Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Renewing links with our Regiment

LYME Regis was the first town in Dorset to confer the Freedom of the Borough on our county regiment.

The ceremony was held on the Marine Parade before the end of the Second World War.

The Freedom was upgraded during the 1980s mayoralty of the late Henry Broom following the amalgamation of the Devon and Dorset when the regiment exercised their right to march through the town with bayonets fixed.

Sadly, the Devon and Dorsets no longer exist, having become part of The Rifles - but they are still our official county regiment and the association, I am pleased to say, will be reinforced over the coming weeks.

As part of Armed Forces Day on Friday, June 28th when two officers from the regiment will be visiting the town to take part in a ceremony that will re-establish the relationship with Lyme. Members of the Royal British Legion and the Combined Cadet Force at the Woodroffe School will parade from Gunn Cliff to the Jubilee Pavilion with a civic party led by the Mayor, Councillor Sally Holman. 

Lyme Regis Town Band will be present as will The Rifles’ Salamanca Band. The Mayor will present an inscribed scroll to the Regiment who, in turn, will present a silver bugle to the town.

It is also hoped that The Rifles will exercise their right to march through Lyme with fixed bayonets some time next year.

Although the parade on June 29th will be quite low key, every effort is being made to make Broad Street look as patriotic as possible for Armed Forces Day.

Matt Puddy, a former columnist in this newspaper and keen observer of local affairs, has organised an appeal to provide a Union Flag for every Christmas tree bracket in town. The View from Lyme Regis and Palmers Brewery, owners of the former Three Cups Hotel, are contributing towards the cost of providing the flags.

Whilst on the subject of The Three Cups, Palmers are staging an exhibition in the Pilot Boat tomorrow (Thursday) to unveil their new plans for developing the site in Broad Street which has caused such a furore in the town. I hope as many local people as possible take advantage of seeing what is planned.

The argument over The Three Cups still rages, especially on the social networking sites where Councillor Rikey Austin has claimed that this newspaper misquoted her when we reported her as saying “I am the voice of the people” when the matter was last discussed in the council chamber.

I was sat in the public gallery for that meeting and had the comment on Twitter within 30 seconds of her saying it.

I also checked Francesca’s notes after the meeting and sought the views of others in the chamber, including councillors.

We stand by the accuracy of our story and the comments attributed to Councillor Austin.


I CAN’T believe it is 33 years ago that I was one of 12 young men who ferried across the English Channel to play a game of football against a team of French players in the Normandy village of Creully.

And so was born a unique sporting association between two grassroot football clubs in neighbouring countries that has stood the test of time and, if the past weekend is anything to go by, will continue for many years to come.

Actually, I did not play in that first game as I had my leg in plaster, having broken my ankle in the Axminster Hospital Cup a couple of weeks before. 

Organised by our team manager David Cozens and captain Richard Austin, the first visit in 1980 was a very laid back affair. After the match we enjoyed a barbecue at which most of the players asked for their steak to be given a little longer over the flame and our first taste of Calvados which caused many headaches in subsequent years.

These days our annual get-togethers are much grander affairs, especially in Creully where Normandy hospitality is second to none, although still very informal.

We also do our best and this past weekend’s 33rd anniversary included a splendid dinner at the Davey Fort clubhouse, hosted by chairman Howard Larcombe,  at which Creully presented the club with an apple tree.

Next year’s 34th anniversary when we will be visiting Creully, one of the first villages to be liberated on D-Day, will coincide with the 70th anniversary of Operation Overload. The Creully President, Geoffroy Simier, father of one of our players, Julien Simier, extended an invitation to the club to join those commemorations, just as we did when Prince Charles visited Creully as part of the 60th anniversary at which the Lyme club was officially represented and placed a wreath at the village War Memorial.

Creully was liberated by the Royal Dragoon Guards and, at their request because of their advancing years, we always place a wreath on the memorial when we are in Creully. We always will.

And the football? That’s how it all started and the games continue to this day, Saturday’s finishing appropriately in a 1-1 draw following a wonder goal from one of the Creully players who won the man-of-the-match award for his 25 yard screamer.
Another memorable weekend.

We reported last week that personnel changes are afoot at LymeNet, the community learning centre based in St Michael’s Business Centre and run by the Lyme Regis Community Trust.

Manager Lucy Campbell has relinquished the post of manager after managing the centre for five years. Lucy is a trained and talented silversmith and plans to concentrate on her shop, Ad Luceum, in Silver Street.

Lucy is also a prominent town councillor and being an employee of the Development Trust has not made her job any easier in the council chamber.

Similar organisations to LymeNet in Dorset have fallen by the wayside due to the economic climate but Lucy’s sheer determination has steered the organisation through some very difficult times.

LymeNet has made a big difference to hundreds of people struggling to cope and find work and Lucy’s stewardship should not go unrecognised.


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