Obituary – Jim Cobley

Published on: 15th June 2018

K.F.Cobley – Jim to all his friends – died on the 14th May at his home in Witney at the age of 84.

Jim had suffered ill health over the last 10 years of his life but soldiered on bravely and cheerfully.

His two daughter’s Serena and Deborah arranged a memorial service for Jim which was well attended by family and friends at St Marys Church, Cogges, Witney on Wednesday 6th June.

After school, Jim did three years national service with the Royal Airforce and spent a little over a year in Malaya. On his return to the UK he started his working life with an accountancy practice before moving to sales with McVities.

Toys soon beckoned and he joined Lines Brothers (Triang and Pedigree) and then Denys Fisher Toys of Wetherby (which included Wendy Boston soft toys). In time Jim and two colleagues from Denys Fisher Toys formed Topline Marketing Agents. Between them Alan Lesley, Denis Price and Jim Cobley covered over a third of the country from the early 1970s.

After the death of Denis Price, Jim and Alan operated individually as toy agents. Jim had a long standing working relationship with John Crane, DKL Marketing and many other toy companies.

Jim had many loyal customers and friends in his area of the Cotswolds, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. This was in the era when independent toy shops abounded and flourished.

Jim maintained a close and amicable association with his principals, many of whom remained good friends for the rest of his life.

Commenting on the sad loss of his friend, John Crane said: “Jim worked for me as an agent since the mid-70’s, when I was the sales director of Peter Burwood (Plastercasters). He will be greatly missed by his friends and family – we all mourn the passing of a true gentleman.”


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