Tim's brother, also a violinist as well as a composer, was one of the founding members of the rock group, Genesis. The family once all played together on a radio programme produced by Huw Wheldon. Tim’s father started teaching him the violin when he was three and he was given a strict schedule of practice before and after school.
Aged nine, Tim became a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral under Christopher Dearnley, and soon began to study the piano with the assistant organist Richard Lloyd, and then the organ. In fact, Tim was allowed to play the Cathedral organ on two occasions, which was a great thrill. He won a music scholarship to Kings’ College, Taunton, where his music and games excelled, but his academic work didn’t, so at fifteen-and-a-half he left school and had to start doing casual jobs to pay his way.
Realising that he had to concentrate seriously on music if he was going to make any changes to his life, he worked as an organist at a Methodist church in Bournemouth and also as a pianist with a dance band on Saturday nights. At eighteen, however, he decided the only way forward was to join the Household Cavalry (Life Guards Band) as a musician. After three months at the Guards Depot in Pirbright, he spent a year at Wellington Barracks and two years in Combermere Barracks, Windsor. During his time in the Life Guards he led the orchestra and was also the dance-band pianist, a duty trumpeter, and later a state trumpeter. While there, and in fear of having to do the dreaded five months’ horse-riding course, Tim took some violin lessons with the ex-leader of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Brendan O’Brien, and eventually secured a job with the BSO. After more than four years in the BSO he came to the Philharmonia, where he has now been a member for nearly thirty-nine years, and is approaching his 340th overseas tour with the Orchestra.
In his spare time, Tim's interests are chiefly motorcycling and flying aircraft. In 1991 he took up microlighting, which involved driving to Wiltshire to rig up an aircraft twice a week, learning to fly it, de-rig it, and then driving back for a rehearsal and concert in London. Finally, after 18 months, he got his license. Sixteen years ago he went to Harare, Zimbabwe, to gain his light aircraft license, but ran out of time - when he returned to the UK, he went to Bournemouth International Airport and finished the job off. He has a microlight aircraft at Longbridge Deverill in Wiltshire and on sunny days can be seen flying over the Deverills, whilst at Elstree Aerodrome in North West London he has a share in a Piper Cherokee 180.