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Artist pays touching tribute to former Lyme Regis mayor
CREATION: Artist David Manners at his easel with the portrait of former Lyme Regis mayor Barbara Austin
ARTIST David Manners has paid a very personal tribute to the late Barbara Austin.
Mr Manners has painted a portrait of the former Lyme Regis Mayor and community stalwart, who died in December.
Now he hopes it can be put on display in the town to remind the public of her tireless community work.
The retired Woodroffe School maths teacher took up painting again last year after a 35-year break and specialises in portraits and maritime scenes.
Mr Manners and wife Angela are long-time friends of the Austin family and he wanted to pay tribute to Mrs Austin in his own way.
He said: “At Barbara’s funeral, I was chatting to the family and suggested that I would like to do a portrait of Barbara which I would hope would eventually go on display somewhere in the town where the public might see her and it remind them of the great efforts she made for so many in Lyme Regis.
“Richard Austin, Mrs Austin’s son, supplied me the following day with one of his charismatic photographs of his mother and I set to work.”
Mr Manners said he spent considerable time doing accurate drawings before putting oil paint to canvas and spent 25 hours at the easel perfecting the portrait.
“Angela and I have been friends of the family for half a century,” said Mr Manners.
“Barbara was so supportive of me and the RNLI when I was in charge from 2000 to 2005 and also for the Poppy Appeal of which Angela and I have been involved with for many years.
“She had a forthright, get things done, way of working which certainly appealed to me, but in general as the whole of our town knows, she was more than that. She supported so many things in Lyme Regis that the town would be very different without her actions.”