Obituaries

Richard Tayler

4th November 1940 – 21st January 2012

Every time Richard spoke, his gentle West Country accent reminded everyone of his roots. It was by no means the least of the things about Richard that made him a delight to know.

Richard’s love of bell ringing began in Potterne, Wiltshire, continued at Southampton when he was at University, and came to full flowering at St Mary’s, Monken Hadley, on the northern edge of London. He was tower-captain there from 1976 to 1993, and again from 2008 until the time of his death, always an enthusiastic ringer, and a very kind and patient teacher.

For a good many years he played his part in the life of two parish churches: on a typical Sunday attending St Michael’s, Highgate at the 8 o’clock early service where he was often a minister of the Holy Communion; then jumping on a bus and walking up to Monken Hadley to ring. And keeping a close fatherly eye on the clocks in both churches, to very good effect.

In recent years he was also a very helpful visitor to the ringing practices at St Anne’s, Highgate. He rang three peals, spaced out through his ringing career, at Newton Valence in 1963 (with the Southampton University Guild), Monken Hadley in 1980 and Highgate in 2009 – this last one was the first on the restored bells, in a band representing the many volunteers who had assisted the restoration project.

He spent his working life in teaching and librarianship, where he met his wife Maureen. As well as his interests in French culture and tropical fish, he was a man very much aware of his neighbourhood, of his locality and its history. So he was a founder member of his local residents’ association, and instrumental in organising the centenary celebrations of the Archway Bridge; he was also involved in proposals to install bells in St Michael’s, Highgate and in the historic tower of St Mary’s, Hornsey. But he also gave quiet service in the community, especially in his willingness to be of practical service to the elderly, for instance in driving people to the Christmas Day lunch at Jackson’s Lane Highgate each year. He was a gentle, kind man of much inner strength, a man of faith, calmness and serenity in the face of death – all exemplified by the fact that he managed to attend the traditional gathering to ring in the New Year at Monken Hadley, only three weeks before his death. He is much missed.

Besides ringing at Monken Hadley, quarter peals in his memory have been rung at Barnet, Hampstead, Highgate and All Saints Norwich.

TRICIA NARRACOTT-WALES
Tower Captain, Monken Hadley

JOHN THORP
Tower Captain, St Anne’s Highgate

with acknowledgement to
the Revd Preb. Dr Jonathan Trigg,
Vicar of St Michael’s, Highgate

BB BellBoard
CC
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers