Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Get ahead, get a bike!

MOST of Weymouth can now offer an expert opinion on what it is like to be stuck in a traffic jam, but it is not bad news for everyone.

I joined one recent queue at Wyke heading for Lanehouse at about the same time as a weary elderly cyclist.

What made him stand out was that despite narrow pavements, junctions and roads choked with vehicles he was still able to thread his way along leaving me hundreds of yards behind.

Nothing too unusual about a cyclist being able to do that in these troubled times round Weymouth you might say and I might agree with you but for two things.

This cyclist was still able to outstrip traffic despite having a hundredweight sack of potatoes balanced on his crossbar and the fact he was actually pushing his bike while doing so.

Things appear to have got a lot worse since that cyclist sighting with some members arriving late for one council meeting having taken nearly an hour and a half to get to the council offices from Preston.

One councillor even abandoned his car and walked the last bit while it took me 25 minutes to drive the final 200 yards to the offices from just the other side of Asda.

Still, only 11 more months of disruption to go.

What will be next under the microscope?

IT seems that the whole world wants a growing piece of Weymouth and Portland and the Jurassic Coast ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Sailing teams want training slots, officials and organisers want to reserve beds to rest their weary heads after a hard day’s judging and judgement and a thousand commercial interests are scrabbling round to ensure they get as big a slice of the money pie as possible.

So I thought I’d share this snippet with you to show how far down through world society the Olympic circus has filtered.

An American was recently over on Portland and it wasn’t to scout hotels or to hoover up skippers’ advice on local sailing conditions.

Instead this person was over here to take photographs of obscure examples of chimney.
Chosen sites included ones where the chimney brickwork was displayed as an exposed highlight extended back down through the end wall of a house.

There was also a site where the chimney’s route down was highlighted by what seemed to be curling stone features, again on an end wall.

These sites clearly interested the American who ran them as an entry for what appeared to be an interior design company specialising in several areas including architectural features.

So the next time you are bombarded with Olympic chit-chat about schedules being on time or the potential boost to the local economy, remember that your home or garden could be next because this really is the greatest show on Earth and even the tiniest detail will be coming under some microscope somewhere.

Reaping the rewards from living the good life

SUNDAY lunch, you can’t beat it!

Get family round and the onus is on you as host to pull the stops out.

So how about lamb for main course backed up by new potatoes, two kinds of French beans, carrots, runner beans, mint sauce, raspberries, plums and apple and rhubarb crumble for dessert all washed down by blackberry wine?

Seems reasonable to me and the delight of the whole thing was that, with the exception of the lamb, I grew or made everything.

I was even spared the less than delightful task of having to do the washing up.

I think I must have garnered sympathy after a swarming ants’ nest took exception to my attempts to pick plums with hundreds of the little devils biting me all down my left leg.

Revenge is sweet and, as I basked in the glory of my home produce, I consoled myself with the knowledge that Nippon insecticide was at that moment thinning the ant ranks as dusk crept over my garden.

Like a movie scene

YOU don’t expect to see a famous scene from a classic film played out in front of you in the middle of Weymouth.

Remember Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine in The Poseidon Adventure, when they stumbled across a shuffling line of dull-eyed passengers who’d survived the liner’s capsize?

Well recently all those trudging zombies seemed to have surfaced in front of me through a grey cloak of drizzle in St Thomas Street.

They may have been holidaymakers sampling the best an English summer had to offer but the likeness between themselves and the doomed passengers was striking.

Despair etched faces slick with water, there was the same slump-shouldered slouch to their walk as if they clung to life by the same thread and the pavement procession of bodies looked neither to left nor right as it shambled forward.

Vacant children were beyond asking for anything, parents were beyond caring and I was beyond criticism.

They just needed help but the Weymouth weather ship was going down with all hands, so I left them to it and went home to try and cheer myself up with a heartwarming film. Ever seen Titanic?

A week to remember

CONGRATULATIONS to the Regatta and Carnival Committee for putting together such a successful week of family events.

