TRIBUTES have been paid to the former mayor of Norton who dedicated her life to helping people in the community.

Margaret Anne Taylor died in Malton Hospital on Tuesday, June 10, aged 88.

Born in Malton in Horsemarket Road, Margaret attended Malton Grammar School from the age of nine thanks to her outstanding academic abilities.

After moving with her parents and two siblings, Barbara and Christopher - Margaret also had another sister who died at the age of nine from diphtheria - to Pembrokeshire, Margaret attended Cardiff University where she gained a first-class honours degree in French.

She then worked in France before landing her first teaching position at a school in Guernsey and it was there she met her husband, John Taylor, who was working in the Navy. Together they enjoyed going to dances and going sailing.

After getting married in Guernsey in 1950, the pair moved to Seamer, Scarborough, before settling back in Norton following two three-year Navy tours of duty in Malta.

They had five children, Richard, Daphne, Helen, Ralf and Jonathan, 11 grandchildren and eight great- grandchildren.

Once they had settled back in to Ryedale life, living at The Elms, in Commercial Street, it was not long before Margaret began to immerse herself in local community work.

Richard said that when his father died in 1987 his mother became even more involved with local projects including holding presidency positions at Norton Scouts and the NOMADS Production drama society for Malton and Norton.

He said: “She became more involved in all sorts of things. She should be recognised for her services because they were really big things in her life."

Richard went on to say that "she was more concerned about people than the politics" when she was elected mayor of Norton in 1999 and made it her mission to help people as much as she could.

Alongside her council duties, Margaret was also involved in Mencap and the local 50 Plus group and liked to knit and play scrabble in her spare time.

She was also a big supporter of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and was proud to be awarded with a silver award as well as a gold award from the Duke of Kent for her work for the charity.

Her daughter, Daphne, said: "She was just a tireless support of all kinds of committees. Her heart was in Norton more than anywhere else and Norton and Malton were her life.

"All her enjoyment was based around Malton and Norton. She was sharp witted right up until the last day, she was a super intelligent woman."

Margaret's funeral will be held on Tuesday, June 24, at 10.30am at St Peter's Church, Norton.