Tributes paid to 'gentle' artist Kenneth Walker, who leaves a legacy of 'important' watercolours of Budleigh Salterton
PUBLISHED: 11:21 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:35 23 October 2018
Tributes have been paid to an artist from Budleigh Salterton whose name will forever live on through his much-loved paintings of the ever-changing face of the town.
Kenneth Walker, of Victoria Place, Budleigh Salterton, has died aged 95; he was well known for his ‘much admired’ watercolour paintings of the town’s buildings.
His wife, Audrey, said: “He will be remembered for his paintings and for the type of person he was.
“He was so gentle; a real gentleman.”
Kenneth grew up in Boxmoor, Hertfordshire, and started out as a photographer, in Essex.
When he met a young woman named Audrey at the wedding of his cousin, Christine, who was marrying Audrey’s cousin – also called Kenneth – his future happiness was sealed.
Kenneth and Audrey married in 1954, at Woodside Park, North London; they went on to have two sons. Michael was born in 1955 and Miles in 1962.
When Kenneth’s photography business Reklaw – Walker spelled backwards – closed, the couple moved in with Audrey’s father in Finchley.
“He loved his job as a photographer; he loved it,” said Audrey.
Kenneth also worked for Ashridge Management College, preparing slides for the lecturers.
When he retired, the couple moved to Budleigh Salterton, arriving in December 1987, to their home in Victoria Place, where they remained.
It was in Budleigh that Kenneth developed his love of art, taking watercolour commissions from local businesses and residents.
His work recording the town’s intricate buildings – homes and businesses - is his lasting legacy.
Local historian Michael Downes said Kenneth’s work was ‘now recognised as an important archive of Budleigh’s architectural heritage’.
Audrey said: “When he retired he wanted to paint watercolours. He’s done the shops several times over because they have changed hands over the years; the town was his subject.”
Audrey thanks the staff at Pinewood and Bay Court nursing homes for looking after her husband, Kenneth Walker.