Centenarian Cyril puts ‘eye-catching’ design on Christmas

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Cyril Bibbs and Janie Pearman, Manager of Colten Care's Belmore Lodge in Lymington, with cards showing Cyril's painting.
Cyril Bibbs and Janie Pearman, Manager of Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge in Lymington, with cards showing Cyril’s painting.

A snowy English landscape painted by a 102-year-old care home resident in Lymington has been chosen as a Christmas card design.

Hundreds of festive greetings cards with the watercolour illustration by Cyril Bibbs are being sent out from Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge, where he lives, and three other homes in the family-owned group.

Great-grandfather Cyril took up painting and selling watercolours after his retirement as a postmaster in 1967.

In the decades that followed he painted more than 250 pictures, finally putting down his brush and palette only when he reached his late 90s.

The painting chosen for the card design shows a wintry scene of a lone walker heading down a track in the countryside.

Cyril said: “I was out walking in the Lake District near one of the lakes, or tarns as they call them there, and I took a photograph of the scene as I thought it was a lovely view. I kept the photo for years and created the pure watercolour from that. The original picture is with my family overseas but I had a print that was able to be used for making the Christmas card.”

Janie Pearman, Belmore Lodge Home Manager, said: “We thought it was such an eye-catching painting and perfect as a seasonal illustration for a greeting card. We’ve all been saying how we wish we were as clever and creative as Cyril.”

Four hundred cards have been produced with Cyril’s design, going out with festive wishes across three counties.

As well as Belmore Lodge in Hampshire, they are being sent out from Colten Care’s Wiltshire home, Braemar Lodge in Salisbury, and two of the provider’s Dorset homes, Brook View in West Moors and Fernhill in Longham.

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