“You can’t take the Marine out of the girl”

NOT so much ‘a month at the Marine’ as a month ‘not’ at the Marine as the COVID-19 lockdown continues. But as the saying goes, you can take the girl out of the Marine but you can’t take the Marine out of the girl.

Did you see the HMS Dauntless anchored a little closer than we usually see naval vessels in Lyme Bay? Being the early bird I am, frequently in to work before 8am, I’m amongst the first to see these overnight arrivals that are often en route to a naval base and they use the bay as a safe harbour from storms out at sea.

But by all accounts, the ship had docked closer than usual so it could send a boat ashore for provisions. There was a comment on the Lyme Regis Noticeboard Facebook page, “lock up your daughters, the Navy are in town”. I did wonder, given the impact of the lockdown, if that warning was more for the sailors’ protection.

Anyway, sailors aside, I have been keeping the love alive for our little theatre by the sea with anyone who cares to listen to my ramblings when I’m out on one of my walks. I’ve been interested to hear what the supporters of the theatre are doing for the war effort.

Polly, one of our wonderful volunteers and theatre member, who also heads up a number of local environmental groups, told me she was part of a team who were making scrubs for medical teams. I also met Susan and David. We obediently stood two metres apart on opposite sides of the road just near the Roman Catholic church, they are keeping busy with outdoor pursuits but looking forward to the theatre reopening.

I was absolutely delighted to see theatre member Jo who has been strong supporter of the Marine for years. He was chatting in his affable and charming way to someone queuing outside the butcher. Always ready with an array of compliments, he asked how I was keeping and hoped it wouldn’t be too long before he can return to enjoy a show at the Marine.

Then there’s the very lovely Fiona from the Tourist Information Centre who I have seen several times hurtling down Broad Street on her bike. She has kept me laughing over the last few weeks with some hilarious online film clips… I’ll never look at an Easter egg in the same way again.

Keian of The Galley Café has been giving advice on how to make the best soda bread and when I met the Pilot Boat’s Robin and his family, me on the top level of the seafront esplanade, they on the lower, he told me they are still doing the regular veg boxes and we reassured each other that when everything returns to normal, it will be marked with a big celebration.

I can’t help but wonder if when the lockdown is lifted and we can all get much closer than two metres, we might see a similar outcome of post-World War… maybe we should warn the visiting naval ships in advance.

Sophia Moseley,
Theatre manager

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