Wednesday, 16 March 2011

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Jonathan Broome

JONATHAN Broome, lives in Bridport with his wife Laura and works as a part-time youth outreach worker for the Bridport Christian Fellowship.

After getting involved with alcohol and drugs as a teenager Jonathan returned to his faith to escape from his unsustainable lifestyle.

He studied for a degree in youth work with applied theology at Moorlands College in Christchurch and now devotes his time to helping young people make the right choices in life and avoid making the mistakes he made.

He runs the Bridport Christian Fellowship Youth Club on a Friday night from 7pm to 9pm, and also works with young people on film making projects. The group’s Youtube page now has over 1,000 hits. To watch their videos visit

DO you find it hard to reach children with the Christian message?
Actually no, I think a lot of young people are very open because often they haven’t set a decision about how they are going to live their life as such, they are still open to exploring the different issues.

ARE you from a Christian background?
My mum’s family were always very involved in the church. My father, not so much, he was very much an everyman. I’ve always had different perspectives. I was brought up going to church and then I left church and got involved as a teenager in drinking, drugs and the party scene. Going through that process I was able to realise a lot of the things I was looking for in that lifestyle didn’t ultimately fulfil me as much as what I had in the first place which was that relationship with God and that loving supporting family around me.

WAS there a turning point, which made you go back to Christianity?
Very much so, it was one of those nights at a party where I was worshipping the porcelain goddess as they say. I was on my knees over the toilet having probably done far too much. It was a dramatic turning point for me but it was more of a constant process of realising this lifestyle isn’t enough for me, it’s not what I want to be doing. The lifestyle is very attractive and appealing, getting drunk and doing drugs with your mates feels good that’s why we do it but the problem is of course it escalates and it’s not a lifestyle I could control, and to be honest it’s a lifestyle I don’t think many can control and we got into some pretty nasty places. It was just fantastic to know that there was another way. Just to know that I had the freedom to go that way was the greatest gift I could ever have really.

WHAT inspired you to go into youth work?
Having gone through what I went through really. Just realising that if I could influence some young people not to make the mistakes I made then I would be doing my job well. If I can in some way just share my experiences and that can help a young person stay in school, not get involved in that lifestyle and just try and make something of themselves. I really feel like I’ve done something good and been able to inspire people.

DO you think Bridport can be proud of its youth?
Yeah, they are not all bad. All they need is a bit of direction. I know that sounds quite old school but I really think it’s true. Recently we had a group of young guys who had a bad reputation and we did a river cleaning project with them. We did other projects as well and we’ve got another one coming up in a month or so.

WHAT'S the favourite video you’ve produced?
We recently made a music video for a local singer/songwriter called Beth Baker, which was a lot of fun. We have done stuff with some of the kids as well. We did a puppet show which they thought was the bees knees because they got to tell all their mates they had a film on Youtube so that was a lot of fun.

WHAT is your next video project?
We do have a project in mind called The Rolling Man. This would be a 15 to 20 minute screenplay using the young people. It would be a kind of comedy about not taking life too seriously and living life and enjoying it for what it is.

WHO would be your three dream guests at a dinner party?
Of course I would have to say Jesus, he would be great. Maybe someone Rock and Roll like Jimi Hendrix. The third would be someone else from history I guess just to really pick their brains, someone I find inspiring. Martin Luther King would be an amazing person to listen to.

Jazz festival definitely lives on

MY daughter Francesca, who in a couple of months will be returning to the View From editorial team permanently after three years at Southampton University studying for her journalism degree, just loves a parade.

My Year Book 2010 (still selling well at Serendip) contains a centre section of all Lyme’s summer events, including a number of parades. Her favourite was always the Jazz Festival umbrella parade and no one was more disappointed when it was announced that this year’s event had been cancelled.

“But what about the umbrella parade?” she wailed.

And no one was more chuffed when I texted her on Monday evening to say that the Jazz Festival had been saved and how would she like to help organise the Saturday morning parade?

Her answer came back in a nano-second and it wasn’t long before she was on Facebook telling all and sundry.

All of us at View From are delighted that we will be helping to re-establish the jazz festival as one of Lyme’s iconic summer events.

When organiser John Fry announced that due to the fact that no one had come forward to take on the organising we started talking to Tony Colston, an experienced event manager who also owns the By the Bay restaurant, about taking over the organisation of the jazz festival.

At the same time Tony was talking to John Fry and on Monday evening we agreed that between us we would take on the job with John giving us the benefit of his long experience.

There are some obvious problems. It had been announced that the festival had been cancelled and that information had been passed on to the many jazz fanatics who descend on Lyme for the annual event.

Our job will be to promote the festival and to publicise its continuation wherever possible.
I’m no jazz expert although I do know my Dave Brubecks from by Jamie Cullums.

But you don’t have to be a jazz nut to enjoy the Lyme Jazz festival. It’s always been a very friendly event and we hope we can maintain the special atmosphere generated during the first weekend of July and add one or two innovations to make it even more enjoyable.
It’s quite a costly affair staging the festival and ticket sales have been in slow decline for a few years now.

But we hope we can win the support of everyone in the town in helping us to promote the event: tell all your friends and relatives, put the dates on your emails.

Lyme is fortunate in having Tony and Stephanie Colston living in the town. Following Monday evening’s meeting when we finalised our involvement, Tony and Steph jetted off to Borneo where they are organising a conference for an international company. Believe me, they are busy people.

Jerry Ramsdale, the boss of Lyme Media and Events Limited, publishers of the View From series, is another experienced events organiser and will bring much to the table.

With Tony and Jerry’s experience, the enthusiasm of our own staff and the dedication of the festival committee members, I’m sure we can put the Lyme Regis Jazz Festival back on a firm footing for many years to come.


I GATECRASHED this week’s event. It wasn’t a public do but a private lunch to celebrate the golden wedding of Jack and Sally Caddy, whom I’ve known for most of my adult life.

Jack and Sally, being a modest sort of couple, didn’t want any fuss. They just wanted to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary surrounded by their close family - sons Lee and Russell and their partners, and their three grandsons, the sporting brothers, Ashley and Adam, son of Russell, and Jonathan, son of Lee.

I popped up to The Mariners after lunch with my camera to record the event and, of course, get a pic for this week’s paper.

Immediately, Jack pulled up a chair and I sat down to join them in a piece of celebration cake and we got chatting about sport and the old times.

I got to know Jack and Sal very well during the 1970s when I was secretary of Lyme Regis Regatta and Carnival for nine years. For much of that time Jack was assistant secretary and looked after all the difficult jobs.

Things like putting the guttering around the marquee we erected on top of the Marine Parade shelters, chucking some Chard bikers off the walkway between the two shelters (I kid you not) and trying out the wellie boot throwing course on the beach. I won’t tell you how that finished.

Jack took over all the complicated tasks which allowed me to ponce around and look after Miss Lyme Regis. Well, someone had to do it.

We became firm friends and have remained so for the last 40 years. Sal ran her hairdressing salon in Coombe Street where we all had our hair cut (in my case that didn’t take too long!).
Lee and Russell were just kids during those regatta days but many years later I became mates with them through football. Lee later became my vice-chairman at the football club where we enjoyed many happy times. As a player, he was Mr Lion Heart, a Seasider through and through.

Today, Jack and Sal live a more quiet life, rightly proud of their sons and grandchildren, and Jack still enjoys his football and cricket.

They have many happy memories of their 50 years together - and it was quite obvious on Sunday that it was a great joy having their family around them for their special day.

