Businessman Jonty ‘an honourable man’

A WELL-KNOWN Whitby resident and businessman has died at his home in the town at the age of 88.

He was Jonathan George Hill Paylor, known as Jonty, a member of a long-established family in the town.

Jonty was one of 13 children of Tom and Jenny Paylor, described by his daughter Lorinda as a large Roman Catholic family.

Lorinda said: “He had a steadfast faith to the end and he was always proud of the Hill connection with his name from ancestors on his father’s side.

“He grew up in Loggerhead’s Yard and as a child was proud to be one of the Dockend Gang.

“A gang in those days was simply a symbol of friendship and camaraderie with nothing of the connotations associated with today’s gangs.

“One of the greatest joys enjoyed by his family were his tales of the good old days and reminiscences of his mischievous childhood including his favourite friend, a pet monkey called Jackson he trained to help him peashoot visitors from the balcony of their home just above the dockside.”

Lorinda said that Jonty had spent much of his childhood on the Whitby abbey farms owned by his grandfather.

“He adored his grandfather, old Jonathan Paylor and loved his time there with his beloved pigs,” she said.

“The saddest his family had ever seen him was when he and his father had to put down more than 400 pigs due to swine fever.”

During the war when he was 17, Jonty lied about his age to get into action and with two of his brothers he joined up.

He was a stoker on HMS Suffolk, the first ship to sight and attack Germany’s prize battleship the Bismarck.

Later he served in action in the Pacific.

He met his wife Joan Lavinia at a Valentine’s Day dance and told a friend then that he intended to marry her.

They had been married for 66 years when he died.

For many years, he and his wife had a greengrocer’s shop in Flowergate as well as a stall on the top of the cliffs.

Lorinda said: “He loved the business and he introduced exotic fruit and vegetables to this part of the north east coast including mangoes, aubergines and celeriac long before eating such things became fashionable.

“He was an honourable man and everyone who knew him would comment on his integrity and honesty as well as his reliability and friendship.

“He will be sadly missed by his wife, his three daughters and their families as well as his seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.”

Jonty’s interests included antiques, paintings, art, history and keeping abreast of current affairs.”