Dr Tim Horne CO83 is a senior manager for a university in the Midlands who contacted us following the publication of Jim Clark’s article in the Summer 2021 Truronian. Tim shared how Mr Clark (TS 1974-1997) had not only impacted on his education and future career but also on his daughters’. “In short, Mr Clark was an outstanding teacher, and always seemed to be an extremely nice man, and it was great to read about him – I owe him a lot.”
Mr Clark taught Tim chemistry from third year to Sixth Form, in the process helping him to pass his O-Level and A-Level Chemistry exams.
“Mr Clark’s modest, unassuming style comes out in the opening paragraph of his piece, and I could hear him in my head saying it. One thing he wouldn’t say, but which should be said, is that he was an absolutely outstanding teacher – I have no doubt that from an academic perspective, having Mr Clark as my chemistry teacher changed my life. I was fortunate to have many good teachers at Truro School, however Mr Clark stands out as the best – I don’t recall being that interested in science in my early days at Truro School, but somewhere along the way under Mr Clark’s influence chemistry just grabbed my attention and interest.”
Thanks to Mr Clark’s fantastic teaching, Tim found a passion for chemistry, leading to a degree at Southampton University. “I didn’t consider a degree other than Chemistry, and this has led me down the career path of PhD, researcher, then time in industry before going back to the university sector in a managerial role.”
Tim thoroughly enjoyed his time at Truro School alongside his two brothers and felt he received a fantastic education both academically and non-academically. He reflected that:
“I had a good seven years (1976-83) there. Many good teachers – it would be almost invidious to single one or two out, but apart from Mr Clark, obviously, I was fortunate to be taught by, amongst others, the sadly late and missed Mr Paul Collenette (TS 1978-2010) and Mr Gerald Collinge (TS 1961-1989). Memories too of many a happy hour spent playing sport for the school, with, to be honest more enthusiasm than talent. And although I was never taught by the Headmaster, Mr Burrell (TS Headmaster 1959-1986), he was quite a force of nature.”
Tim is now settled in Warwickshire with his wife of 30 years, Fiona. Tim’s role as a senior manager for a university involves creating an environment in which high quality research can flourish, for the benefit of the students, staff and the region in which the university is located. In his free time Tim enjoys reading, cycling, watching sport and is involved with his local church.
Tim and Fiona have twin daughters, Rhian and Siân. When Rhian was studying for her A-Level Chemistry Tim recalls revealing to her teacher his claim to fame – that ‘Jim Clark of Chemguide’ had taught him. “In the world of chemistry education, this was fame indeed!”. With the help from Jim Clark’s Chemguide Tim’s daughter completed her A-Level and like Tim, went on to study chemistry at university. “Perhaps Mr Clark’s influence has gone beyond just those many boys and girls whom he taught. I’m now surrounded by teachers – my wife, and both daughters and their husbands are all teachers.”
Prior to the pandemic Tim regularly returned to Truro to visit his mother. He has been back to the school site once or twice since leaving school and attended the Professor Laurence Hurst CO83 Zoom lecture for Truro School last year. Laurence had been in the same class as Tim at school.
Tim offers his advice to those considering which degree to take at university: “Please, please, please – do what you love, and ignore those, for example, who would say ‘do a degree in X because you’ll earn lots of money’. That’s not what life is about, or in my humble opinion it shouldn’t be about.”