The committee’s policy of staging traditional seaside events in which all the family can participate is definitely a winning formula and the blogs and Twitter were full of messages saying how nice it is to holiday in a resort where simple family fun was still top of the agenda.

Lyme is lucky to have a dedicated team of volunteers, so energetically led by Alan Vian, who devote their time to organising the week of activities.

I always have great fun photographing all the week’s events, and I think Thursday night’s lantern launch over Lyme Bay was a fantastic sight. It’s great to see some new and original events in the town.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the Grand Carnival Procession on Saturday night as I was away for the weekend in North Devon, but I hear it was one of the best for several years. I’ve missed the carnival for the past three years due to holidays and other family occasions but I’ve decided to make sure I’m here next year as I don’t want to miss out anymore!

Had I been home I would have been part of the View From team who worked hard handing out 500 balloons and nearly 1,000 hats to hundreds of children en route.

Having been regatta secretary for ten years back in the late 1960s/70s, I hear my dad was in his element!

We’re looking forward to this Saturday when we’ll be doing the same at Bridport Carnival.

Now that summer’s main events are over, the town will slowly start to quieten down, and we can all breath a sigh of relief at another hectic but successful season.

But don’t dig out your winter coats quite yet, there’s still a few weeks of sunshine to come (hopefully!) and, knowing Lyme, I’m sure there will be plenty of community events to keep us occupied over the next few weeks.


THE View team was also on duty at the first Lyme’s Got Talent competition, which was a huge success on Tuesday night.

The demand for tickets was such that over 100 were turned away on the day and dozens of people have asked if a repeat performance could be staged. Watch this space!

I had watched a couple of good auditions during the weeks leading up to the final night, but even I was surprised at the high standard of talent on show.

Winners Lowell Fachau and Ben Hills stole the show and had the audience singing and dancing along to their unusual medley of modern hits.

After being announced the winners, the boys were even booked for two local weddings and I am sure we will be hearing much more of them in the future.


JUST like last week, there have been so many great events to choose from.

I’ve already mentioned the lantern launch over Lyme Bay on Thursday night. I think Peter Wiles’ photograph on this week’s front page shows just what a spectacular first-time event it was and one that definitely should be repeated next year.

Over 100 people gathered in the grounds of Ware House -the home of Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Minnie Churchill – for a picnic and entertainment from the Three Counties Swing Band in aid of the Organ Appeal.

I went along with my auntie, uncle, mum and dad, who was also launching his new book From Slovenia With Love, which tells the story of the impressive new Skrabl organ at St Michael’s Parish Church.

A great way to spend a summer evening!

5 things to do this weekend

1 Learn about Lyme’s history - The town’s most famous son, Admiral Sir George Somers, has a fascinating story, which you can learn all about at a special exhibition in Lyme Regis Museum. The display is only open until September so you don’t have long left to see it!

2 Improve your photogrpahy skills - Award-winning wildlife photographer Ben Osborne will be hosting photography workshops in Charmouth on Friday and Saturday, suitable for all cameras. For more info visit or phone 01297 560948.

3 Visit the Town Mill - The Town Mill always has lots going on and this weeked there are two art exhibitions 'From Here To There' and 'Waterfalls and Footpaths – From Kyoto to Okinawa' open in the mill galleries for you to enjoy.

4 Forget cooking and go out for Sunday lunch - There are plenty places to choose from when it comes to eating out in Lyme. Why not try the Mariners Hotel, the Harbour Inn, By The Bay, the Alexandra Hotel or the Talbot Arms in Uplyme for a traditional Sunday roast? Booking is recommended for all.

5 Try your hand at golf - The Lyme Regis Town Council-run mini golf course in the perfect setting of Lister Gardens is enjoying a record summer this year. Spend an afternoon working your way around the course, or you could try the putting green - also in the gardens - or the pitch and putt course at Strawberry Field.

