RESIDENTS and visitors celebrated their favourite seaside resort, as the first ‘I Love Lyme Day’ was held last Thursday.
A whole day of community events was organised by Lyme Regis Town Council, with support from LymeOnline, to take the place of the Red Arrows which were unable to give a display in the town this summer.
Instead, aerial displays from The Flying Circus wing walkers and the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team wowed the crowds, their appearances made possible by generous support from Lyme Bay Holidays.
Heavy rain cleared just in time for the first event of the day – children’s cricket on the beach led by Laurie Thomas of Uplyme & Lyme Regis Cricket Club. Youngsters were also able to enjoy a pavement art competition and a quiz trail around the town.
Both children and adults took part in a five-a-side football tournament, while older members of the community joined in with an over 60s walking race along the seafront, won by 82-year-old Dinah O’Donnell.
Local organisations which applied to take part in the event held fundraising stalls on the seafront, including Lyme Regis Football Club, the 1st Lym Valley Scouts, the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis and Lyme Regis Pantomime Society. Lyme Regis Christmas Lights Committee also held a stall the previous day, as they were unable to attend on Thursday.
Members of youth music charity B Sharp performed in the Marine Parade shelters, followed by a reggae disco by DJ Mad Jeff, and ‘I Love Lyme Day’ was topped off with a spectacular firework display.
Collections of more than £1,300 were raised on the day, with the money to be split between the local organisations taking part.
Events ran smoothly but there were some concerns followed the RAF Falcons’ display, which saw two of the parachutists land in the sea due to an unexpected change of wind conditions.
The RAF released the following statement after the display: “The Royal Air Force is aware of the RAF Falcons display at Lyme Regis, Dorset, not running as planned on Thursday, August 16 2018.
“Following disembarkation from a Dornier 228 aircraft at 3500ft, the ten highly trained parachutists experienced an unexpected change of wind conditions at 1000ft. Due to a number of hazards close to the drop zone four of the parachutists elected to land approximately 30ft outside of the planned drop zone in a safe area.
“This is a standard operating procedure designed to minimise any risk to both the parachutists and spectators. We can confirm that no injuries were sustained by either the RAF Falcons or the spectators.
“Flight Lieutenant David Sellers, Officer Commanding the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team, said: ‘We undergo intense training in order to prepare for these situations, the parachutists responded correctly to the scenario encountered, identifying the pre-briefed alternative landing areas to ensure the safety of all parties during the display.’”
After landing, the Falcons were greeted by the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, and her consrt Alan Ellis, and Group Captain Brian Lavender OBE Retired, who took the salute.