Oh What A Night for Una!

Una Quick, daughters Dawn and Kelly and granddaughter Amy are serenaded on stage at the Woodmead Halls - the finale to a wonderful night of entertainment to celebrate Una’s birthday and in memory of her late husband Derek Quick

I CAN’T remember seeing so many local people in the same room at the same time.

We had all been invited to the Woodmead Halls to celebrate Una Quick’s birthday and to mark the first anniversary of the death of her husband Derek.

The mark of respect the couple were held in was demonstrated by the fact that 300 people crowded in the halls for this very special family occasion.

And as a special treat Una’s grandson Luke Street brought along three of his showbiz mates to provide the entertainment.

The name Street is synonymous with the amateur stage in Lyme Regis and Luke is making a real name for himself as a professional performer having appeared alongside Imelda Staunton in the West End performance of ‘Gypsy’ and being part of the international tour for ‘The Jersey Boys’.

Luke is also part of The Other Guys, all West End stage performers who perform all over the world.

I have seen most of the big names that have appeared in Lyme over the years, having brought a few to the town myself, but there has never ben a show like this – and we are unlikely to see the likes of it again.

Show-stopping vocals, slick dance movements – the West End had well and truly been transported to Lyme.

At the end the boys persuaded Una to join them on stage as they serenaded her with ‘Oh What A Night’. There could not have been a more appropriate finale and she was soon joined by daughters Dawn and Kelly and granddaughter Amy and the crowd went wild.

Those present were asked to make a donation in memory of Derek and as a result Una has been able to present £1,150 to Cancer Research UK and a similar amount to her favourite local charity, the Christmas Lights Fund.

She was overwhelmed with the support of her family and friends in helping to organise the event and thanks all those who came along.

No one liked a good time better than Derek Quick. He would have loved it.

The Rifles were just riveting

WASN’T it great to see The Rifles marching through our town, exercising their right as holders of the Freedom of the Borough, granted in 1945, the first town in Dorset to do so?

Of course, in those days it was the Dorset Regiment, later to be combined with the Devons and later disbanded and replace by The Rifles.

The weather reminded me of the day the Olympic Torch came to Lyme – it tipped down. But it did not dampen the importance of the occasion with The Rifles visiting Lyme as part of the programme of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The presence of our own regiment did much to heighten the importance of the ceremony to unveil the refurbished war memorial in George’s Square with new names, rank and regiment added to all those men from Lyme who lost their lives in two world wars.

Afterwards the regiment were entertained with fish and chips and a pint of beer in the Woodmead Halls, courtesy of the Mayor, Councillor Michaela Ellis, and the town council.

A number of county dignitaries attended the day’s events, including the Lord Lieutenant Angus Campbell and the High Sheriff Jacqueline Swift.

It was a day that Michaela and husband Alan will remember for a very long time and well done to the council for making the arrangements.

Living my life in reverse

SINCE I turned 70 (I know, I can’t believe it either!), it seems I have started to live my life in reverse.

All the things I did as a young man seem to be coming around once again. Well nearly all of them – we won’t go there!

Last week I started playing competitive skittles again – 30 years after I first played regularly. Back in the day – and before we were old enough to drink – me and a few mates formed the Psychedelic Ravers skittles team to play in the Lyme league.

In those days there were far more skittle alleys in and around Lyme than there are today – but skittles is still highly popular with more teams playing than ever.

As president of the local branch of the Royal British Legion I offered my services if ever they were short of a player to John Hunt, captain of the Legion’s skittles team, not thinking I would ever be called on. So it was a bit of a surprise to find myself making up the numbers for the Legion’s first match at the Ship Inn last Friday.

Our opponents were The Flyers from Charmouth, some of whom I hadn’t seen for many years, including the league’s longest serving skittler Alfie Trott who’s been playing for more than 50 years.

I started off pretty dismally with a 5 and a 3 but things got better and I finished with a respectable knock of 57, having hit a 14 spare on the last hand. And lo and behold I’ve been selected again for Wednesday’s fixture.

Now I’m wondering whether I should dust off the football boots. Can you still get knock-in studs?

TED Bignall with his collection of beer bottles which were auctioned off before he left the Angel Inn (photo by Richard Austin)

Genial Ted will be greatly missed

THERE was a huge outpouring of sorry this week when it was announced on social meeting that genial Ted Bignall, former landlord of the Angel Inn in Lyme Regis, had died.

Messages of condolences poured in from all sections of the community and from all age groups, such was the respect in which he was held in the town.

A proud Somerset man, Ted hailed from Chewton Mendip and was the brother of Olympic athlete Mary Bignall-Rand.

During his tenure at the Angel Inn the pub was one of the most popular in town, especially with the locals. All and sundry were greeted with a cheery smile and revelled in Ted’s dry humour.

After leaving the Angel Ted spent many years working as the steward at the social club in Wootton Fitzpaine where his support for the Lyme Regis Skittles League continued.

Ted was also a big supporter of the Royal British Legion and was a keen follower of Lyme Regis Football Club, having travelled with the players to twin club US Creully in Normandy on many occasions. It was on these trips that I got to know Ted better. He was always great company.

One story Ted told me springs to mind. He and his wife were taking a holiday in Bournemouth and went on a mystery coach tour which ended up, you’ve guessed it, in Lyme! So Ted invited all those on the coach to the Angel Inn and had his best afternoon’s trade of that summer!

Woodmead Halls
About Philip Evans 280 Articles
Veteran journalist and newspaper manager Philip Evans has worked in the publishing industry for more than half a century. He started out as a reporter for Pulman’s Weekly News as a young man and went on to work for an international publishing company in the UK, South Africa and Australia before returning to Lyme Regis where he is still reporting on local events as he has done for more than 53 years.

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