It is with great sadness that we report the death of Dave Taylor, 85, who passed away in February 2014 at his home in Normanton, after a short illness.
Dave was a regular attendee at our Wakefield MAG meetings right until the end of 2013, when he sold his bike, a BMW F650. Dave's riding 'career' spanned nearly 70 years, which is hugely impressive. He was the first person in Yorkshire to own a Vincent (owning several over the years) and had a stable of bikes that would make most of us green with envy.
Dave featured in the Wakefield Express in 2006, when he bought a Harley Sportster, aged 78 - 'Great-Grandad gets dream machine at 78'. In the article, he told the Express "Harley's are not fast bikes at all. I think you have to be aged 80 to own one. But I cheated and got one early, and got it for my bithday on May 31".
Having lived for over 8 decades, 7 of which continuously riding bikes, Dave always had some great stories to tell and used to entertain us all regularly at our meetings. One of the best stories was one where he, amongst another group of OAP's were pulled over by the police for speeding - in his own words, "we were shifting a bit". The police man pulled them all over with the blue lights on and proceeded to give them a lecture about how they wouldn't live long if they rode like that. His face dropped as one by one, they removed their helmets to show they were all advanced years, and when Dave was the last to remove his .. the policeman shook his head, swore, told them to calm down, and jumped back in his patrol car and sped away. Aparently, he was afraid of the ribbing he would get back at the police station for nicking a bunch of pensioners for riding too fast !!!
Besides biking, Dave was also an amateur inventor, and held a US Patent for a Laddermate product (www.safetyfirsteurope.co.uk) he designed. He came runner-up in a Daily Mirror competition in 2002, judged by Sir Alan Sugar. After a local man died in an accident, Dave devised the laddermate, which stops ladders from slipping. He had limited sales success but after contacting Sir Alan in his Daily Mirror column for advice, he ended up with outlets in France, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Canada and the US, in addition of course to UK wide distributors.
Dave was one of those rare individuals for which life truely is richer through having known them, and he was the very definition of 'a character'.
R.I.P. Dave, you will be sorely missed. But remember, God rides a Harley, so he'll be in good company !!!!