The family of Perth businesswoman Carole Taylor have paid tribute to the 67-year-old with a “heart of gold”, following her death.
Carole was a director of builders’ merchant, Andrew Gray, which she took over with her husband, Dave, in 1980, building it into a business now employing 18.
Carole and Dave also took on a greater part in the running of haulage contractors D and R Taylor, which had been founded by Dave’s great-grandfather in 1857.
The 166-year-old business now has 12 lorries on the road and Taylor family involvement has been maintained.
Known as a champion of those less fortunate, Carole helped former prisoners get back into work by employing them through the Training for Freedom scheme.
Carole gave opportunities and had passion for animals
She also launched the careers of many young people who have gone on to hold senior managerial positions. These include David Townsley, who started 21 years ago as a yard boy and is now a director.
Outside work, animals were one of her passions. She showed dogs at Crufts and at shows around the country and, 15 years ago, bought her own kennels at Blairadam, Kelty.
She was born at Airthey Castle, Stirling, to Sandy Goldie a general merchant and his wife, Mary Ann, who ran a monumental sculpting business.
Carole’s father died when she was five and her early years were spent growing up first in Tillicoultry and then Bridge of Allan where she attended primary school.
Carole won a scholarship to attend Morrison’s Academy, Crieff, where she enjoyed sports and thrived academically. She was ranked among the top 20% of members of Mensa in the UK.
She left school at 16 and started work as a receptionist at the Salutation Hotel in Perth before being taken on as a clerkess at Jameson and McKay solicitors in Charlotte Street in the city.
Carole also had an evening job at the Abbotsford Inn in Craigie, Perth, and it was there she met Dave.
It was Carole who proposed on February 29 1976 and they were married at Huntingtower Hotel in April the following year.
The couple set up home in Viewlands, Perth. Their daughter, Natasha, was born in May 1978 followed by David in 1983.
A self-taught machine knitter, Carole’s early years of marriage were spent designing and producing garments and she even received a New Wool Mark because of the quality of her work.
Dave had started a skip hire business and then in 1980, the couple took over Andrew Gray and initially ran it with with the help of a school leaver, James Lyle.
Away from the business world, Carole kept a variety of animals at the new family home in Bridge of Earn and was a passionate gardener who showed her produce at flower shows.
According to her family: “Carole was one of life’s characters. She knew her own mind and she was her own person.
“You always got the real Carole and she was always completely authentic. She lived a full and vibrant life and there was never a dull moment when Carole was around.
“She had a heart of gold, had a strong business head and she was a very hard worker, instilling an equally strong work ethic in her family, whom she was very proud.”
You can read the family’s announcement here.