Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Arrows please the crowds

IT may not have been the biggest audience on record and it may not have been the bluest sky, but the Red Arrows are always a top crowd pleaser.

I woke up on Friday to a glorious blue sky and thought it was a perfect day.

I was also hopeful that, with new camera in hand, this year I could get that iconic shot of the planes zooming over the Cobb with a sunny backdrop. Harder than it seems, my front page picture looks a little more grey than hoped!

Nevermind... as the clouds drifted into town so did thousands of visitors keen to see the Red Arrows’ ever-popular display. 

They weren’t able to complete their full repetoire of aerobatic tricks but the Arrows never like to disappoint and returned, having assesed the cloud after their first half, to perform it all over again resulting in one of the longest displays in the 40 or so years they have been visiting the town (27 minutes, I am told).

They finished with a spectacular fly-past over the Cobb with full coloured smoke, winning huge cheers from the crowds and giving me my only useable shot of the display - much to my relief!

Red 10, Squadron Leader Mike Ling, provided commentary throughout the display on top of the seafront shelters and was presented with a photo of the “Spirit of Loch Fyne” lifeboat by the crew’s youngest member, 18-year-old Peter Cable, as a thank you for all the money the Arrows had helped the RNLI raise over the years - it must be tens of thousands.

Although they do the same all over the country, all year round, Lyme Regis seems to hold the Arrows close to its heart as one of its favourite and certainly most popular events of the year. 

This sentiment was echoed when a balloon launch was held in Lyme to remember pilot Jon Egging - Red 4 - after his tragic death in 2011.

I don’t think I have ever watched the Red Arrows anywhere but Lyme Regis, except on the television, but it must be one of the best and most beautiful arenas in which to see them... cloudy or not!

The bathing machine is back...

IT’S probably been sometime since Lyme Regis has seen one of these on its shores, but the traditional bathing machine is back thanks to local artist Sarah Thomas.

Sarah has created this full-sized bathing machine, alongside several handmade deckchairs, as part of Lyme Regis ArtsFest’s re:collection project, a collaboration with Lyme Regis Museum in which artists take inspiration from museum artefacts to create new bodies of work.

Sarah has turned her bathing machine into a mini-museum, with shelves full of modern “artefacts” created by local young people in workshops led by her this past spring. They vary from sculpture and textiles to story-telling and sound recordings. 

The deckchairs have also been turned into storybooks with each fabric strip depicting different aspects of Lyme’s heritage.

Both installations will be on the Cart Road throughout Lifeboat Week and Regatta & Carnival Week.

What I’m doing this week...

TOMORROW I am off on my annual trip to the Camp Bestival music festival in the grounds of Lulworth Castle so fingers crossed for good weather, as I’m not really a happy camper in the rain!

While I’m away I’ll also be hoping the sun shines in Lyme Regis for the finale of Lifeboat Week and opening of Regatta & Carnival Week - another busy weekend for those of you staying in town.

Before I leave, I’m covering the town council meeting tonight (Wednesday) but hopefully I’ll also be able to head down to the Cobb Arms for the Yard of Ale Competition (just as a spectator, of course!), starting at 8pm, followed by music by local band Delta Tango 7.

There’s more Lifeboat Week entertainment tomorrow night with the famous Nag’s Head Barbecue and music by Real World, starting at 8.30pm.

The week finishes on Friday with the duck race at 12noon from Windsor Terrace, music by the Blackdown Steel band at 7.30pm and fireworks at 10pm.

There’ll be no time to rest and Regatta & Carnival Week immediately follows on Saturday with a packed programme of family fun.

It’s also the annual Charmouth Fayre, starting with a parade down The Street at 1.45pm to Barrs Lane Playing Field for the opening at 2pm and Party in the Park at 7pm.

Back in Lyme Regis, carnival highlights will include the family dog show and huge variety of children’s activities. 

I’ll be home in time to dash alongside the Wheeled Derby on Monday night - one of my favourite Lyme events - starting at 7pm from the Ship Inn in Coombe Street and heading along Marine Parade. Don’t miss it!

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