60 SECONDS INTERVIEW: Elizabeth West

HAVING moved to the area for work, solicitor Elizabeth West now calls Beaminster home after living and exploring the area, whether on foot or by horse, for the last 15 years.

Having “stumbled” across law, she now works as a partner at High Street lawyers Austen Whetham and Guest, which was established in Bridport in 1895.

Originally from East Sussex, here the active wife and mother of two boys tells us why she loves exploring, why Napoleon and Picasso might not be the ideal companions at a dinner party and why chickens are ruining her best gardening efforts.

WHY did you move to Beaminster?
Work really. I had children and then was offered a job in Dorset so we moved here. I was actually working for one of our rivals there so was working in Beaminster to begin with.

WHAT do you enjoy about living in the town?
The architecture is brilliant and also everything you need is here: lovely shops for gifts and clothes, places to eat and it is quite a thriving community I think. There’s lots going on if you want to get involved.

WHY did you become a lawyer?
I became a lawyer around 30-years-ago in 1981. I just found it an interesting subject which enabled me to help people and earn a living. I stumbled on it really. I came to law the long way really.

WHAT do you enjoy about you job?
It’s always interesting. I still think I manage to help people and earn a living and it’s nice not doing the same thing every day. There are parameters but there’s always something different to focus on.

WHAT have been the stand out parts of being a lawyer in your career?
I have acted for a few pop stars and actors in my time but nothing really interesting. When I was newly qualified I was acting for a teacher who was facing unfair dismissal and I got on with him so well in that case I was asked by the union to take on other cases they had.

WHAT hobbies do you have outside the law firm?
At the moment I’ve a really bad back but I have horses and like to walk, swim, play tennis, ski in the winter and walk in the alps during the summer. I really like exploring the Dorset countryside. I love places like Golden Cap and St Gabriel, which are my favourites in winter and summer. I always take visitors to Abbotsbury and around St Catherine’s Church on the hill. Inland, I really like the down land like Sydling St Nicolas. It’s just open country; I take the horse out there for hours exploring the highways and byways of Dorset.

WHICH three people from throughout history would you invite for dinner?
First off, Napoleon, because I always thought he would be an interesting person to discuss politics with. The next would be Caravaggio because I think his paintings are absolutely fantastic, and he might provide a picture for me if he didn’t murder someone at the same time. And Picasso because, again, it’s completely different art but having read books I think he was a towering intellect and was able to put it down in picture form. Although I think Picasso and Napoleon might fight like cat and dog if they were together.

HAVE you a favourite painting?
It would possibly be Van Gogh’s Olive Grove because I’ve had an Athena reproduction of that on the kitchen wall for a long time and I really like the original.

WHAT you a favourite place in the world?
I like going to France. I can speak French, which always helps, and I suppose I like the French lifestyle, but not in Paris. I’d also like to go the Galapagos Islands. I don’t have any strong desire to go anywhere else. I’m very passionate about conservation and am the chair of Kingcombe Trust.

BEING fairly green fingered, how would you rate your gardening skills?
I’m keen but nothing grows. We’ve a vegetable patch but it doesn’t do so well, probably because the chickens eat the vegetables before they come up. We’ve also planted a about 10 trees, we’ve got apple and memorial trees for various people we know and animals we’ve had and I think it’s a nice idea because they are all native to this country.

WHICH three things would you take on to a desert island?
I’d probably take a fishing line because I’d have to eat. Also matches and knife. I’m quite practical and I think you’d probably want to eat and need a knife you’d be able to cut things and provide shelter and kill food or whatever you wanted and also be able to make other tools.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Please just get on with it!

NOTHING irritates drivers stuck in a roadworks queue more than to see a load of workmen stood around doing nothing.

To be fair to this group looking down into a trench in Weymouth there may have been no work going on but there was some discussion taking place as I walked by.

It seemed that something out of sight was broken.

The first man shook his head dubiously, the second just looked grimly into the hole while the third and fourth men were clearly well hacked off.

