WATCH: Bermudian visitors bring sunshine to Lyme Regis for Somers Day

VISITORS from Lyme Regis’ twin town of St George’s in Bermuda were among those to take part in the recent Somers Day celebrations – and the weather had them feeling right at home.

The day commemorates former Mayor of Lyme Regis, Admiral Sir George Somers, who founded Bermuda after being shipwrecked on the islands in 1609, during a voyage to the new English colony of Jamestown, Virginia.

The event has been marked in Lyme Regis for more than 40 years, and the town was officially twinned with St George’s in Bermuda in the 1990s.

Events were held at the end of July in heatwave weather and  began with town crier Alan Vian giving a proclamation at the statue of Sir George in Langmoor Gardens.

Members of the Lyme Regis/St George’s Twinning Committee were then refreshed with coffee at the Alexandra Hotel before a parade through the gardens and along the seafront and Cobb.

A flag-raising ceremony was held at the end of the Cobb, where the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Cllr Brian Larcombe MBE, and the visiting Mayor of St George’s, George Dowling III JP, both spoke of the friendship between the two communities which had remained strong during the coronavirus pandemic.

Guests enjoyed a two-course lunch at Lyme Regis Golf Club, where they toasted with a Bermudian dark and stormy cocktail.

A church service was then held at Whitchurch Canonicorum, hometown of Sir George, followed by afternoon tea.

The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Cllr Brian Larcombe’s full speech:

“For those who have just seen our parade along the seafront and heard reference to it being Somers day – to be clear it’s Somers with an ‘o’ not a ‘u’ and one ‘m’ not two.

“Welcome to our friends from St George’s, Bermuda – mayor George Dowling, town clerk Candy Foggo, and town crier Ed Christopher.

“Your last visit to Lyme was in 2019 – the hottest day of the summer – and you seem to have brought the same glorious weather with you again. Wearing the robes was as hot that day as it is today so may I bid a ‘very warm’ welcome once again to Lyme Regis.

“Five letters have translated into all languages as COVID reeked its global impact, and our twinning could not escape the reach of its affect with the cancelling of last year’s exchange visits.

“However, we’ve all learned to adjust by necessity in practically everything we do to maintain a semblance of daily life. And in amongst it has been our means of contact and communication.

“If ever there was a need for a timely invention, the internet, social media and more specifically Zoom has been it.

“No surprises, therefore, that the resilience of the twinning relationship and friendship, saw our two groups master their first online virtual link-up exactly a year ago today when physical meets were not permitted. Whoever said historic twinning can’t move with the times?

“No one knows where COVID or the vaccine solutions will take us but in getting away from this theme and without it being a flight of fantasy, we hope we’ll soon be on a plane to normality and touchdown in Bermuda.

“Enjoy your stay in Lyme and the surrounding area, and rest assured that even though times have been challenging everywhere in the last two years, friendship is invariably made stronger by common struggle.

“As I said in 2019 it really is ‘a small world’, and so much that happens in it these days makes all of us much closer.

It’s good to have you with us once more. I hope you enjoy your stay in Lyme Regis, knowing you are always very ‘warmly’ welcomed.”

Woodmead Halls

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