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About Patrick

First published September 2nd, 2006

Related article: my interests.

This page needs updating to allow for the fact that I've given up making websites (since April 2015) and am now painting pictures in oil—portraits to begin with. My (late) mother is not looking over my shoulder but she would think painting is a good idea.

Summary

Previously an architect and public sector manager, I now work mostly on the web, either developing my own websites, building standards-compliant websites for clients, or selling glassware. My main interest is design, not just for the web but generally, though I'm no longer much interested in architecture. When I'm not online I enjoy cycling, hill walking, photography, reading military history, and travelling abroad. I am a perfectionist by nature. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. It means I sometimes spend too much time getting things right when no-one but me really cares. Or it means things that matter are done properly. Either way, I am rarely satisfied.

1948 up to 1974

I was born at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in 1948. My father, Kenneth Taylor, had married Françoise Wauters in Brussels at the end of the war, having been there as an officer in the liberating British Army. In 1946 he returned to England to resume his degree in PPE at Jesus College and Françoise migrated with him.

After Kenneth completed his degree we moved to Bolton, his original home town in the North West of England, so that he could work in the family business, W.T.Taylor & Co. Ltd, at that time the largest manufacturer of cotton towels in Europe and second in the world.

My formal education began in 1952 at Beech House, the infant department of Bolton School Boys' Division. I moved to the Junior School at Park Road, then in 1958 to the Senior School. I left school in 1965 for a course in architecture at Manchester College of Art & Design, which became Manchester Polytechnic and is now Manchester Metropolitan University.

During the course I worked for two years at Bradshaw Gass & Hope, Architects (in Bolton), and at the end of the seven year stint was elected to Corporate Membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects (in 1974).

1974 up to 2000

From 1971 to 1973 I worked as a trainee architect at June Partington Architects in Bolton, then briefly at John Gaytten Associates (Architects) near Oldham, until I took a position in September 1974 as Senior Architect in the Department of Architecture of Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council - now Bolton Council.

My ambition was to become Bolton's Borough Architect, who was at that time Geoffrey H. Brooks, a perfect gentleman with an excellent professional reputation in the region. As a result of Thatcherism throughout the 1980s there were many changes in British Local Government, and the Borough Architect's position was downgraded to Chief Architect, in the Planning & Engineering Department, a post to which I was appointed some time around 1986.

From 1979 to 1982 I took a three-year part-time Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies (DMS) which I passed with distinction and subsequently became a member of the British Institute of Management (which ceased to exist in 1992).

My position as Chief Architect became Assistant Director (Property) during the 1990s. As a Local Government Chief Officer I was manager of a unit of up to 100 staff. Also in the 1990s came Compulsory Competitive Tendering in British public services - another Thatcherite policy. By the time I took early retirement (at 52, in October 2000) the unit had been made into 'client' v 'contractor' - I managed the contractor.

The two best buildings for which I can claim personal responsibility as a professional architect are St George's Court in Bolton, and the Bolton Arena whose design I initially conceived - I still have my sketches to prove it - and then developed together with Bolton architects Bradshaw Gass & Hope and colleagues from the multi-disciplinary Bolton Metro Property Services Consultancy (so Bradshaw Gass & Hope's assertion on their website that they were the architects of the building is not strictly true - they provided the bulk of the manpower but they worked in partnership with Bolton Metro's architectural, structural engineering, and building services engineering team).

Since 2000

Introducing AutoCAD into the workplace led to an interest in computer graphics, and in the mid-1990s the Internet. Web design became a hobby and then a passion. I liken it to an electronic Meccano set. I spent several years with Meccano as a child, and designing websites sparks up some of the same 'builder' instincts.

I set up as sole trader to build websites professionally in 2001. This coincided with moving to Melbourne, Australia for a while. Together with Vancouver the city was voted by the Economist Intelligence Unit 'The World's Most Livable City'. I have clients in both countries for whom I've made websites, including the Victorian College of Pharmacy. [ photo: me circa 2003 ]

Trading as Patrick Taylor Web Design, I specialise in hand-crafted custom web solutions for small business and other bodies to provide an elegant, effective, and standards-compliant presence on the World Wide Web. My web design service is also characterised by attention to detail, helpfulness, quick response, and affordability. Come to think of it, I stopped 'trading' a while back. I still make websites but only ones I enjoy building. I might enjoy building yours, of course. It just depends...

Patrick Taylor Web Design is was a registered business name in Victoria, with an Australian Business Number (ABN). From time to time I've also worked on websites with Chris Dimmock, who runs Cogentis, a successful Internet Marketing consultancy in Sydney, Australia (read about his 'black and white' 1966 Austin Healey 3000 MkIIIA phase 2 BJ8).

I have a strong commitment to continuing professional development so a significant part of my time is spent on research and keeping abreast of the technologies of the World Wide Web. This is reflected in the unbillable time investment on various websites I build for myself as well as for others. One of my personal projects is la.plume, a flat file content management system for building fast, simple websites.

Now, I live in sunny rainy Lancashire in the North of England. I do not like rain but the North of England is a beautiful place even in the wet. Fortunately we are on higher ground.

Family

In 1971 I married Sandra (Murphy). We have four adult sons: Thomas, Robert, Nicholas, and Francis. I have two younger brothers - Anthony and Martin - and two younger sisters: Michèle and Annik. My mother, Francoise, died in 2007 and my father, Kenneth, in 2011.

Related article: my interests.

Page last modified: November 07, 2015

Patrick Elsewhere

The art of Françoise Taylor:
paintings & drawings by my mother, vécue 1920-2007