It was left to the fifth man, the gaffer presumably, to provide a technical summing up for the situation.

He said: “Right then, so we’re all agreed. It’s knackered.”

They were all still looking down into the trench when I went out of earshot but I could hear what motorists thought of the inactivity.

“Get on with it” was one of the more printable comments as I overtook the queue of vehicles on foot.

But they couldn’t get on with it, could they, because it, whatever “it” was, was “knackered”.

My top tips for barbecue beginners

IT’S that barbecue time of year when people vie with each other to take a perfectly good piece of meat and set fire to it.

I’m relatively new to this game having probably only hosted about 30 barbecues in my entire life, so here are a few tips for all you newcomers like me.

Begin by alerting both your nearest neighbours to the barbecue. You’re on good terms with them but this can change rapidly if their lines of clean washing are obscured in rolling clouds of charcoal smoke.

Likewise take great care where you site your barbecue as unleashing a furnace near the wife’s favourite clump of flowers is unlikely to go down too well and any excuse about stray gusts of wind will draw a withering response.

Caution must also be exercised over the quantity of lighter fuel used since beards and eyebrows can be gone in a flash and take weeks to grow back.

Having caused the minimum of garden damage to get the barbecue going always choose a decent quality of meat to cook.

Too much fat in the food will swiftly transform into liquid fat trickling on to the coals and shortly afterwards your food, the barbecue and distressingly large areas of your garden will be obscured by flames.

Always ask your guests hiding in the far corner of the garden how they like their meat done as this displays an air of professionalism and knowledge which helps to allay any suspicion that you have little real idea what you are doing.

Finally when eating the lightly carbonised meal you have prepared always make sure that your doctor’s number is left near a phone for convenient use later in the night.

Let the children have a good look

GIANTS rule this country and you only have to go to a Weymouth building site to see what I mean.

The new community fire station being built off Radipole Lane is largely hemmed in by 10ft hoardings plastered with logos, scheme advertising and comments praising the site’s future interaction with local people.

All well and good and the contractors have even built five windows into the hoardings at head height so that interested passers by can follow what’s going on inside the site.

But in this age of scrupulously equal opportunities for all there are also five much lower windows at child height to allow eager youngsters a view of all the big machines, men in hats and holes in the ground so beloved of children.

The sad thing is that two of the windows are almost totally obscured by regrown hedge and another two offer lines of sight through heavy clumps of weed or mounds of rubble.

The fifth window does manage to offer a tantalizing glimpse of the site but it is again through a rapidly spreading clump of weeds.

So Giants. Fee, fi, fo, fum, clear those windows before children come!

All fun and games but no respect

ANGRY pensioners were unimpressed at the antics of a boy kicking a beach ball about in St Thomas Street, Weymouth.

No one minds a bit of high spirits, but I have to say this boy was careless of property and people in the extreme.

He kicked the ball full blast against a variety of shop windows up and down the street, had no control over where the beach ball went afterwards and seemed oblivious of the glares he was getting from people hit or narrowly missed by the ball.

As I said, all this didn’t go down too well with watching pensioners who quite rightly asked the obvious question. Why didn’t one or both of this boy’s parents make him behave a bit better?

I can’t answer this because both parents either didn’t care or didn’t want to expose themselves to angry public comment.

Neither appeared the whole time I was queueing to use a cashpoint or when I was walking away down the street, and all the while this boy was kicking seven bells out of his beach ball as he darted among pedestrians who clearly felt uncomfortable with what he was doing.

Sure the boy has a right to play but not at the expense of annoying so many ordinary people in a public street.

Week of carnival capers

IN Lyme Regis there is a huge amount of activities and events to take part in, especially during summer, so why not get involved?

On Sunday evening I joined my family in the Regatta and Carnival Week torchlight procession. I missed walking the first half, as I was busy taking photos at the top of Broad Street, but managed to catch them up after a dash through Langmoor Gardens and joined them for a torch-lit stroll along the Cobb.

