A MAN who was instrumental in the development of affordable housing in Lyme Regis has died aged 96.

David Edmund Talbot Garman OBE sold part of his land on the outskirts of the town to Lyme Regis Community Land Trust to build 15 affordable homes.

The development sits on Timber Hill, named Garman’s Field because of this.

Keith Jenkin, chairman of the Lyme Regis CLT, said: “We were looking for sites to build affordable housing on and had the idea of doing a land registry search and found this land with the name of Mr Garman.

“We found his number in the book and rung him up to explain that we wanted to acquire the land which he owned and build affordable housing on it.

“He said, ‘that sounds interesting’ and we went from there and he let us get on with it.

“Lyme Regis will be continuously indebted to him as the need for affordable housing is extreme and he has played a part in alleviating it to a degree.”

Mr Garman is a relative of Admiral John Talbot, a senior British Royal Navy Officer who served in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, who retired to his estate at Rhode Hill in Uplyme.

The village’s Talbot Arms pub is named after Admiral John Talbot.

Rhode Hill House and the land the affordable housing development is on, has been passed down through the family.

Mr Garman was born in Thakeham, west Sussex, on May 9 1922 and was the eldest son of the Hon. Celia Talbot – of the Rhode Hill, Dorset branch of the Talbot de Malahide family – and Captain Edmund Garman, with their other children being Elizabeth, Joseph and Joan.

After joining the Royal Air Force during the Second World War when he was just 17, he went on to be the inventor of the world’s first portable powered bath lift, amongst other products.

He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2015 for services to healthcare for his invention and other patient lifting and handling equipment, which is now used by care homes, ambulance services and hospitals.

He died at his home in mid-Wales on January 4 2019 and is survived by his wife Francesca, their four sons – Rupert, Jocelyn, Benedict and Dominic – as well as his eight grandchildren.