Thursday, 28 July 2011

We couldn’t squeeze another person in!

WHAT a busy week it has been - so busy that I haven’t been able to take part in a specific summertime activity this week, but I’ve been to as many of the Lifeboat Week events as I could fit in.

I know that some people were scepticle about the Red Arrows flying in on the first day of Lifeboat Week - thinking there wouldn’t be enough people in the town yet, but I’m not sure we could squeeze many more in. The perfect weather has left the beach packed every day - I just hope the sunshine stays until Regatta and Carnival Week (August 6th to 13th).

The Red Arrows display was a resounding success and is hoped to have raised a record-breaking collection for the RNLI.

I enjoyed the display from the Lister Community Room on the new Marine Parade shelters. The Lyme Regis branc of Cancer Research UK, of which I am a member, was one of the first local organisations to book out the room and we hosted a champagne and strawberries and cream reception in scorching sunshine, raising £255, of which we donated £50 to the RNLI.

I put my baking skills to the test to make special Red Arrows cupcakes for the occassion - they only took me four and half hours to ice!

Whilst my family sipped champagne all afternoon I was working hard, covering events in my new patch, Colyton. When I came back to Lyme, dad was busy comparing celebrity chef Mark Hix’s cooking demonstration on the Slipway, which raised a further £200 for Lifeboat Week.

Mark’s crab dishes were delicious and were washed down with special cocktails (a rather boozy afternoon for the Evans family!) at the Hix Oyster and Fish House in Lister Gardens afterwards. If you haven’t done so already, sipping a Hix Fix on the restaurant’s terrace on a sunny day is an absolute summertime must!

APOLOGIES for missing out the illuminated boats when listing the top Lifeboat Week events in last week’s column. This spectacular event was last held in 2007 and returns this Sunday with what is set to be the biggest display yet.

The lit-up boats will tour the harbour at 9pm - a very attractive event and a excellent way to end the week. Unfortunately I will miss the last weekend of Lifeboat Week, including my favourite event, the bathtub race on Saturday, as I’m going to the Camp Bestival music festival at Lulworth Castle.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the week!

Red Arrows cupcakes on Saturday afternoon

Crash landing!

THIS dramatic scene has been catching the eyes of many over the past few days, but don’t be too alarmed - if a Spitfire had really crashed into the Marine Theatre, I’m sure you would have already read about it on the front page!

This impressive model WWII plane is a publicity stunt, attracting attention for the Shanty Theatre Company’s production of The Mysterious and Fantastical Wartime Tale of the Salty Socks of Dunkirk, which opened on Wednesday and will run at the Marine Theatre until September 4th.

My dad and I spotted the Spitfire on one of our early morning walks along the seafront and it gave us quite a shock - I think dad was hoping for a top story!

WELL DONE to Barry Trott and his team of town council gardeners for doing such an outstanding job in Langmoor and Lister gardens this year.

The floral display marking the 150th anniversary of lifeboats in the town is particularly eye-catching. I walked to the end of the Cobb earlier this week and thought it stood out brilliantly, even from so far away.

The baskets in Broad Street are also looking great and staff at the Royal Lion have obviously put a lot of effort into their attractive floral displays.

Lyme Regis is certainly blooming for summer!

To view or not to view!

PLANS to build a giant viewing tower near Weymouth Pavilion have provided rich humour for long-suffering residents.

Opinions seem to be torn over its purpose with some agreeing that a chance to enjoy the area’s stunning coastal views, watch the distant Olympic sailing races or get a bird’s eye view of the town are not to be missed and will be a welcome boost to tourism facilities.

But there are others who quite frankly see things a little more cynically than developer Merlin Entertainments.

They too believe the tower will be a great asset to the town... but not for the reasons Merlin puts forward.

Cynics believe it will be a useful vantage point from which to try and spot a free parking space or an escape route from traffic queues.

Still more believe the tower will confirm Weymouth’s position at the cutting edge of modern architecture… in the same way that the council offices did when they were built a few decades ago!

