George shares this latest news on behalf of Cowes Heritage. Ed
A versatile new alter table commemorating the lives of two notable Cowes men was used for the first time in the town’s St Mary’s Church on Sunday (25 Nov).
Charles ‘Charlie’ Taylor died in 2017, aged 80, and Bernard Taylor died the previous year aged 81. They were not related. Both were bachelors and both remembered for their contributions to the community of Cowes.
Researcher and goldsmith
Charlie was a great researcher of Cowes history, with part of his huge collection of photographs forming the basis of this year’s three-week Cowes Heritage exhibition.
Bernard became a highly skilled goldsmith, whose work for Benzie included silver models of two of the Duke of Edinburgh’s yachts. Away from work he was a magician and member of the Magic Circle.
A table of many purposes
Last year the-then chairman of Cowes Heritage, John Groves, suggested to church member Geoff Banks that the lives of the Taylors – both active members of the church – should be jointly commemorated in some way.
It was eventually decided there should be an appeal for a table of many purposes – as a nave alter, a focus for displays, for Remembrance Day poppies, and for receiving gifts for the food bank or ‘Shoe Box’ appeal.
Contributions towards the cost included those from Cowes Heritage, the IW Historical Society, Cowes Town Council, the Parochial Church Council, the Friends of St Mary’s, and friends of the two Taylors.
Local builders G J Banks donated the English oak that was used.
The table was designed to be partly folded down and to be on wheels. It was made by local specialist in bespoke furniture, Luke Ratsay, who – appropriately – is distantly related to the three Ratsey brothers whose death in World War 1 is commemorated in St Mary’s.
The table cover was made by Bill Giacomelle of Cowes.
The Vicar of St Mary’s, the Rev Andrew Poppe, who used the table to give the morning service’s communion, welcomed the fact that the new addition, unlike the old table, could be easily moved about.