Cheryl Reynolds resignation: ‘I cannot continue to work for you with this constant criticism’
Tuesday, June 11
THROUGH your paper I would like to express my sadness at my recent resignation from Lyme Regis Town Council and to apologise to all the wonderful people that voted for me in the recent elections.
I am so sorry I have let you all down but I cannot continue to work for you with this constant reproach and criticism going on in the background by certain councillors.
I thought that once the elections were over some of the Facebook attacks and the comments would stop, but they did not. After my resignation and a formal complaint things have appeared to have quietened down. This is because their aim has been achieved.
I have truly loved the last five years on council and have been so pleased that in some small way I have been able to help people in this town.
I remain chairman of the Residents Association, which I hope to extend across the town, and invite you all to join so that we have a larger platform to work with and can be a force to be listened to. Do please contact me if you are interested.
My work with the Army Cadet Force, the skatepark, the Mary Anning statue and Home Start continues; the contacts I have made and the knowledge I have accrued during my five years is always available to everyone. My contact telephone numbers remain the same.
Thank you all so much for the honour you bestowed on me to work for you over the last five years.
Manor Avenue, Lyme Regis
Pedestrian crossing a ‘ridiculous scheme’
Tuesday, May 28 2019
I have just seen for the first time the excellent 2019 guide to Lyme Regis.
The wonderful views are so memorable which I remember so well having been brought up here and my family being residents for several generations.
What a terrible shame therefore that one of the most iconic views of the town immortalised by Richard Austin and the late great artist Ivor Wilson and others is about to be ruined.
The proposal to build a pedestrian crossing half way down Broad Street with its 24 hour flashing amber lights is not only absurd but a complete waste of public money. This is presumably for the use of a tiny minority who may or may not use it.
We have survived for about a hundred years of motor traffic without this need, but now we will have to put up with a loss of valuable car parking spaces, extra congestion and a blight on the town.
The street is narrow enough for anyone to cross at any point when there is a break in the traffic so who at the top or bottom of Broad Street will bother to walk up or down to wait another boring few minutes to get across?
Whoever processed this ridiculous scheme should be ashamed of themselves. Just wait until it is installed and see!
Pound Road, Lyme Regis
£82,000 not wisely spent on unisex loos
Wednesday, May 15 2019
I AM male and do use the unisex loos on Marine Parade. However, I would prefer single male/female toilets.
The layout of these toilets requires males and females to use the same space as well as the same toilet. This is an area for conflict, misunderstanding, embarrassment and not a good experience.
Most unisex toilets are of the type where separate cubicles can be accessed where washing and makeup facilities can be undertaken in private.
My wife doesn’t use these toilets for the same reason, plus she does not like using the cubicle if a male has just used it. Why? Many males do not aim properly and leave the lid down, elderly males have weak flow with the same result.
All this and the extra problem of congestion – £82,000 not wisely spent.
Thanks for support in local election
Monday, May 6 2019
ON behalf of Uplyme Parish Council I would like to thank all those who took the time and trouble to vote in the recent election, especially at a time when there is much dissatisfaction with national politics.
Local democracy is extremely important and often undervalued. I congratulate the successful candidates and would also like to thank Mr Bill Trundley for his desire to join us on the parish council in working for the benefit of the parish.
What the election did highlight is the fact that some people do not know what a parish council does and where it has influence or none. It is therefore the intention to increase the council profile on both social media and within local publications to better inform our parishioners.
The parish council meets on the second Wednesday of every month in Uplyme Village Hall and all are welcome to attend.
Councillor Chris James
Chairman, Uplyme Parish Council
Why are we allowing plastic waste in the sea?
Sunday, April 21 2019
ON leaving the Cobb at 10am yesterday morning (Easter Saturday), I noticed that the two waste bins on the Cobb had not been emptied.
They were both overflowing, a slight breeze was blowing and it was evident that shortly that waste would end up in the harbour.
Considering that most of the world is trying to stop plastic, etc. entering the sea, how come we here, in lovely Lyme, are allowing it to happen? It is disgusting!
What an example we are showing to all the tourists who are visiting now. I wonder what the excuse is for those bins not to have been emptied?
Clappentail Park, Lyme Regis
Long may positive and professional behaviour continue in the Guildhall
Friday, March 29 2019
I AM so glad that I attended last Wednesday’s full council meeting at the Guildhall in Lyme Regis.
The agenda contained some difficult items and yet I feel that members dealt with business calmly and with compassion. There was no in-fighting nor undermining of anyone else’s contributions.
If members continue to develop in this positive and professional way, then anyone returned at May’s election has the potential to prove to be positive mentors to any new electees. Long may it continue.
Queen’s Court, Lyme Regis
Crossing will ruin Lyme’s pretty high street
Friday, March 29 2019
A FEW months ago you kindly published a letter of mine stating five objections to the ridiculous pedestrian crossing proposed for the middle of Broad Street.
Since then I have realised another major drawback. The iconic views from the top of Broad Street, photographed by Richard Austin, in summer with bunting flying and at Christmas with our famous decorations, will be totally ruined by the eyesore of this crossing with amber lights continually flashing day and night.
Would the late great local artist Ivor Wilson (aka Anton) have included it in his lovely paintings of the street?
What a shame that for the all too often suffocating hand of health and safety we have to have this unnecessary waste of money. What next, tarmac over any attractive cobblestones left in the town in case one in a million might slip? The Cobb will be first in the queue!
Far better if the overall traffic problems which have been endlessly kicked about for years had been addressed. What a hope!
Webcam not working
Friday, March 1 2019
IT’S been weeks now since the webcam installed at the Marine Theatre has been working (not enough power to operate comes up on screen). Shame that someone isn’t getting this fixed to maximise the publicity value for the town.
The webcam on the Cobb struggles on though, but the clarity could be much improved, looks like they put Vaseline on the lens at times!
The best webcam streams from Lyme Bay Pizza, but sadly you can’t catch up on any movie stars filming from that view.
I did email the town council last year and they admitted there were ‘issues’ with the camera on the theatre.
Not another statue!
Friday, March 1 2019
WHAT is the point of yet another statue? Lyme has a history can be traced back to 774, over the centuries there have been numerous notable people and many historic events, the town has a remarkable heritage.
I have long advocated that we should celebrate that heritage in its entirety. The Marine Parade shelters would make a suitable setting for a pictorial display of our history from port to resort, such a display would cover every aspect of Lyme’s well documented history.
