Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Perfect Sunday morning... parrot included

I SPENT last Sunday morning volunteering on the information desk at the Jubilee Pavilion on Marine Parade. 

This is my second year volunteering here. I only do about two Sunday mornings each month and a few people have asked me why I do it and “don’t you get bored?”

To be honest, I don’t often have much else to do on a Sunday and I’m not really a sit-at-home-and-do-nothing kind of person. Plus, on most days throughout summer, there’s not many nicer places to spend a Sunday morning.

This was particularly true last weekend - a perfect Sunday morning. There were lots of people about, the sun was shining, a brass band playing and the monthly farmers’ market made the shelters quite an attraction for the day.

It was also making me incredibly hungry and I dashed out of the pavilion door to buy a burger as soon as I was relieved of my duties at lunchtime.

I’ll be honest, on quiet days it can sometimes get a little tedious, especially when the most asked question is “where are the toilets?”

However, I perked up on Sunday when, to my surprise, a man with a bright green parrot sat on his shoulder walked in! 

So quiet was the bird that I didn’t actually notice it at first. When I eventually looked up at the man as he passed by my desk looking at the displays, I did a double take. Was I imagining things? Was I that hungry?

I had never seen anyone walking around in the open with a pet parrot and was a little worried it would start flying around the room. But it was so well behaved, especially considering all the seagulls on the seafront. The bird quietly nibbled on a beaded necklace around the man’s neck and didn’t make one single squawk. 

The gentleman was a quiet visitor too. He didn’t ask me any questions and I was quite silently mesmorised by the parrot so I didn’t say anything either! 

Perhaps I should’ve asked its name and thanked him for brightening up my morning.


A HIGHLIGHT of last weekend for the town was the Thanksgiving Day celebrations, marking the anniversary of the end of the Siege of Lyme in 1644 - a six week battle in which, against all odds, the parliamentarian people of Lyme defended their town against Prince Maurice and a force of 6,000 royalists.

The celebrations usually include a low-key parade on a weekday evening but, as this year the anniversary fell on a Saturday, events were extended throughout the afternoon with the annual procession being cheered on by a much larger crowd than usual.

Led by the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Sally Holman, the procession included Taunton Garrison re-enactment group and many local people in 17th century dress, including several town councillors - some of which are not often seen in the town’s many parades because of their anti-royalist and civic opinions.

One councillor later commented on Twitter that it was a shame the irony of some people joining in both the jubilee and Thanksgiving Day celebrations was “lost on most”.

I thought this a little unfair and I’m sure most realised the irony of celebrating Lyme’s parliamentarian past just weeks after the Diamond Jubilee. But royalist, parliamentarian,   whatever, they probably wanted to join in both events, remembering the history of their town and celebrating the present community spirit. 

I don’t think you have to be a staunch parliamentarian to join in such an event, nor did you have to be a strict royalist to join in the jubilee.

I thought the Reverend Stephen Skinner summed this up quite well in his prayers on Marine Parade following the procession. He said that despite our differing opinions we work together as a community. 

Anyway, it’s not often I comment on councillors’ actions in this column so enough of that.


1948 sailing torch comes to Lyme

IT is now just three weeks until the Olympic Torch Relay arrives in Lyme Regis and excitement is quickly building, especially with the rumoured prospect of a celebrity or well-known sportsperson making an appearance.

If you can’t wait until then, this Saturday will see the arrival of a different Olympic Torch in Lyme Regis.

A replica of the 1948 sailing torch is currently making its way from Torquay to the Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth, and this weekend will be stopping at Lyme Regis Sailing Club.

The original was carried through Torre Abbey in Torquay, welcoming 25 athletes who were about to take part in the sailing.

Sixty-four years later it will arrive in Lyme Regis by a flotilla from the Axe Vale Yacht Club. Sailing club members will carry it around the Cobb before it is displayed in the clubhouse alongside a book of support for the British Olympic sailing team. 

The torch will be the centerpiece of a celebration barbecue at the club that evening, before it moves on to the Cotswold Water Park. 

Unfortunately I won’t be around to see it (can’t complain though, I’ll be flying to Majorca for a week’s holiday!)

It will, however, return to Lyme Regis on July 5th for a flotilla of boats from the club to complete the relay journey to Weymouth.


ALSO this weekend, don’t miss the start of the annual Coast to Coast Motorcycle Run on Marine Parade at 9.50am on Sunday.

This annual event has become quite a spectacle with hundreds of vintage motorcycles lining up on the seafront before heading off on the trip to Weston Super Mare.

The event raises funds for charity Headway Somerset, helping those in our neighbouring county to live independently following brain injury. 

Please go along and support!

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