FAMOUS CELEBRITIES IN LYME BULLETIN (No 2,349): The sun is shining and Lyme is being invaded by celebs already. Former rugby international and professional ice-dancer Kyran Bracken has been seen around town quite a few times recently, not for the first time for his parents-in-law have a holiday home here and in his rugb days often trained at the Davey Fort. And as I was finishing off this week’s column a email came pinging in from Lyme Matters celeb watcher Matt Puddy to say that Kate Bush, of Wuthering Heights fame, is currently in town and author Terry Pratchett is, as I write, enjoying a pint of cider on the terrace of the Rock Point.

One ‘l’ of an image problem

STILL nearly a year and a half to go to the Olympics and already graffiti writers are flexing their arms if not their brain cells.

One Neanderthal who attacked the Westham underpass with white spray paint was seeking to get across a deeply philosophical message.

This is a family newspaper so I’ve had to edit it a bit but the gist of it ran: “**** the Olympics. Save the world.”

With such a heroic sentiment to express one can only imagine the pride this person must have felt when they stepped back to view their clarion call to action.

Unfortunately the message may have scored high on impact but it scored low on literacy and the writer must have been mortified to discover they had missed the “l” out of “world”.

Not daunted, they then sprayed an “l” just above where it should have gone with an insert arrow below it.

Sadly this merely highlighted the mistake but the real message here is that the council had better be ready to tackle this sort of thing quickly or Weymouth and Portland will have an “l” of an image problem come Games time.

Tricky things those skips . . .

CRITICISM has been heaped on that lovely new traffic junction at Boot Hill in Weymouth.

I understand that literally scores of complaints have been made about it to the council ahead of measures to clarify the junction, but it appears that not all the complaints may be justified.

One driver angry at being stuck near the junction for 25 minutes during its early days finally lost patience, turned round and went home where he wrote to the council and complained about the scheme.

Because it was still “work in progress” I’m told that staff took the trouble to try and check video footage of the area at the time the driver said he met problems to find out why he’d been delayed for so long.

Apparently their efforts bore fruit and it emerged that the driver in question actually had been delayed for 25 minutes as he claimed… but only because he had mistakenly been queueing behind a skip!

Fish and chips and change from 10 bob

TIME passes us all by but sometimes the developments that come with progress don’t register as strongly as they might.

This was perfectly illustrated when staff were left stunned by a pensioner in her 90s who came in to their shop to buy fish and chips, offered ten shillings and asked for change!

The incident at Alf’s on Chickerell Road began when the former Land Army woman came to get a meal, offered a 50 pence piece and said she expected change from her “ten shillings”.

Owner John Pearce eventually worked out that the last time the woman had bought fish and chips it had cost her eight shillings!

So John, a renowned local fund raiser for charity, played along and served her fish and chips, returned a ten pence piece to her and said: “There’s your two shillings change.”

He told the View: “She hadn’t bought fish and chips for years and paid eight shillings the last time she did.

“I thought it was lovely, so I served her and gave her “two shillings” change just as she asked.”

Some things are more important

PASSENGERS tell me that there is a bit of “them and us” creeping in to bus journeys on the new No 5 service in Weymouth which now goes via Lanehouse and Southill.

There was uproar in Southill when it appeared likely to lose large sections of its service but talks secured buses albeit using a slightly different route.

The new service now goes via Lanehouse and some of the people there are not happy at the alleged “upper class” attitude of passengers from Southill.

Jeering remarks apparently greeted one Southill passenger boarding a bus in front of four Lanehouse passengers who felt they had become victims of a bit of queue jumping.

Their response was to discomfort the Southill passenger with a series of pointed remarks made during their shared journey.

If that passenger did jump the queue then they shouldn’t have but — the last time I checked with clergy — two wrongs don’t make a right.

So arguing the toss over getting on to a bus is perhaps revealed for the petty parochial patter it is at a time when thousands of people are losing their lives in earthquakes or battles for freedom.

We all have to go!

THERE was consternation when male senior council figures came in to a toilet at Weymouth Pavilion only to meet women.

The ladies were there in connection with work planned for the toilets but their presence still shook the movers and shakers.

