Tim Arden was the solicitor husband of Sandra and father of Victoria Arden. In 1990, Alec Gilroy made contact with his daughter Sandra for the first time in twenty years after obtaining her address from his ex-wife Joyce Gilroy, who'd taken Sandra with her when she left Alec all those years ago.
Tim met Alec when he turned up at their home in Fernwood Place, Handforth and told him of the possibility that his daughter and Tim's wife were one and the same. Sandra wasn't home, but Tim showed Alec his hospitality and together they established through Tim's knowledge of Sandra being adopted by her father Stan Shaw that Alec was indeed Sandra's father. When Sandra arrived home, Tim acted as an intermediary, preparing her for the shock of meeting her dad after so many years.
Sandra reacted badly to Alec's return, quickly deciding to cut ties with him, but she had trouble facing Alec and had Tim make excuses for her when he called. Out of politeness, Tim invited Alec and Bet to Sandra's birthday party at the house, and asked Sandra to make an effort for his sake. To Tim's embarrassment, the couple were overheard discussing the subject by Bet, although she didn't tell Alec until after the party (and he dismissed it anyway). While Tim's friendliness towards the Gilroys was sincere, he repeatedly referred to Alec as "Alex", causing Bet to deliberately call him "Tom", despite his frequent corrections.
After a few more weeks of putting Alec off, Sandra visited him at the Rovers and told him that she didn't want to know him. Bet managed to change her mind, with Alec agreeing not to rush Sandra, and slowly Alec was accepted into the family.
Tim paid his first visit to the Rovers towards the end of January, dropping by when he and Victoria were in the area. Alec had just been forced to cancel Victoria's weekend stay at the Rovers due to barmaid Tina Fowler looking after Eddie Ramsden's son Jamie there. He returned to the premises five months later, at Victoria's suggestion, after hearing Alec and Bet on Radio Weatherfield talking about their battle with Newton & Ridley and possible eviction. Tim offered the Gilroys legal advice, informing them that they could open and keep the profits until they had to vacate the trading part of the establishment, but that their defeat was inevitable.
In July 1991, Sandra broke the news that Alec's ex-wife, Joyce, had died. She asked Alec to meet Victoria from boarding school and to put her up at the Rovers so that she and Tim could attend Joyce's funeral in Whitby, but before the Gilroys set off for the train station, a Police Sergeant arrived to tell Alec that Tim and Sandra had both been killed in a car crash in Whitby.