Robbie's Tribute to Tim

Robbie Stamp has asked me to read this on his behalf today as he cannot be here in person but is very much here in spirit.

‘I am so sorry to be writing these words and wish with all my heart that I wasn’t. For Wendy and Julian and Sally and for all those friends and colleagues who loved and admired and respected Tim, this is a time of shock and pain.

This is an untimely death and whilst people are gathered today I know that both grief and the need to celebrate Tim’s life are deeply entwined.

I very much wanted to make a contribution to the things that will be said about Tim today. Not being in the position to hear what others are saying, or to be sure if it is sunny or cold or wet or typically English and all three, I am of course mindful of being repetitive or remembering something, an event, that somebody else here has already mentioned, or indeed is about to mention.

And then I found that a strangely comforting thought because I know that there will be such a profound consistency in what people will want to say about Tim and that anything I say will just be part of a weave of today’s eulogies out of which will emerge a picture of a truly remarkable man.

I met Tim in the earliest stages of putting The Digital Village together.  I did now know just how lucky we were at the time when he agreed to come and work with us. We worked with truly exceptional colleagues and amongst an immensely exciting and talented and occasionally  - well quite often actually – challenging group of people, Tim was a phenomenal presence.

I came from a TV Production background and frankly I had no idea what I was letting myself in for when it came to software development.

Tim was at the heart of a group of programmers who taught me an immense amount – not about programming, that I fear will ever remain a distant land for me – but about sheer hard work and dedication and about the sheer pleasure that brilliant minds clearly take in the elegance of great code.

I know that Douglas Adams was genuinely in awe of the programming talent of the team at TDV but I also remember him coming in to my office after Tim had written his CV in the style of PG Wodehouse, Douglas’ great hero, and saying that it was the best pastiche he had ever read. We all know how hard Douglas’ own writing is to pastiche and he always felt Wodehouse was next to impossible. One word out of place and the whole effect is ruined.  And in Tim’s pastiche there was not one word out of place. So not only could Tim write beautiful code he could write beautiful prose and then he did one in the style of Eddie Izzard…and it was just as good.

So when I think of Tim I think of great intelligence, creativity and an immense integrity. He had a strong sense of fairness and was fierce in its defence and I greatly admired him for that.

Tim had a true moral centre and he was a kind and loyal and thoughtful friend and a brilliant colleague from whom I learned an immense amount. I feel honoured and lucky to have known him.’