Tributes to much-loved busker and music teacher
- Credit: From an album cover supplied by Paul Thompson
From his first beat until his final verse, his life revolved around music.
Tim Jefferson was a familiar figure in Norfolk’s streets and schools over the years, playing his heart out and passing on his love of a good tune.
Mr Jefferson, who lived in Sheringham, died in November aged 63 after contracting pneumonia related to multiple sclerosis (MS), which he had lived with for about 25 years.
Laura-Storm Jefferson, his daughter, said her dad would be fondly remembered for the many lives he touched.
Miss Jefferson, 34, said: “Everyone knew him, he was the life and soul of the party. He used to take his band on tours to Norway, to Ireland, and invited everyone he met to come over.
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"Every single thing he did in his life was about music, or about me.”
Mr Jefferson grew up in Newcastle and was a “typical Geordie lad” before he moved to Norfolk aged about 21.
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He went to teaching college, but decided to pursue a career in music instead, and gave private lessons, while also leading music sessions and performances at schools and churches around the county.
Miss Jefferson said he could play everything from the mandolin to the guitar, the piano accordion and the bagpipes.
She said: “He set up a mandolin band called Jefferson’s Mandolins, and they used to go on tours and busk in the street - in Sheringham and Norwich and around Norfolk.
“He was always helping youngsters with their music, and I’ve had a lot of cards and messages from people saying how much dad touched them with his music - some of them have gone on to become musicians or music teachers themselves.”
Mr Jefferson was a guitarist in the BBC Pebble Mill Orchestra, performing in the original ‘Come Dancing’ series, backing singers such as Dame Cleo Laine.
He married Laura-Storm’s mum, Gail, in the 1980s. They separated a few years later but remained friends.
Mr Jefferson recorded a couple of albums, and one included a bagpipe tune he wrote on a family holiday to Australia.
Miss Jefferson said he had mixed musical tastes and enjoyed everything from power ballads to rock, jazz and classical, and his favourite song was River by Joni Mitchell.
She said that although his MS got steadily worse, he would always fight the condition and do his best to live a happy life.
She said: “He was a strong person. I used to call him the Incredible Hulk because he’d always bounce back.”
Outside music Mr Jefferson loved animals - including a pet cat called Charlie - as well as learning about history and other subjects.
Paul Thompson, a fellow Sheringham musician, has just released an EP in memory of his friend called Lone Star, and all proceeds will go to the MS Society.
Mr Thompson said: “I first met Tim as an 18-year-old hitch-hiking on a winter’s night, on my way back from a gig in Norwich.
“A car stopped and turned round, and it was Tim. I had my guitar with me, and we started chatting about music and instantly became friends.
“Tim was one of the kindest hearted people I’ve ever known, and his door was always open to others. As a music teacher, he gave a tremendous amount back to the local community.”
The EP is available as a digital download from www.paulsmusic.co.uk.
In his later life Mr Jefferson spent several years living in an assisted-living centre in East Carleton.
He is also survived by grandchildren Skye-Ava, 10, Scarlette, seven, and Dawson, five, as well as his sisters Margaret, Anthea and Helen.