Whatever your view it will be a high one since the proposed tower will stand 53 metres or 174ft.

This should just be high enough for uninterrupted views of security guards sealing off the Nothe Olympic sailing viewing area so spectators can pay to watch locals trying to find somewhere to picnic or walk their dogs.

We only came to see Des...

ENTRY was free to Weymouth and Portland’s latest full council meeting which offered rich pickings for humour and despair depending on your point of view.

At issue was an honest wish to try and reward the tireless efforts of Harbour Management Board chairman Councillor Peter Farrell by paying him a few extra groats.

Nothing could be simpler. Just say well done and give him the cash, a boost of about £1,200 to just over £3,600 a year.

Councillors mostly wanted to do just that... but this is Weymouth and Portland council we are talking about and so the farce began.

We were treated to challenges because the idea was right but some felt it was being tackled in the wrong way and we heard a great deal about the kindness of Mr Farrell’s heart in currently doing so much extra work without reward although he said he did it because it had to be done.

An increasingly foggy debate soon saw several remaining members of the public leave to whispers that they’d made a mistake and had actually come in to see Des O’Connor!

Those of us left who were still awake were treated to a grand finale when Councillor Simon Bowkett again got to his feet having striven several times to suggest a way forward through the mire of the council’s constitution. So what did he say?

The gist of it was: “Can someone please tell me what I’m proposing!” We followed Des’s fans.

Where has our summer gone?

YOU can’t keep a good toddler down as the faces of smiling adults showed in Weymouth.

They were enjoying watching the youngster frolic but there wasn’t a bucket, spade or sandcastle in sight because this month’s terrible weather had struck again and it was pouring with rain.

Instead they were grinning as the happy child made full use of a pair of colourful blue Wellington boots.

The child was not content with shrieking with delight while jumping up and down through the entire length of a giant puddle, splashing water in all directions.

Oh no! Why do it once when you could go back and do it again… and again.

It was a miserable day but everyone around was smiling as the youngster gamboled in the rain until, with many protests, he was encouraged by a parent to continue walking down the road with many a longing backward glance at the big puddle.

Still, there are plenty more puddles around aren’t there… and it didn’t take the child long to find another play area. Let’s hope they get a chance soon to enjoy a prolonged period of sunshine before everyone suddenly realises that summer is gone.

Support our local lifeboatmen

WEYMOUTH Lifeboat Week is in full swing and tonight (Thursday) there will be an exciting display by the lifeboats, coastguards and rescue helicopter at 7pm in Bowleaze Cove.

The evening will also see Weymouth Sailing Club open its doors at 6pm to one and all for a bar and barbecue with live music from North and South.

A further display will take place on the Nothe by the lifeboats, coastguards and the rescue helicopter tomorrow night (Friday) at 7pm.

There will be many other attractions including a tug-of-war competition, a children’s entertainer, live music, a bouncy castle and a bar and barbecue starting at 4pm.

On Saturday the lifeboat will be open to the public from 10.30am and the Grand Draw will take place outside the Lifeboat Station in the afternoon with many prizes donated by local businesses and companies including £100 voucher from David the Jeweller, half a day in a Kayak, a Jurassic Coast Cruise from White Motor Boats and many other prizes.

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Murray Sanders

WINDSURFING enthusiast, Murray Saunders, has just opened his water sports shop, Boylos, which he has run as an online store for two years, in the new-look seafront shelters in Lyme Regis. The shop stocks Oxbow and O’Shea surf clothing, Xcel wetsuits, Ocean and Earth surfing accessories, sunglasses, rucksacks and other accessories. A former Woodroffe School pupil, Murray, 26, went on to study business and accounting at Exeter University before starting an advertising sales and marketing business for five major windsurfing brands. He now runs Boylos with his partner Ellie Boyle, and lives just outside Lyme Regis.