The whole situation was given a humorous conclusion by a male worker whose comment still left the senior council personnel... well, uncertain of where they stood.

The worker told them: “Didn’t you know? This is a uni-sex toilet now!”

Friday, 11 March 2011

Every one a winner!
Saints stun Petherton
in semi-final

Winsham United title hopes dented

AN extra-time winner from Combe Reserves’ striker Steve Every proved decisive as the Saints turned the form book on it’s head and booked a Challenge Cup Final date with Beaminster with a 1-0 win at South Petherton’s Lightgate Lane.

Despite Combe spending the entire season in the wrong half of the Premier Division, recent form suggests the result shouldn’t have come of that much of a surprise - Ashley Fussell’s side have now won their last four matches.

However to have ended Pethy’s 10-game unbeaten home record in such a prestigious game is a fine achievement.

Combe will meet Beaminster in the Good Friday Final at Forton. The Rainbows were far from their best against a plucky Perry Srteet side who certainly had the better of the first half. But Beaminster took their chances and will be favourites on April 22nd.

There was a double celebration at Slades Cross on Saturday evening as Combe B also reached the Kenny Hodges Cup Final with a 5-2 victory over Ilminster Town A. Brad Cleal (2) and Dad Graham were on target for the Saints.


Bill Bailey, semi-final
WINSHAM Reserves’ hopes of a cup double were ended by an injury-time winner from Crewkerne Reserves’ Justin Sweet as The Tigers, who edged home 3-2, earned a cup final appearance against Misterton Reserves.

Arthur Gage
PERRY Street Reserves must end a four-game losing run if they are to progress to the semi-finals of the Arthur Gage Cup. The Mothers, runners-up last season, entertain Netherbury in the quarter-final tomorrow. The winner of tomorrow’s semi-final at Henhayes will be clear favourites to lift the Axminster-based trophy. Hosts Crewkerne are in imperious form having win nine on the spin. But opponents Winsham United will be looking to bounce back after their surprise 3-1 defeat at Lyme Reserves last weekend.

Kenny Hodges
THERE’S a Jocelyn Park derby tomorrow with a place in the semi-final at Waytown Hounds at stake as the Reserve teams from Chard United and Chard Rangers go head-to-head. Rangers will be favourites although United did run free-scoring W & M Chinnock Reserves close last weelend before going down 3-2.

Daisy Hutchings
THERE are tens teams vying for a place in hte last eight tomorrow. Look out for possible upsets at Hawkchurch and South Petherton Reserves where the Division Two hosts could be run close by their Division Three opponents namely Combe A and Luso-Chard. Dowlish & Donyatt and Shepton Beauchamp look well-set for away wins at Crewkerne Rangers and Hinton respectively whilst Misterton Reserves should have too much firepower for Ilminster Town A from Division Four.

MIKE Whitefield scored four times as Ilminster Town Reserves went goal-crazy at the Rec’ thrashing Misterton 9-4 to record their highest win in more than six seasons. The Blues will look to carry this form into tomorrow’s trip to West & Middle Chinnock. The Chinnock’s went down 4-1 at Farway United last weekend and a swift return to Division One looks increasingly likely. Despite performing well at Beaminster and Lyme Regis in recent weeks Perry Street must turn good performances into victories if they are to extend their five-year stay in the Premier. Expect the Mothers to return with at least at point from their trip to Farway United. After a run of seven games without a win Barrington must have one eye on the drop zone. The Yellow Hammers entertain a Merriott Rovers squad that has been short on numbers in recent weeks (injuries plus brothers Scott and Jack Jennings have returned to Ilminster) and seen their form dip accordingly. This could be a close one. Beaminster and Lyme Regis minds will be elsewhere as they attempt to reach the Final of the Dorset Intermediate Cup. Beaminster entertain Ferndown Town Greenfields whilst The Seasiders travel to Yeovil & District League Premier League high-fliers Normalair RSL.

