I never thought I’d make the back page of the paper!

New chairman Gerard Hitchcock and vice-chair Francesca Evans pictured after Lyme Regis Football Club’s annual meeting on Tuesday evening

A PROUD moment for me this week as I was elected vice-chair of Lyme Regis Football Club, under the new chairmanship of Gerard Hitchcock.

As the first woman to hold the position in the club’s 137-year history, the news even got me on the back page of the LymeOnline newspaper – something I never thought would happen considering my lack of sporting prowess.

I actually did play one game as a teenager for the now defunct Lyme Lazers ladies squad – an event my Dad regularly likes to bring up in an attempt to embarrass me. Really I was just there to make up numbers and had sat on the bench quite happily all season.

When I did eventually get called onto the pitch, I ran all over the place in a panic, not really sure what position I was meant to be playing and desperately trying to look busy.

But my short-lived playing career aside, Lyme Regis Football Club has been a huge part of my life for the past 25 years.

I grew up playing games and chasing friends around the banks and woods that surround the Davey Fort, helping my parents to organise increasingly-imaginative fundraising events, and I eventually joined the committee in my 20s.

There’s no doubt the club has had a massive impact on the person I am today.

In being appointed vice-chair, I’m particularly proud to be following in the footsteps of my Dad – a former chairman, current president and life-member.

Sometimes I feel like I live at the Davey Fort and I’ve seen it develop so much over the years, now boasting some of the best facilities in the local area and an unrivalled social scene.

In more recent years, organising the annual Sausage & Cider Festival has become one of my main responsibilities. As the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year – last year bringing in a much-needed £13,000 just as COVID restrictions were eased – it pretty much takes over my life at this time of year (just two weeks to go!).

Every year I get myself into a pre-festival frenzy, but every year it all seems to fall into place at the last minute, and the event has proven to be a wonderful example of how the Seasiders always come together when needed… and that we know how to throw a really good party!

I hope lots of you can join us for this year’s festival on Saturday, July 16, opening at 2pm with a full programme of live music, a bouncy castle and more than 20 varieties of cider on offer.

Gerard and I have lots we want to achieve, building on Howard Larcombe’s incredible 14 years at the helm – in particular finishing off the final touches of our four-year programme of improvements at the Davey Fort, continuing to improve our playing facilities and helping to develop the club’s flourishing youth section.

Hopefully, with our committee, players and supporters, we can create one of the most welcoming, inclusive and successful grassroots clubs in the Dorset and Devon area!

The pull of Lyme and the sea celebrated in community play

CONGRATULATIONS to writer Andy Rattenbury, director Tessa Morton, musical director Declan Duffy and all the cast and backstage crew of last week’s community play ‘Lyme and the Sea’.

If you missed it, you missed a real treat, but you can read our full review written by graduate Lili Sheppard, who is currently undertaking some work experience with LymeOnline.

Lili also wrote a great, exclusive interview with writer Andy ahead of the play, which you can still read on our website, and in which he spoke about how he is always drawn back to his hometown of Lyme Regis.

And that was really the theme of the play – how residents and visitors have always been drawn to Lyme Regis and, in particular, the sea.

Even after moving fair afield, residents often feel pulled back to Lyme; visitors return year after year, sometimes for generations; and when I go on holiday it’s never too difficult coming back home knowing the beach awaits. And if I’m ever feeling stressed out or anxious, a walk down to the sea usually does the trick.

‘Lyme and the Sea’ captured our obsession perfectly, using a great selection of backdrop photos and rousing original songs to evoke the audience’s emotional connection with Lyme Regis.

It’s a small world

APOLOGIES for any confusion causes when the last issue of LymeOnline came out three days early.

This was partly because we wanted to share our comprehensive jubilee weekend coverage quickly after the event, but partly because we were off to Ireland for a family wedding.

While visiting Galway, I met a close childhood friend of my sister’s mother-in-law. She told me that her hairdresser, Noelle (are we keeping up with this?), had gone travelling, fallen in love and had eventually bought a pub with her new partner in Lyme Regis.

They were now planning to marry in the same Galway venue I had just attended a wedding.

“I think his name was Tony,” she told me.

She couldn’t believe it when I replied, “I know him, that’s Tony from the Nag’s Head and I’m in there all the time!”

So Tony, if you are reading, Maura says I’m to have a drink on her!

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