Issue date: 05 November 2003

ISSUE DATE: 05/11/03

The University of the West of England will award an honorary degree to James Napier Tidmarsch MBE JP KStJ at Bristol Cathedral this week.

Jay Tidmarsh will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the Award Ceremony of the Faculty of Law on 7 November at 2.45pm. The honorary degree is awarded in recognition of Jay Tidmarsh’s exceptional service to Bristol and his social concern reflected in his promotion of civic partnerships and prison and youth work.

Jay Tidmarsh was educated at Taunton School and worked for the Imperial Tobacco Company before completing his National Service as a Commissioned Officer with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, serving in Germany, British Honduras and Jamaica.

After his army service, Jay Tidmarsh worked in the footwear industry in England, Australia and New Zealand, before setting up his own manufacturing company, Dycem Limited, specialising in flooring for the electronics, pharmaceutical and precision engineering industries. Its product is sold all over the world, with seventy-five percent of the company’s output being exported. In 1989 he was awarded an MBE for services to export and he remained Managing Director of the company until 1996.

He has a longstanding interest in the development of local radio, having been a Director and subsequently Chairman of Radio West Ltd and a founding Director of GWR Radio plc. His other present and past business directorships include: Avonside Radio Ltd; GWR (West) Ltd; SMV Investments Ltd; Clifton Down Charitable Trust Ltd; Colston Collegiate Governors Ltd; Learning Partnerships West; and, Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative.

Soon after the riots in Toxteth, Liverpool, he was one of a dozen business people who helped establish the Bristol Initiative in 1992 as a means of promoting partnership between the civic authorities and the business community in addressing social and economic problems. His other current charitable involvements reflect his wide range of interests, namely: Bristol Urological Institute Appeal – President; Army Benevolent Fund – County President; Avon Ambulance Service Staff Benevolent Fund – Honorary President; Avon Outward Bound – President; Avon Scout County – Vice President; Avon & Somerset Police Community Trust – Trustee; Avon Youth Association – Patron; Brace (Alzheimer’s Research) – Patron; Bristol Archdeaconry Charitable Trust – Trustee; Bristol Benevolent Institution – Trustee; Bristol Cancer Help Centre – Patron; Bristol Commonwealth Society – Patron; Bristol Drugs Project – Patron; Bristol Macmillan Cancer Relief Appeal - Patron; Christchurch Lands Trust – Trustee; Clifton Down Charitable Trust – Trustee; East Bristol Advice & Information Centre – Patron; Fortuna Charitable Trust – Trustee; Greater Bristol Foundation – Trustee; Initiative Charitable Trust – Trustee; Jessie May Trust – Patron; Life Education Centres Bristol – Patron; Lifeskills – Patron; New Sinfonia- Patron; Royal Bath & West of England Society – Vice President; Vassall Centre Trust – Patron.

Jay Tidmarsh’s interests are particularly centred on youth; he was Chairman of the Avon Federation of Boys Club for many years and until recently President and Chairman of Avon and Bristol Federation of Clubs for Young People. He is now a Patron of the Avon Youth Association.

Jay Tidmarsh has served as: Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers; National Vice Chairman of the Prison Visitors Association; President of the Dolphin Society; and, Master of the Antient Society of St Stephen’s Ringers.

In 1995, Jay Tidmarsh became High Sheriff of Avon and, on the dissolution of the County of Avon in 1996, he became HM Lord Lieutenant of Bristol. He is the Keeper of the Rolls for the Commission for Avon, Chairman of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committees for Bristol and Avon; and, Chairman of the Avon Advisory Committee of General Commissioners of Income Tax. He is also: a magistrate; President of St John in Avon; President of Soldiers, Sailors, Airforce Families Association (Avon and Severnside); and, Honorary Colonel of the Royal Marines at Dorset House, Bristol.

Married with two sons, Jay Tidmarsh lists his interests as rugby football, the visual arts, collecting playing cards, walking, photography, French and New World wine, and travel.


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