Share your thoughts on all things Lyme Regis, Uplyme & Charmouth by submitting a letter. Use the Contact Us page to get in touch or email francesca@lyme-online.co.uk

seafront rubbishLack of seafront bins a ‘disgrace’

Tuesday, May 8 2018

I’M a new resident to Lyme Regis, who feels very strongly about litter and general rubbish.

Firstly, I am told that paper and plastic is landfilled anyway, so what is point in separating it? And secondly, why has the council not supplied more bins during summer months for rubbish along the beaches? Absolute disgrace!

I assume the response is lack of funding in both cases.

Robert Mill
(by email)

fossilResponsible fossil collecting needs to be promoted

Monday, April 30 2018

I HAVE been coming to Lyme Regis for half a century, like most visitors, to marvel at the wonderful ammonite fossils, both large and small, loose on the beach and in the cliffs. More recently to do some stone balancing.

For more than 30 of those years, the beach had hundreds of huge flat blocks with dustbin lid sized ammonites. I could return to the same spot year after year and be sure to recognise favourites that became almost friends. I was delighted that most visitors revered these wonders of nature and few tried to hammer, let alone remove them.

I took regular study groups in summer holidays and everywhere we quickly found coin-sized perfect white ammonites. Gradually I had to bring these forays forward to Easter and then to be able to find as many it needed a good winter storm.

Last week I struggled to find even a few, and all of the distinctive pebbles (the ones I know upon splitting will reveal these perfect fossils) also seem to have been removed by ‘collectors’! Whilst I have no problem with the few fossils that were taken away before this activity became so heavily publicised (and incidentally I made a point of returning some) there were always plenty for others to enjoy. Responsible collecting is fine but it needs to be promoted.

I have to say that my last trip to Lyme was absolutely ruined, not just by the lack of fossil abundance, but by the wholesales removal of rock. Gone even, were the huge blocks that I always felt were safe from their sheer size. I did come across two parties who were not only loading massive single blocks into rucksacks they could barely lift, one was engaged in what could best be described as quarrying – employing a sledge hammer, four foot long crow bars and a wheelbarrow!

Needless to say I could not find a single ‘old friend’ from Monmouth Beach. I could not even fine one of the comma-shaped stones I like to balance!

When challenged one perpetrator, near the famous Ammonite Pavement, informed me that no ‘collector’ would break this up, and the unsightly mess of broken fragments he had made would soon become rounded by the sea; which is also continually releasing fossils from the cliff. Well over centuries, this may be true, but like a discarded biodegradable banana skin the hammered mess will be an eyesore for some a time.

I am sorry, I am old enough to know first hand how long it takes for the sea to destroy the fossils, because for many years I could keep going back the same recognisable ammonites. At the same time erosion is making replacements far too slowly to keep up with this kind of selfish wholesale ‘collecting’.

It is disappointing that the existing £20,000 fine for removal of this significant geological heritage is nether enforced nor acts a deterrent.

Richard Arthur BSc FGS,
Bristol

lifeguard-hut
The proposed lifeguard hut would be raised above the sand

Lifeguard hut a ‘white elephant’

Friday, April 20 2018

NO, no, no! I feel compelled to write as a protest to the elevated lifeguard station that has recently been featured on LymeOnline.

It is so American and so wrong for Lyme Regis – a quintessentially English seaside town. These large cabins are put on legs because the huge sandy beaches in America are so flat, the higher viewpoint is necessary for the lifeguard to see for miles.
Lyme’s beach is small – the sandy part, very small – and the beach has its own natural gradient to the water.

The old RNLI lifeguard hut can see clearly above people’s heads, positioned on the ‘upper level’, as it was, and we all knew that if there was a lost child, or a swimming drama, someone would run and tell the lifeguard immediately if they had not spotted the trouble themselves.

Please do not spoil our beautiful, quaint and very special holiday resort by putting a huge eyesore white elephant on the beach that is so inappropriate.

Council members, please reverse your decision again, or take a public vote. It will ruin the look of the beach front and is quite unnecessary.

Monica Simpson,
Long Entry, Lyme Regis

 

Do we want our beach to be a dog’s toilet?

Sunday, March 4 2018

AT half term on a lovely sunny day, my two granddaughters were happily sitting eating their lunch on the pebble beach in Lyme Regis.

Many dogs were racing around on the sandy part of the beach, which is exposed at low tide. Suddenly a large golden labrador bounded up the pebbles and, without hesitation, cocked his leg over my nine-year-old granddaughter and weed over her.

I yelled at the dog and tried in vain to push it away. The owner just looked at me and casually walked on.

How can it possibly be sensible to have dogs loose on our lovely beaches? I have owned dogs all of my adult life and love them, but there is sensible place to exercise dogs – Monmouth Beach for example.

On another occasion I watched as a smart young lady kick pebbles over her dog’s excrement. The sea does not reach that part of the beach.

