From an obituary in the Oxford Mail:
HAROLD Taylor, who has died aged 91, was regarded as the finest electrician in Oxford and co-founded one of the largest electrical firms in the county.
Mr Taylor – along with John Darke – founded Darke & Taylor from a rented garage in Headington in 1958 and it now employs 190 staff, winning numerous business awards along the way.
Harold Taylor sits alongside his wife Patricia
and business partner John Darke in 1980
His son Paul said he was liked and respected by all who knew him and loved his family to the end.
Mr Taylor served in the Royal Navy for six years and, during the Second World War, endured a spell on the treacherous Arctic Convoys to the Soviet Union.
Harold Taylor was born in Shaftesbury in Dorset on July 12, 1925, to parents Herbert, a French polisher and Winifred.
He was the youngest of five children – growing up with Vic, Claris, Winifred (known as Jean) and Roy who died aged 11.
He grew up in the area and attended local schools until he left at the age of 14 to become an apprentice electrician with the Wessex Electricity Board.
In 1943, four years into his career and with his apprenticeship over, he was called up to the war effort.
He expected to be sent to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers but was surprised to end up in the Royal Navy where his electrical skills were in high demand.
Moving from ship to ship, including HMS Rodney and the aircraft carrier Implacable, he endured a spell on the Arctic Convoys delivering supplies to the Soviet Union.
During his service he would meet his future wife Patricia Casey, who had been evacuated to Shaftesbury when her family home in Wapping was bombed.
They agreed to write to each other after he rejoined his ship and the romance between them gradually blossomed.
On being demobbed, Patricia returned to Wapping and Mr Taylor moved to Chipping Norton to find work.
But the pair stayed together and married in March 1949 in a small Catholic church in Shaftesbury and they had a son Paul, settling in Eynsham.
He worked for the Electricity Board in Chipping Norton until in 1958 former colleague John Darke, who had started his own electrical business, asked him for help.
Darke and Taylor began out of a rented garage in Lime Walk, Headington. Mr Darke would get the invitations to tender, Patricia put the tenders together and Mr Taylor would do the work.
One of Darke & Taylor’s early offices on
Cowley Road in Oxford
The business now employs 190 staff and operate from offices in Blenheim Office Park in Long Hanborough.
He was bought out of the business in the late 1980s but remained in the electrical world with an Oxford wholesaler and his name remained as part of the company’s name.
He took great pride from learning – at the age of 90 – that Darke & Taylor had won the Apprenticeship Initiative and Business of the Year at the 2015 Oxfordshire Business Awards.
As he entered his 90s, Pat and Harold moved to Yeovil to be closer to son Paul and his wife Sandra.
He died on February 14 and is survived by his son Paul, wife Patricia, his sister Jean, granddaughters Kate and Louise and great-grandchildren Amelia, Mark and Florence.
Harold Taylor on his 90th Birthday