We were also celebrating my dad’s birthday and there were plenty of jokes from local friends about the almost 300 torches being his birthday candles!

It was also great to see so many locals in the traditional wheeled derby on Monday evening. There is plenty for visitors to do during Regatta and Carnival Week, but the derby has always been more of a local’s event. As dad says: “You’re not a real Lyme boy until you’ve run the wheeled derby!”

There was over 20 teams in the derby – the most the Regatta and Carnival Committee has seen for years – and I hope this fun event continues to grow in popularity.

Don’t worry if you’ve missed out on all the fun and games so far, it’s not too late to get involved in this year’s Grand Carnival Procession, as long as you can put together your costume in time for Saturday night!

If you’d rather watch than walk the procession, look out for the View From team with their Smart cars and vans giving away hats and balloons to all the children.

I also hear that Lyme Regis Town Council officers and staff are entering the carnival. Rumour has it that they may even dress as beach huts – not to be missed!

More fun run success for By The Bay staff

STAFF at By The Bay restaurant in Lyme Regis celebrated continued success at the annual Lifeboat Week fun run.

Last year By The Bay staff member and lifeboatman Ritchie Durrant won the race and this year, 15-year-old Andrew Watson (pictured), who is working his third summer at the restaurant, came in first place.

Restaurant owner Tony Colston managed to catch him on camera celebrating afterwards with an ice cream.


THERE have been so many events to choose from thanks to Regatta and Carnival Week.
As I have already mentioned, the torchlight procession and wheeled derby were both great events, and both huge successes.

The Regatta and Carnival Committee seem to be doing really well this year. I hear their family quiz night on Monday was so packed-out they had to turn people away and more dogs than ever before entered the Joshua Memorial family dog show.

I’m writing this on Tuesday morning as my dad prepares the final touches to the sell-out final of the first Lyme’s Got Talent competition.

It will all be over by the time you read this, but I’m sure it’s going to be another great event of the week.

5 things to do this weekend

1 Watch Lyme’s biggest event – Carnival night is this Saturday and one not to miss. The procession starts from Holmbush Car Park at 8pm, followed by live music in the Marine Parade shelters from 9:30pm and a firework display at 10pm.

2 Catch a crab – Take part in Regatta and Carnival’s crab catching competition around the harbour. Register from 10:30am at the Tackle Box or Carnival kiosk and start fishing at 11:30am.

3 Enjoy a seafront takeaway – From whitebait to warm doughnuts or just traditional fish and chips, Herbie’s Dino Bar and Lyme Fish Bar takeaway kiosks on the seafront have it all and are surprisingly delicious.

4 Cheer on our team – Lyme Regis Gig Club are preparing for the town’s first gig regatta on Sunday and could do with lots of support as they take on teams from around the region from 1pm at Victoria Pool, behind the Marine Aquarium on the Cobb.

5 Listen to some Summer Swing - Pack a picnic and bring the whole family to listen to the Three Counties Swing Band in the garden of Ware House on Sunday evening, in aid of the Organ Appeal. Rumour has it a very special surpise guest may be making an appearance and my dad will be launching his new book From Slovenia With Love, about St Michael’s Parish Church’s new organ. Tickets are available at the Tourist Information Centre.


AT THE end of this month West Dorset will once again be celebrating its rich agricultural surroundings with the annual Melplash Show. The show is a steadfast event in the diary of local people of all ages and attracts visitors from far and wide. This week’s 60 Second Interview is with the show’s new chairman Nigel Jones. Having first been a part of the show 30-years-ago, as a car park attendant, Nigel has seen the show grow into one of the regions principle events.

In his spare time Nigel is a big sports fan. Having played rugby for Dorchester for many years, Nigel now intends to turn his focus to cricket after a knee operation later in the year. Nigel is also a proud co-owner of the racehorse The Jazz Musician who this season raced at some of the top courses in the country. The Melplash Show is on for one-day only on Thursday, August 26th.

