Tributes to Wakefield historian and writer Kate Taylor

FONDLY REMEMBERED: Kate Taylor at a book signing in 2007 for 'Theatres and Cinemas of the Wakefield District'. Picture: PHIL SAMBROOK
FONDLY REMEMBERED: Kate Taylor at a book signing in 2007 for 'Theatres and Cinemas of the Wakefield District'. Picture: PHIL SAMBROOK
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Glowing tributes have been paid to Wakefield historian and prolific writer Kate Taylor, who died this week aged 81.

Miss Taylor, who penned and edited many books about the city, died on Tuesday following a short illness.

She was an active member of Wakefield Historical Society and the city’s civic society, and heavily involved at Chantry and Westgate Chapels.

Kevin Trickett, president of Wakefield Civic Society, first met Miss Taylor in the 1980s when she was his Open University tutor.

He said: “She was a friend and ally. Somebody you could turn to when you wanted information or advice with anything to do with Wakefield and its history.

“She was extremely knowledgeable, she was thorough. But she could be fierce, especially if you got your facts wrong.”

Fellow city historian John Goodchild, 79, was a contemporary of Miss Taylor for many years.

He said: “I will remember Kate as a great friend and for her kindness. I think the best of her books was the first one: The History of Wakefield Theatre. It is based on original research. She found a lot of information which hadn’t hitherto been known.”

The former Bishop of Wakefield, who made Miss Taylor a Lay Canon in recognition of her church work, was also keen to share his memories.

The Rt Rev Dr Stephen Platten said: “Kate was such good company. She was a real fund of information about the locality and wrote so accessibly. I enjoyed working with Kate enormously and was so grateful when she agreed to write what turned out to be both a history and a memorial volume of Wakefield diocese.”

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: “Kate was real champion for Wakefield. Her knowledge of local history was outstanding, as was her commitment to Wakefield Civic Society and preserving the fabric of our heritage for generations to come. She leaves a lasting legacy.”

Brian Holding, of the friends of Chantry Chapel, said: “Kate was an inspiring and encouraging force. We worked well together and I learned a lot from her.”

Westgate Chapel president Stephen Carlile said: “She served many positions in the church. More than that she was a friend to all who attended.

“Her loss is felt deeply by those who loved her and will miss her.”

Miss Taylor is survived by her son Simon Jenkins, his wife Carole, grandson Barnaby and by sister Enid Barron.

MP Rachel Reeves.

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