Division One
TWO of the Division’s lowly sides’ showed their battling qualities last weekend. A first-half strike from Jordan Reeves earned Norton all three points from their trip to Perry Street Reserves. Meanwhile there was a shock at the Davey Fort where Lyme Regis Reserves, put a huge dent in Winsham United’s promotion aspirations with a 3-1 win. The Winsh’s cause wasn’t helped by the dismissal of Tim Break for two yellow cards by referee Tom Richardson. Also in West Dorset Andy Stevenson scored twice as Forton Rangers breezed past doomed Charmouth 3-1 and Adam Whitehouse bagged a hat-trick as Millwey Rise crushed Netherbury 6-0. Thorncombe return to action tomorrow and anything but a win could spell serious trouble for Tommy O’Hare’s team who are teetering on the edge of the relegation places.

Division Two
SAM Murley moved through the 20-goal barrier as Shepton Beauchamp moved two points clear at the top with a 2-0 win over struggling Pymore. Adrian Farrell scored twice as South Petherton ended any lingering relegation fears with a 4-1 win at Forton Rangers who remain four points adrift at the bottom despite a first of the season for veteran Barry Male. Chard Rangers upturn in form continued but they ended up empty-handed as they were squeezed out 1-0 at promotion-chasing Dowlish & Donyatt.

Division Three
A HAT-TRICK from teenager Luke Finn saw Chard United add to the list of shocks last Saturday as Misterton Reserves’ unbeaten league run can to abrupt end in a 4-2 defeat on their own Unity Lane turf.

Division Four
IT’S increasingly looking like a three horse race for promotion from Division Four. W & M Chinnock, Hinton and Waytown Hounds were all tested on Saturday but all three recorded wins. The Chinnocks’ strike duo of Ashley Cooper and Danny Rudge took their combined tally to 49 with one apiece in the 3-2 win over Chard United. The Hounds could have their hands full when they visit Shepton Beauchamp’s Brimgrove Lane tomorrow. Down at the foot of the table Hawkchurch United leap-frogged Chard Rangers with a 3-1 victory.

Shambolic Glovers throw it away again

YEOVIL Town have the second worst home record in the in the npower League One, and this match against promotion hopefuls Huddersfield Town showed exactly why.

A man to the good for 76 minutes after former Glover Lee Peltier was red-carded by referee Phil Crossley after lashing out at Dean Bowditch, Yeovil missed a host of chances to have been out of sight by half-time and them meekly surrendered their physical advantage with an appalling second-half display that bordered on shambolic.

Anyone who came in at half-time and was not aware of the situation would have thought the Terriers had a full team so much were they on top, particularly after Antony Kay was left unmarked to head the equaliser just before the hour.

I will prove unpopular with some people at the football club once more for my negative comments, but the reality is these are facts not opinions.

The Glovers were by far the better side even before Peltier’s dismissal, but once again their inability to score goals has proved costly.

Despite the fact that Andy Williams scored a delightful goal to put them ahead on 39 minutes -curling his low shot around keeper Ian Bennett into the corner of the net - the reality is he missed two excellent chances from close in before that, which ended up further away from goal than where he was standing.

Then, before Kay’s equaliser, he poked his shot wide of the far post from no more than two yards out when it was easier to have cut it back to a colleague.

With Oli Johnson spurning an easy chance before dithering on the ball when put through clear on goal allowing Terriers skipper Peter Clarke to dispossess him, and Max Ehner ballooning the ball over the bar from almost on the line after Bennett fumbled a shot from a corner, all in the first-half, Yeovil could and should have had the game won by the break.

Whether the man advantage made them complacent is anyone’s guess, but a reshuffle at half-time by Huddersfield manager Lee Clark outsmarted his Yeovil counterpart Terry Skiverton, and the Terriers, playing much further up the field, kept the Glovers penned in their own half for long periods.

