Timothy Hadcock-Mackay (April 13, 1963 - July 29, 2006), known as "Tim," was the founder of Grand Heritage Hotels International and an English television presenter, conservationist and philanthropistt noted for his eccentric personality, tweed suits, vintage turquoise Bentley, tiara-wearing dachshund “Lucy” and his charity fundraising. His hobbies included his seven dogs, horse riding, watercolors and the restoration of English country houses, a subject in which he was well skilled.



Born in Staffordshire, England and raised in Uttoexter, Devonshire, Hadcock-MacKay was the son of George Francis Cuthbert Hadcock, an engineer, and Margaret Jeanne Shepherd; and grandson of Neville George Hadcock, RA and Jeanne LaPayolec of Langley Castle, Northumberland. His great-grandfather was Sir Albert George Hadcock, Chief Designer of "Vickers Armstrong", creator of the "Vickers machine gun," and the original "Queen Victoria Jubilee gun" which stands outside the Imperial War Museum in London. Among his noted ancestors are his 2nd great-grandfather, Col. John Wood Rideout, who served as aid-de-camp to Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo; and his 3rd great-grandfather, Court Architect George Ledwell Taylor (1788-1873), who suggested the name for Trafalgar Square. So influenced by his step-father, Maj. Gen. Eric Maclachan Mackay DSC, CBE, a veteran of the World War II Battle of Arnhem, who married his mother in 1994, he added the name Mackay to his own name.

Education and Early CareerEdit

His early life was spent at boarding school in Doual Abbey and Ellesmere College, later studying hotel and catering administration at Brighton College. He began his hotel career at The Grand hotel in Eastbourne and moved to The Stafford Hotel in St. James’s, London in 1985, later rising to Director at "The Ritz", "The Stafford", and "The Dukes" hotels. He became Sale and Marketing Director at "Small Luxury Hotels of the World" before founding Grand Heritage Hotels International in 1992 where he served as Chairman. After a brief unsuccessful takeover by the US property investment trust Patriot/Wyndham International in 1997 the Grand Heritage Hotels became a sole United Kingdom-owned business in 1999.

Hotel Success Edit

Grand Heritage Hotels, which merged with "Distinguished Hotels International" in 2004, was the fourth-largest hotel consortium in Great Britain. The company owned, managed and marketed 143 hotels around the world, emphasizing Hadcock-Mackay’s central business philosophy that "hotels are for creating memories." This philosophy was exemplified by the aesthetic appeal of hotel properties, many with historic settings and architecture, combined with superior “service, cuisine and comfort.”

Television Edit

Hadcock-Mackay began his television career in Carlton TV’s show “Our House,“ followed by the Channel 4 series “Can you live without?…” in 2002 in which he lived a week without his domestic staff. He is, however, best known to millions of television viewers as presenter of Channel 4 “Ditch The Day Job” and “Time To Get Your House In Order.” A new show, “Mayhem In The Manor,” featuring his Barnby Moor mansion as a bed-and-breakfast, was currently in the works at the time of his death.
Barnby Moor Hall, Nottinghamshire, England

Barnby Moor Hall, Nottinghamshire, England

Country Homes and Stately Houses Edit

Hadcock-Mackay, along with partner Alistair Torquil MacKenize-Buist share a love of conservation and have restored homes across England. Their Gothic-revival manor house, Barnby Moor Hall located near Retford in Nottinghamshire, includes nine bedrooms, five baths, sitting room, living room, two kitchens, dining room, morning room, library, conservatory, drawing room, a doggie dormitory complete with doggie-size bunk beds, and a great hall among several other “third floor” rooms for staff and office space, was restored in 2001. Previously, the two had resided in Hadcock-Mackay’s 40-room ancestral home Bradfield House in Devon. Other properties owned by the couple are located in London and the South of France.


Of personal importance to Hadcock-Madkay and MacKenize-Buist has been giving back to the community through charity work, particularly on issues of alcoholism and their work with Sargent Cancer Care for Children. Both men, lost siblings to these deceases: MacKenize-Buist’s sister, Sasha, died of cancer in 2001 and Hadcock-Mackay’s sister, Rachel, died of alcoholism in 2004. He has been recognized for his charity work with the B.KTO and order of St. Thomas and St. John.

Business Troubles and DeathEdit

A generous host and brilliant conversationalist, Hadcock-Mackay had an infectious smile and enthusiasm for hospitality unmatched by the average hotelier. His desire for courtesy to guests, passion for perfection and honesty in work habits were an example for his colleagues. Tragicially, Hadcock-Mackay was found hanged in the woodlands behind Barnby Moor Hall on July 29, 2006 . His death, at age 43, was ruled a suicide, attributed to worsening bouts of depression brought on my his resignation form Distinguished Hotels in April 2006 when it was discovered his company had £1 million ($1.8 million) in debts. The company ceased trading in May 2006 upon learning that the company had failed to remit “Pay As You Earn” taxes withheld from employee payroll to HM Revenue and Customs for last five years. Hadcock-Mackay was survived by his partner MacKenize-Buist and Sasha’s son, Oassian.

Four Generation Pedigree
Timothy Hadcock-Mackay George Francis Cuthbert Hadcock Neville George Hadcock, RA Albert George Hadcock
Sybil Rideout
Jeanne LaPayolec
Margaret Jeanne Shepherd