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£600k legacy buys a new scanner for hospital

By Lynsey Bradford, Town Reporter Friday 8th February 2013
Mary Tasker
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A £600,000 legacy - the biggest ever given to Barnsley Hospital - has been left by the widow of Barnsley Streets photographer, Ted Tasker.

 

Mary Tasker, who died in March 2011, aged 95, was not treated in the hospital and it is unknown why it was chosen as beneficiary of the couple's entire estate.

 

The money has been used to buy a second CT scanner for the hospital's imaging department.

 

The couple lived on Sackville Street and Ted recorded the redevelopment of Barnsley during the 1960s, capturing the changes through what would become iconic photographs.

 

He died in 1989, aged 79 and Mary founded the Tasker Trust in 1992 to protect the photographs, which were later published in a series of books called Barnsley Streets.

 

Raymond Walker, a trustee of The Tasker Trust, officially unveiled the scanner on Wednesday.

 

Raymond, 76, of Rowan Drive, Gawber, worked with Ted at his photography shop on New Street from 1956 until it was demolished to make way for the Alhambra Centre.

"I loved every minute of it. I learned more from him than I ever did from school."

 

When Ted died, Raymond and his wife Rosalind looked after Mary.

 

"They have been a huge part of my life for a long time.

"I wouldn't call him a friend, he was Mr Tasker. I never called him Ted. He was a happy gentleman, always courteous.

 

"Mrs Tasker was a proper lady. She used to come to my house for Christmas dinner and said to me after 30 years 'I think you've known me long enough now to call me Mary'."

 

Ted was originally born in Lincolnshire and served in the Medical Corps in the Second World War as a radiographer, a person who operates X-ray machines, before opening his shop.

 

Hospital chairman Steve Wragg said: "We're extremely grateful to the Taskers for the bequest.

 

"We chose to buy the scanner and met with the trustees and found out what a great person Ted Taker was.

 

"It's an astonishing piece of serendipity us buying an imaging device with money left to us by someone who was a radiographer and photographer."

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