The loss of midfielder Paul Wotton with a pulled hamstring after four minutes did not help the cause particularly in the second half where they were looking for someone to break up Huddersfield’s dominance but Yeovil’s inability to overcome a team of ten men for practically the whole match suggests there is something radically wrong, particularly as the opposition did not prove to be that much better despite their high league status.

There followed further misery on Tuesday evening when Southampton recorded an easy 3-0 victory at St Mary’s Stadium.

True the Glovers were missing Wotton and skipper Paul Huntingdon who appeared to injure his foot on Saturday when, with keeper Stephen Henderson, he prevented Benk Afobe grabbing a winner for Huddersfield.

However the game was very much one way and now the Glovers have slipped perilously back into the relegation fight with Plymouth Argyle, Dagenham & Redbridge and Bristol Rovers all winning on Tuesday.

Saturday’s home clash with Walsall becomes a hugely important clash, as nothing more than a victory will do to keep them from dropping back into the bottom four.

Skiverton was a winner on the field, but he had better get back to winning from the dug-out very soon or relegation beckons for his team.

No, you really cannot be that old

THIS column has criticised the behaviour of major international company Sky before and – what a surprise – they don’t appear to be listening.

The latest illustration of their caring, courteous attitude came with yet another of those irritating calls which seem to come from India.

I’m currently averaging one call from Sky per fortnight, always involving a poor line and a man with an Indian accent, because they can’t get it through their heads that I don’t have a contract with them.

This latest call saw me once again explain I didn’t have a contract with Sky only for their employee to put the phone down while I was still speaking.

People being constantly badgered by Sky need to keep a sense of humour about them but what they don’t expect or deserve is for Sky to laugh at them.

A Weymouth pensioner, who has also had to cope with numerous calls from Sky, got his latest less than courteous call from a man with an Indian accent who said he needed to check a few details with the pensioner.

The first detail he asked for was his age and, when the pensioner said he was 91, the Sky member of staff was suitably light-hearted and said the pensioner didn’t sound that old.

The pensioner relaxed enough to say he was that old and had two sons who were well into their 50s.

This seemed to tax the Sky man who told the pensioner that he was “never 91” to which the pensioner replied, this time a little more forcefully, that yes he really was 91.

The Sky man then repeated that he didn’t believe the pensioner and put the phone down on him, underlining what an increasing number of people know that the Sky’s the limit when it comes to bad customer relations.

So now you can read it tell us what it means!

HERE is a little gem of a Government idea which I am sure will delight every teacher and pupil under six in the Weymouth and Portland area.

Apparently Ministers are planning a new reading test for six-year-olds and are going to include in it non-words such as “koob” and “zort” to check on pupils’ ability to decode words using phonetics.

The economy is on the brink, unemployment is soaring and every council in the country is facing massive cuts yet the Government still has spare money to dream up drivel like this!

Is it any wonder that the UK Literary Association came up with a word of its own to describe the proposal. They said it was “Bonkers”! And they were right.

The confusion it is likely to create among children is matched only by the confusion which clearly exists in Government ranks over what is good use of their time.

Teachers have a hard enough job teaching children words which do exist without being further stressed having to explain about words which don’t.

Only a Government which dreamed up selling off our forests could follow that up with a ludicrous new reading test which shows that maybe it is they who need to go back to school.

Pity the poor moggies

STRANGE but true is the yarn I recently picked up about life long ago on Portland.

Times were much more superstitious then and there was no telling what God, devil or creature you might offend with the wrong behaviour.

Accordingly, whereas in modern times we celebrate our new home with a house warming party, things were very different a few centuries ago on the island.

If you were lucky enough to have a new home then you didn’t want to risk umpteen different sorts of bad luck or worse, so you took measures to guard against that.

Apparently top of the list was a charming custom to take a cat and wall it up alive inside your new home as protection against heaven knew what.

For those of you who disbelieve this, it seems that one of the unlucky mummified moggies is on display in Portland Museum.

Plentiful meals for gulls

WEYMOUTH residents will be all too familiar with the sight of thousands of holidaymakers happily demolishing a whole variety of ice-creams and lollies on a stick.

