THE spectacular fundraising event Candles On The Cobb returned to Lyme Regis on Sunday, August 26 despite wet and windy weather.
Continuous rain and high winds for most of Sunday left many in doubt that the event would go ahead, but conditions improved just in time for the candles to be lit around Lyme’s historic harbour.
Candles On The Cobb was last held in 2015, after which the organising committee stood down and it was thought the unique event would not be held again.
However, the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis took on the organisation this year, holding the event as part of 100th anniversary commemorations of the and of the First World War, and raising funds for the Royal British Legion and local youth organisations.
Peter Fortnam, president of the Rotary Club, said: “We weren’t able to put candles on the top wall. The huge swell added to the high tide meant that the waves were coming over the top in places and so the safety of some of our 150 lighters would have been compromised. However, we did put an additional row of candles on the lower level and relayed that over the loud speakers prior to the event.
“We did the best we could in difficult circumstances, thanks to up to 250 people who helped sponsor, organise and run the event. Wow! 250 volunteers from a town the size of Lyme Regis, what community spirit!
“It was a beautiful sight and the period of silent reflection once all the candles had been lit was very emotional indeed, once again surely one of the south west’s most spectacular and moving events.
“We don’t yet know how much the event raised for our chosen charities but probably in excess of £7000, which is a tremendous result given the weather on the day. This will be divided equally between the Royal British Legion and local youth projects.”
The spectacular display also included candles on the beach in the shape of a poppy, with the dates ‘1918-2018’. These were the first to be lit by a party of invited guests, including the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, and her consort Alan Ellis; deputy harbourmaster Mike Higgs, one of the founding members of Candles On The Cobb, and Dawn Street representing her husband Phil Street, the other founding member now living in France.
The Quinnell family from Quinnell Candles, which provided the 5,000 candles, were also among the lighting party, as well as other sponsors and members of the Royal British Legion.
Volunteer teams lit the rest of the candles around the Cobb and North Wall.
Many members of the public brought candles in memory of loved ones. Moving music was played along the seafront as they were lit, followed by a minute’s silence.