C John Taylor: Poet/Artist/Composer
Born in Stockport in 1915-1998 studied at Liverpool School of Art, started drawing and painting at the age of 14 years. As a young man he worked at IJ & G Coopers a wholesale warehouse in Liverpool. He met his wife here, love at first sight, Jean McIntyre McLean, who at the time was already spoken for but he was determined to win her heart and they later married. Jean’s family are the McLeans of Loch Buie, Mull.
As a couple they set up a family home at Westnewton House, Westnewton, Cumbria. They had three sons and two daughters. He was self employed as a manufacturing chemist in Carlisle, with his company Villa Laboratories based both in Carlisle and Canada. With a huge interest in politics and fascination with Winston Churchill he campaigned for Penrith & Borders MP, missing out by two votes, he was also chairman of Carlisle City Council.
He was debating whether or not to relocate his family to Canada, but instead followed his wife’s desire to go back to her homeland on Seil Island, where her mother lived in Kilbride Croft.
They settled in the village of Ellenabeich and ran a Tearoom known as Coolas Cafe. CJ continued to draw and paint, started by selling ironing board covers and oven gloves, the art got hung on the walls and got more serious about buying gifts he could sell to visitors. He gradually built his business, promoted the area through advertising in the Oban Times and other larger newspapers.
He bought a shop in Oban as a feed to Seil, then managed to acquire a showroom in Inveraray, Luss, Loch Lomond and Callander. He employed 50 staff. Each branch whilst selling Scottish tourist gifts, also redirected and promoted his Exhibition to Seil Island. In no time he had managed to persuade holiday coach companies to include a visit to Seil Island on their itineraries.
He actively campaigned to help The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh, aiming to raise £100k through donations from customers, various competitions and advertising. He built his own unique brand using his art. Creating his own CJT products, tea towels, mugs, plates, prints, poetry books plus, music plus many more. His first poem was written at 60 years.
Winter on the West Coast of Scotland can be testing, his wife insisted they get away for the winter months. Majorca was a favourite, but they generally cruised on the Canberra each year. This allowed him to broaden his subject matter to include landmarks, trees, and people he met. He never owned a camera, as he believed you paint with your own eyes what you see.
As a Christian Scientist, religion and reading the bible were firm believes in his life. His artwork was always evolving, experimenting with different concepts. Developing his own style which was exceptionally prolific throughout the course of his long life.
His wife sadly passed away on board the Canberra. One year on he remarried Ida Samuel Brussels who was an elegant Dutch lady and a good friend of Jean’s on board the ship. It was companionship for them at this stage in their lives. They continued the business and lifestyle together until in 1998 CJ suffered a heart attack on board the Saga Rose Vessel. (Incidentally they both passed at almost the same longitude and latitude on the ocean, 12 years apart). Ida relocated back to Holland living until her 93rd year.
To date we have given The Royal Blind School of Edinburgh £152k.