Obituary: Tim Burgess, businessman

Tim Burgess, who has died at 72, was a hotelier, businessman, Special Constable and lay preacher who was in 2017 awarded the MBE for services to charity and the Church of England.

Tim Burgess

Tim Burgess, who has died at 72, was a hotelier, businessman, Special Constable and lay preacher who was in 2017 awarded the MBE for services to charity and the Church of England.

Raised in Collingham, near Wetherby, and educated at Leeds Grammar, his career in the hospitality industry saw him installed first at the Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore, where the authorities suspected of him spying after he was discovered scuba diving in the naval shipyards. He went on to become a deputy manager for Trust House Forte and then progressed to the Savoy, the Dorchester and in 1967 to London’s Churchill Hotel, as night manager.

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In the mid-seventies, he moved his family to Stockholm for three years, where he worked for the Sheraton Group, before returning home to join the Burgess family firm based in Leeds and then to form his own software company specialising in hotel reservation and catering management programs. The company was granted the Royal Warrant in 1994.

Alongside his business career, he sat as a JP on the Wetherby bench for 16 years and was chairman for four. He spent time as a Special Constable in London, a prison visitor in Wetherby and a Sunday School teacher in his home village of Clifford. When he moved to Cambridge in 2004, he was appointed chief executive of a Church of England charity, and he sat on the Ely Diocesan Board of Finance, then became a Lay Preacher and treasurer for 14 churches.

Last year, he was among those chosen to receive Maundy Money from the Queen.

One of life’s adventurers, he was a qualified yacht master, and despite having Parkinson’s, never let his slowly deteriorating health affect his positivity.

He is survived by his wife Jenny, whom he met in his Trust House Forte days and married in 1972, and by his two sons and four grandchildren.