Funeral held for Topsham author

PUBLISHED: 14:48 29 October 2009 | UPDATED: 12:12 10 June 2010

AN ENTHUSIASTIC artist who published books recalling his experiences of life in Topsham has died. Douglas Arthur Dart, died suddenly at his home in Majorfield Road on Friday, October 23 – the house he was born in. The 73-year-old had suffered from a rare

AN ENTHUSIASTIC artist who published books recalling his experiences of life in Topsham has died.

Douglas Arthur Dart, died suddenly at his home in Majorfield Road on Friday, October 23 - the house he was born in. The 73-year-old had suffered from a rare illness, amyloidosis.

He leaves brother John and sister Christine and Iris. Douglas also had a brother, Peter, who died in 1936.

Christine, speaking about one of her sibling's books, a Poet's View of Topsham, said: "We always knew he loved poetry and liked pictures and paintings.

"We didn't know, however, the extent of the feelings detailed in the poems. There were some quite revealing things that the family never knew.

"He always wanted them published, and thankfully, he managed to achieve that."

Douglas, who never married, was a member of Topsham Art Group and helped out as a volunteer at the town's museum. His funeral will be held today, November 5, at St Nicholas Church.

A former Exmouth Grammar School pupil, Douglas also wrote a book called Reminiscences of Topsham.

The title details his memories of collecting scraps of wood thrown away by Americans based in Countess Wear during World War II.

He recollects life at Sunday school and, from his younger days, when the local constable would chase him and his friends around Topsham trying to catch them for letting off fireworks and scrumping apples.

Christine said: "He got a lot of pleasure out of working on the books and then being praised for them through people in the town who had read them.

"Some people would buy them and send them onto people who used to live in Topsham but had gone to live elsewhere, even as far away as Canada.

"He was a loved family man and we'd enjoy doing things at Christmas and getting together for birthdays."

His brother John, said: "Douglas was a knowledgeable character and had travelled a lot in his life.

"He had hidden talents and was very good at poetry. We used to be able to have a lot of good banter with him.


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