The cost would be nothing like the ridiculous sum being quoted for the Anning statue. Such a display would I am sure encourage visitors to visit the museum, it would also brighten up the appalling dismal state of the shelters.
For inspiration I suggest the town council and residents visit the Jubilee Shelter in Beer, they know how to present a history time line. If Beer can do it, then why not us?
If you feel as I do then make your feelings known to the decision makers, before we get yet another seagull perch.
Fairfield Park, Lyme Regis
Please don’t turn Ship into another gastro pub
Friday, March 1 2019
AN open letter to Palmers Brewery:
I write to enquire about the state of play regarding the Ship Inn, Lyme Regis. I have been a regular customer at the ship for years, and have enjoyed the pub, and the beer which has been of excellent quality under Alan and Virginia Henson, an also under Dave Henson before that.
Being a pensioner, I tended to visit the pub at around 4pm with a friend for a much enjoyed pint or four, and occasionally a game of crib, and returning home with a meal from the fish and chip shop across the road.
Today I found the pub closed, and there are notices in the window telling me of the much limited opening times, and a sign saying that the pub would remain closed today due to staff shortages, also suggesting to go to the Pilot Boat around the corner.
I do have similar regrets of how the Pilot Boat has been redeveloped, but that I can live with, I’m old and prefer a quieter, more traditional pub, also I might add, with more modest drink prices.
The Ship has been just that – a comfy local, and the rumour I have heard is that a large amount of money has been put aside for its refurbishment. I sincerely hope that the pub will just get a ‘spruce up’, involving decoration, maybe some new seats, re-finish the beautiful mahogany bar counter, etc.
I also really do hope that you don’t rip it all out and turn it into another trendy modern gastro-pub. Lyme has plenty of those.
Especially I ask that you do not get rid of the skittle alley, which is now the only one in Lyme Regis, and caters for several skittle teams.
I do hope that you consider my requests, bring in a new ‘Guv’nor’ and re-open the place as a proper local for the likes of myself and many friends who also share my concerns.
Film compensation could pay for Mary Anning statue
Friday, March 1 2019
THERE has been quite a bit of discussion recently, surrounding the proposed recompense that the producers of the film ‘Ammonite’, who are going to be filming in Lyme Regis shortly, should make to the town.
The subject of the film is, apparently, a fictional account of a relationship in the life of one of Lyme’s most famous residents – Mary Anning. I would like to propose that the payment could, perhaps, be used to fund the provision of the statue of Mary Anning, that has also been the subject of much discussion?
When the statue has been mentioned, a sum containing a large number of noughts has also been mentioned! I don’t know how much the film producers will contribute to the coffers, but perhaps we could scale back the cost of the statue and use the payment to provide a fitting and lasting remembrance of both the woman herself and the filming in the town?
I hope that this idea will receive some consideration.
Thank you for crossing
Friday, March 1 2019
I WAS so pleased to read that Dorset County Council had agreed to a safe crossing in Broad Street. Well done Cheryl Reynolds for all your hard work which got this result. To you all, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Congratulations on paper’s first year
The following letters were sent to LymeOnline in February 2019 to celebrate the newspaper’s first anniversary
KEITH and I would like to send our congratulations, along with the many you will have, for the pleasure and information you give to us all.
It is a highlight and essential part of life in Lyme for everyone but perhaps we have a special need now we are not as mobile as in earlier years to be kept in touch.
To have journalism of the standard you provide about the life and happenings in our town is remarkable.
We would also like to thank those who deliver the paper so diligently especially again for those who no longer drive or walk as easily keeping us in touch with the wide interests and happenings.
Lyme is very special and we value what you as a family are doing for us all.
Audrey & Keith Vivian,
Sidmouth Road, Lyme Regis
C’MON Geoff, let’s not make this a one-off, you’re too good to waste in retirement mate.
This site [the LymeOnline website] is a great way for an ex-pat such as myself to keep up with the goings on in the town I grew up in and I love Francesca for doing this. Good on you Pip – she’s a chip off the old block for sure. The more stuff I get to read the better.
My best to you all from sunny (though a little nippy over the last few days) Los Angeles. Oh, and as a by-the-way, one of the first movies I saw on Netflix over here was ‘All Over The Town’ and my American wife was entranced.
Paul Johnson (by email)
GOOD on you Geoff. As a total failure as a cadet journalist at the Bridport News – I got the sack after three months! – I am in awe of Francesca’s work.
She and Pip have kept me in touch with home for many years. I love Australia but God I miss Lyme!
Peter Guest (by email)
JUST to congratulate LymeOnline on your first year as a new community paper.
It has been a hard year for all of us and hopefully we will all continue to make improvements in our lives and our community.
The paper is a real means of communication for a town like ours and I wish you every success in 2019.
Manor Avenue, Lyme Regis
The ‘utter madness’ of this crazy blot on the seascape
February 15 2019
IT is with incredulity that I read about how planning permission to pull down a perfectly good bungalow, Cobb Gate, on Marine Parade, Lyme Regis, was slipped through without public consultation.
Lyme Regis Town Council unanimously objected to this planning application for the bungalow to be replaced by a new three-storey house “in the strongest possible terms.” But what happened next needs urgent investigation on behalf of every council taxpayer in our area.
The application did not go before West Dorset’s Planning Committee, so it could be discussed at length in a meeting open to the public. Instead, it was approved by “delegated powers” of the officers, taking into account the views of the chairman, Councillor Fred Horsington, who owns a diary farm near Dorchester. In other words, in secret with a notable lack of information.
So the town now faces the prospect of a splendid, structurally sound 1920s bungalow being demolished – without any geological report on landslips or potential dangers – along with the closure for months, possibly a year, of Marine Parade and Cart Road. This is utter madness.
No-one benefits, locals or the tens of thousands of tourists which are the lifeblood of Lyme, by such wholesale vandalism of the seafront.
But more disconcerting is the way this was levered through – against the unanimous wishes of our local council, which represents us all – and the sense of secrecy surrounding the details.
What is the point of Lyme Regis Town Council and all the councillors who serve on it? Why are we asked to vote for them if their views are so scornfully ignored? What is local democracy supposed to be about? And what was our district councillor doing? Asleep on the job? We should all be suspicious about the way a group of unelected officials have conspired to give approval.
If this crazy plan is allowed to go through, without further investigation or the fiercest of objections, it will be to the regret of the entire town and neighbouring villages.
We will all be helpless witnesses to the noise, dust and chaos during the best part of a year as this bungalow is demolished and a house constructed. And afterwards? We will be left with yet another blot on the seascape and questions about how we ever allowed it to happen.
