Artist who painted Bolton's landmarks dies from cancer
AN artist who was commissioned by Bolton Council to produce a painting of the town’s landmarks has died from cancer.
After being diagnosed with renal cancer in May this year, Malcolm Taylor died at his home in Tonge Moor Road on October 7, aged 69.
The retired art teacher scooped an award in an exhibition at Bolton Museum last January for his piece, prompting the council to ask for one to display permanently in the town hall.
His family have paid tribute to a doting father and grandfather, blessed with a “brilliant and dry sense of humour”.
Mr Taylor and his wife Christine, aged 60, had booked a holiday to the Canary Islands just one day before doctors told Mr Taylor he had an advanced form of cancer, forcing them to cancel the trip.
His family were with him at the end and son Matthew, aged 35, said he was pleased Wythenshawe Hospital had allowed him to spend his final hours at home.
“Dad was adamant that he did not want to end his life in hospital and we were able to get him out for the last couple of days,” said his son.
“We expected him to be here a bit longer but you can’t change what fate cancer has in store for you.
“Before being diagnosed, he had not felt ill at all really, but when he went to the doctors feeling a bit unwell, he found out he was seriously ill.
“It was all very sudden and he has certainly been taken too soon.”
Mr Taylor’s decline was quick — he went to Chatsworth House with the rest of his family as recently as mid-July.
“He and my mum enjoyed going there to look round the gardens and they loved travelling as well, and went to Venice and Florence only recently.
Mrs Taylor still works in the kitchens at Hardy Mill Primary School, and it was only recently that the couple had planned to go on more trips together and make the most of Mr Taylor’s retirement.
Mr Taylor’s main passion was art. He went to Bolton art college in the 1960s and trained as a teacher shortly after.
He and Christine married at Bolton Parish Church in 1975, and Matthew was born three years later.
As well as son Matthew, Mr Taylor also had two daughters, Emma Walsh and Rebecca Moss, and four grandchildren, the youngest of which, Poppy, aged six months, was born just in time to meet her grandfather.
His other grandchildren are Joe, aged 13, Georgia, aged nine and Oliver, aged seven, and Matthew said Mr Taylor loved spending time with them.
“He was a wonderful dad, a very funny man who perfectly bridged the gap between being your friend and your dad,” said Matthew.
“When I was a kid, he would take us on great days out and he really loved treating the grandkids, possibly too much!
“He devoted the majority of his time to them and it was good he met Poppy, but it is a shame he will not see his grandchildren grow up.”
Bolton Council took the decision to buy a fresh piece by Mr Taylor after a mistake saw the original sold twice, to the local authority and a private bidder.
Museum chiefs were so impressed that, rather than give up their chase, they asked Mr Taylor to paint a new one, with extra landmarks.
A council spokesman said: “We are very sorry to hear about Malcolm and would like to offer our condolences to his family.
“His artwork won Visitors’ Choice in the Open Art Exhibition in 2011 and was clearly very popular.
“We were delighted when Malcolm agreed to create our very own museum version of Home Landscape and this is on permanent display in the museum’s History Centre.
“It also featured in our Diamond Jubilee exhibition last year and continues to draw a lot of attention and positive comments.”
Mr Taylor’s funeral will be held at Overdale Cemetery on Tuesday, with the procession leaving Shaw’s funeral directors at 1pm.
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