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Black Country’s oldest man Albert dies aged 108

By Liam Keen | Kingswinford | News | Published:

One of the Black Country’s oldest residents and ‘a devoted family man’ has died at the age of 108.

Albert Taylor from Kingswinford celebrating his 108th birthday with his son, left, Robert and neighbour Jean Shipley

Albert Taylor, from Kingswinford, is thought to have been the oldest person in the Black Country and was among the top five oldest men in the UK.

Born in Catshill near Bromsgrove in 1910, he lived through both World Wars, knew a time before television, saw England lift the World Cup and watched 25 Prime Ministers come and go.

He was the eldest and last surviving of six children and lived in Kingswinford for more than 50 years.

Mr Taylor was taken in to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley on October 8 with a chest infection before contracting pneumonia.

He died on Friday more than five months after turning 108 on May 4.

Mr Taylor left school at 14 when he worked at Stewarts Glassworks in Amblecote, Stourbridge, as a toolmaker.

He also went on to work at Scrivens’s Cakes in Smethwick before retiring aged 72, having worked all his life as a toolmaker.

During wartime, Mr Taylor was kept at home to continue his working trade for the war effort.

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Albert Taylor was among the oldest men in the UK

Mr Taylor had two children, Robert and Roger, with his late wife Mary who died in 1993 aged 85.

The couple had been married for 54 years after tying the knot at Quarry Bank Church. Mr Taylor has three grandsons, Andrew, Simon and Richard.

His son Robert, aged 73, who lives in Shropshire, said: “I’m very lucky to have had a father like him, I can’t give him more of a glowing tribute.

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“He was always happy, he was never down and always had time for people.

“He was very caring and always friendly.

“I never saw him lose his temper either, he was very calm and just a lovely man, and that’s how people will remember him.

“He had a sharp wit and a wicked sense of humour, he loved to share jokes and was still very switched on. Most people he knew had passed away and not many people live to be 108.

"I’m exceptionally lucky. Of course I’m still very sad, I looked after him when mum passed away and I was very close to him.

Albert, left, with his late wife Mary and son Robert, centre

“I was lucky to have him around at the age he was and the character he still had - he was also very lucky that he didn’t have any major illnesses.

"I took him on holiday to Tobago and Florida when he was in his 90s and he took that all in his stride, as he did with most things. I never heard him complain and never saw him miserable.

“He enjoyed his fitness classes and did these until he was 90 too and he loved to garden and he loved the countryside.

“One of his sayings, ‘If you don’t use, you’ll lose it’ – that is a great summary of how he lived his life, he never gave up.

“I’m chuffed with how far he got, few sons are lucky enough to have a loving father for so long.

“The secret to living this long is the nature of the man and how he always looked on the positive side of life, the resilience and strength he had in his mind and character – he was a very devoted family man.”

Neighbour, Jean Shipley, said: “I’ve known him for about 30 years and he was like a second dad to me. He was always there for me and I was always happy to help. His memory was so sharp and he could talk about any subject – he was a wonderful man.”

The funeral is next Thursday October 25 at 12pm at Stourbridge Crematorium.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319688.

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