WHAT made you open the Boylos shop after running it online for two years?
I used to windsurf in Lyme Regis when I was younger and there was no one to offer me help and encouragement, or no where to get any advice. I really wanted to encourage more young people to take part in the sport - that’s where it came from.

IS Lyme Regis a good place for water sports?
It’s no Hawaii but it’s amazing for windsurfing. There is a good surf scene along the coast and it’s obviously great for kayaking and sailing, for which there’s the sailing club. Paddle boarding, when you stand on a board and paddle along the sea, seems to be the new thing to do as well.

WHICH water sports do you enjoy?
Windsurfing is the main one for me. I’ve taken part in the windsurfing pro-tours for the past few years and came 12th last year, and I’ve entered other competitions as well and travelled around Britain to do it. We also enjoy surfing, wakeboarding, scuba diving, and last year we had a boat so we did a bit of water skiing. Ellie likes paddle boarding at the moment but I think I would find it boring.

WHERE is the best place you’ve been for windsurfing?
St Ives Bay in Cornwall in definitely my favourite place to go.

WHAT do you think of Lyme’s new seafront shelters?
They’re a real asset to the town. A lot of hard work has obviously gone into them from the local community and they present Lyme Regis the way it should be presented.

WHAT do you like about working in Lyme Regis?
I like the people and the community. Everybody is so friendly and pro-active, for example with Lifeboat Week and Regatta and Carnival Week - everybody is so hands-on and really gets stuck in. It seems like loads of people retire here and then say, “Let’s do something!” That kind of community is really unique, the only other place I think I’ve come across it is in Sydney, Australia, when everyone is on their boats.

WHERE would be your ideal holiday destination?
I would really like to go to Chile because they have really good conditions there for windsurfing but there is also a completely different culture to soak up. I’m hoping to go to Hawaii this autumn, which is great for surfing and things but it’s an American state so I guess the culture there won’t be so different.

WHAT would you do if you won the Lottery?
I think I would put it in a bank account and forget about it until I was about 60. I need to work now, and then I could retire and do whatever I wanted!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Devon’s most friendly show

THIS year’s Axe Vale Festival - another resounding success - did much to cement its reputation as being one of the most friendly and popular events of its kind in the county.

With an estimated 15,000 people pouring through the gates, it is certainly one of the most financially succesful one-day shows in Devon and another healthy profit is expected to support the Flamingo Pool and other worthy local causes.

The Weekender had a stand at the show and I promised a glass of Pimms for all those who came up with a kind word about our paper. We ended up getting through 29 bottles! Only kidding.

But we were delighted that so many readers took the opportunity of paying us a visit and telling us how much they enjoy their free weekend paper. Several came up with ideas for improving the paper which we listened to and will be acting upon in the coming weeks.

Having not been at the show for a couple of years, it was good to renew old acquaintances and to see at first hand just how smoothly the organisation of such a big event goes.

One of the key factors, of course, is that the festival committee has now been working together for many years. It’s definitely a well oiled machine but don’t underestimate how much sheer graft is involved. One or two of them looked quite exhausted when the gates closed on Sunday evening.

Retiring chairman Ron Cross and his wife Hazel deserve much praise for the way they have led the development of the show in recent years. Ron had the hard task of following in the footsteps of Keith Berry, who is now the Festival President, but his gentle manner and attention to detail has stood him in good stead in seeing the festival go from strength to strength. And there’s always a happy atmosphere when Ron’s about.

Ron has stepped down after five years as chairman but will retain a position on the committee. Vice-chairman Claire Morgan, wife of local estate agent and Chamber of Commerce chairman Shane Morgan, has stepped up to the chairman’s role and I am sure will rise to the challenge, having been involved in the festival as an exhibitor and committee member since its inception 17 years ago. Claire has been responsible for the excellent “Spirit of The Community” marquee in recent years.

The organising committee have hardly had time todraw breath but work has already started on planning next year’s festival, which will be held over the weekend of June 23rd/24th, with Claire and her team determined to make sure that 2012 will be another bumper year. We will be there.