Lower Sea Lane, Charmouth
All this for another holiday home
February 15 2019
May I express, through your website and newspaper, my sheer horror at the approval given to a development on the Marine Parade between The Alcove and Mollie’s ice cream kiosk?
Shame on you Daryl Turner for not standing with the town council and raising an objection to the planning permission. This new building will affect every single resident and holidaymaker who takes a stroll along the seafront this summer.
The planning permission allows for the complete removal of a bungalow, piling all around the back of it to stop the houses behind from sliding towards the sea, digging down and removing tonnes and tonnes of earth and mud from the site and then being removed by lorries through Cobb Gate car park and into the chaos that is Broad Street between June and September. This job is going to take 12 months!
Why didn’t Daryl Turner agree with Lyme Regis Town Council and go for refusal? He could have educated his former friends who make up a lot of members of West Dorset District Council’s Planning Committee and suggested to them that this sort of development on the seafront is totally unwanted and could cause a landslip worse than the one of 1962 in Langmoor Gardens and affecting far more properties.
And at the end of it the new house will just be another holiday home.
Church Street, Lyme Regis
FOOTNOTE: Having been consulted for his views as a ward member, Councillor Turner said he was “content with approval with the conditions as laid down”.
A very happy family after Bird’s Eye View
February 11 2019
THE whole of our family wish to thank all at LymeOnline, Richard Austin, Ken and Joan Gollop and all the staff that prepared the Woodmead Halls and all the hard work that went on behind the scene such as advertising, posters, and all the newspaper coverage that happened prior to the recent Bird’s Eye View slide show.
The attendance was incredible and really took me back. All that was done made our family very happy and grateful.
We hope everyone enjoyed the time and effort that made the slideshow such a success as much as we did… and tea and biscuits. Thank you.
DOGS ON THE BEACH: For and against
The following letters regarding dogs on the beach were sent to LymeOnline during January and February 2019 following an incident in which a child was bitten on the sandy beach.
WALKING most days along the Cobb and into the town itself, avoiding dogs mess is an everyday thing.
As for the sand beach and the dogs running loose far away from there owners , it’s a bad accident waiting to happen.
Last week I counted 11 dogs running loose on the beach with children playing and dogs peeing and pooing. Not good, I wouldn’t let my granddaughter near such a dangerous place.
Dogs should go on Monmouth Beach but one thing you can be sure of is that nothing will be done.
I WAS pleased to read the contributions from your letter writers in your last edition, providing some balance to the dogs on beach debate.
I had been alarmed by the lack of tolerance from previous contributors, demanding a total dog ban on our beaches.
This debate emanated from a person being bitten by a dog in an isolated incident. This was followed by succession of people leaping onto the bandwagon, making ignorant and unpleasant remarks about dogs and their owners.
If a dog owner breaks the law, by failing to exercise control over their pet, in relation to biting or fouling, it is that person who should rightly be brought to book. To target and persecute an entire community, in this case dog owners, for the transgression of an individual is totally disproportionate and unacceptable in a liberal democracy.
A fair compromise would be, for instance, to insist on dogs being kept on a lead on the front beach during the daytime.
Personally, I am more affronted by humans annexing and cordoning off 20 per cent of the sandy beach for themselves on a sunny summer day, or hurling stones into the water from the pebble beach, within inches of other citizens.
IT’S funny, isn’t it, how some people just react when something happens, they see, they hear, etc, without actually stopping to weigh up the whole picture?
I came to Lyme three years ago and since arriving have purchased a dog. I knew from the start that I had responsibilities for that dog, just like a parent should have for a child.
I have to say, I have been pretty appalled by the amount of dog poo that is seen on the beach and surrounding streets of the town. I have been equally appalled by the amount of litter I see both adults and children just leave on the beach, not to mention beer cans and bottles.
I don’t think it is very helpful at all when I read that a local councillor has made such reactionary comments. It doesn’t help and it is certainly not professional. One would hope that someone in that position would be able to put a little more perspective on the situation.
Personally, I am all about what is fair for everyone and to suggest a total ban for dogs on beaches is definitely not fair. There are enough beaches in Lyme for everyone. The sandy beach/main beach is possibly a consideration for a dog-free zone or dogs on leads zone. That way, families could be seen to have the security of knowing that their children, families, friends, etc, could roam free, swim, wander without the worry of running into a dog.
And if a dog should poo and the owner not pick up, they should be approached and if necessary reported. It would help if the council supplied a few dog bags at strategic points, like the ones that were supplied in Monmouth Street in the summer. I sincerely hope this will happen again, as there was a noticeable difference in the park area.
This should be about putting in place avoidance strategies, before a problem arises, and when it does arise, it should be acted on immediately to prevent a reoccurrence. If fines need to be imposed on irresponsible people, then so be it. They won’t do it twice.
The vast majority of dog owners in Lyme are, in my opinion, very responsible. We should not be punishing everyone for one incident. That incident and its owner need to be approached and the situation discussed, with appropriate actions taken. I would say the same about any situation or occurrence that is not deemed acceptable to the majority.
Communication is the answer to everything and I say that as someone who has been in a position of authority, managing both adults and children. There must be rules and discipline, but above all there must be respect. A respect for people, our environment and our beloved animals.
Those things come in time and from the way you ‘communicate’ with people. As I said in the beginning, there has to be a sense of fairness for everyone.
I refer to LymeOnline letters (February 1) concerning dogs on the beach. Yes, dogs are everywhere in Lyme, and very therapeutic it is to see them having a great time on the beach.
They get their owners out rain or shine socialising, eating, drinking, supporting local business and, at the same time, greatly improving their own general heath and well-being and taking the strain off the NHS.
“Ban dogs in their entirety from both the beach and adjacent roads” – yes, let’s send all those dirty dog-owning tourists with their fat wallets somewhere else and make local dog owners get into their cars and drive to a more welcoming town. Maybe they would keep on driving. I know we would.
“It’s high time there was a total ban on all dogs being allowed on any beach in Lyme including the church grounds” – yes, let’s turn Lyme Regis into a sleepy backwater, a place for a few select people to enjoy the quiet beaches and empty cafes. The kids and gulls might be screaming, and probably many local business owners, but not a single woof will be heard.
But seriously, like it or lump it, dogs are the new black and owners like to be out with them. Most local businesses recognise and accommodate this as it makes sound business sense.