What they will be less familiar with is the sight of a seagull clearing up the debris.

Shoppers in St Thomas Street were treated to a bizarre scene involving a gull and a large wooden lolly stick.

The bird was clearly convinced that here was a prize meal well worth tucking in to.

So it proceeded to try and deal with this tasty morsel without much success owing to the length of the stick.

Finally as people began to walk a bit too close to it for comfort the gull solved the problem by half swallowing the stick before taking off, the remainder of its wooden meal sticking out of the front of its bill like a mini battering ram.

A number of people spotted the bird’s efforts and pointed it out.

Come the summer I’m sure the gull will have plenty more opportunities to snap up discarded sticks.

Watching council coffers

HERE’s an admission. I think I was slightly (only slightly mind you) unfair to Lyme Regis Town Council last week when I commented in this column that there was little evidence of our councillors tightening their belts during the current financial climate.

Unlike their colleagues on the county and district councils, the town council has not been hit by the withdrawal of government funds because they don’t get any.

Whilst Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council have been agonising over how to balance their books with the loss of jobs and services looming large on the radar, the town council have not been forced into any draconian action - yet!

But to be fair to our local councillors, that does not mean they are not keeping a watchful eye on their spending habits.

As chairman of the Strategy and Policy Committee, I know that Councillor Owen Lovell keeps a very close watch on the council budgets and a few decisions have been made in recent times which have been influenced by the uncertain times in which we live. The council decided not not to spend £6,000 on a report on the possible redevelopment of the Cobb Gate Square area as it could be seen as unnecessary expenditure at this time.

Councillor Daryl Turner, who as a member of the district council will be more than aware of the financial challenges facing local authorities, has urged his colleagues on the town council to adopt a more parsimonious approach to the public coffers.

And county councillor Colonel Geoffery Brierley has kept the town council fully aware that some of the items on their wish list are going to go on the back burner for some time whilst the county authority attempt to save £55 million over the new few years.

But I sometimes get the impression, listening to councillors insisting that Lyme gets its fair share from the public purse, that they are not really living in the real world.

Whilst everyone would like to see street lighting staying on all night, helping to make our streets safe during the dark hours, it seems to me that saving money on electricity is better than have to cut financial support for the care of the elderly or support for pre-school education or cutting library services. “Get real” is the phrase that comes to mind.

Lyme is going to have to swallow the bitter pill like all communities.

The town is fortunate that we retained so many of our assets when local government was reorganised in in 1974.

Our seafront undertakings have enabled the town over the years to keep its local council tax charge to a minimum and armchair critics like myself who are quick to criticise should appreciate that the town council finances are well controlled and that we certainly get value for money.

Lyme has the opportunity of strengthening its financial future by regaining more of the car parking land at Monmouth Beach next year when the district council lease runs out.

This could result in a large chunk of money going into the town council coffers, an opportunity surely not to be missed?


Another civic night to remember

I’VE forgotten the number of civic nights I’ve attended over the years and strangely I have no recollection whatsoever of my own.

But I do know I have not been to a more enjoyable and convivial civic night than Friday’s event, hosted by our Mayor, Councillor Michaela Ellis.

Michaela is an excellent organiser and puts a great deal into her big night of the year. She went to the trouble of making sure all the table decorations, etc, matched the colour of her new dress. On pages 6 and 7 I refer to her as the Lady in Red (anything for a good headline!) but it was nearer to orange and husband Alan even wore a bow tie to match.

Michaela presented a cheque to football club chairman Howard Larcombe (see above) for £730, making a total of over £1,500 raised for her chosen charity during her two-year term.

Howard brought along 15 other football club members, adding to the overall liveliness of the occasion, and the girls from Pride Of Lyme, as always, let their hair down.

Another night to remember.

WHILST I’m in such a complimentary mood, it would be churlish not to mention West Dorset District Council on two counts.

