No carnival this weekend – but seaside fun and games will return

Youngsters including Jack and Sophie Barclay, Ollie, Emily and Katrina Dixon, celebrate their winning ‘Red Sparrows’ carnival entry in the late 1990s (photo by Richard Austin)

I KNOW exactly how long the Regatta & Carnival in Lyme has been going – because it was reformed after the war in the year I was born – 1948, writes Philip Evans.

This week we should have been celebrating the 72nd anniversary of my favourite summer event – but alas it has, like every other summer activity, fallen foul to COVID-19.

But it will return and I for one can’t wait. I owe the Regatta and Carnival a great deal. I served as its secretary for ten years in the late 1960s and early 1970s and it gave me a great grounding in organising events which has stood me in good stead for the last 50 years.

To a certain extend, It’s been usurped by Lifeboat Week as Lyme’s most spectacular event – but it will always be a favourite of those born in Lyme.

Many return to their hometown for regatta week and its the ideal time to have the grandkids visit because there are so many family-orientated events to keep them amused. I can’t wait for mine to become an age when they can spend some time with granny and granddad.

The original concept of the Regatta and Carnival was to provide a week of fun for locals and visitors alike and if there was any money left over it would be donated to local good causes.

These days the emphasis is very much on fundraising and in recent years tens of thousands of pounds have been raised for a myriad of different charities with the emphasis very much on helping young people.

The driving force for many years has been town crier Alan Vian and his loyal wife Lynne. Our town owes them a great deal, not just for their efforts during the Regatta and Carnival but also during Lifeboat Week and at many other local events throughout the year.

If nothing else, Alan and Lynne can take a bit of a breather but, knowing them, I don’t think there’s much chance of that happening.

For more photos of Regatta & Carnival Weeks gone by, see this  week’s Digital Edition of the LymeOnline newspaper

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About Philip Evans 799 Articles
Veteran journalist and newspaper manager Philip Evans has worked in the publishing industry for more than half a century. He started out as a reporter for Pulman’s Weekly News as a young man and went on to work for an international publishing company in the UK, South Africa and Australia before returning to Lyme Regis where he is still reporting on local events as he has done for more than 53 years.

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