FORMER Lyme Regis resident Ray Smith – who played a major part in establishing Lyme Regis Development Trust – will celebrate his 100th birthday on Saturday, August 15.
The former electronics engineer, who served in the RAF during the Second World War, first moved to the local area in 1992 with his wife Terry, and played an active role in the Lyme Regis community before more recently moving to Seaton to live with his son Jerry.
At the beginning of WWII, Ray joined the Royal Airforce where he learned to fly. However, as an electronics engineer he was recalled to work on defence and was part of the team who developed centimetric radar, which enabled the detection of much smaller objects and the use of much smaller antennas than the earlier, lower frequency radars.
Before retiring Ray was senior manager on engineering services at GEC Marconi.
In their spare time, Ray and Terry were also a formidable team racing their Lotus Cortina and Ford Escort rally car against the likes of Jim Clarke.
From the offset of arriving in Lyme Regis, Ray got involved with the local community, volunteering for various things and putting together a traffic survey for the town.
Ray took on the role of chairman of Lyme Regis Development Trust and led on consulting with local people on issues that were important to them and finding solutions.
Projects included the town’s Children’s Centre, The Hub youth club, purchase and development of St Michael’s Business Centre, the Town Mill’s Malthouse and path, and the popular Fossil Festival.
Ray and Terry were also very much part of the Community Players, who each year performed brilliant musicals in the Marine Theatre.
Now living in Seaton and about to celebrate his 100th birthday, Ray said he’s like to look next at teaching electronic engineering as part of the U3A.