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Canals Trust volunteer remembered at Wallbridge

First commemorative bench dedicated to canal restoration volunteer

Jonathan Taylor died in Stroud on 13th February 2008 aged 38.

Jon was also known as ‘Tay’, a nickname he gained during military service. Fellow volunteers of the Waterway Recovery Group also knew him as such.

Jon’s mum Janet Taylor (pictured top right) originally came to the Wallbridge Lock Visitor Centre with Tay’s partner Deb in July 2011. They enquired about the possibility of installing a commemorative bench within sight of Stroud Brewery Bridge.

Interestingly enough their visit occurred on the very day that the first planning meeting for the bench project was being held at the Visitor Centre.

Passion for canal restoration

Janet, who lives in Drakes Broughton, Worcestershire, explains…
“Jon was passionate about the Cotswold Canals restoration.

“He telephoned me on the morning that news was released regarding a new canal bridge to be built at Merrywalks in Stroud.

Deb and I thought it appropriate for him to be remembered within sight of that bridge.”

Wish fulfilled

Janet & Deb recently returned to Stroud to inspect the newly installed bench.

Both were pleased that the position of the bench does indeed provide a good view of what is now known as Stroud Brewery Bridge.

Janet said… “It is great to be at the beginning of a project that will be available to so many people from all walks of life and areas.

“I am pleased the way everything has turned out so perfectly. It’s more than I ever thought possible from such a busy organisation with so many volunteers, workers and projects everywhere and so much to be done.”

Volunteering ethos

Jon ‘Tay’ Taylor’s volunteering ethos is reflected in the fact that the entire production and installation of the bench has been carried out by volunteers.

The bench was designed by CCT Engineering Director Jim White.

It was machined, assembled and installed by CCT volunteers Ray Talbot and Dave Wright.

Local artist and CCT member Peter Westley re-produced ‘Tay’s’ personal ‘sign-off’ icon for the etched zinc plaque… the stick-man on a bicycle!