The majority of dog owners are responsible people who just want their dogs to enjoy the beach every day, so why not keep the present restrictions in place but make the sandy main beach (only) dog free all year round from 10am to 6pm?
I have been living in Lyme Regis for two years and am a dog owner and lover.
Personally, I would prefer to see dogs running around enjoying themselves than a bunch of screaming kids. But I can’t see banning kids from the dog beach going anywhere!
However, banning dogs on all beaches is going too far, so I feel there needs to be somewhere for both people with kids and people with dogs to enjoy their time in Lyme.
I propose dogs be banned from the main beach and allowed on all other beaches all year round.
Lyme Regis relies on tourism and being dog friendly makes it a much more welcoming and attractive place to visit and to live.
WE are new (seven weeks) residents of Lyme Regis and the sheer number of dogs and their ‘consequences’ is quite off-putting.
As we get more familiar with the local walks along the beach and footpaths, it is clear early on that enforceable rules are needed for dogs and their owners that use Lyme Regis for their pleasure.
Moreover, a council audit is needed in terms of dogs on the beaches and walkways, public hygiene and overall safety of all people wanting to use the beaches and walkways throughout the year.
Name and address supplied
The Doggy Dilemma, a poem:
There are lots of beaches in lovely Lyme,
For dogs to romp and play on,
Charmouth, Monmouth and Church beach are all quite devine.
So, why can we not have just one beach,
With its soft French golden sand
For the children to romp and play on,
And lovers to stroll hand in hand?
C. L. Anderson
Silver Street, Lyme Regis
I AM a regular visitor in Lyme Regis, and I’m also a big fan of dogs! However, I was taken by surprise to see the uncontrolled behaviour of dogs on the local sandy beach in Lyme.
The owners obviously didn’t really care what their dogs were doing, and clearly nobody paid attention to the sign reading ‘All dogs must be kept on leads’.
As regular swimmers we didn’t feel comfortable leaving our belongings on the beach with dogs running around urinating and making a mess.
I know there are two other beaches in Lyme that are much better suited for dogs to run free (which they should, of course!), so I don’t know why the owners always choose the main beach which is more suited for families, children and swimmers.
I love dogs and think they should run free, but in a better suited area.
I hope this letter will help Lyme dog owners keep their dogs on leads!
REGARDING the recent debate on allowing dogs onto Lyme Regis beach, what is the point in spending tens of millions of pounds on a world class beach and ancillary water treatment works just to let it become a dog toilet?
I have read that some folk think the problem can be solved by insisting the creatures are kept on a lead.
This summer my family and I were enjoying the lovely view from our rented beach hut, when a dog owner walked past with a large dog on a lead which stopped in front of us to evacuate its rear end, leaving a watery mess all over the concrete walk way.
Credit to the owner that they got a bucket of water to sluice it onto the sand, but considering there were several toddlers yards away fastidiously putting pebbles in their mouths as they are want to do, rather shows that the problem is not solved by leads or plastic doggy bags.
I think the time has come to ban dogs in their entirety from both the beach and adjacent access roads; they are nothing but a nuisance and a hazard.
I WAS saddened to read about the accident involving a young boy and a dog on Lyme Regis beach on December 1. I feel for all those involved, including the grandparents of the boy and the owner of the dog.
I note on reading the article that the child in question was a 12 year old boy, there was no details given about the dog, its age or type.
I’m sure the owner of the dog would not have had the dog running free if the dog was in the habit of attacking small humans, likewise the boy, by the age of 12, was probably already aware of how dogs can sometimes react to humans.
To suggest that the child might be scared of dogs for the rest of his life may be credible in the case of a much younger child but my experience of 12 year old boys suggests otherwise.
Councillor Lovell has, in my opinion, overreacted to this event and called for penalties that will simply not make sense.
I have seen dogs enjoying the two main beaches in Lyme Regis everyday since October 1, on days when humans are few and far between. The beach is a wonderful open space and using it sensibly is a gift to us all.
If an accident causes draconian laws to be introduced then perhaps Councillor Lovell would like to ban vehicles on the A35 as three cars crashed in an accident there on December 21, as reported on page 3 of the same issue of LymeOnline. Common sense please, Councillor Lovell, knee jerk reactions are best left to American presidents.
As for the issue of dog mess, I am proud to live in Lyme Regis and always carry dog poo bags with me to pick up after dog owners who do not! Dogs don’t all defecate off the lead, and sometimes owners can forget to carry poo bags, come on let’s get real.
Funnily enough I picked up litter left by children at the playground in Anning Road last week and put it in the rubbish bin not 15 feet away. Perhaps Councillor Lovell would consider banning children from the playground?
Stop complaining, start doing something positive to make Lyme Regis the best place in the world to live.
FINALLY, finally it looks like something might get done about dogs running crazy on the main beach.
October 1 was a lovely, mild day with plenty of families about with small children. However there were at least 10 dogs running, barking, some like crazy and these poor families were cowering in corners to keep their children safe. I’m surprised it took so long before a child got bitten.
I go swimming quite regularly, but most of the time it seems the beach is taken over by dogs. It is especially surprising as Lyme is the only nice sandy beach in this stretch of Dorset and I’m sure word got round for dog owners as people seem to come from all over the place to let their dogs run free here.
It’s more like visiting a dog club and we’ve joked to rename the town Dog Regis.
I actually saw a photo in a Lyme magazine advertising a dog walker and three guesses where she was with her pack of dogs. Yes, Lyme Regis beach.
Only last week, a dog peed against the wall where my clothes were, once they left faeces right next to my clothes and another time one was digging sand right over my belongings. The owners are usually on the other side of beach, they probably didn’t even notice.
When I’m in the water I’m always on the look out if a dog is getting near my clothes again, half the time I’m a nervous wreck, instead of enjoying the beautiful view, while having a relaxing swim.
I had family coming over for Christmas from Biarritz in France, another beautiful seaside town. They couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the beach with dogs barking and running everywhere, that is just not happening over there.
So please, town council, take note, make this beach suitable for all to enjoy!
Name and address supplied
WHILST even one incident of this nature is one too many and very regrettable, as it is indeed the responsibility of all owners to have their dog under control, I have invested much time and effort on the training of my own dog to ensure that she is not a threat to any children or adults wherever she is.
Her enjoyment of playing on the sandy beach during the winter months is a pleasure to see, particularly when inclement weather makes other alternatives tricky, although I don’t take her there when the beach is busy in consideration of families with children.
I can understand how frightening this incident must have been for all concerned but I feel it is very important to retain a sense of perspective on the issue.
