From The Friends of Hebden Bridge Station
Thursday, 11 January 2024
David Taylor, who died on 20th December aged 81, was a noted local and railway historian. Around 2000, he retired from being a director of an insurance broking company in Leeds, and moved to Hebden Bridge which he knew well from his time living in Calderdale in the 1980s.
David was a member of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society, and a founder member of the Friends of Hebden Bridge Station in 2007. On David's suggestion, one of the initial objectives was to create permanent exhibitions of the station's history in the two waiting rooms.
On retirement, David had enrolled at the University of Bradford to study history. He researched the history of the Calder Valley Line and other former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company lines. Thus he was the ideal person to lead the project for the Friends of Hebden Bridge Station. He was meticulous in checking the copyright of anything he used.
David was able to use the Hebden Bridge Local History Society's digitised railway memorabilia archive of the late Lloyd Greenwood, the long serving ticket office clerk at the station, together with other images from the local history archive. The exhibition, opened in 2010, has made our station waiting rooms some of the most interesting and welcoming in the country.
He also made an important contribution to the Friends successful campaign to have lifts installed where the old hydraulic lifts were.
David gave much time to the station Friends and the Local History Society over the next decade, and also to the digital archive, Pennine Horizons. His very informative book, Hebden Bridge and the Railway in the Nineteenth Century, was published by Hebden Bridge Local History Society in 2019, and an exhibition to publicise the book was arranged by the Society and the Friends of Hebden Bridge Station in the Town Hall in March 2019
David left Hebden Bridge in 2018 to be nearer his family in Weymouth but continued to contribute to the work of the Friends of Hebden Bridge Station, and regularly exchanged emails with local historian Diana Monahan on any history items relating to the railway which arose either through queries or artefacts that came to the Friends, and when the Hebden Bridge Signal Box Heritage Group was formed, he assisted with information about the history of the signal box.
Pictured above in 2014, helping with the Spring Clean.
David was also a keen gardener and helped regularly with the garden working parties at the station as the Friends planted fruit bushes, bulbs and created flower beds, and he participated in the annual spring cleans organised by the town council.
David is seen here on the right in 2014, drill in hand, making a raised bed opposite what was once the old Station Manager's house.