Reflecting on another busy summer in Lyme Regis

THE peak holiday period is over and it’s a good opportunity to reflect on how successful the season was in Lyme Regis.

Park and ride, public toilets, cash machines and rubbish were the main talking points at the beginning of the season and caused some major headaches for us at the council.

We admit it was a shaky start, with seafront rubbish not being dealt with properly, uncertainty over the Sidmouth Road park and ride, and delays in the installation of a cash machine. But we recognised these issues and put them right. Staff were drafted in to work extra hours and more bins were placed along the seafront, helping to keep on top of the rubbish, especially during major events.

With the news that Sidmouth Road park and ride wouldn’t be operating this year, we arranged for Charmouth Road park and ride to open for an extended period. Demand on the service was very high, and it justified the extra cost to the council.

Although it wasn’t ideal the Marine Parade toilets were closed during the two Bank Holidays in May, the temporary toilet block coped well with the demand. The new toilets have been well received and we’re confident we made the right decision in getting them refurbished and re-opened in time for the peak season.

The installation of a cash machine continues to present a challenge – we finally have power and a phone line installed at Bell Cliff but as yet, we don’t have a date for the installation of the machine.

On reflection, we believe it was a successful season – we ended on a high, and we hope all the local businesses and events can say the same.

Excitement builds for Rifles visit

EXCITEMENT is building for The Rifles’ visit to Lyme Regis on Saturday, September 22.

The county regiment of Dorset will exercise the Freedom of Lyme Regis at the invitation of the town council, by marching through the town with bugles sounding and bands playing.

The parade leaves Langmoor Gardens at 11.45am, heading down Broad Street, via Bridge and Church Streets to the war memorial in George’s Square.

The enhanced war memorial, which bears the names of the 63 servicemen of Lyme Regis who lost their lives during the First World War, will be officially unveiled and rededicated at 12pm.

At 12.30pm, the 120 marching troops will march down Coombe Street, along Bridge Street and through Cobb Gate car park to Marine Parade. They will march past the Mayor, Cllr Michaela Ellis, and the senior Rifles officer, Brigadier Charles Maconochie, who will return their salute outside the Jubilee Pavilion.

The Rifles is the largest infantry regiment in the British Army, with five regular and three reserve battalions, one of which has a company based in Dorchester. Its link with Lyme Regis goes back through its antecedent regiments, the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and, before that, the Dorsetshire Regiment and its predecessor, the 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot, first raised in 1702.

Today, The Rifles continues to recruit officers and soldiers from Lyme Regis and from Dorset and is extremely proud that this close and historic link is being recognised formally by the Exercising of Freedom.

Children from St Michael’s Primary School in Lyme Regis receive books on the First World War from Ian Marshal, branch chairman of the Royal British Legion, and the mayor, Councillor Michaela Ellis

Primary schools presented books on First World War

CHILDREN at three local primary schools are learning about the First World War with the help of new books donated by the council.

The council, in partnership with organisations including the Royal British Legion, has organised a programme of events to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

One of the aims of the programme of events was to educate children about the Great War and to teach them to respect the past.

Each November, many children will see the quiet and solemn memorial events which take place in their communities, but in this centenary year, it’s an opportunity to bring the realities of conflict to life.

The Mayor, Cllr Michaela Ellis, and Ian Marshall, the chairman of the Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion, have been to St Michael’s Primary in Lyme, Mrs Ethelston’s Primary in Uplyme, and Charmouth Primary to talk to the children about the importance of this year’s remembrance events.

Each school has been given two sets of books with a First World War theme which the children can read and enjoy in school. Every pupil has been given a pack of poppy seeds, which they’re encouraged to grow at home, helping them to think about the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

The children have also been invited to bake a trench cake, a fruit cake which was baked by families at home and sent to loved ones on the front line. Due to rationing, some ingredients were very hard to come by, so some were replaced with other ingredients, including replacing eggs with vinegar!

We’ve asked the children to bake a trench cake at home and the best one from each of the three schools will be chosen by the mayor. We hope that involving the children in this way will help them understand something about those who are affected by war and learn about the importance of peace.

As the Royal British Legion says: “If we are to maintain our peace and freedom, we must always remember.”

Don’t miss your chance to book a beach hut

WHETHER you’d prefer soaking up the sun with a cold drink on a summer’s day or cosying up with a blanket and a hot drink on a cold winter’s day, don’t miss your chance to secure a sought-after beach hut.

Bookings for the Cart Road beach huts for 2019 will be taken from October and as ever, demand is expected to be high.

As in previous years, we’re giving priority to Lyme Regis residents, who can book a fortnight before non-residents.

Residents will need to pre-register by Friday, September 29 by bringing proof of residency, such as a council tax bill or utility bill, to the council office. Don’t forget your Gateway Card – this will entitle you to a 10 per cent discount on your booking.

Residents can then call our dedicated booking line on Tuesday, October 3. The main beach hut booking day will follow on Tuesday, October 17. On both days, the number to call is 01297 443773 and the line will be open from 10am to 4pm.

As usual, there will be huts reserved for annual, summer season and winter hire, and a fortnight over the Christmas and New Year period, as well as weekly bookings which can be booked en bloc.

Lyme going plastic free

WELL done to the six Lyme Regis businesses who are blazing a trail in the war on plastic.

We hope many other local businesses will follow the example of The Galley Kitchen, Red Panda, Amid Giants and Idols, Lyme’s Fish Bar, Baboo Gelato and Swim, who have earned the Surfers Against Sewage award for plastic free communities.

They’ve each banned three single-use plastic items in their businesses and replaced them with more environmentally friendly alternatives.

The council has supported the Plastic Free Lyme campaign since the very start, providing a grant to get the campaign going and committing to working towards removing single-use plastic items from our premises and operations.

Major events and festivals to continue during peak season

MAJOR events will still be allowed to take place during the peak season and bank holidays following a council re-think.

There was a suggestion that events should not be allowed to operate from council-owned property during the town’s busiest periods. But this wasn’t a popular move, so we listened to the objections and realised this wouldn’t be in the town’s best interests.

There will be some minor changes to the planning of major events, including a rule that two major events will not be allowed to take place at the same time, a proposal to hold a three-year rolling plan of events, and any new events must be approved by the council.

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