Woodbury artist dies

A WOODBURY artist feted by the Prime Minister and famed for her watercolours of Woodbury Common and Dartmoor, which she displayed in galleries in Paris and London, has died in an Exmouth nursing home aged 95.

A WOODBURY artist feted by the Prime Minister and famed for her watercolours of Woodbury Common and Dartmoor, which she displayed in galleries in Paris and London, has died in an Exmouth nursing home aged 95.

Beryl Critchley-Salmonson, who for 32 years from 1970 lived in Woodbury, was born in Canada 1914 and spent her early years with her sister Peggy and parents in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Bought up by her aunt in Newton Abbott, she went to school in Malvern, Worcestershire before in 1937 aged 17, joining the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Girl Guides.

Two years later she put this experience to good use and at the outbreak of war she worked at St Bridget Nurseries before in 1941 moving to Taunton and becoming a Gang Labour Officer in charge of 750 Land Girls.


You may also want to watch:


Only last year she received her certificate and medal from the Prime Minister for her work with the Land Girls during the war.

During this time she met her husband-to-be Humphrey in Williton, West Somerset, and they married in 1944, and in 1946 moved to Bristol where her son Jan was born.

Most Read

In 1949 they moved back to Devon - but sadly Humphrey died in Ottery St Mary in 1956, prompting her to move to Lympstone.

In 1970 she moved to Woodbury, where she lived for 32 years and became part of the local community, where she took up painting.

Her eldest granddaughter, Anne-Marie Pedley said: "Her love of painting grew after the death of her husband. She particularly enjoyed watercolours and spent many hours painting in various locations in the South West and especially on Dartmoor and Woodbury Common.

"She loved nothing better than wrapping up warm and sitting for a day with her picnic and flask of tea painting!

"Her other passion was painting seascapes and she was particularly good at skies."

Beryl took full advantage of the fact that her son and family lived in France in the 1970's, and ended up displaying much of her work in many local art exhibitions including in Paris and London.

Anne-Marie added: "...she loved sitting in the vineyards and by the River Gironde painting for hours and chatting to the locals.

"Her artistic talents continued through into her passion and skill for gardening. She spent many happy hours in her immaculate and colourful garden."

In later life she lived at The Old Vicarage, Otterton and spent her last couple of months following a fall at The Cranford Nursing Home in Exmouth.

Beryl leaves one son, two granddaughters and three great grand children: "She had a very long and fulfilled life and loved living in Devon," she added.

"They will remember her above all for her love of nature and the outdoors which has inspired them all in their lives."

The funeral takes place on Friday September 18 at Highweek Church, Newton Abbot at 3pm.

Ends

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter