’ is an anthology of songs, song parodies, comic monologues and assorted verses, which are the product of almost 50 years of performing on the ‘Folk Scene’ of Northern England. This second volume of 'Songs ....
ISBN: 9781788769440
Published: 26 July 2019