Jim Downer Timmy the Tug

I first met Jim Downer, an exhibition designer, when at T&G Display Studios in the late 1970s. My memory is of visits to his meticulously organised north London studio to collect wonderfully detailed drawings which T&G as stand contractors would go on to build.

Jim conceived and illustrated the recently discovered Ted Hughes poem for children Timmy the Tug as a young man fresh from art college while he and Ted flat shared in London. Originally written in the mid-1950s, the enchanting tale of Timmy the Tug and his subsequent sea adventures was delightfully illustrated in watercolour by Jim.

Jim had a great love of the sea. He lived out his retirement with his wife Wendy on the Isle of Wight, where I would visit and we talked about design and sailing which we both had a love for.

– Andrew Gardiner –