York & North Yorkshire

Avalanche deaths funeral and memorial service held

Families of Steve Barber and John Taylor leaving a memorial service at Nether Poppleton near York
Image caption The memorial service ended with the Monty Python song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Hundreds of people have attended a memorial service for two Yorkshire climbers who died in an avalanche in the French Alps.

Steve Barber, 47, and John Taylor, 48, from Upper Poppleton, near York, died on 12 July on Mont Maudit.

The memorial service at St Everilda's Church, Nether Poppleton, followed a private funeral for both men.

Mr Barber and Mr Taylor lived on the same street and had been raising money for a local charity.

Mr Barber's 10-year-old daughter Francesca attends the same school as the two children of Mr Taylor, Emma, 10 and Louise, eight.

'Always so happy'

Mr Taylor's wife Karine spoke of her husband's great passion for mountaineering during the service.

"I would never ever have changed him or told him to stop because he was always so happy to go," she said.

The service was led by the Reverend Jeremy Sylvester who said tributes paid to the two men had also recounted funny moments.

Image caption The men were part of a group attempting to reach the summit of Mont Blanc

Mr Sylvester said: "The whole idea was that it should be a celebration of their lives."

The families chose to end the service with Monty Python song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

Mr Taylor and Mr Barber had been part of a 28-strong group traversing Mont Maudit before dawn in an attempt to reach the summit of Mont Blanc.

A third Briton, Roger Payne, 55, originally from London, was also killed.

The men had been raising funds for St Leonard's Hospice, York.

Since their deaths donations have continued to be made via Mr Barber's charity page.

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