Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Getting set for busiest summer yet

ANOTHER year has flown by and summer is here again. The peak season is already in full swing in Lyme Regis – and not just weather wise. 

At the beginning of May the popular Fossil Festival and launch of the Jurassic Coast Earth Festival, which will continue through to September, kicked off what is set to be our busiest and best summer ever.

It was quickly followed by another successful weekend when our friends from Royal Navy warship HMS Edinburgh and the Silver Explorer cruise ship came to visit. What a great weekend and certainly still talk of the town, particularly at this week’s Mayor Making ceremony when many of the speeches paid tribute to the special weekend.

Then, of course, the jazz festival  - this year the Jazz, Blues & Beer Festival held a month earlier than usual – really got summer off to a colourful start. Regular readers of this column will know that the festival’s Umbrella Parade is one of my favourite events of the year, and this one was no exception in the scorching sunshine. 

The parade was led by our new town crier Alan Vian, quick to get into the upbeat spirit of the procession.

I am actually writing my first column of the season while soaking up the sunshine in my garden, as I’ve been enjoying a rare four days off work. I thought I better get in a quick break before things really get underway this weekend with a packed programme of celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Of course, the celebrations really started with our visit from the Navy when the seafront pavilion was re-named the Jubilee Pavilion, and hopefully this weekend’s event will be just as successful.

Not only will I be covering as many of the Lyme events as possible for this paper and our special Diamond Jubilee souvenir edition, which will be on sale next week, I am also helping organise them and covering the celebrations in neighbouring Charmouth and across the border in Colyton! I’m not quite sure how I’m going to fit it all in but it’s definitely going to be a weekend to remember, for me and the whole town!

Over the past few months, the View From Lyme Regis has given a lot of coverage to the upcoming jubilee celebrations and rightly so, I think, as this is a one-off celebration for the whole community.

Here’s a few events that shouldn’t be missed:

Saturday, June 2nd – the Civic Parade will start at 11am from Holmbush Car Park and will include the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Sally Holman, and her civic party, the Chelsea Pensioners, Lyme’s recently-named Honoured Citizens and many local organisations. All are invited to take part.

Sunday, June 3rd – The BIG Sunday Lunch will be at the Woodmead Halls, at 1pm, with limited tickets for the two-course traditional roast beef lunch still available by calling Philip Evans on 01297 446155. This will be followed by the screening of the River Thames Jubilee Pageant on a big screen.

Monday, June 4th – The 1950s Tea Party at 3pm on Marine Parade is being organised by the U3A and will include music from the Arcadia Jazz Band plus a Scone Bake-Off for all local chefs and food establishments to take part in. Wear red, white and blue or your best 1950s outfit.

Also on Monday don’t miss the Torchlight Procession at 9pm, which will be led from two starting points, down Broad Street and along Anning Road, to meet on Marine Parade. This will be followed by the lighting of the Jubilee Beacon on the North Wall.

Tuesday, June 5th – This day will really be one for the children, with a fancy dress competition on Marine Parade at 11am. Overall winners will be crowned King and Queen and invited to open the Jubilee Street Party in King’s Way at 3pm. 

Don’t miss the Jubilee Games (for all ages) on the beach at 5pm and celebrate the end of a great weekend with the Jubilee Finale open air dance on Marine Parade from 8pm.

Lyme’s planned celebrations are some of the most extensive in the South West and new programmes with details of all events are available this week and over the weekend from local outlets for just 50 pence.

During my week off, I was lucky enough to visit the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London with my dad. Unlike most we weren’t there to see the flower show but to meet one of two Chelsea Pensioners who will be arriving in Lyme this Friday. Stan Constable was enlisted at 19 and served in Belgium and France before being taken a prisoner of war for five years in Prussia. 

We’re told he is now a very busy man with more appointments than the Queen! But he seemed to be really looking forward to his trip to Lyme and hopes to take part in as much as possible. Keep an eye out for them, they’re hard to miss!

Beyond this weekend there’s plenty more to look forward to, including the arrival of the Olympic Torch in July, followed by Lifeboat Week – set to be a particularly spectacular week - Regatta and Carnival Week in August and the unique Candles on the Cobb.

‘Summertime in Lyme’ book out now
Relive last summer with my colourful photo book - just £3.50

NOW you can relive summers past with my photographic book named after this column.

The ‘Summertime in Lyme’ book includes photos of all the main peak season events from 2011 and previous years, plus my favoruite landscape photos of the town, including the Jazz Festival, the opening of the Marine Parade shelters, Lifeboat Week and the Red Arrows, Regatta and Carnival Week and much more.

It makes a perfect coffee table book, gift or souvenir for visitors - and essential for anyone who enjoys Summertime in Lyme as much as me.

The book is now available for £3.50 in the Tourist Information Centre and Serendip Bookshop, and hopefully will be in further local outlets soon.

If you or your organisation has a summertime event you would like me to promote in the column, or perhaps a summer activity you want me to try out myself, get in touch on 01297 446154 or email

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