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Beryl Foster: former Watersplash Hotel owner was busy in Brockenhurst society

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Beryl Foster (93) bought the Watersplash Hotel in Brockenhurst in 1958
Beryl Foster (93) bought the Watersplash Hotel in Brockenhurst in 1958

A FORMER Brockenhurst hotel owner who was heavily involved in the local community has died aged 93.

Beryl Foster (nee Robinson) was born in London in 1925 to parents Ernest and Florence. They moved back to Manchester to run their family firm, Robinsons Removals, when Beryl was a toddler.

She grew up in the city and was involved with Leicester Road Methodist Church, the Guides and the local tennis club. When the war ended, Beryl enjoyed taking cycling trips with friends to North Wales, the Lake District, Scotland and Cornwall.

In 1949, she married Brian Foster, whom she met at the Methodist church, and they moved to the Gold Coast in West Africa, now Ghana, where they had three children, Ann, Carol and Robin.

Returning to England in 1957, the couple bought the Watersplash Hotel in Brockenhurst in 1958, and had a fourth child, Jane.

Over the years, Beryl taught many of the village’s children to swim in the hotel pool, and became involved with many local organisations, including the WI, Brockenhurst Flower Club and the Horticultural Society.

“Mum was really passionate about crafts and took part in many competitions,” said son Robin. “In particular, she liked macramé, spinning and weaving.”

Beryl helped out at local Brownie and Guide groups throughout the 60s and 70s, and along with two other women, she fundraised for the village hall.

Along with Brian, Beryl was also a member of New Forest Lions Club and the Royal British Legion, and the couple hosted an annual curry lunch in aid of the Gurkha Welfare Trust for many years.

They also enjoyed playing indoor bowls and took long holidays in Marbella, where they played bridge and mahjong.

Beryl and Brian stepped down from running the Watersplash around 1983, and Robin took the reins. In 2014, the business was sold and the building is now being converted into 24 retirement properties.

After 50 years of marriage Brian died in 1999. Beryl spent the last year of her life at Forest Oaks care home in The Rise, Brockenhurst. She died peacefully there on 1st January , with Robin and Carol by her side.

“Mum was a very typical Mancunian who spoke her mind,” said Robin. “She was the Godmother of the family and I’ve heard her described as formidable – that definitely summed her up.

“She was always there for us and she’d give you an answer – it may not have been what you wanted to hear but it was always the right answer.”

A service of thanksgiving will take place at St Saviour’s Church in Brockenhurst tomorrow (Saturday) at midday.

Family flowers only. Donations to the Lymington and Brockenhurst Lions Club can be sent to Maria Jones Funeral Directors, Little Holbrook at 56 Brookley Road, Brockenhurst, SO42 7RA.

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