Jim Clark OBE was born James Clark Junior on the 4th March 1936 in Kilmany, Fife. The son of a sheep farmer, he was the youngest son of the family with four older sisters, Mattie, Susan, Isobel and Betty. When he was 6 years old, his parents James and Helen, moved the family south to Edington Mains farm just outside the rural hillside village of Chirnside, Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders and he became a proud Borderer for the rest of his life.
Jim was educated locally initially at Chirnside School before moving to Clifton Hall Preparatory School in Edinburgh before going to Loretto School in Musselburgh. At times a reluctant pupil in the class room, Jim was good at sport enjoying cricket and hockey, he was quick and agile with a good sense of balance. His education was cut short aged 16 due to being called back to help on the family farm in 1952 amidst the family bereavements of his grandfather and uncle. Jim had always loved farming and always wanted to be a farmer. He took control of Edington Mains at a young age with 1,240 acres, 800 ewes and 500 cattle.
Jim started driving on the farm as soon as his feet could touch the pedals. His first tractor driving job was when he was just 10 years old for sixpence an hour at harvest time. At every opportunity he was behind the wheel of a vehicle. His father owned a 1930 Alvis Speed Twenty and it was often seen apparently driverless on the farm, Jim’s father would tell visitors it was Jim, sunk low in the driver’s seat, completely invisible behind the wheel. In the early years of life on the farm, Jim showed great passion as a shepherd with only a little interest in farm machinery and no intentions of becoming a racing driver.