Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Great to see Theatre Square in use

I’M writing this week’s column the morning after B Sharp’s excellent Big Mix Festival on Theatre Square (no headache, I promise!).

This was a real summer treat, attracting hundreds for a whole day of free musical entertainment in the sunshine and a platform to show off some of Lyme’s most talented youngsters.

Popular acts included Lyme favourite Papa Le Gal, making their much-in-demand comeback, and sweet, six-year-old Darci Street. An exception to the minimum age rule was made for Darci to take part in the festival as she impressed audition judges so much with her singing voice. Organisers could be certain they made the right decision as she performed “Over the Rainbow” in Dorothy costume, complete with sparkly red shoes, on Saturday.

I can’t help but be impressed with B Sharp project co-ordinator Fran Williams and organisers - the event seemed to run smoothly and was a hit from start to finish. Well done to all involved! Hopefully it will become one of our regular summertime events to look forward to.

My only question - why can’t we do this more often? It was great to see the usually empty Theatre Square in use and the stage could be seen from the other end of Marine Parade, adding a prominent attraction to the seafront. 

Wouldn’t it be great to see something more permanent throughout the whole of summer, with regular outdoor gigs?

The area has been under-used in the past because of restrictions put in place by West Dorset District Council and South West Water, who need continuous access to the sewerage works below, but I hope other local organisations will follow Fran’s lead and negotiate with the local authorities to make use of this top, seafront venue. 

It’s such a shame to waste it!

Are you learning those three chords?

ANOTHER new event that Lyme Regis can look forward to this year is Guitars on the Beach this September.

This is set to be one of the biggest events Lyme Regis has ever staged, with 2,200 guitarists now signed up for an attempt to beat the record for playing the same song at one time - Buddy Holly’s 'Rave On'.

The song has been chosen as it is simple to learn with just three chords - G, C and D. Guitarists of all abilities and ages are invited to join 'Britain’s Biggest Band' on Lyme’s main beach. So get practising now!

The record attempt will be led by the Guitars on the Beach house band, fronted by star of the West End show 'Buddy', Billy Geraghty, and music will continue throughout the weekend with buskers all over Lyme and gigs in the Marine Theatre.

The event is gaining interest from across the UK and the world, with the house band and organiser Geoff Baker filming a music video to help promote it on the beach on Sunday.

So if you haven’t yet made a note of this in your diary do it now - the record attempt will be held at 5pm on the beach on Saturday, September 7th. This is one not to miss!

To sign up to 'Britian’s Biggest Band' - visit

What I’m doing this week...

THIS week I have a week off - hoorah! 

I think I have picked the best possible time to book a week off to relax in Lyme Regis, as the sun is set to stay out all week. So this week I will mainly be sitting on the beach!

However, I can’t quite tear myself away from Lyme events completely...

Anyone who knows me knows I love my food - eating out is my favourite thing to do and diets don’t go down well in my house! So the fact that Lyme is hosting three food festivals this year - last month’s Crab Festival, this week’s Mackerel Festival and the Food Rocks festival in September - is quite a treat!

This week I’ll be attending the two main Mackerel Festival events. The first is a debate on mackerel fishing followed by a mackerel feast served up by top chef Mark Hix and team, both in the Marine Theatre tonight (Wednesday). 

The debate starts at 6.30pm and the three-course dinner at 8pm. Last-minute tickets may still be available from the Tourist Information Centre.

The second fishy event is a cook-off on Marine Parade between Mark Hix and head chef of his Lyme Regis restaurant, Lin Pidsley.  The competitive pair will be cooking up mackerel treats and selling them to the audience for charity in the Marine Parade shelters from 1pm on Friday.

Since I’m on holiday this week I will also be pampering myself at the Mariners Hotel’s new beauty salon, open to guests and non-guests and offering a range of treatments. I’ll be trying out a manicure to review in next week’s View. 

Finally, don’t miss the 10th anniversary celebrations of Lyme Regis charity Lym Zim Link in the Baptist Church Hall on Saturday, from 10am to 1pm - lots of stalls, gifts and games.


Are you doing something special this summer? Does your business have a summer special or club have a new summer activity? If so, please get in touch and you could be in next week’s Summertime in Lyme column. To share your summer news email or phone on 01297 446154


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