Born in 1925, Berry was the son of a publican and grew up in the potteries city of Stoke-on Trent during the depression. At the age of 14 he enrolled at the Burslem School of Art in the city. Despite a rebellious start there, he came under the care of Gordon Mitchell Forsyth (1879–1952), director of art education and a successful pottery designer. Berry gained a place at the Royal College of Art in London,during his time at the Royal College the institution was evacuated from Kensington to Ambleside in the Lake District, to
escape the German bombing of London during the Second World War. Berry, who suffered from agoraphobia, did not find the rural surroundings of Ambleside particularly to his taste.
After the war Berry became an art teacher. He worked in London and Manchester, but as a teacher he is best known for his long association with Burslem School of Art, where he had studied. The school was absorbed within Stoke-on-Trent College of Art, which in turn became part of North Staffordshire Polytechnic in 1971. Berry was lecturer in painting at the Polytechnic until 1985.
His individual creative work became deeply rooted in the culture, people and landscape of the industrial pottery town of Burslem. More latterly he lived with his second wife, Cynthia, in Wolstanton, a village on the western border of Stoke-on-Trent. He died on 4 July 1994.