Spring brings a tribute to Jack, who did so much for his home town Todmorden

Manager of Todmorden Information Centre, Jacqui Matthews, with the tribute display to Jack Taylor's life and work, April 2012
Manager of Todmorden Information Centre, Jacqui Matthews, with the tribute display to Jack Taylor's life and work, April 2012

SPRING brings new challenges, and it feels right that throughout this month Todmorden Information Centre pays tribute to its driving force with a special exhibition.

It honours the work, and wider commitment to the town, of John S. Taylor MBE, known to many townspeople as Jack, who died last autumn.

The founding chairman and later president of the centre’s information centre trust relished a challenge, especially if it was one on Todmorden’s behalf.

The trust have selected photographs and memorabilia related to Jack’s life and work and they pay tribute to him in their own words, which sum up Jack’s unstinting work for the town.

“The staff, volunteers and trustees are privileged to have known Jack and to have worked alongside him. His enthusiasm for promoting Todmorden’s economic wellbeing, the town’s heritage and its future prosperity, driven by his creative imagination, boundless energy and good humour is legendary.

“His legacy includes the continuing prosperity of the information centre and we present here, with gratitude, a few reminders of Jack’s contribution to the town and Todmorden Information Centre.”

Jack went to Roomfield and Todmorden Secondary schools in Todmorden after which his studies at Manchester University’s School of Architecture weere interrupted by his second world war servidce.

He was wounded early on in the Normandy campaign in 1944, working in logistics support and intelligence until the end of the war, receiving the King’s Medal for his war service.

For 45 years he worked as an architect in the town after completing his studies, projects including the Harley Wood and Harvelin Park estates. Over the years he had a hand in many exhibition in the town, his final major project being an exhibition of work by the artistic Bayes family

Throughout his life he received great support from his wife, Barbara, also Todmorden born and bred and a zoology graduate of University College, London.

Having seen neighbouring Hebden Bridge set its stall out as a visitor destination, he thought Todmorden, with its great heritage, should have a piece of the action and when Calderdale Council declined to financially support a plan to open a Todmorden Tourist Information Centre, the trust and centre came into being anyway.

This exhibition also includes part of one of Jack’s own - the Made In Todmorden exhibition.

There will also be a book for people to leave memories, comments and anecdotes about Jack.

It runs every day until the end of April, the centre now open springtime hours - from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and from 10.45am to 2.30pm on Sundays.