Discovering the ‘heart of Colyton’

THE licensing of the new Rector of Colyton, the Reverend Hilary Dawson, now known as the Mission Community Priest, saw the coming together of the Colyton community in a service of celebration and welcome, before a packed congregation which was only to be expected in Colyton.

Before the service started I introduced deputy churchwarden Ken Underdown to my daughter Francesca, who is covering the Colyton area for The Weekender, and he told her: “This is the heart of Colyton”.

Ken could not have chosen a better phrase as I was pointing out the various dignatories and community leaders to Francesca as they entered St Andrew’s Church for this special service. St Andrew’s has always been the “heart of Colyton” and I suspect it always will be.

The Reverend Dawson was left in no doubt that Colyton has a special community spirit. Her welcome could not have been warmer as representatives from various organisations and sections of the community stepped forward to offer their good wishes on her appointment.

A book of welcome poems from local children will serve as a reminder to the Dawson family, who will be living in the refurbished Rectory, of the day they discovered “the heart of Colyton”.

I NEVER cease to be amazed at the talent of our young people in this area. Last week I went to the opening of Axminster Drama Club’s production of 'Annie', which was brilliant. There were 30 or more children on stage and the lead role was taken on the night I attended by Louisa Harding-Perrott, aged 13.

She was simply stunning in the role and I understand that the young girl who took the part on the Saturday matinee, Maltilda Taylor, was just as good. Standing ovations for each of them - and much deserved.

Who says there is nothing to do in Axminster for young people?

Sleepy town - no way!

WELCOME back to my Summertime in Lyme column.

I can’t quite believe it’s already the time of year to bring you my weekly updates on all the town’s top events, but I’m looking forward to spending summer in Lyme having now finished my journalism degree in Southampton.

As well as covering the usual events, I’m also looking for lots of summer activities to try out. I’ll be fossil hunting, rock pooling, taking guided tours of the town and I’ve even been promised a ride in Lyme’s new Tuc Tuc car, Tukxi, which seems to be grabbing the attention of many.

If you would like me to try out a summer activity to feature in this column, please get in touch by emailing or phone 01297 446144.

My family and I started the season in great fashion – but not in Lyme.

My dad was invited to the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace last week and we all got to go along for a glimpse of the Queen and Prince Philip, and a slice of cake.

Local GP, Dr Forbes Watson, and his wife Noreen also attended, although we couldn’t find them amongst the huge crowds in the palace gardens.

It was such a privilege to be invited, a great day out and such a memorable occasion for the family (although no sign of Wills and Kate, to my disappointment!).

It was also a good excuse to dress up for the day in our finest, even dad wore a morning suit!
Dad has reported on numerous people going to the Palace over the years but never thought the would end up there himself, having been nominated for all the community work and fundraising he has done over the years.

It was a never-to-be forgotten day out for all of us and dad treated us to lunch at the Savoy Grill before we made pur ways to Buckingham Palace

Since coming home from London it’s been non-stop – last weekend the town hosted the 21st annual Lyme Regis Jazz Festival, including the colourful Umbrella Parade, which regular readers of this column will know is one of my favourite local events and the best way to start summer.

The View got more involved with the Jazz Festival this year, helping to keep it going, and hopefully it will remain a part of Lyme’s early summer scene for many years to come.

I was also helping out at the Summer Charity Ball on Friday, organised by the Lyme Regis Branch of Cancer Research UK, a brilliant event, and the weekend also saw Lyme Regis Football Club’s annual dinner and presentation night and the Mayor’s civic service and parade.

Who ever said Lyme was a sleepy town? I’ve barely been to sleep!

I’m sure things aren’t likely to slow down soon, with the town’s two biggest events of the year, Lifeboat Week and Regatta and Carnival Week, approaching fast.

This summer Lyme is set to look its best ever, with the official opening of the newly-refurbished Marine Parade shelters to be held this Saturday.

