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British Industrial History

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John P. Taylor

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John P. Taylor (c1884-1954)

1954 Obituary [1]

IT is with deep regret that we record the death of Mr. John P. Taylor, which occurred at Sudbury, Suffolk, on Sunday, August 8th.

Mr. Taylor, or "J.P." as he was affectionately known among his wide circle of friends in the shipping and shipbuilding press, was born in Sunderland seventy years ago and was early imbued with a love of the sea and ships through his father, who was a ship's captain and who was appointed later a Trinity House pilot for the Medway.

Despite his interest in shipping, Mr. Taylor as a young man had a strong inclination to join the medical profession, but for financial reasons was unable to achieve his ambition to become a doctor.

As the next best thing he served an apprenticeship and eventually qualified as a pharmaceutical chemist, and as such his duties continued to bring him in contact with ships.

Eventually he entered journalism and later became the first editor of the Shipbuilding and Shipping Record, when that journal was founded in 1913, and he continued to guide the policy of the paper for the next forty years.

During his years in the editor's chair two world wars were fought, and those years also saw the transition from coal to oil fuel for the firing of boilers, the gradual adoption of the steam turbine, the introduction of the diesel engine, and eventually the development of the gas turbine as the main propelling machinery for ships.

Mr. Taylor was the author of the little book The Ship You Will Command, which was published in 1944 and in which he discussed ships, seafaring and the shipping industry for the benefit and guidance of young men who may wish to make a career in the Merchant Navy. His articles on the Mulberry Harbour were also reprinted in book form with the title The Prefabricated Port of Arromanches.

He recently acted as chairman of the press advisory committee set up in connection with the effort to raise a fund for the preservation of the "Cutty Sark " and was an early member and past-president of The Anchorites.

Mr. Taylor was also an associate of the Institution of Naval Architects and a fellow of the Institute of Journalists. His long years of service had given him wide knowledge of a ll aspects of shipbuilding and shipowning and had gained for him the respect and affection of those engaged in the industry.

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