Friends pay tribute to Hornchurch man of many talents
07:00 01 December 2016
An art club has paid tribute to one of its most cherished members, who passed away last month at the age of 87.
Alec Tiffin, of Hornchurch, hailed as a true gentleman by those who knew him, was by all accounts a shy man, which might help to explain why so many of his talents are now coming to light following his death.
Pauline Fynn, 70, of Hornchurch, attended the Studio One Artists’ weekly sessions with Alec and revealed he made etchings for a living – something she only discovered when she did a write-up for one of his paintings.
“He was a very nice man and a real gentleman – everybody liked him in the group,” said Pauline.
“He did etching as a job, it was very clever and very involved, he was so modest about it I only dragged it out of him when I did the write-up for him.
“He was just a nice man, he wasn’t married but he had a lot of good family around him. He had a good life.”
Another Studio One Artists member, Dorothy Clemence, of Elm Park, heaped praise on Alec’s skills as an artist and attended his funeral in Upminster on Tuesday, where she learned more about Alec’s days as an accomplished athlete.
“It all went very nice and there were a lot of people there.
“Alec was an athlete in his younger days, so it was quite interesting to hear about that,” said 78-year-old Dorothy.
“He was kind and helpful and he loved to run. He was excellent [at painting], his portraits were beautiful. They exhibited his paintings on the table at The Railway in Hornchurch at the wake.”
In his younger days, Alec was a keen race walker and runner for Ilford AC, in Redbridge, and Romford-born Olympian Roger Mills has paid tribute to Alec’s passion for the club.
“The club has lost a true gentleman. For those members too young to have had the benefit and pleasure of knowing Alec, he was a rare breed who epitomised human kindness and selflessness,” said Roger.
“Totally loyal to the needs of the club and its members, with little comprehension as to the high regard we had for him.”