Friends join family at packed church to say goodbye to Jack, who did so much for town

ST Mary’s Church, Todmorden, was packed on Tuesday as friends including many from a host of organisations joined family to say goodbye to Jack Taylor.

Mr John Spencer - Jack - Taylor MBE, who died on October 22, was devoted to his family and the town, said the Rev Jeanette Roberts, conducting the service.

He was a true man of Tod, the town he promoted at every opportunity with a drive and energy that continued even when his sight began to fail.

More of the family man was detailed by his grandaughter Sally Guscott, delivering the eulogy, and also included in the service was one of Jack’s favourite pieces of music, a wonderful jazz version of Bach’s Air On A G String.

The exhortation for the second world war veteran, who took part in the Normandy landings and was wounded in action, was given by the chairman of Todmorden Royal British Legion, Mr Bill Birch.

People who met Jack through the many walks of life he was involved with attended the service, including Todmorden Rotary Club, of which he was a former president, Todmorden Information Centre Trust, Todmorden Pride and the War Memorials Trust, among others.

His interest in the town’s famous mill-owning dynasty the Fielden family was shown by the invitation to those present to join his family to share reminiscences of Jack’s life at the Fielden Centre at Ewood Lane after the service.

Others knew Jack, who was awarded his MBE in the Queen’s Millennium Birthday Honours list for his services to the town, from clubs and societies ranging from Todmorden Lawn Tennis Club to Todmorden Talking Newspaper for the Blind, and former colleagues from the John S. Taylor partnership, where he was an architect for 45 years.

Jack’s design work included the town’s Harley Wood and Harvelin Park estates.

He leaves his wife Barbara, daughter Katharine and son Christopher and their families.

They have asked that donations in his memory would be appreciated to Todmorden Information Centre, behind which he was the driving force, or Todmorden Society for the Blind.