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Tributes to well-respected Wirral historian
TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-respected and admired Wirral historian who died suddenly over the Christmas holiday.
Jim O'Neil passed away on December 22 following a heart attack. The 60-year-old had retired as a college lecturer the day before and was looking forward to semi-retirement.
His son Chris, a London-based freelance cameraman, told the Globe: "He was a very good man, very hard-working and loved by many.
"He cared deeply about the history of the area and I think he’ll be remembered as a local treasure.
"He will be remembered for his passion of the wirral peninsular from a historic and environmental point of view, his dedication and hard work and his organ playing at St Andrew's United Reformed Church in Meols."
His funeral will be held on Monday, January 7, at Landican Crematorium at 1pm. Family and friends are welcome.
It will be followed, at 1.45pm by a service celebrating Jim’s life at St Andrews United Reformed Church in Greenwood Road, Meols. All are welcome.
No flowers, but donations in memory of Jim will go to Wirral Environmental Network and The Centre for Alternative Technology.
Born in Heswall, Jim lived with wife Carol in Hoylake and, for a time, ran a shop, The Study Centre, in the town. He is survived by wife Carol and son Chris. His sister Susan lives in Greasby.
In a message on local community website Hoylake Junction, wife Carol said: "Thank you for all the messages of support that we have received in recent days, it really does help."
There are 20 files of local history at his home and he wrote a number of books about Hoylake, West Kirby and Greasby.
One of the many projects Jim undertook was restoring the old village pump at the corner of Pump Lane in Greasby.
Over the years, most of the upkeep had been carried out by Jim, who regularly visited the site.
Of all his projects, Pump Lane was particuarly special to Jim and it is here that a plaque will be placed in his memory.
Chris will carry on with some of the maintenance work in Pump Lane. But as he lives and works in London he is inviting anyone who may be interested to help with the ongoing project, either as an individual or part of a local history group.
If you are able to help, contact him directly at oneilmedia.co.uk