HOW much preparation goes into the Melplash Show?
I don’t think people would credit how much background work goes into it, certainly from a quasi-professional role like the secretary and the assistants here in the office. Behind that there is also a huge amount of voluntary assistance, work done by an army of different people and without them the show wouldn’t work. It’s a fantastic testament to the good will of the local community.

HOW have you seen the show develop since your first involvement 30-years-ago?
Immeasurably, from a relatively small country show it is now a principle show in the area. What you will see in agricultural country shows is that some of them have gone very commercial and some have disappeared altogether. Whereas with the Melplash Show the whole idea is to try and portray that authentic traditional country image as well as being well-organised and slick as possible, catering for what everybody wants. We have a very diverse audience bearing in mind where we are. We are one of the only, if not the only show located this close to the sea, so we have an awful lot of holidaymakers who come to the show as well as the indigenous population.

WHAT makes the show special compared to others?
I think exactly that, it’s orientation towards its traditional nature. It has all the ingredients that people want and it isn’t trying to be a commercial show that some have moved towards, yet equally it is so much more than just a country fete. The Devon County Show is now a huge commercial event, we are very much in that traditional niche and that’s where we intend to stay.

WHAT have been the highlights to you from past shows?
The highlights for me have been my two years as vice chairman, making sure everything has gone alright. From an organisational point of view to get through the day, making sure everyone has enjoyed it and that everything ran on time is the main goal.

WHAT are you particularly looking forward to this year?
I’m looking forward to the main ring attractions. We have got the white helmets motorcycle display team and as a sort of antithesis to them for people who don’t want noisy motorbikes we have also got the fabulous Rockwood dog display team who are just extraordinary. All the cattle and the sheep classes will be tremendous; we have lots of entries there. All the horse classes again have lots of entries. A new thing we introduced last year is the By the Sea marquee because of where we are we thought the agriculture of the sea is just as important as the agriculture of the land, so that’s lot of good fun. This year we also have the curry competition, sponsored by Mr and Mrs Michaud who grow the world’s hottest chilli and it is judged by the Taj Mahal in Bridport.

WHO would be your three dream guests at a dinner party?
I just want people who are funny. I would like Jeremy Clarkson, I think he is just hilarious. He’s not PC and is generally upfront and fairly rude and difficult, I find him extremely amusing. I’d like Tommy Cooper who is my favourite comedian of all time. Then I’d like somebody equally funny, the cricket commentator Brian Johnson.

WHAT was the last book you read, CD you listened to and film you watched?
The last film I watched was Toy Story 3 in 3D with my daughter, the last book that I read was the autobiography of Paul Nicholls, the racehorse trainer, and the last CD I listened to was Eva Cassidy.


Helping make businesses that five per cent better

THIS week we meet PHIL GORDON , the marketing brain behind the Dorchester Business Improvement District. View reporter PAUL CROMPTON talks to Phil about his success in marketing and his love of cricket.

“Most products were 95 per cent brilliant and five per flawed, so I thought it would be a real challenge to help develop that five per cent to make it 100 per cent brilliant, this is my dream job,” said the marketing brain behind the hugely successful Dorchester Business Improvement District, BID for short.

Having moved back to “his roots” from Berkshire to be closer to his parents, who live in Bridport, Phil Gordon has lived in Thorncombe for the last seven years, rekindling his love of cricket, which sees him today, sat in the village shop, for which he is a sporadic volunteer, with a broken thumb and tales of celebrity matches – including the 12 ball over by local resident Oliver Letwin MP.

Sipping from a cup of coffee at a wobbly table, Phil recalls how four years ago he started Kaaboom Marketing Services offering marketing, Public Relations and sales support for smaller and medium sized businesses.

He said: “I became aware when I moved down here there was a lot of excellent businesses in Dorchester, some of which had fantastic products and services and needed a little help with getting the best out of them.”

