Tribute to John Taylor
9-10-2008: SCORES of motorcyclists from across the country joined a funeral cortege for Budleigh Salterton gentleman John Taylor, who died on Sunday, September 28.
9-10-2008: SCORES of motorcyclists from across the country joined a funeral cortege for Budleigh Salterton 'gentleman' John Taylor, who died on Sunday, September 28.
More than 100 bikers rode in convoy in the pouring rain behind the hearse from the M5 Moto Services to Exeter crematorium on Tuesday morning.
The convoy was flanked by police outriders who stopped traffic along the two-mile route.
Many friends and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts travelled from across the UK by motorbike to Exeter to pay their final respects.
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Driving instructor Mr Taylor, 54, of East Budleigh Road, was a trustee, senior observer and active member of the Devon Advanced Motorists charity.
His passion for motorcycles was also well-known through his BMW Club membership.
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Many riders attending Tuesday's procession knew Mr Taylor through his charitable work organising a motorcycle ride in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust.
An active man, Mr Taylor had tried his hand at paragliding, skiing, skidoo and had walked The Pyrenees.
Mr Taylor is survived by his fiancée, Helen Beer, parents Renee and Ronald and brother Ernie.
Pete Rihoy, 55, who rode from the Channel Isles to pay his respects, said: "It warrants the weather - it sums up the mood. It's damp and dark and I think everyone feels that way. He was a nice feller. I only used to see him for two or three days a year, but he left such a strong impression on me that I had to see him off."
Devon Advanced Motorists' secretary, Andy Harris, said: "He was a tall man, but we all used to look up to him for other reasons. We are all absolutely devastated. He was a gentleman, a skilled rider and very good teacher and gave those skills to the club when he could."
Friend Sally Charlton, from Herefordshire, said: "He was a lovely person who gave a lot to everybody who knew him."
Close friend Pete Leach, of Willand, who read the eulogy at the funeral, added: "He was very mischievous, happy-go-lucky and very professional. He was well known nationally and it's testament to what he was like that people travelled so far to see him off."l A police spokesman told the Journal that, because of the circumstances of Mr Taylor's death, officers had been called to the scene. Investigations revealed nothing suspicious, but the matter had been passed to the coroner's office.
The first time I sat behind the wheel was with John. He was brave enough to let me take control at Westpoint many years ago. He was a fantastic instructor. I even achieved a hill start! Then, a year on after passing my test within 4 months, he braved me taking the wheel again to do my Pass Plus, and, of course, with John as my instructor, I passed with flying colours. He always remained so calm even when we somehow got surrounded by a herd of cows sniffing and licking the car and trying to put their heads through the window.
But then he had to be brave to run into the sea at Exmouth at Christmas for the Christmas morning swim with Helen! We always observed from the beach! I'll never forget camping at Moreton Morrel, John and Helen took us on a ride out to view the scenery around us, only it was a bit of a blur, but we didn't get lost once because we had our personal sat nav..... the John John. But, seriously, John was one in a million and had time and patience for everyone. He was always the life and soul of every party. He will be greatly missed by all. We all have great memories that will never be forgotten.