Woodbury 'wide awake' in memory of village's former priest and botanist

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 July 2019

Sue Hudson and Diana Wackerbarth holding a first edition of William Keble Martin's book at the Woodbury Church Wide Awake event. Ref exe 29 19TI 7855. Picture: Terry Ife

Sue Hudson and Diana Wackerbarth holding a first edition of William Keble Martin's book at the Woodbury Church Wide Awake event. Ref exe 29 19TI 7855. Picture: Terry Ife

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A flower festival commemorated the life and work of a former priest and renowned botanist who retired to Woodbury.

The choir were in full voice at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7876. Picture: Terry IfeThe choir were in full voice at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7876. Picture: Terry Ife

Prior in death in 1969, William Keble Martin spent his final days in the village after 67 years as a priest and is most keenly remembered for his paintings and drawings of wild plants.

He had deep roots in the Devon countryside and like most academic botanists at the time, took holy orders serving at churches across Devon.

In his 70s he retired to Gildleigh, and later, for health reasons, moved to a bungalow in Woodbury.

Despite his retirement he regularly stood in at churches including Woodbury Salterton, Exton and Clyst St George.

The choir were in full voice at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7875. Picture: Terry IfeThe choir were in full voice at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7875. Picture: Terry Ife

Half a century after he died, Woodbury residents came together to celebrate his life with a special flower show dubbed 'Woodbury Wide Awake'.

An exhibition reflecting the life of Mr Keble Martin was organised, as well as banners created by pupils from Woodbury Primary School.

Sandra Wakefield and Murrough MacDonnell with their watercolour paintings at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7873. Picture: Terry IfeSandra Wakefield and Murrough MacDonnell with their watercolour paintings at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7873. Picture: Terry Ife

Murrough MacDonnell with his watercolour painting at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7867. Picture: Terry IfeMurrough MacDonnell with his watercolour painting at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7867. Picture: Terry Ife

Wide Awake event at Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7863. Picture: Terry IfeWide Awake event at Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7863. Picture: Terry Ife

Wide Awake event at Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7862. Picture: Terry IfeWide Awake event at Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7862. Picture: Terry Ife

Organist Colin Ashby at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7859. Picture: Terry IfeOrganist Colin Ashby at the Wide Awake event in Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7859. Picture: Terry Ife

Wide Awake event at Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7860. Picture: Terry IfeWide Awake event at Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7860. Picture: Terry Ife

Wide Awake event at Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7858. Picture: Terry IfeWide Awake event at Woodbury Church. Ref exe 29 19TI 7858. Picture: Terry Ife

Carolyn Keep with her Waste Ground display at the Woodbury Church Wide Awake event. Ref exe 29 19TI 7848. Picture: Terry IfeCarolyn Keep with her Waste Ground display at the Woodbury Church Wide Awake event. Ref exe 29 19TI 7848. Picture: Terry Ife

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