Following this move, the future project manager of Dorchester BID, was only an advert away from becoming part of what he refers to as a “business positive” town.

“My wife saw an advert in the paper for a project manager for the Dorchester BID, but I knew nothing about what a BID is or was and quite frankly I was not particularly interested in project management,” he said.

“However, I did a little bit of research and the more I read the more excited I got seeing what a huge opportunity for Dorchester, it was for us to take control of our own destiny a bit.”

A BID is a collection of businesses within a defined geographical area who vote to invest collectively in local improvements to enhance their trading environment, initiated, financed and led by the commercial sector, a BID helps provide additional or improved services as identified and requested by those businesses, to the baseline services provided by the local authority in that area.

All the businesses are invited to vote in a ballot on a business plan and basically that plan can contain anything suggested by the public of businesses to improve the town and make it a more viable place to do business.

“I really enjoy seeing a business achieve and people in that business actually benefit from all the hard work. It’s what keeps me going, turning passion into results,” he said.

“The important thing about the BID is that we were in the worst recession anyone can remember, certainly since the war, and in that time we lost 20 odd businesses including high street names like Woolworths and Adams, but we have gained over 35 new businesses in that same period, so Dorchester is actually business positive which is an amazing achievement I think.”

This influx of new businesses includes Wellworths, which has caught the country’s imagination, reportedly become a tourist destination in its own right, and the subject of a one hour BBC documentary, which Phil says, helped put Dorchester back on the map and the reason why people still flock to the town.

However, Phil is not a man who is satisfied with concentrating on one thing. After moving to the area, where his family tree goes back several generations, he decided it was the perfect time to build his own house.

So on moving to the area he and his family started their self build home, which he’d “never done anything like it before,” he said, adding “But it was a fantastic experience. I do feel from time-to-time when I walk through the door, I just think we really did do this ourselves. I don’t know how we did it, I was project manager and did a lot of things myself where possible, like a bit of plastering and electronics.

“It was a real experience, an emotional roller-coaster going through the planning problems, problems with access but the views kept us going.”

Of course, for a man with bags of energy, enthusiasm and drive, the transition from marketing and PR for Dorchester BID to fixing his own electronics is not a huge step.

“There were lots of reasons, “ he said of completing a five year apprenticeship at EMI, “partly because I’m a gadgets man, I like technology and electronics and back in the 1970s and 80s it was probably the best place to be. But I knew that if I wanted to make a decent living it wasn’t the best career. I wanted to get out into the ‘big wide world’ and so worked in electronics engineering 15 years.”

However, he said: “Once the house was built it became apparent I was too young and poor to retire and needed to do something; I like to be doing things and keep active.”

And so destiny called in the form of the newspaper advert and here he is today, sat with his second cup of coffee resting in front of him, becoming animated as he talks of the up coming Twenty20 cricket cup final, which, thanks to his marketing instincts, took the opportunity to link his love of the game with the BID by buying advertising space for the games at the Rose Bowl and other county grounds.

“I was given the opportunity a few months ago of an extremely cheap last minute deal for some cricket banner advertising,” Phil said, adding: “It gives Dorchester international exposure and brings the marketing impact of Dorchester to a wider, more global audience and allows us the opportunity to have Sky TV broadcast games with our message: - Discover our Secrets. There’s a good demographic of people going to cricket, look at the people going, it’s a good audience to target to get to spend money in the town.”

Phil said: “I love cricket. I’m competitive but I know my skill limits; I’d rather have a good game where you are not quite sure who will win it, but end up winning yourself. I enjoy friendly matches a lot, playing league games I find some sides are too intense and a bit un-cricket like, for me it’s not what the game is about.”

Having started around nine years ago Phil’s passion for cricket has seen him coach a number of Colts teams and managed the woman’s 11 at Axminster, Devon. And his infectious love of the game even rubbed off on his “long suffering” wife.

