Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tim Sharman

It's always good to hear from people who have been involved in the comics and magazines that are the main occupation of Bear Alley. The other day I had a note out of the blue from somebody in Warsaw who stumbled across the blog while he was doing a little midnight research. Journalists do that kind of thing.

Tim Sharman was a contributor to Look and Learn back in the 1980s, writing articles for half a dozen issues on the subject of eastern Europe ("including Istanbul, if I recall") for whom he described as "a lovely old-fashioned editor of a lovely old-fashioned paper." I'm sure Jack Parker would be happy to receive the compliment. So, not being shy about being forward, I asked Tim to let me know something about his career ... and here's the result.

Tim -- Timothy John Sharman -- was born in Sussex. He studied Mechanical Engineering and spent several years in the machine tool industry followed by active management experience in Marketing and Advertising plus eight years in music management and record production, all based in London. This was followed by several years working for the BBC as a specialist journalist covering business, education and other issues. As he journolist he has contributed many articles to newspapers and magazines, including The Times, Sunday Times, Geographical Magazine, etc. He has made many radio and television broadcasts and has had his photographs published around the world.

He is also the author of 12 books about Central Europe. He first visited Poland in 1980 doing research for a UK publishing programme which entailed a six month journey, alone and on foot, from the Baltic coast of Poland to Istanbul. He has resided in Poland since 1993 and from 1998 to 2002 worked as a special advisor to the Polish Minister of Labour, writing speeches and liaising between the ministry and foreign investors, organizing conferences and meetings within the programme of the Ministry of Labour's 'Social Dialogue Centre' in Warsaw. He has published more than 30 management books as well as articles for Gazeta Bankowa, Businessman and Newsweek magazines and interviewing international business leaders for radio and TV. His most recent book was about US Congress money invested in Poland.

Tim's wife is Polish and he has twin sons studying at Warsaw Economic University.

Inevitably, our conversation got around to comics, on which subject Tim recalled, "I grew up as a 1940s Beano and Dandy man, moving on to that seemingly forgotten old reliable, The Boy's Own Paper. Wish I had managed to hang on to all mine, but I have lost a lot more than that over the years. One never-to-be-fogotten, life scarring experience which will resonate with you -- aged about twelve, in bed sick, after lights-out, mother catches me reading Hotspur under the blankets with the proverbial torch (black EverReady from a bike), grabs said paper, strides to bedroom window and flings the comic out into the dark. Into the rain! Such moments linger..."

We Live in Poland, with Ewa Donica. Hove, Wayland, Apr 1985; New York, Bookwright Press, 1985.
We Live in East Germany. Hove, Wayland, Aug 1985; New York, Bookwright Press, 1986.
The Rise of Solidarity. Hove, Wayland, Jun 1986; Vera Beach, FL, Rourke Enterprises, 1987.
Explore Sussex: The Coast, Countryside and Heritage [photographs], by David Arscott. Newbury, Local Heritage Books, 1986.
Poland: A Picture Memory. London, Columbus, May 1988; New York, Crescent Books, Mar 1991.
Hungary: A Picture Memory. London, Magna Books, 1990; New York, Crescent Books, Mar 1991.
Budapest: City Guide. London, Collins, 1991.
Prague: A Pitkin Guide with a map. Andover, Pitkin Pictorials, Apr 1992.
Germany: A Picture Memory [photographs], with others. London, Magna Books, Jun 1993.
The Castle of Prague and Its Treasures. London, Flint River Press, Nov 1994.

(* My thanks to Tim for sharing some memories with the world.)


  1. A very self-obsessed man!

  2. Tim wrote an article about walking from the Baltic to the Black Sea in 1983, and I wrote to him care of the magazine for tips on doing something similar. He replied, and while I no longer have the letter, I have always remembered many of the tips and it was so helpful and has proved so for years and years. A really nice man.



Click on the above pic to visit our sister site Bear Alley Books