The Marine Parade has been opened to pedestrians again, giving a glimpse of the new shelters. Although the finishing touches are still being made, I think they are looking great and can’t wait to see them put to good use.

Praise should be given to the town council and, in particular, administrative officer Vicky Stickler, for organising a whole day of events to mark the special occasion.

The programme looks great – full details were in last week’s View From Lyme Regis - and the highlight will be a sail-past and salute by the town’s many seafarers, for which I’m hoping to join the Mayor, Councillor Sally Holman, on a boat.

Celebrations start with a civic procession along Marine Parade at 10 am – don’t miss out on what will be an important day in Lyme’s history.

Plenty going on in Lyme this weekend

WATCH history being made at the opening of the new Marine Parade shelters on Saturday. A full programme of events, starting at 10am with a civic procession along Marine Parade, has been planned for the occasion.

STUDY sealife in the year of Maritime Lyme during a guided rockpooling session with Lyme Regis Museum’s geologist Paddy Howe and marine biologist Chris Andrew. Sessions will be held throughout summer but the next is today (Wednesday) at 3pm.

CELEBRATE the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible at any of the Lyme Regis Big Read events this week, including several readings, a lecture and quiz – see for full details.

GET in the summer spirit and take a look at Lyme Regis Museum’s latest exhibition “Where the Brass Band Plays” opening today – a display of local photographer Peter Wiles’ work all based on summertime events.

ENJOY the return of Lyme Regis Town Band’s summer evening concerts held in the new Marine Parade shelters. This week’s concerts will take place on Sunday, 2.30pm to 4pm, and Tuesday at 8pm.

LEARN a new skill at one of Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy’s summer short courses, starting this week. Full details of courses are available at

SUPPORT charity and enjoy live music by rock band BOSH, who are touring the South West to raise money for the Trussell Trust, stopping at the Marine Theatre on Saturday night. Entry costs £7 for £5 for under 18s (aged 14 and over only) – tickets available on the door.

All change for supermarket shoppers

ANYONE been shopping recently in two of our finest supermarkets which are being vastly upgraded?

Asda now has a multi-storey car park and two floors of shopping which makes my task of finding my vertically disadvantaged wife even more of a long shot there is so much extra space to check.

Meanwhile just across town is Morrisons which is also trying to wow shoppers but which is not so far advanced.

As luck would have it I ran in to four or five friends while quartering the store and every single one of them said they hadn’t a clue where anything was any more, adding that they were allowing much more time for shopping to deal with searching for groceries.

It brought home sharply how much creatures of habit we are since I tend to operate on auto pilot when being dragged round shopping because you can almost do it in your sleep. No longer.

Now you not only have to desperately track down almost every item in both stores but you also have to constantly reorientate yourself because nothing is as it was and there are so many new areas, new shelving and new layouts.

The whole situation was wryly summed up by one friend of mine who I hailed as he headed desperately for the wine section.

I asked him what he thought of the changes made since he came in last week and he replied: “I’ve nothing to compare them with really.

“I came in last Tuesday and I still can’t find the exit!”

It’s tougher than ever for graduates

PARENTS all over Weymouth and Portland are slowly welcoming back children into their homes who have finished their university life.

These offspring are now preparing to launch their adult life by trying to find a job and the task has never been tougher.

I know of several who work in various minor jobs in bars or cafes, earning a few pounds while they try to break into the career field they want to pursue.

Overqualification has surely never been so common and, if you need proof of that, I’m informed that one local supermarket has a member of staff on its books employed in some minor capacity who actually has a degree in marine biology.

There has even been comment that the main occupation for young unemployed in the borough is waiting to collect their inheritance!

This may explain why there is a certain amount of resistance among A Level students to the glowing picture painted by Government of the rewards gained from a three-year degree course which supposedly arms youth with the vitally important tools needed to make their way in life.

Unfortunately it now also arms them with a massive debt – more than £50,000 in some cases – so a number of students are considering less crippling education routes.