“She was fed up with me listening to Test Matches so since a few years ago, to my amazement, she said she would have a go and she has seen how much fun the social side of the game can be and now she’s a real cricket lover. The turning point was when I came home and found her watching the Test Match, and the look on her face when I walked in was brilliant.

“After that I knew the transformation was complete, and I thought ‘my work here was done’.”

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Countdown to Regatta Week

NOW that another successful Lifeboat Week is over, there’s only one thing we’re all looking forward to in Lyme Regis – Regatta and Carnival Week, starting this Saturday.

The jam-packed week of family fun will see the return of favourite games and activities, including the golf ball derby, pavement art, sandcastle competition, egg catching and balloon races.

There will be lots to see and do on the first day (Saturday 7th) but things will really get underway on Sunday evening with the Walk Of Light.

Torches will be available to buy from the Pound Street entrance to Langmoor Gardens from 8:30pm and the procession will start at 9pm, followed by the Blackdown Samba Band in the shelters at 9:45pm.

Other entertainment to look out for will be the first ever Lyme’s Got Talent grand final in the Woodmead Halls on Tuesday evening. Lyme’s top talent have been auditioning for the show for weeks and judges have whittled it down to 12 final acts, from which the audience can choose their winner. Tickets available in the Tourist Information Centre.

Another first for this year’s Regatta and Carnival Week will be the Lantern Lift-Off at 9:30pm on Thursday – set to be a spectacular sight.

Organisers are hoping to sell 100 Chinese floating lanterns and launch them into the night sky from the shingle beach.

There may be a few new additions to this year’s events but tradition never dies in Lyme Regis and the wheeled derby will always be a favourite.

Whether it be in a pram, wheelbarrow or trailer, all are invited to join in this top event at 7pm on Monday night, which sees pairs race from The Ship Inn to The Royal Standard, drinking half a pint at each pub on the way. Don’t forget your fancy dress!

The week will be topped off with the annual Grand Carnival Procession on Saturday (14th). Entrants should arrive in plenty of time for judging at 7:30pm in Holmbush Car Park, followed by the parade at 8pm, live music in the shelters from 9:30pm and fireworks at 10pm.

To chill out after the big night, why not watch the boat races planned for Sunday or buy a duck of your own to race down the River Lym?

Full details of all events can be found in programmes, available for £1 from various outlets around the town.


THE Red Arrows may have been missed, but Lifeboat Week’s bumper Wednesday was still event of the week. A busy day of the Admiral Sir George Somers Commemoration Parade, the RAF Falcons, Royal Navy Black Cats, popular lifeboat barbecue and traditional yard of ale competition meant I was out of the office all day! Sunny weather and huge crowds also made for a great atmosphere and I hope many of you enjoyed the day as much as I did. And what a character the new mayor of St George’s in Bermuda, Kenny Bascombe, turned out to be!

5 things to do this weekend

1 Show off the family dog – The annual Joshua Memorial Family Dog Show will be held from 2pm on Sunday at Theatre Square as part of Regatta and Carnival Week. You can enter your pooch in a wide range of categories, including best puppy and waggiest tail.

2 Walk the Walk Of Light – Take part in one of carnival’s most spectacular events, the torchlight procession. Torches will be on sale from the Pound Street entrance to Langmoor Gardens from 8:30pm on Sunday.

3 Learn about fossils – Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre will be hosting Marine Week from Saturday, including fossil walks and rock-pooling. Alternatively, why not pop into Lyme Regis Museum for a family fossil day on Friday, from 11am to 3pm.

4 Enjoy some folk music – Martin Simpson will be appearing at the Woodmead Halls from 8pm on Saturday night, with tunes from his folk chart-topping album Prodigal Son. Tickets for £12 are available from the Tourist Information Centre.

5 Watch some professional theatre – Shanty Theatre is returning to Lyme for their third successive summer with A Rat’s Tale, an hysterically historical tale of plague, pestilence and puns. Shows will be held throughout the weekend at the Marine Theatre. Visit for more info.