Lyme Regis residents make most of one of heaviest snowfalls in living memory

An igloo built by Scott Parr gets a try-out by Marie Amesbury (Photo by Richard Austin)

ONE of the heaviest snowfalls in living memory brought Lyme Regis to a standstill last night [Thursday] with temperatures plunging to -9 degrees according to weather forecasters.

In places the snow was 20 centimetres deep and whilst Dorset County Council snow ploughs and gritters did their best to keep the main road open through the town, most side roads were virtually impassable.

It was reported that some residents who work outside the town were unable to get home because of gridlock on the A303 and A35, which resulted in many spending the night in their cars.

Freezing rain after the snow left pathways like a skating rink and police were advising people not to travel or venture outside unless it was absolutely necessary.

Volunteers helped to clear the road into the emergency service centre, off Hill Road, including the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, whose husband Alan is a firefighter.

All local schools were closed yesterday and remain shut today. For many local children it was the first major snowfall they had experienced and they wasted no time in enjoying the white stuff.

Dozens trekked out to Middle Mill to sledge down Bumpy Field, a tradition in Lyme Regis. Other steep hills, including Queen’s Walk and Hill Road, were also popular as toboggan runs.

Skiing down Broad Street

A few experienced skiers had the unusual opportunity of practicing their skills in their hometown, one of whom skied down over Broad Street.

Another enterprising Coombe Street resident, Scott Parr, built an igloo at the bottom of Mill Green. Unfortunately, it did not last long and was knocked down later in the evening.

Although the majority of shops closed a few did open, including Arthur Fordhams, The Galley Cafe, Mountain Warehouse, WH Smith, Tesco and the Co-Op.

Police reported no serious incidents in the Lyme Regis area.

Heavy rain set in on Friday evening and the town centre was virtually back to normal over the weekend, although the main grocery shops were desperately short of food items such as bread and milk, with no deliveries having made into Lyme during the snow storm.

New shopkeeper Taz Sri, who has recently taken over Staples Stores, now renamed Lyme Convenience Stores, was unable to get home to Seaton on Thursday and was put up for night by the Simpson family in King’s Way.

If any readers have snow photos they would like published by LymeOnline, please email to philip@lyme-online.co.uk

See Philip Evans’ Snow Blog and our Photo Gallery of Lyme’s snow day

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About Philip Evans 279 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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