Born: 12 September 1990, in Stoke on Trent. Died: 25 March, 2013, in Manchester, aged 22
Tim was born in Stoke on Trent while his parents Kate and Stuart were both students at Keele University. He became an adorable baby to a big group of student friends who talked to him and played with him in a continuous round of sociability. His student companions were probably a bit clueless about conventional childcare, but they surrounded Tim with love and gave him the articulacy that he was to retain. Both his parents were the oldest children in their families so Tim was the first grandchild for his four grandparents and was therefore especially doted on and spoiled.
Tim’s earliest experiences gave him perhaps the security he needed to become the loving son and brother that he was.
When his parents split up and moved on to have new partners he started to gather what over the years became a veritable tribe of interested adults who supplemented the closeness and love of his parents.
Not that he was always positive about the newcomers. When Kate told him that she was to remarry he expressed disappointment, saying (aged four) that he wanted to marry her. He welcomed his little sister Emily when he was four and they remained close, particularly in the last few years. He always encouraged her to be herself – as long as she had exactly the same taste in music as him. He also developed his love of cats as a child. This was to remain with him until the end and it is only a short time since he rescued a much neglected kitten and made her his own, lavishing on her that Tim-like love and attention.
As a child Tim was a big dresser-up. He loved fancy dress, but was not always conventional in his choice of outfit. When his friends donned superhero outfits he went to one party as a baked bean, his quirky creative genius already apparent. He was always a big player of computer games, often on his own but he was also a very sociable young person. Tim loved family holidays, often to the beach in Gullane and North Berwick, and accompanied by grandparents, uncles aunts and cousins.
When his little brother Louis was born he loved playing with him and taught him to be the coolest toddler around as he adopted words like “awesome” and “sweet” from his big brother.
At secondary school, Tim hated outdoor games. He wasn’t a lad in the sense of being aggressive or energetic; he wanted to read, have his music and enjoy solitude.
When he was 15 Kate moved from Glasgow, where they had lived since he was eight, to Edinburgh and Tim went to George Heriot’s, where he found a creative ethos and like- minded pupils who became friends. He found teachers who understood and encouraged his art, music and writing.
Tim was clearly talented and achieved As in everything. However, even at school, it became apparent that Tim’s talent was a complex matter. Although he was liked by everyone, he alone didn’t recognise his talent or his popularity. However much other people saw that this successful boy was a wonderful human being, he never apparently felt that.
Tim went to Manchester University to study English and started his first year twice. Sadly, each time he was overwhelmed by depression in the second term and he dropped out. However, he liked the city and he lived here near his dad, creating his art, getting more involved with music, writing and enjoying his friends.
As one of his good friends said, Tim never let his own demons get in the way of being a good friend. He boosted their confidence, made them laugh and made them feel special.
Tim enjoyed his involvement with Other Sounds, a student society in which members shared their musical obsessions. They swapped CDs they had made themselves based on agreed themes. At one meeting where the theme was food Tim took his CD wrapped in bread as a musical sandwich. There were holidays with the group and many good times in and around Manchester.
At one fancy dress party on the theme of “what you will be in ten years” Tim went in a straitjacket because said he would be mad. Sadly, the sense of difference which allowed him to be so quirkily creative became a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom. We will never know what he might have achieved.
Friends of Tim are invited to join his friends and family on Arthur’s Seat at 11am today.