The use of the beach since winter 2017 has been a welcome bonus to residents and visitors alike and I think it would be a travesty if, as a result of this incident, once again, all dogs would be required to be on a lead at all times.
However, I would support an extension of the ban from March to October instead of that currently in place to cover early Easters and the autumn half term.
It is my hope that any ensuing debate on the issue will be considered and well balanced.
YES, I think in view of a little boy being bitten now, dogs should be banned completely from the two main beaches in Lyme Regis all year round, except on leads in the winter time.
They have plenty of freedom on East Cliff, Church Cliff and Monmouth Beaches but these should be prominently advertised so that visitors see it and know exactly where to go for dog friendly beaches.
I have a small dachshund and we are reluctant to let her run free for fear of uncontrollable bigger dogs causing injury so she is kept on a lead. Parents of children must feel the same way, and why should a little boy be possibly scarred and scared for life by somebody’s free running dog?
LAST year my wife got bitten on the calf and I had to take her for tetanus injection. The dog was not controlled by owner in the gardens.
I walk along the beach path everyday and the amount of dogs mess is unbelievable because of owners not picking it up.
There needs to be bigger notices and fines but I very much doubt anything will be done with our local councillors.
I THINK dogs should not be allowed on the main beach at all. It means there is nowhere safe for children to play.
The majority of dogs are not at all under control and I am surprised an incident has not happened before.
I would gladly sign a petition banning dogs on main beach.
Why were the toilets closed?
December 31 2018
I WAS astonished to find the toilets at the bottom of Broad Street were closed on New Year’s Eve, when the town was full of visitors, one of the busiest times of the year.
There were dozens of people during the day, attempting to enter them and ending up walking away in disgust. The nearest other toilets being on Marine Parade near to the Amusement Arcade, quite a long walk for somebody desperate to use a loo.
Whoever decided not to open the Broad Street toilets should be named and shamed, it is a disgrace and harms the good reputation of Lyme.
We all sell our wares on the seafront
December 20 2018
WE sell sea shells on the sea shore. We all have occasions when we do our selling on the seafront at Lyme Regis!
Local fossil collectors, the Lyme Regis Museum and on more than one occasion Paul Crossley himself.
The annual Fossil Festival actually relies on this form of sale. None of the local traders have ever commented on how unfair this is. And once again, Paul Crossley has sold fossils at Lyme Regis Fossil Festival!
The more trading in fossils that occurs the more people will be encouraged to visit. Just think of book shops in Hay-on-Wye and crystals in Glastonbury!
Every little helps when tackling plastic
November 22 2018
I WAS delighted to see that you printed the letter from Sally Holman [November 10] regarding the plastic on the beaches, particularly on Armistice Day.
I too, was out there on that morning, horrified by what I saw. Faced by the task of wondering where and how to begin, in a very short period of time I had filled a large bag (obtained from SWIM) with bottles, bottle tops, remnants of fireworks, children’s spades, plastic bags and of course the inevitable nurdles and short pieces of plastic twine.
I enjoy cleaning up the beach, always alone, and derive what I can only describe as a strange pleasure from relocating different sizes of plastic from the sand to the hungry refuse bins waiting nearby. A year ago, I would have felt quite uncomfortable doing this. Now I feel uncomfortable if I don’t! Sometimes people stop me and say positive encouraging words.
I do understand that for many, bending down repeatedly is uncomfortable, especially for those with mobility or blood pressure issues, but thinking that some form of marine life might have been spared by just 20 minutes of beach clearing makes me feel happier.
Plastic pollution really is our problem. It will not go away unless we change our endless consumption of unnecessary goods and leave a much bigger mess for our children and grandchildren to clear.
We are all so privileged to live in this beautiful place, on this magical planet. I personally feel a responsibility to give something back, even if its only a few minutes. Please don’t feel overwhelmed, every little helps.
Mahatma Gandhi’s wise words echo in my head, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’
Jo Smith Oliver
Chairman, Turn Lyme Green
Support needed for LRDT’s new community projects
November 20 2018
THE Hub has come a long way since 2010 when we stood in the pouring rain on the Cobb singing ‘Frere Jacques’ to raise awareness about the roof needing repairing (pictured) – and yes with a massive community effort we won £60,000 from the Peoples Lottery.
Thanks to Lyme Regis Development Trust (LRDT), The Hub has become a safe and warm environment for B Sharp, the youth club, mother and toddler group, food bank and many many more. However, the cafe and adjoining area is ripe for turning into a lively and buzzing community space.
LRDT has been busy applying for grants to create a community cafe, a workshop (run along the lines of the Man Shed organisation but ours is definitely not for men only!) and a community radio station.
We have already been gifted just over £7,000 from Section 106 funds toward the shed and have been promised £3,500 from Axminster Power Tools for equipping the shed with wood turning lathes and equipment for basic wood working projects, and we are very grateful indeed for this support so far.
The next step is to apply for the final stages of a long-term application which we have been working on since January and to do this we need the support of the community and evidence of that support.
We have already discussed our ideas and have the support with numerous individuals and organisations around town. Everyone we talk to agrees community cohesion is something that Lyme would really benefit from and this will be the way to do it.
So if you would like to support our application please jot down a couple of lines saying that you think these initiates could help our community and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Equally, if you would like to be involved in helping us set these initiatives up please do not hesitate to contact us.
Dot Wood and Chris Tipping,
Lyme Regis Development Trust
Council should learn from our past and make peace
November 12 2018
AN open letter to Lyme Regis Town Council:
I would like to express how well everyone conducted themselves publicly over the Armistice weekend. Both with regards to the public cohesion with councillors, visitors and locals, all out in force for such a memorable weekend as well as simple actions such as free parking at the Cobb car parks, so simple, but so poignant.
You would not believe how many locals came up to me to ask, “why can’t we all work and enjoy things together in this way all the time, we always seem to be battling, stop!”
This reflects on recent discussions and actions by the council expressed in the media over the past weeks as well as the past decades. Of course, this is referring to the manner in the way some of the councillors conduct themselves in the chamber and around the town.
There has been many comments in the papers and from people around town about the way items are addressed at meetings. As you know, I have not been to any meetings of late, but my feeling is nothing has changed in the way councillors conduct themselves.
You, Lyme Regis Town Council, are setting a bad example, not only to the town but also to the next generation. All this personal self-display and targeting of comments towards other councillors, who are your comrades in the battle to make our town great again.
You were elected or chosen to represent the voice of the townspeople, not to be the creators of anymore conflicts.