Somehow they are not being won over by Government blandishments about debt repayment and isn’t that strange. After all, if the Government does know about one thing it is about being in debt.

Don’t forget to Slip-Slop-Slap

LOBSTERS are back in season and you can take your pick of them along Weymouth seafront.

They come in all shapes and sizes from men and women the size of dumper trucks, their sunburnt flesh overflowing their costumes, to skinny jack-the-lads about town whose tattoo pledging undying love for the Red Devils is actually paler than their own ferocious sunburn.

What is it about the merest fleeting glimpse of the sun which seems to transform ordinary people into mindless worshippers of the great god Tan?

Toddlers are wheeled along the seafront with nothing to shade them from the sun’s relentless rays, people fall asleep in deckchairs and get burnt and it is so easy to see those who overindulge on a regular basis.

They are the ones sporting tasteful expanses of reddened skin shaped by costume edges or, in some cases, a mysterious line of white skin where they must have basked unaware a bar of shadow was across them.

Doctors are constantly warning about cancer dangers caused by over exposure to sunshine but it seems that some people are still quite happy to strip off and strip their skin instead of covering up. They’d do well to pay more attention to medical advice before they need medical treatment.

Some animals are luckier than others

WILDLIFE is all around us but it usually knows better than to show itself to people during daylight hours.

So I was delighted when I was out driving and saw a deer running along the verge, a yellowhammer perched on a post and a rabbit feeding away, all actually on the same 150 metre stretch of rural road.

And the best part of it was that all three creatures were alive!

Returning home I saw the remains of a number of animals along the way including a badger and what looked like a squirrel which had not found life on the road so forgiving.


DYLAN Hanby, 19, has lived in and around Bridport for most of life before recently moving to London to study for a photography degree. Apart from a couple of years living with family in America, Dylan grew up in Dorset and last year completed his photography, media studies and art A-levels at the Sir John Colfox School. After developing a love for photography at the age of 10-years-old, Dylan set his sight on pursuing his hobby as a career and is currently studying for a photography degree at Middlesex University. As a self-employed photographer Dylan mainly works with bands and theatre groups but occasionally does modelling work, following a chance encounter at university.

DO YOU prefer life in London to Bridport?
London is where it all happens and for my line of work it’s the place to be. But I do love coming back here.

WHAT inspired you to take up photography?
When I was about 10-years-old my dad gave me a basic digital camera and I’ve been taking photos ever since.

WHAT are your favourite things to photograph?
I used to love shooting landscapes but now I’m more into documentary shots and urban photogrpahy.
WHAT would be your dream job?
Working in film. Being sent to locations around the world to get photo board shots for films.

WHICH photographers do you admire?
Ansel Adams was one of the first photographers I looked at, his work inspired me to take photos.

WHAT would be your top three tips for an amateur photographer?
To get into photography you have to have the passion for it, dedication and technical skill. The first two are more important, you can pick up the third one over time.

HOW did you get into modelling?
Through my university course. A local photographer was there using the darkrooms, I started talking with them and they put me on to some modelling agencies. I remember them saying, “you’ve defiantly got the look”, ha ha.

IF YOU won the lottery, how would you spend the money?
I’d travel around the world with my girlfriend taking photographs everywhere I go.

ARE there any places you’d particularly like to visit?
I’d like to go back to Austin, Texas where I lived for a while and then travel around America. Also, I’d like to go to Italy where I have family and Thailand again.

WHERE do you see yourself in five years time?
No idea. Probably living in a place in London working under a photography company.

WHO would be your three dream guests at a dinner party?
Akira Kurosawa, director of some of my favourite films. Adam Duritz, lead singer of Counting Crows, my favourite band, and Henri Carter Bresson, one of my favourite photographers.

WHAT was the last book you read, film you watched and CD you listened to?
The last film I watched was Minority Report, the last book was 'Dazed and Confused', and the last CD was The Cinematic Orchestra.