A man who forged himself a career in the seafaring industry, despite his eyesight not being good enough to fulfil his dream of becoming a sailor, has died at Stobars Hall, Kirkby Stephen.
Julian Taylor had lived at Sandford for 10 years— where he moved following the death of his wife Jackie — prior to moving into the home.
He was the son of Dr Frances Taylor, who was widely known as the school doctor for North Westmorland, who lived at Low Broomrigg, Great Musgrave, from 1952.
Julian was born in 1929 at Chaman, near Quetta, which was then in northern India, now Pakistan. His father, Geoffrey, was a surgeon at the local hospital.
At the age of six, Julian and his older sister Mary were sent to England to attend boarding school, as was the custom.
This was not a happy experience for Julian, though he was happier at his second school, the Dragon School, in Oxford.
He then attended Oundle, where he became involved in birdwatching and excelled in the sciences.
By early 1939, war with Germany was threatening and his mother took his younger siblings, Joy and Humphrey, to England to avoid being separated.
They spent that Easter on a farm near Bowness-on-Windermere and fell in love with the lambs, wild daffodils and rowing on the lake, so decided to spend the war years at a cottage between Bowness and Kendal.
The children enjoyed the freedom to explore fields, becks and fells and camped out. In time, Mary and Julian became members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club.
By the summer of 1940, their parents’ marriage was breaking up and money was short. Frances was asked to help at the local doctor’s practice and took on the care of the people of Ambleside before the NHS was founded.
After the war, she got the job of school doctor for North Westmorland and was deputy medical officer of health for Westmorland.
From Oundle school, Julian got a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge — where he would often have his younger sister Joy over to stay, despite it being against the rules.
He and his friends were always climbing the ancient buildings. They even persuaded Joy to climb onto the roof of Trinity Library.
Needing to move further north in Cumbria, Frances found Low Broomrigg, which was a primitive cottage attached to a barn, which had no roof, following a fire.
While the necessary repairs were carried out, the family spent a year in Appleby, staying with hospitable friends.
In 1953, Julian helped with the move, then, having gained a first class degree, went to the Antarctic for almost three years, researching the best treatment, including feeding and breeding, for Husky dogs.
He had always wanted to be a sailor, but his eyesight was not good enough, so, on his return to England, he joined the Blue Funnel Shipping Line in Liverpool, where he went on to become technical director.
He married Jacqueline Castaing and they had two sons, Lucien and Piers.
Julian’s last full time job was to oversee the transfer of the Manchester ship canal to land-based usage.
In retirement, he continued to help enterprises connected with seafaring, wildlife and birds, which he always loved.
For a time, he was chairman of the North West River Authority.
Julian cared for Jackie life devotedly for 10 years after she developed Alzheimer’s.
She died at their then home in Wiltshire, in February, 2010, and was buried at St Theobald’s Church, Great Musgrave.
Julian returned north to the Cumbria he loved, to a cottage at Sandford.
He continued his birdwatching, had many friends to stay and help a monthly poetry reading group in his home — always with good refreshments.
After a stroke and a fall in mid-August, he spent three months in hospital in Carlisle and Penrith, and despite being discharged to Stobars Hall, it appeared increasingly unlikely he would ever walk again.
He died peacefully, watching birds and squirrels through his window, and was buried at Great Musgrave, between his mother and his wife, as he had always wished.