“We remember Adam as a most brilliant civil servant, one who could see very far - without being drawn into small matters, and a master at using his superior charisma and diplomatic skills to resolve conflicts that looked like unstoppable forest fires. We also like to celebrate Adam as a great example of how to enjoy life: the party at his home and his curriculum as a boater have always been a great inspiration for us.”
My wife and I last met Adam and Judith in June 2016 at his home and in the Lamorna Wink, the refurbished pub in the valley. We have meet up every June since the year 2000, which is itself an interesting story. We had been interested in the writings for children of peter Dawlish. Though written for boys, my wife Jean remembered reading them as a young girl with great affection. We collected the Dauntless series, not knowing who the author was, until in 2000 reading a short book on Lamorna purchased from the watermill shop, written by Keith Gardiner whose artist father Stanley was once painted by Richard Copeland Weatherby. Keith by good fortune was with us last June. In his little book was the story of how Peter Dawlish was a pseudonym for James Lennox Kerr, who happened to be Adam's father. A notice said that the Kerrs, artists, still lived in the valley so we knocked on the door. The rest is history. We had literally walked past his house unknowing for over twenty years The internet makes book finding much simpler today so before long I had accumulated most titles, and had many a chat with Adam about his father. We even managed to find and bring home an unpublished manuscript, languishing in a Wirrel Record Office on the history of Cunard in Birkenhead. He was pleased with this, because most other people wanted to talk about his grandfather, the artist Lamorna Birch. He decided to follow in his father's footsteps and write his own autobiography. I read early proofs and was delighted to be given the published book, equally as good as his father's adult writings.
We were fortunate that our annual visit coincided with his 80th birthday party, held in the Millennium Garden that he worked so hard to establish. The whole community turned out to partake of fish hotpot and wine. We were staying just up the hill, in the cottage, he told us once somewhat mischievously, in which he had been conceived We spotted him too sailing his beloved lugger Barnabas in the Thames at the Queen's regatta. Adam was also an enthusiastic watercolour painter of marine life and used to send watercolour Christmas cards which of course we keep.