‘Gentleman’ Jim Bailey Obituary & Memorial

  • Written by Tony O’Reilly

Memorial Service

Jim Passed away on 13th September. His funeral is in England but a memorial service is to be held for Jim Bailey at the open-air church at the side of the Pueblo Esparragos in Cala Llonga at 11am on Tuesday 9th October.

This will be a brief celebration of Jim’s life.

All of Jim’s friends are invited to this informal event. For any further information please contact Tony O’Reilly at tonyoreilly@iib.ws

Jim Bailey ~ Obituary

Jim Bailey, the much-loved husband of Enid, passed away on 13th September 2018 in England following a long fight with vascular dementia and other problems, throughout which Enid gave him constant care and attention in the most difficult of circumstances.

In 1976 Jim and Enid bought their apartment on Pueblo Esparragos and have been regular visitors ever since.

Jim was a remarkable man. He was born in Leicestershire to a tailoring family and it was expected he would continue the family tradition but Jim could not escape his love of water and all things nautical.

As a child he built, with the help of his father, a canoe called ‘Ratty’ and he loved ‘Wind in the Willows’.

Jim joined the Merchant Navy and travelled the world later writing ‘Changing Times’, a book recounting his adventures.

He loved gardening, giving talks to Rotary clubs all over the country and restoring his old gaff ketch, ‘Norseman’ to pristine condition at Heybridge Basin on the Blackwater estuary.

Jim also had the ability to listen to any tune and then play it on the piano with no music score. He was a keen golfer and could regale people with funny stories of falling into bunkers etc.


Many people will recall Jim for a most remarkable achievement. He built his own small boat, ‘Determination’ with the intention of sailing across the Atlantic to America, single handed.

He had to turn back once because of problems with the boat but, undeterred, he set off again in 1970.

This time his radio malfunctioned part way across and he had to navigate solely by Sextant, a skill acquired during his Merchant Navy days and whist achieving his Royal Yacht Association examiner qualifications.

Without radio contact nobody knew where he was and so he arrived in New York to no fanfare but an empty dock.

A lady taking a stroll bade him good day and asked if he had come far. “Yes, from England actually” he replied. She walked on briskly!Following his successful voyage Jim went on to write his second book, ‘Follow Your Dream’, recalling the adventure and all the mishaps and close shaves along the way.

Gentleman Jim

Jim was a truly talented man but it is also for other qualities that Jim will be remembered on Ibiza.

His nickname was ‘Gentleman Jim’ for his unfailing good manners and cheerful disposition.

On Pueblo Esparragos he had many friends. He would walk into Cala Llonga with some mates and may not return for some time, enjoying coffee and some other libations and generally behaving like a young boy.

That remained in him until his last years. In the morning Jim would patrol the pueblo common areas wishing people good day, enquiring after their health, wishing them a happy holiday and good weather.

He always had a twinkle in his eye for the ladies but only in a perfectly correct way. He loved their femininity and perfumes and he was a firm favourite with all of them.

Jim was well known for his sweet tooth and would never miss an opportunity to eat ice-cream and at least some of it got to his mouth with his shirt always taking a fair share of it.


Jim had 9 grandchildren and is survived by his wife, Enid, and children, Scott, Karen, Alison and step children Tim and Charlotte.

A much-loved man who squeezed every drop of joy out of his life.

Jim Bailey

~ 1930-2018 ~

Rest in Peace