The Early Years

Jim Clark OBE was born James Clark Junior on 4th March 1936 at Kilmany, in Fife. The son of a farmer, he had four older sisters, Mattie, Susan, Isobel and Betty. When he was 6 years old, his parents James and Helen, moved their family south to Edington Mains, a 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; finally he went to Loretto School at Musselburgh. At times a reluctant pupil in the class room, Jim was good at sport and enjoyed cricket and hockey;  he was quick and agile with a good sense of balance. Aged 16, his education was cut short due to being called back to help on the family farm in 1952, following the sad loss of both his grandfather and uncle.  Jim had always loved farming and wanted to be a farmer. He took control of the 1,242 acres of Edington Mains with its mixture of arable land, pedigree sheep and 500 bought in fattening Irish cattle.

Jim started driving on the farm as soon as his feet could reach 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 that 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, however he liked driving, but had no intentions of becoming a racing driver.