Tributes paid to Gala champion

Andrew Taylforth - who died December 2013
Andrew Taylforth - who died December 2013

Andrew Taylforth, a stalwart of Brighouse Gala and Hove Edge charity quiz night for many years, has died at home after a battle with cancer.

Mr Taylforth, 51, had been involved with the Gala since he was 18 taking on a variety of roles including procession chairman, Gala committee chairman and more recently health and safety officer.

He was a familiar face on the Gala field every June, helping with the organisation and making sure that the event ran smoothly.

In addition he was quiz master at Brighouse Rotary’s annual charity quiz, leader for the Beaver Scout group in Lindley and fixtures secretary for the YMCA junior rugby club at Salendine Nook. He was a keen blood donor - giving more than 580 pints in his lifetime - and had received many awards.

Mr Taylforth worked for Lloyds Bank for 33 years, most recently as business bank manager in Leeds. He was married to Pauline and the couple had two children, Sarah, aged 22, and Paul, 20, who are both training to be teachers.

Sarah said: “I can remember many Gala committee meetings in our house when we were younger. My dad loved doing things for the community and for charity and the Gala was a very important part of his life. He loved helping people and he did so much for others.”

A former pupil at Rastrick Grammar school, Mr Taylforth was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in June and underwent chemotherapy over the summer, losing eight stones in weight.

Peter Charles, chairman of the Gala committee, said: “Andrew helped out with the procession for many years and was closely involved in the fancy dress competition.

“He was a very gregarious, reliable person who would help anyone. He loved being involved with the Gala and if Andrew said he would do something, you could relax in the knowledge that it would be done.”

Mr Charles said the committee would consider how it could make a permanent tribute to Mr Taylforth at next year’s Gala.

“He was a very good organiser and he will be much missed,” he said.

Mr Taylforth’s funeral will be held on Monday at Huddersfield Crematorium, Fixby, at 2.45pm. He also leaves a sister, Kathryn Keating, and his mother, Connie Taylforth.