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NUJ tribute to "Gentleman Tim"

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23 October 2017

Nic Mitchell

Born a week after the end of World War Two, Tim Jones was an early pioneer of public sector press and PR and led the NUJ’s Public Relations and Communications Council as chair and vice-chair for many years.

He was a staunch trade unionist and community activist who “could always be relied upon to roll up his sleeves and eagerly get to work with, or on behalf, of members,” recalled NUJ national organiser for PR and Communications, Fiona Swarbrick.

Like many, I will remember his kindness and great sense of humour.  He really was Gentleman Tim!

Sian Jones, NUJ vice-president and union press officer, said: “Tim was so welcoming when I first got involved and I always respected his experience and contributions.”

Tim blazed what is now a familiar path from local newspaper journalism – at Worcester and Oxford in his case – to become the first information officer at Nottingham’s Trent Polytechnic before developing and managing Nottingham City Council’s successful press and PR team from 1989 to 2002.

In later years he settled with his wife, Rachel, in Northumberland and became a stalwart of the NUJ’s Newcastle branch while freelancing.

Although diagnosed with heart failure seven years ago, he rarely missed a branch meeting and leaves a big gap in our ranks, said Newcastle chair David Baines.

Tim represented disabled members on the union’s Public Relations and Communications industrial Council, where current chair Phil Morcom said: “It was a consistent pleasure to be in his company.”

The funeral was held in St Cuthbert’s Church at Amble, where Tim was a parochial church council member and volunteer with the prison chaplaincy. Many NUJ members attended and the collection was shared between NUJ Extra and Hospice Care, North Northumberland.

The service was lightened when Rachel’s daughter Tamsin recounted Tim’s insistence on consulting the consumer organisation Which? before any significant purchase.

For his 70th birthday two years ago, she and sister Lucy prepared a Which? "on test" on choosing a new parent recalling that Tim became their new dad when they were aged six and four. Despite having a variety of quaint slightly old-fashioned phrases, including crikey, crumbs, golly and ‘gosh, their verdict was that The Tim is indeed a very good second parent model and is considered to be "user friendly across all age ranges" and ‘"contributes fully to family life and is unconditionally committed and caring".

As well as his wife, Rachel, and daughters Lucy and Tamsin, Tim had three grandchildren and one granddog.

Tags: , tim jones, obituary, Public Relations and Communications Council, Nottingham City Council