Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A night for past glories

WHEN old footballers get together, you can be assured of a night full of tales of great goals scored and cup final celebrations.

Such was the case when 30 former players of Lyme Regis Football Club from five generations gathered at the Davey Fort clubhouse on Friday evening.

It was the third event organised by the recently formed Seasiders’ Ex-Players Association which has been set up to enable former members to keep in touch and to encourage more of them to support the current set-up at the Davey Fort.

When players finally hang up their boots there’s a tendancy for them to drift away from the club as they take up more genteel sporting pursuits - golf and bowls among them. The Seasiders' Association intends to slow down that migration.

Whilst fundraising is a secondary issue, we have already raised £1,000 for the club which is being ring fenced for a special project and, with two other events planned for this year, we should add significantly to that sum.

On Friday we enjoyed a hot pot supper, prepared by Mrs Evans, and were then treated to a brilliant football photo show by former club chairman and feared centre forward, photographer Richard Austin. 

When I moved to London to work at the end of the 1980s, I launched a sporting publishing company and, with Richard having just turned freelance, I engaged his services to do the photographic work for  a portfolio of professional football clubs which included some of the top Premier League teams. As a result, Richard travelled all over Europe covering the big games and has an unrivalled catalogue of football photos.

He presented them in his usual humorous fashion and afterwards we had plenty of time to recall past glories.

Having had a look around the refurbished clubhouse, including the very smart dressing rooms, we joked about the days we used to wash in a tin bath after games and how one player often tried to get himself sent off early so he got the clean water first.

Happy days.

Guildhall Gossip

BY-ELECTION: There will be an election in Lyme Regis to replace Daryl Turner - if more than one candidate puts themselves forward. I have it on good authority that 10 electors have called for an election which will be held on May 22nd. I am pretty confident that Cheryl Turner, Daryl’s sister, will be putting her name forward but local author David Ruffle, who stood at the last by-election when Stan Williams won back his seat, will probably wait until the next full election in May 2015. The by-election will be held on the same day as the European elections on May 22nd so we are likely to get a better turn out than the last by-election - a paltry 26 per cent.

BEACH CHALETS: Although a decision has yet to be confirmed by West Dorset District Council, the word on the street is that Lyme Regis Town Council’s application to move the chalets forward to the edge of Monmouth Beach will be rejected on the advice of their officers. Threatened by the continual movement of Ware Cliffs behind them, the council’s attempt to move the chalets nearer to the sea baffled many, especially in view of the damage caused to them in the recent storms.

COUNCIL QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “£750 is a drop in the ocean to this council” - Lucy Campbell speaking at last week’s Town Management Committee.

Another nostalgic treat for Ken’s fan club 

DOWN the years local history expert Ken Gollop and I have played a game - “spot the local” - at numerous community events. On most occasions he and I are often the only locally-born people present.

I’m not sure what conclusion we should draw from this. You can make up your own mind.
But one event when then locals turn out in droves is  Ken’s annual “Tales From Under Shady Tree”, named after a meeting place in Anning Road where youngsters gathered to chew the fat in the 1940s. 

These events have an almost cult following among both locals and incomers, who were well represented, and Sunday’s event at the Woodmead Halls was no exception. Ken, who has developed a real fan club over the years, chose Cobb Gate/Church Beach as his subject matter, an area he knows better than anyone as his family ran their fishing trips off the Cobb Gate jetty for 90 years.

He showed us dozens of views of that area of the town going back to the early 19th century but with many faces of young people still living, some of whom were in the hall.

He delivered a fascinating and informative two hours of pure nostalgia, peppered by his own personal reminiscences in his own inimitable style.

Loads stayed for a cup of tea after the event swapping tales of times past and catching up with familiar faces.

The afternoon made a tidy profit for Ken’s beloved museum whose trustees are anxiously waiting for the result of their Heritage Lottery application to extend their unique building on Cockmoil Square.

There’s an old joke that says nostalgia is not what is used to be - but in Lyme it certainly is.
Ken is already working on the theme for next year and for many, me included, it can’t come quick enough

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