The University regrets to announce the death of The Right Honourable Lord Thomas Taylor of Blackburn CBE JP DL, who died on Friday 25 November, aged 87 following an accident.
A founder member of the University, Lord Taylor of Blackburn became one of the original members of the Court and was the first of its members to be elected to the Council in December 1964.
Mr Taylor, then a Labour member of Blackburn Borough Council, was an active member of the Executive Council for the Establishment of a University at Lancaster from 1963 to 1965. He received an honorary doctorate (LLD – Doctor of Laws) in 1996.
At the request of Lord Greenwood, Pro Chancellor, Tom Taylor took evidence for the influential Taylor Report of 1973, leading amongst other things to the setting up of an Information Office. He served on the Council as a Deputy Pro Chancellor and chaired many meetings of the Court, his favourite axiom being that his interpretation of Standing Orders was right even when it was wrong. He was a staunch supporter of the University at all times and in all settings.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith, said: “It is with great sadness that we must announce the death of Lord Taylor who was one of the founding members of our Executive Council. He sat on the Council for more than 30 years. Lord Taylor was made a life member of our Court in 2008 after being the Deputy Pro-Chancellor from 1972 to 1995.
“For services to the country, he was awarded the OBE in 1969, the CBE in 1974 and elevated to the peerage in 1978. He leaves behind a great legacy at our organisation and will be sadly missed. I am personally grateful for Tom’s clear advice to me about Lancaster University’s history and he recently donated some of his early papers to the University archive. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
Lord Taylor of Blackburn was born Thomas Taylor on 10th June 1929 and became a member of Blackburn Town Council in 1954 and was its Leader from 1972–76. He was a Labour Life peer sitting in the House of Lords from 4th May 1978 when he took the title of Baron Taylor of Blackburn, of Blackburn in the County of Lancashire.