We have all been reminded of history over this poignant weekend and surely this is a tap on the shoulder to all to sit around the table and work out a solution peacefully before you fire the first bullet. Let’s hope you can reflect on what I, and many, have said for a long time.
Talbot Road, Lyme Regis
Are we doing enough to fight plastic waste?
November 10 2018
WHILE checking the beaches and harbour for any damage after Friday night’s storm, I was shocked to see so much plastic cluttering the debris on the strand line of our sandy beach, normally seaweeds and timber of various kinds.
Today [Saturday, November 10] there is not a footprint in that line free from some coloured piece of man made rubbish which will take decades to degrade, if it ever does!
Right beside the compound for the 100th Armistice artistic memorial to be etched in the sand, curling its way along our treasured amenity, the usual brown flotsam contains millions of tiny reminders that this is a world wide problem, evidenced right here on our doorstep. It’s not just swirling in the Pacific gyre, dumped far away by less advantaged cultures or untraceable shipping, it’s hard evidence of our wasteful lifestyles too.
What could I do? Turn Lyme Green have been effective in some areas, the beach clean teams do their bit, but no one else on hand today and the scale of the problem was way beyond me even to clean a small area before the next tide. No resources to call on as I got soaked again, it would need an army and then what would we do with the tangled litter?
I picked up the largest item, a blue broken bucket on the edge of the harbour and carried it to a sheltered corner, then turned away confused. I checked out Monmouth Beach, only the larger remnants seem to have been tossed to the top of the pebble banks. I collected a few.
Why hadn’t I pursued my idea of asking for plastic recycling bins at the Cobb two weeks ago? What next?
Look closely, this stuff is floating about unseen, all the time, between our swimmers and paddle boarders let alone the pleasure boaters and working fishing vessels further off shore. Devastating!
I bump into Max Gollop from our Marine Aquarium and we share concerns. His biggest worry is for the rising ocean temperatures which are destroying the food chain for the fish we eat and make attempts to conserve.
There is still reluctance in some quarters to acknowledge the global warming scientific evidence. Are we collectively doing enough? Can we, as long as countries are not pulling together?
Max was articulate. Conservation, environmental pollution, all good initiatives look like being overtaken by the bigger threat.
Being aware, like Max, many of us feel helpless to make a significant impact. My personal Remembrance will be to honour those who suffered so much for our future by doing a bit towards that future, limited as I am.
A few bottle tops and unidentified plastic scraps, it doesn’t seem much. I wonder how many others feel the same as they watch ‘Drowning in Plastic’ or the fabulous Attenborough?
Cobb Road, Lyme Regis
Bored-looking council a disappointment
November 1 2018
ON Wednesday I attended a monthly paper shuffling, paper flapping, box ticking meeting, otherwise known as the Lyme Regis Town Council public meeting. What a disappointment!
The councillors on the top table looked bored and uninterested in the public’s concerns and worries. The mayor looked as though she was struggling to stay awake.
The two shining lights were Derek Hallett, who voiced a few of his concerns, and the passionate and enthusiastic Jeff Scowen. Snub out these two and you will be left with very bored looking representatives who the public will have no faith in.
If this is the best they can offer then heaven help us! It’s no wonder that few people turn out to vote. What a shame.
Well done to all involved in ‘Sea What’s There’ event
October 18 2018
CAN I just say how impressed I was with the very interesting and informative evening at the Marine Theatre ‘Sea What’s There’, comprising four excellent speakers presenting to a packed house on different aspects of plastics pollution in our rivers and seas, together with the ongoing stakeholder inclusive management of the Lyme Bay Marine Protection Area.
Plastic Free Lyme Regis are to be congratulated for their efforts in organising and marketing the event with the theatre. Whilst I believe that the majority of attendees were already aware in principle of the issues with plastics in our waterways and oceans and were there to learn more, I was pleased to hear that organisations speaking yesterday evening are able to offer educational presentations to schools and the like.
Changing people’s lifestyles and habits can be very challenging and the more people that are aware of their actions lasting effects on the environment, the greater the chances that they will make efforts to change for the better and encourage others to do the same.
Well done to all involved.
Second cemetery chapel also needs attention
October 15 2018
I WAS pleased to see the letter by Gillian Davis (October 2) calling for maintenance of the Church of England chapel in the Lyme Regis cemetery. I agree it is a little ‘gem’, and shouldn’t be allowed to deteriorate.
There is, however, a second chapel which was apparently for the non-conformists and Catholics. Though less decorative it also needs to be maintained. Sadly, this chapel is currently used only for storage, whereas the other one is occasionally used for funerals.
As well as the need for maintenance, I would also like to request that we have a display board detailing some of the interesting history of the cemetery and its buildings.
Save our 18th century cemetery chapel
October 2 2018
RECENTLY during Heritage Week I visited this gem of a little chapel in the cemetery at Lyme Regis.
As soon as I walked through the door I was amazed to see such a truly amazing 18th century chapel. The walls were beautifully painted and the altar had pictures hand painted.
I stood in awe not knowing what was hidden inside this chapel. Speaking to locals they didn’t know what it held inside either.
Now to the bit that must be known. It has parts of the roof which you can see daylight through and rain water coming through is damaging the painted walls. With winter approaching what will be done, I asked. The reply was, “Well, we told the council three years ago and they are looking into it”.
With the council’s non-committed approach it wont be too long before this little gem falls apart and is lost forever. I then asked if we could raise money locally or get some free help from some of our local builders as our own ‘DIY SOS’ project. It works on TV, so why cant it work for Lyme Regis?
What is being done to stop town being over-run by seagulls?
August 31 2018
AN open letter also sent to Lyme Regis Town Council:
I READ with interest your articles in LymeOnline, and like the title ‘Lyme Matters’ for Philip Evans’ column, but if Lyme really ‘matters’ what is being done to stop it being over-run by seagulls?
As a family we have owned property in Lyme for the last 40 years and have been visiting it for many more, but for the last few years it has become a nightmare. Apart from the noise, interrupted sleep, damage to property and bird droppings, this month my family has been constantly dive-bombed by seagulls and, on different attacks within a five day period, lost two ice-creams, a biscuit and a sandwich to their them – snatched from child hands without warning.
One bombing-snatch was on my four-year-old grandson, which left him with scratches to the arm. Only adult intervention has stopped further beach attacks.
It is only a matter of time before someone is really injured by them. When is someone going to take the problem in hand – do we have to wait for a serious injury or can we count on Lyme Regis Town Council to take action?