Do we want our superb but small, main beach to be a dog’s loo? Okay this is not all the year round but dog poo takes a while to disappear.

I hope with all my heart that the powers that be will reconsider their decision regarding dogs off the lead on the main beaches, at any time.

Elizabeth Wilson (by email)

 

george somers statue
A statue is already in place to commemorate former Mayor of Lyme Regis, Sir George Somers, who colonised Bermuda

Somers the most worthy of Lyme’s historic personages

Monday, February 26 2018

IF Geoff Baker takes his information from Wikipedia it is not surprising that all the statements he made about Somers are complete rubbish.

He was not involved in the slave trade, it started some 40 years after he died. He was not a pirate, he was a privateer operating under Letters of Reprisal issued by the crown.

He was born in Lyme, the family lived in Coombe Street, his childhood was spent in the town. He was a captain in the Queen’s navy and served with distinction. He was a founder member of the Virginia Company and played a major role in establishing the first English colony in America and in fact died on Bermuda  while attempting to resupply the colony.

He was also an effective MP for the Borough and held in high regard.  The full facts reveal that he was without doubt the most worthy of Lyme’s historic personages.

He was however a ‘man of his times’, Elizabethan England was not the England of today, judgements need to take this into account.

I would be happy to give Geoff a free tutorial on Somers, after all I did spend five years of intense research before my biography of his life was published last November.

As to Mary Anning, when I was coastguard I was frequently asked the best place to find fossils, when I mentioned her grave there was a complete lack of interest. Instead of  statues (including Somers) we should celebrate Lyme’s history from ‘Port to Resort’ with a pictorial display in the Marine shelters.

Peter Lacey,
Fairfield Park, Lyme Regis

 

pedestrian crossing
The pedestrian crossing is set to be built between the Pug & Puffin and Joules stores, as shown on the image, with the loss of car parking either side

Pedestrian crossing a ‘waste of money’

Friday, February 23 2018

IT would seem the Lyme Regis town councillors are hell bent on copying Bridport in wasting money.

Bridport has a cycle path that no one can see was needed, Lyme are manoeuvring to install a pedestrian crossing that only a few councillors seem to think is necessary.

I know 600 signed a petition to install one but I wonder how it was worded because I never saw it.

Councillor Reynolds is quoted as saying: “I know you’ll say it will back up the traffic but in the summer there traffic is already backed up and there’s nothing we can do about it.” Yes alright, but what about all the waffle on trying to streamline the flow of traffic through the town then?

If as Dorset County Council says we could not have it adjacent to the Royal Lion entrance how close is the suggested site to the Three Cups to say nothing about the loss of parking spaces?

I have lived in Lyme since 1972, in our early days here the main A35 trunk road ran through Lyme Regis and we all managed to cross the road with no accidents then. It does not matter where you put a crossing here people will still cross the road wherever they happen to be standing. To say that we are the only town with no crossing is beside the point.

Let DCC spend the money on something useful, like mending a few potholes.

Jim Moseley,
Charmouth Road, Lyme Regis

 

lyme online frontThe ‘local paper’ binds community together

Friday, February 23 2018

DO you share my mixed feelings on welcoming LymeOnline?

This phoenix rises from the ashes of the View From stable of free papers that covered West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset. Local newspapers are being wiped out nationwide as advertising moves online: the wonder is not that the View From titles fell victim to that tide, but that they battled on so long despite it.

When papers die, so do jobs. The talented, predominantly young team that brought us our free weekly news, information and comment must now hunt for jobs in a difficult climate.

When a community paper dies, the staff pay the most direct and human price; but also lost is something of what binds the community together. ‘The local paper’ has for generations been one of the most important ways that those who live in a place access a common store of knowledge about it, share ideas and wishes for it, and hold to account those who govern it. Social media, even when responsibly used, cannot fulfil those needs.

Regret at what’s lost, then. But also a welcome for the new, an online source of things we need to know, a fresh way for the community to talk with itself about what matters.

For elderly stick-in-the-muds like me, it’s good to know that a regular print version will arrive in my letterbox (a logistical feat in itself); it’s great that the coverage is Lyme, Charmouth and Uplyme, recognising a neighbourly inter-dependence that transcends both boundary-lines on a map and political inwardness.

So good luck to the new venture. Even more than luck, it will need the support of its advertisers, most of them local businesses. Among the many contributions that business makes to our community, its share in sustaining a serious local ‘press’ – even if ‘press’ is no longer a true descriptor – is a vital social good. Let’s welcome that, too.

Chris Boothroyd,
Uplyme Road, Lyme Regis

 

lifeguard-hut
The proposed lifeguard hut would be raised above the sand

‘Appalling’ to refuse permission for lifeguard hut

Friday, February 16 2018

I FIND it appalling that your councillors have refused permission for the RNLI lifeguard hut; these are neccessary for their use and are situated all round the coast. Shame on you.

John Hardy
(by email)