Lambert Taylor


William Robinson Clarke

‘After almost 50 years in UK, ludo lover returned home with his game board’

1924 - 2005

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Born on Christmas Eve, 1924 in Seafield, St Catherine, Jamaica, Lambert Augustus Taylor was brought up by his mother Theresa and his grandmother.

He joined the RAF in 1944 and was posted to England to undergo training at Stafford. His subsequent postings included RAF Melksham and RAF Amesbury, both in Wiltshire.

After being demobbed to Jamaica at the end of the war, he returned to England on the Empire Windrush, eventually settling in Lancashire after a brief spell and a short-lived marriage in Staffordshire.

At a dance at the Ritz in Manchester, he met Florence Leach, a Lancashire lass who had been visiting from her new home in Canada. After falling for Lambert, she decided to stay in England. The couple married in 1959, going on to have a daughter and a son.

Lambert became a bus driver, a job he continued with when the family moved to North Wales in the 1970s. In North Wales, he was the only Black bus driver in the entire company.

Lambert was a keen painter, decorator and carpenter. The family ran a guest house and Lambert would decorate the interior from top to bottom every couple of years. He favoured a bright Caribbean style which was sometimes so over the top it embarrassed his children.

Lambert’s main hobby was breeding budgerigars and he spent many hours caring for his beloved birds. Another favourite pastime was playing ludo. He made his own ludo board from a piece of hardboard, which he often coloured-in to keep it looking vibrant.

Daughter Hazel remembers Lambert’s friend, Archie, who sported dreadlocks, something that was unheard of in Wales at that time. Lambert and Archie would stay up late playing ludo, shouting and slamming their dice into the board. Lambert loved his ludo board so much that when he later returned to Jamaica he took it with him.

Lambert once got lost in the Welsh hills while taking the last bus back to the bus station. In desperation, he drove up to an isolated farmhouse, parked his bus, and knocked at the farmhouse door. The farmer was shocked to open the door in the dark and find a West Indian with a double- decker bus parked in the farmyard. The farmer was very helpful and even rang Florence to let her know Lambert was safe and sound.

Lambert had always wanted to go back to live in Jamaica one day and he did so in 1993. Lambert was not always a good husband or father, indeed his first marriage had ended on the grounds of cruelty towards his then-wife. Nevertheless, there were many tears shed when he finally departed.

Florence died in the Royal Alexander Hospital, Rhyl, Clwyd, Wales, in August 1994.

Lambert fulfilled his dream of building his own house in Flint River, Hanover, and died in Jamaica on July 2, 2005, aged 80.

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