THE following response was received from Lyme Regis Town Council:
MANY thanks for your email concerning problems with seagulls in Lyme. Problems with attacks by seagulls is by no means limited to Lyme. Other West Dorset and East Devon seaside towns are experiencing identical problems and some schools, even in inland locations, have banned children from eating outside during school lunch breaks due to gull attacks.
We have recently launched an educational campaign aimed at visitors to the town and local suppliers of ice cream and food. There are numerous signs along the seafront area and all food and ice cream sellers have been given information leaflets to hand out to customers. This is part of a concerted effort along the entire coastal area to try and prevent the feeding of gulls and to encourage better packaging of food.
We will also be replacing bins with those of a more appropriate ‘seagull resistant’ design and the first phase of new bins has already been installed.
Some resorts are also now employing people with birds of prey to act as a further deterrent. We are currently looking at how effective this is; but initial feedback suggests that any effect is only very temporary.
It is something we take very seriously and are doing all we reasonably and lawfully can (herring gulls are a protected species) to address the problem.
There is no doubt that the problem has worsened in recent years. There are various theories as to why this should be the case; including changes to food packaging, changes to fishing practices at sea leading to more gulls foraging along the coast and inland, etc.
There is also a problem with some people choosing to actively feed the gulls as though they were ducks or pigeons. Unfortunately, this just encourages the gulls to look on humans as sources of food. To discourage this, West Dorset District Council has introduced a new legal order making it an offence to deliberately feed herring gulls in most of Lyme Regis, including all of the seafront areas.
I am also investigating other legal measures which can be taken, including egg replacement. This has been tried in one or two other locations and makes the gulls sit longer on the nest and limits their time spent foraging for food.
We are certainly committed to doing all we reasonably and lawfully can to minimise the problem.
Deputy Town Clerk, Lyme Regis
Let’s get our act together on Three Cups
August 17 2018
I TOURED the wonderful Albert Hall in London this week followed by a cream tea in one of their restaurants. The whole day was perfect, and the tour very interesting and informative I learned so much from it.
I was amazed to learn that it only took four years to build the Albert Hall from the day that Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone in 1867 to the day she officially opened the building in 1871.
It made me wonder whatever is going on here in Lyme; we have a cinema which is in ruins following the fire over two years ago, we have an hotel that has been empty waiting to rebuilt for over 20 years.
It is unbelievable that 145 years ago the Victorians were able to build that wonderful building in four years with no modern equipment, with no university trained designers, builders or anything like that.
Come on residents of Lyme Regis, let’s get our act together and persuade the owners of these properties to get on with it. We want our cinema back and the Three Cups to be up and running again.
Clappentail Park, Lyme Regis
Closing gym facilities does not help public relations of school
August 4 2018
NOT only is the Combined Cadet Force unable to continue at The Woodroffe School, but also the users, after school hours, of the sports hall and gym, which were hired out.
Dr Steward, the headmaster, is adamant, that due to safeguarding issues, this can no longer carry on. Other schools, I understand, are finding ways to deal with the issues so that their activities may continue.
Many groups are affected and about 130 users. The U3A badminton group has been using the courts for five years and gone from strength to strength in that time, never encountering a problem.
We gain so many benefits from playing, both mentally and physically. Trying to keep healthy and exercising is important and to take away this facility from so many users in the community does not help the public relations of the school.
Several organisations in the town are trying to promote health and wellbeing and this action seems strangely contrary to this philosophy.
Bank counter closure not acceptable
July 30 2018
AN open letter to Lloyds Bank following the announcement that counters in the Axminster branch will be closed:
I have to say how very disappointed I am that Lloyds Bank has decided to close Axminster branch, as dress it up however you will, closing the counter is effectively taking away that part of the branch that we use the most.
As an organisation, we receive cash for hire of our hall and we need coin floats for many of our fundraising activities. The inability to get the cash locally is really quite unacceptable. The restriction of depositing no more than five cheques in one transaction is also a nonsense.
Over the past few years, Lloyds Bank’s representation in West Dorset has been decimated. Starting with the closure of Beaminster branch about 15 years ago, more recently Bridport was handed to TSB and then Lyme Regis closed, the last bank in town. We were told then that Axminster would always be available to us and now we are being asked to drive to Seaton – how long before that too disappears?
Diverting many of us to that small branch, in a town few of us would choose to go to shop, will inevitably lead to even more queues. The additional time and cost of the journey is unacceptable.
The reason you give, that people choose to do their banking differently now, had a very hollow ring to it today when, at mid-morning the queue to use the two counter positions (reduced from three not long ago), was literally out of the door.
Not that the service was without fault today when we reached the front of the queue. I overheard one local shopkeeper being told that the branch had no £1 coins available for his change. A bank with no money! As it happened, I had £1 coins to deposit so we managed an exchange. Has it come to the point where customers are expected to help each other rather than use the bank?
It is probably too late to expect the faceless decision makers to change their minds, but you should know that I believe that the impact will have an adverse effect on the bank’s reputation and do no good in the long run. Again, there are no other alternative banks in town. We will consider a move to a bank in Bridport and in the meantime tell as many people as will listen what we think.
We may be only a small and insignificant account for you, but I suspect many others will share these views.
Wootton Fitzpaine Village Hall
Is a beach the right place for a protest?
July 27 2018
WITH the weather this summer being exceptional we decided as a family to make the journey from our home in Northampton to your beautiful town of Lyme Regis. A long weekend away.
On arrival we naturally, once settled, headed for the sandy beach area – our favourite spot. Only, on this occasion, we were confronted with a small group of people holding placards. We soon realised that the placards were part of a demonstration, a protest against Donald Trump. Yes, in Lyme Regis.
Is a beach, where people choose to go to relax and unwind, an appropriate outlet for such an ‘event’? My main gripe, however, was the offensive and unnecessary language printed on clothing. All ready drawn to the placards, we read four-letter expletives, clearly meant to be seen. As a mother of two young children, I was particularly upset and angry.
There is a time and a place for this kind of activity. A public beach with families consisting of children is most certainly not one of them. I do hope that in future the organisers spend more time considering their surroundings and choose to wear less offensive clothing. As adults, we expect more.
Sue and Brian Manning,
Still no statue of Mary Anning
Monday July 2 2018
I’M very disappointed that there is still no statue of Mary Anning in Lyme Regis. She was by far your most significant and important citizen and must be commemorated.
Surely it’s not on account of her gender that Lyme Regis is ignoring her?