Firstly, for their success in getting technical approval for phase four of the multi-million pound coastal protection scheme, a major step towards the securing of the eastern access to the town and protection for hundreds of properties.

And secondly for fixing a budget for the next financial year which sees no increase in the district council tax. No mean feat in this age of cut and slash politics.

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Jane Hutchins

TALENTED choreographer Jane Hutchins, 34, moved to Dorset five-years-ago and has already become heavily involved with local theatre.

Jane grew up in London and studied at Brighton University before living in Sydney for a year.
During her time in Australia Jane met her husband Jay and they moved back to England before travelling across South, Central and North America.

Jane moved to Dorset after falling pregnant with her daughter Isla and last year had her second child, son Mac.

Jane has worked for Lymelight’s Theatre School for four years now and is currently the principle teacher in Honiton. She also runs Lymetikes in Bridport for younger children.

On a voluntary basis, Jane has choreographed shows for Burton Bradstock Players, Charmouth Companions, Open House Productions and Marvellous Amateur Dramatics (MAD).

Jane is currently choreographing Our House, the Madness musical, which will be performed at Bridport’s Electric Palace from March 31st to April 2nd.

WHAT are your first memories of performing?
Doing my first ballet show in a theatre in Hammersmith, London when I was about six; I was a leaf. My fellow leaves and I were all fluttering our arms at the front of the stage when I spotted my family in the audience. I was smiling at them with such pride that I failed to notice the other leaves continuing with the dance and stood there for the duration beaming.

WHAT are your favourite shows you’ve worked on?
I loved Bugsy Malone, which I choreographed with Open House. It’s been one of my favourite shows since I was a child, and I had a great cast to work with. I did Grease a couple of years ago with Lymelights which was fab, lots of lively dance routines. I especially liked the Hand Jive where I got to teach some cool lifts with Danny, Sandy and Cha Cha. And I’m loving Our House, I think the cast age for this show is my favourite group to work with and there are some really meaty dance routines for me to get stuck into. I’m also working on a circus performance at the moment with my little ones at Lymetikes which is loads of fun.

WHAT are your favourite dances in Our House?
'Baggy Trousers' is great. There are lots of different parts to it and a section in the middle where the whole cast get to go nuts – body-popping, break dancing, can-caning, leap-frogging, face-slapping, hair pulling – the lot! I also love the market scene. It’s set to ‘The Sun and the Rain’ but has an amusing take on the market scene from Oliver included. A couple of the dance routines involve some magical onstage costume changes which are going to look amazing.

WHO does Our House appeal to?
Everyone really, it’s a ‘coming of age’ story. In the show we see Joe’s life taken down two different paths based on a decision he makes on his 16th birthday. We’ve all been young and been through phases in our life where we lack direction and are unsure of which choices to make, so I think there’s something for everyone to identify with. Teenagers will love it as the cast are principally 15-20-year-olds. And of course, it’s a must for Madness fans as we do great renditions of all their famous tracks.

WHAT are your three top tips to impress on the dance floor?
On the dance floor – snake hips, flirty eyes and moving like you’re on wheels – always worked for me! On the stage - extended arms, pointed toes and a big smile.

WHERE do you see yourself in five years time?
Still in Dorset, although in Australia or Canada if my husband has anything to do with it. I love it here. Of all the places in the world that I’ve visited, I can honestly say that West Dorset is up there with the most beautiful. I drive along the coast road to get into town every day and there is one peak that coming over it, never fails to take my breath away. Still teaching and choreographing – I love it.

WHO would be your three dream guests at a dinner party and why?
Stephen Fry as he’s the fountain of all knowledge. Stevie Wonder and his piano to get down and funky to. George Lamb as a bit of eye candy.

WHAT was the last book you read, film you watched and CD you listened to?
'Mile High Apple Pie' to my daughter – an amazing book about little girl’s relationship with her Grandmother who has dementia; film - Black Swan; and CD - Florence and the Machine.