Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Renaming the shelters pavilion

IN A bid to create a lasting legacy for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lyme Regis, the steering group organising the event has suggested to the town council that the central pavilion of the new-look Marine Parade shelters should be renamed the Queen Elizabeth II Pavilion, or perhaps the Jubilee Pavilion.

Mayor Sally Holman, who leads the steering group, put the idea to the town council at last week’s meeting.

There was little support for the idea, however, with the majority of councillors arguing that as much of the cost of the £1.3 million regeneration of shelters was financed from the public purse, it should be down to the people of Lyme Regis to decide what the shelters should be called in the future.

That’s a wholly worthy argument; after all, it’s the people of Lyme who will have contributed to the cost through their council tax.

The councillors decided that the public should be consulted through the town council’s newsletter and also be asked to come up with other ideas for a jubilee legacy.

Some thought that as the clock on the front of the shelters was originally dedicated to those who had lost their lives in two world wars, their memory should be further perpetuated in the naming of the central pavilion.

It is doubtful that the town council would have come up with the idea of renaming the central pavilion had the jubilee steering committee not suggested the idea.

“Central pavilion” is a fairly bland title for such a grand piece of architecture, now restored to its former glory, and as programme co-ordinator for the royal celebrations in Lyme I’m obviously in favour of renaming it the Jubilee Pavilion.

However, I agree that the people of Lyme should have the final say and they may, of course, vote in favour of the renaming the pavilion after the Queen.

I’m pleased, however, the our other suggestion of creating a number of Honoured Citizens who have served the town with distinction during the Queen’s reign was met with slightly more enthusiasm with councillors agreeing in principle to the idea and setting up a working party to explore the suggestion further.

This is not a new idea with other local councils honouring their citizens in this way.

Christmas boost for the traders

I WISH the town council well in their efforts to boost Christmas trade in Lyme Regis by organising four late-night shopping events in the run up to Christmas.

It’s refreshing to see that the councillors, led by the enthusiastic Rikey Austin, are adopting a pro-active approach to making use of the £3,000 that West Dorset District Council has given to promote local business.

Late night shopping in Lyme has been tried on many occasions in the past with varying degrees of success. But never on such a wide scale.

Such nights have never attracted big crowds but the council is planning to spend £2,000 of their £3,000 windfall on a local and regional advertising and public relations campaign.

It will be interesting to see whether this is money well spent.

Jubilee update

PLANS to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I am pleased to report, are progressing well with the first draft programme being approved by the steering group, led by Mayor Sally Holman, on Monday evening.

A number of other events are being planned which will be added to the programme when final details have been confirmed.

I think we already have a programme which will do the occasion proud, providing yet another opportunity for the community to come together.

For details go to


IT wasn’t so long ago that the church was half empty for the annual Remembrance Service and very few organisations supported the parade. But these are very different days.

On Sunday, St Michael’s Parish Church was filled to capacity with standing room only and it was one of the best supported parades I can remember.

My reporters confirmed that there was also brilliant support at the remembrance activities in other towns and villages where we publish newspapers.

In Lyme, the local branch of the Royal British Legion has enjoyed an upsurge in profile and support in recent years, due to excellent leadership from President Cecil Quick and chairman Ken Whetlor, backed by an enthusaistic committee, and with all that is going on in the world at the moment, with our Armed Services putting their lives on the line every day, the significance of the Poppy has taken on a new importance.

I am a big supporter of the Royal British Legion, being a member of the Lyme branch, although I have never served in the Armed Forces. And for the first time I took part in the parade as the Mayor, Sally Holman, allowed me to walk with the civic party as a former First Citizen.

This year there was no Junior Band to lead the parade but sole drummer Warren Jones, a former Woodroffe School pupil, did an excellent job.

The parade was marshalled as always by Cecil Quick, amazingly in his 91st year. Despite failing eyesight, Cecil went round all the organisations before the parade was dismissed to thank them personally and had a kind word for all the youth groups present.

He was accompanied by Corporal Daniel Buckley, partner of Cecil’s granddaughter Maxine, and will shortly be leaving the Army after 13 years as a bomb disposal officer. It must have been an emotional day for him.

The parade was the last time he wore his Royal Engineers uniform.

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