Friends and neighbours united with family this week in tribute to Martyn Perryman, a former Sidmouth hotelier and proprietor of a holiday letting business, who has died, aged 74.

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He was, as a young man, a noted sportsman who played cricket and rugby for the town, writes Kingsley Squire.

Born at Branscombe, he first worked in the family business, processing eggs and poultry collected from farms in vans with a cockerel trademark on the side and the slogan ‘The Best Is Cheapest’.

Mr Perryman, educated at King’s College, Taunton, was Commissioned into the Royal Hampshire Regiment for his National Service which he served largely in Jamaica where he helped set up the island’s first rugby team.

He and his wife, Penny, married for 46 years, worked with her parents, Tom and Gladys Foyle, in the family-run Wyndham Hotel on The Esplanade before, in 1984, turning it into holiday flats.

A qualified chef, Mr Perryman also bought and ran for a year an old-established Sidmouth butcher’s shop in the High Street before expanding their holiday self catering interests into other property.

Speaking this week at her Sidmouth home where cards of sympathy and callers have wrapped her “in a blanket of kindness,” Penny recalled first meeting Martyn in the Anchor Inn when she went to see her friend, Wendy, daughter of the licensees.

“Around the corner came this lovely looking chap in a red sports car,” she said. “When I got into the Anchor there he was. We looked at each other and it was a bolt from the blue, love at first sight.

“He was a great Devon character who opened up my world from just being hotel life. We had 46 happy years together and, now he has gone, I have 46 years of happy memories of a husband who was loving, loyal, faithful, true and a very hard working man who wanted to do his best for everyone.”


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