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News > Deaths & Obituaries > HEALEY, Tim Alexander Dick

HEALEY, Tim Alexander Dick

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories, and celebrate the life of Tim Healey, who we sadly lost in 2022.

The following obituary was written by Bobby Lawes (PH 59-63)

Tim Healey was one of that rare breed of teachers who inspire and influence you for the rest of your life. He taught me Chemistry which included learning the smells of all sorts of dangerous chemicals. In my last term as an Oxbridge applicant he tutored me, along with four other science hopefuls in his house in the evenings. As I recall it we all “got in”

Not only was Tim head of science but he also headed up the school rowing club. In 1963 the 1st IV won the prestigious Schools Coxed Fours regatta which hadn’t been won by Tonbridge for 35 years. As I recall it the School was given a half day holiday in celebration, so we were very popular. 

Tim had been cox in the 1948 London Olympics with his Oxford University team. You might have guessed that I was also a cox. The rest of my crew were 1st XV rugby players. 

Later that summer term, Tim coached the Park House IV who made four “bumps” in the House rowing races. I believe that the rowing blade given for the achievement still resides on Park House trophy shelf. This was in the days when the school rowed on the Medway just below the town. Tim coached a very moderate Park House crew cycling furiously along the rough towpath on my bike.  The river there is very narrow and bendy – a great opportunity for good coxing to have an influence. Perhaps it helped me to make 4 bumps later for Pembroke College and then get a Cambridge Blue. The late Nick Hornsby (FH 60-65) won two Cambridge Blues and Francis Pinkerton (PS 59-64) of the 1963 crew plus Stephen Cotton (PS 63-67) rowed for England all having started with Tim’s Tonbridge coaching. 

Tim left Tonbridge in the early ‘70s and moved to Chester. This was in part due to Tim’s adventurous wife Eileen’s enthusiasm for rock climbing. She had been a key member of,and cine photographer for, the first all female assault on a major Himalayan peak, Cho Oyo in 1959. From Chester they could keep in practice in Snowdonia.

In 2008, shortly before Eileen died, they created a new 5-acre amenity woodland, named Nabs Wood after their four grandchildren, which demonstrates the breadth and vision of Tim’s enthusiasm. It now contains a commemorative plaque and tree from the 1963 crew.

1st IV 1963 with coach Tim Healey. Photo taken at Leander Club Reunion, Henley 2013

Back Row (left to right): Chris Willard (WH 58-63), Robert Whitfield (WH 59-63)

Middle: Tim Healey

Front Row (left to right): James McDonald (PS 58-63), Francis Pinkerton (PS 59-64)

Seated: Bobby Lawes (PH 59-63)

The 1963 team has had regular reunions over the years complete with rowing outings. Tim always joined us from his home in Chester. 

We shall miss him very much.

(CR 52-65)


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