Tributes to tragic UEA bar man

The grieving mother of a popular bar manager found dead in his Norwich home has paid tribute to her caring, travel-mad, son. Tim Illston was a well-loved and respected barman, who had worked in a number of pubs across the region including managing the bustling student bar at the UEA.

The grieving mother of a popular bar manager found dead in his Norwich home has paid tribute to her caring, travel-mad, son.

Tim Illston was a well-loved and respected barman, who had worked in a number of pubs across the region including managing the bustling student bar at the UEA.

He grew up in the north Suffolk seaside town of Southwold where his parents John and Maggie ran first the Victoria pub in East Street (now the Blue Lighthouse), and later the Lord Nelson in the same street.

After leaving school he followed in his parents' footsteps, working in pubs across the region in between spells of indulging his passion for foreign travel.

But tragically on February 26, just three weeks after his 31st birthday, he was discovered dead at his home in Lawson Road, Norwich. It is still unclear what caused his death but police are not treating it as suspicious.

Yesterday, his mother Maggie Everson, paid tribute to her “caring” and “gentle” son, who was a friend to everyone.

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She said: “He was just such a wonderful person. He had so many friends, I think the church will be so full I don't know what we are going to do. He was so popular. Everybody knew him.

“He was a very caring and gentle person, and he would do anything for anybody. There are a lot of people in Southwold he had helped over the years.

“He was a great listener, he could empathise with people - he was good at that and it gave him a lot of satisfaction. Tim was always the person you'd find someone at the bar talking to.

“But if you ever asked him if he was OK he would just reply “Everything's Peachy”, peachy, that was his word.”

After leaving Sir John Leman High School, in Beccles, Tim began to satisfy his thirst for travel spending long periods in both Thailand and Vietnam before moving to New Zealand where he lived and worked for a year.

Mrs Everson said: “Tim was always planning his next trip. His father's tribute at the funeral is titled Tim the Traveller because that's who he was. He never wanted to settle down or stay very long anywhere, apart from New Zealand, which he loved and wanted to stay forever and ever but sadly couldn't.

“He had so much happiness in his short life. He crammed more in than a lot of people do in a long life, but it was just so short. It is just so tragic,” she said.

Following New Zealand Tim finally returned to the UK, settling in Norwich where he worked as the bar manager at the UEA for a year. He later went on to return home and join his father, taking on the role of bar manager at the Lord Nelson in Southwold.

He spent the final year of his life studying Business Studies at Norwich City College.

Tim Illston's funeral service will be held at St Edmund's Church in Southwold on Tuesday March 13 at 9.30am. All friends are welcome.