James Murray of Tealby has enjoyed a life of seafaring and mountaineering adventure, something that led him to write about a shipwreck off the Northumberland coast.
But as an Asperger’s sufferer, illness made writing harder, despite a life in academia that saw the Bradford-born grammar school boy rise to become a senior lecturer and learn five languages.
Now this July, after 15 years research, James will publishing his work about the steamship Pegusus, which ran aground in 1843.
The 83-year-old discovered the story when he used to deliver a boat called Wild Eve from the Humber to Britain’s Far North, which took him to the Faroe Islands.
Living in Tealby for 40 years, he has produced other books including Tealby Gleanings, a book of stories about life in the village. He also wrote about John Younger, a blind poet, who still lives in Tealby and he contributes to the regular Tealby village newsletter.
Now, James is a character. He had an ambition to marry a Swiss, something he achieved, which also saw him climb many Alpine peaks, as well as in the Andes. His son Alastair is a Reverend in Switzerland. His daughter Anne is a Professor of Molecular Genetics at a university in Berlin.
James has also sailed the Pacific and the Atlantic “more times than Columbus.” But what about his own life story?
“I can’t do it. It also sounds like bragging and boasting. I would hate that,” he said.