A pub was ‘turned into a mini goldmine’ by the residency of rock ‘n’ roll singer Jumpin’ Jimmy Thunder.

The long-gone Golden Eagle in Weymouth town centre became nationally famous for hosting Jimmy’s gigs, with the Weymouth warbler described by a national newspaper as ‘the worst rock ‘n’ roll singer in the world.’

David Sheppard, landlord of the much-missed Golden Eagle pub in Weymouth’s Lower Bond Street, first spotted Jimmy performing in the Railway Arch pub.

He said: “I took over the Golden Eagle in 1983 as it was a bankrupt business. When I got in there it was reasonably cheap.

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Landlord David Sheppard

“Jimmy lives and breathes Elvis Presley and most people would think of him as a comical singer. I scratched my head for while to find a singer for the pub - when I saw Jimmy I thought ‘I can do something with this’ and created an act and built a stage.

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Jimmy wearing his Elvis Presley jumpsuit and donning various disguises

Fellow landlords called me an idiot. But my pub turned into a mini goldmine!”

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The long-gone Golden Eagle in Weymouth’s Lower Bond Street

People came from miles around to hear Jimmy perform thanks to word of mouth. He was featured in a national newspaper, which wrote: “Fans flocked to every gig in their hundreds to discover whether he’s as bad as people say. He is.”

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Jumpin’ Jimmy Thunder performing to a packed Golden Eagle

Many readers have told us of their fond memories of listening to Jimmy perform at the Golden Eagle. Rod Wallis said: “It was packed out on a Saturday night because of Jimmy Thunder.”

Graham Ryan remembers: “It was a good pub when Jimmy Thunder was in there - it was packed out.”

We even have a noise complaint letter sent by the council after neighbours complained about Jimmy’s performances!

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Letter from the council about the noise complaint​

Sadly the era of Jimmy at the Eagle came to an abrupt end in 1988 when the pub closed. The site remained derelict until 1998 when the pub was demolished.

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Site of the closed Golden Eagle pub in the late 1980s 

Today Jimmy lives in sheltered housing. He performed a gig at Weymouth Workies last year to celebrate his 76th birthday

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