Wednesday, 11 June 2014

D-Day shows Lyme at its best

NOBODY does it better! How many times do we hear that from visitors when they arrive in Lyme and see one of the town’s numerous attractions in full swing.

Many such comments were certainly made this past weekend as Lyme pulled out the stops once again, this time to commemorate (not celebrate, as one other local newspaper headline disgreacefully described it) the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Top marks to the town council for getting the arrangements off the ground and then handing things over to a voluntary committee. It’s been proved many times throughout the years that it’s much better when such matters are left to volunteers rather than councillors.

Unfortunately, I missed the civic parade and plaque unveiling on the Sunday as I was attending a wedding in London, probably the first major Lyme event I have not been present at for 40 years. But Francesca tells me what a special occasion it was, presided over by Mayor Sally Holman whose term of office has included so many special occasions.

The blistering heat caused a few problems but I understand these were dealt with quickly and sympathetically.

As always, the town turned out in force to support this unique occasion and it was good to hear that the majority of councillors gave their support.  This is how it should be and it is to be hoped that the curent council continue in this vein for the rest of their term of office. It’s what the town expects.

The 6am service on Church Cliff on Friday was attended by well over 100 people and was a fitting start to the programme of events designed to honour those brave young men, many of whom who were based in Lyme on the run up to D-Day, who took part in the invasion.

There was good support also for the ancillary events, including the concert party at the Woodmead Halls, organised and compered by Les Loveridge, and the swing dance at the same venue on Saturday evening when a nuber of those attending donned 1940s-style fashions to add some authenticity to the occasion.

David Manners, vice-chairman of the Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion, chaired the organising committee and he and his helpers deserve great credit for the energetic way they went about their task.

A special mention must go to Matt Puddy and Geoff Baker who worked so hard on making sure the town looked so patriotic with so many flags and colourful bunting, with much help coming from council operations manager Elliott Herbert and his team of workers.

Well done also to town crier Alan Vian who looked after many of the arrangements during the weekend, especially for Sunday’s parade and plaque unveiling in his usual enthusiastic manner.

The staging of such events underlines the need for Lyme to acquire a public address system which will make life so much easier for those organising the events and certainly more enjoyable for those attending and listening to the proceedings.

So Lyme does it again - a good example of the town council and  community working together for the benefit of all.

May that always be the case.

The days when you could speak to your bank

SAD to see the HSBC Bank closed down this week and the “For Sale” sign going up.

There has been a bank on this site since the 1920s and we can only hope that the prime site location of this unique building will attract much interest from new businesses and that it will soon be reoccupied. 

Banking is a much diferent business than it used to be when I first opened an account with the old Midland Bank 50 years ago.

Those were the days when your bank manager was a pillar of society and had the authority to sanction overdrafts, etc.

Which was just as well when I was mayor for one year. In those days the mayor’s allowance was a stingy £350 and it was something of a tradition to have the post-match party for mayor-making at the Royal Lion.

I went up to the Lion the following the morning to settle the bill. It came to £340, leaving me with ten quid for the rest of my civic year!

During that year I ran up a £1,000 overdraft without authority or discussion with my bank manager. However, he clearly kept an eye on the situation for on the morning of the day following the end of my year in office I got a letter from him asking what I was going to do about my overdraft.

Clearly, he didn’t want to send that letter whilst I was the town’s First Citizen. But he wasted no time once I was out of office!

No ordinary Joe in front of goal…

FOOTBALL club presentation nights are usually boisterous affairs - and Friday’s bash at the Golf Club was no exception.

But we did have a great deal to celebrate, the past season being one of the best in the club’s 129 years of history with honours spread right across our senior teams.

The function weas graced by the presence of our Mayor, Sally Holman, a big supporter of the club, who was accompanied by Councillor Terry O’Grady who had some kind words about Lyme Regis FC at a recent council meeting. I think both of them enjoyed the occasion and Terry commented afterwards that there was a real “family” atmosphere about the club.

Footballers definitely know how to celebrate and eagerly look forward to the presentation of the various trophies.  

It was a big night for first team striker Joe Bond whose 31 goals this season secured him two awards. With a long career ahead of him, and 100 goals already in the bag, he will surely end up as one of the Seasiders’ all-time great marksmen.

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