Davina Artis, who died in Bexhill aged 97 on April 14, was formerly a familiar figure in Rye. She came to live in Landgate Square in the 1960s to be near her friend and work colleague Sybil Weir, an employee of the Lentheric perfume company, who had bought a cottage in Iden. For some years Davina commuted daily to London with a group of friends she made in Rye. At Lentheric she worked for Denis “Paddy” Davies, a business entrepeneur and colourful character who became chairman of the company. Davina ran Paddy’s office with great efficiency and devotion, continuing to commute one day a week for a number of years after giving up full-time work. In her spare time, she undertook clerical work for the Rye Conservation Society, assisting both Peter Howlett and Peter Goldney in their secretarial roles. When she finally retired from her London commitment, she found a new outlet for her energies in assisting at the day centre and was often to be seen laden with supplies she had purchased for the lunch club. Once the time came when she was no longer able to manage on her own, she moved to Bexhill where she spent her final years in the Normanhurst Retirement Home.
Photo: Chris Pitcher