In this year, when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffage, will you please pledge to erect a statue of Mary Anning?
Maureen Luchini (nee Guppy)
What does future hold for
Three Cups Hotel?
Friday, June 22 2018
MY family and I have a long history with Lyme. I’ve been coming here on family holidays all my life – and my mother before that as a child with her sisters.
I’m 40 now and the Three Cups Hotel has been closed up and empty for 30 years. I remember the beer garden going all the way down to the park in the 1980s.
How can this have been allowed to go on? Lyme Regis is a thriving seaside town with a fantastic community at the heart of it. Not to mention it’s importance as part of the Jurassic Coast.
I just think it’s a terribly sad waste of a beautiful building. What does its future hold?
What to do when Lyme is full?
Monday, May 28 2018
QUESTION of the day! What to do when Lyme Regis is full?
Answer: Council man with van and three A-boards with the message written in large letters ‘Sorry Lyme is full, please come later or another day. Thank you!’
Man in van assesses the situation at 12noon and if all car parks are full, etc. puts each A-board at the three entrances to the town.
Man in van assesses the situation again at 4pm and either collects in the boards or does nothing until about 5pm (just before he clocks off) and collects the A-boards.
This is not rocket science, it does not need a digital electronic whizzy thing… just a man in a van.
Disappointed no local traders at food festival
Sunday, May 27 2018
I WENT to the food festival yesterday (Saturday), but was very disappointed that Lyme Regis council allowed a company that brought outside traders to do this, rather than local businesses.
It is well known that Lyme Regis high street struggles and takes less when there are events on the seafront and this would have been a perfect opportunity to support the local businesses.
This was blatantly obvious by the lack of people in the main shopping area and chatting with people who have businesses in town, who expressed that they were having a quiet day.
Lyme Regis has a wonderful wealth of great eating places. Surely it would have been better to support them rather than bring in other non-local businesses. It is really not sustainable and not supporting of the local food movement.
This area has a massive wealth of producers and eateries and it would have been a perfect opportunity for them.
I think it is appalling that the council did this to them and I made a point of not eating or drinking at the food festival, but did enjoy the local busking festival. I am very disappointed and sad for the lack of support for businesses in Lyme from the town council.
I am sure, and in fact I know, that one local business person would have arranged the whole food festival in return for having a stall, and they would have still had revenue from local businesses paying to have a stall. Yet another amazing missed opportunity from the town council.
Also there is no park and ride in Sidmouth Road, which is very unsupportive of local businesses again this year. I really do think the school could profit from running one from the school grounds in holidays and earn some much-needed revenue too.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dorset Street Food Festival was organised by Street Food Warehouse, not Lyme Regis Town Council, although the council allowed permission for the use of Marine Parade for the event.
Pedestrian crossing proposal ‘absurd’
Friday, May 25 2018
THE decision to place a pedestrian crossing in Broad Street is absurd.
Firstly, the drastic loss of shoppers’ parking spaces, and I am amazed that business owners haven’t created more of a furore about it.
Secondly, it will create more congestion especially in summer.
Thirdly, who will bother to walk up or down the street to use it when Broad Street is narrow enough to go across with a break in the traffic?
Fourthly, how on Earth have we survived so long in the town without a crossing?
Fifthly, it is unnecessary expense. If there is money in the budget it would be far better spent on a professional survey of the town’s overall traffic problem.
‘Hello, Dolly!’ show was special for many reasons
Wednesday, May 23 2018
MY husband and I enjoyed a very special performance of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ from Lyme Regis Musical Theatre at the Woodmead Halls in May. It was special for several reasons.
As it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2020/2021 the group has evolved with the years as things change, but still has the core of local family names in each production using their particular skills and talents.
Now we see the wider community of our area joining together as each production, under excellent direction, becomes more professional and is supported by audiences from the wider area too, and those who joined as children are now adult performers.
The Woodmead Halls offered a splendid venue with excellent acoustic and vision of the wider stage. Above all, for we older folk, very easy and good parking. And many of us are older and are only able to come if we have easy parking.
On a personal note the ice creams were delicious and the bar easily accessible. We are so fortunate in our small town to have two such venues, and we have in our theatre, too, a vital and buzzing place with amazing talent performing most nights and adapting to the needs of the community as they arise. For instance showing films which our cinema would normally have.
We must not forget too the amazing music from the church, again serving a wider and different audience. We are only 3,500 approx. in population, we are so lucky to have all this and need to support what we have.
Time passes and though change is sometimes hard to get used to, it quickly becomes part of life. For these reasons we thank all of those involved in the performance we saw, special for so many reasons. Please do it again!
Audrey & Keith Vivian,
Sidmouth Road, Lyme Regis
Lack of seafront bins a ‘disgrace’
Tuesday, May 8 2018
I’M a new resident to Lyme Regis, who feels very strongly about litter and general rubbish.
Firstly, I am told that paper and plastic is landfilled anyway, so what is point in separating it? And secondly, why has the council not supplied more bins during summer months for rubbish along the beaches? Absolute disgrace!
I assume the response is lack of funding in both cases.
Responsible fossil collecting needs to be promoted
Monday, April 30 2018
I HAVE been coming to Lyme Regis for half a century, like most visitors, to marvel at the wonderful ammonite fossils, both large and small, loose on the beach and in the cliffs. More recently to do some stone balancing.
For more than 30 of those years, the beach had hundreds of huge flat blocks with dustbin lid sized ammonites. I could return to the same spot year after year and be sure to recognise favourites that became almost friends. I was delighted that most visitors revered these wonders of nature and few tried to hammer, let alone remove them.
I took regular study groups in summer holidays and everywhere we quickly found coin-sized perfect white ammonites. Gradually I had to bring these forays forward to Easter and then to be able to find as many it needed a good winter storm.
Last week I struggled to find even a few, and all of the distinctive pebbles (the ones I know upon splitting will reveal these perfect fossils) also seem to have been removed by ‘collectors’! Whilst I have no problem with the few fossils that were taken away before this activity became so heavily publicised (and incidentally I made a point of returning some) there were always plenty for others to enjoy. Responsible collecting is fine but it needs to be promoted.
I have to say that my last trip to Lyme was absolutely ruined, not just by the lack of fossil abundance, but by the wholesales removal of rock. Gone even, were the huge blocks that I always felt were safe from their sheer size. I did come across two parties who were not only loading massive single blocks into rucksacks they could barely lift, one was engaged in what could best be described as quarrying – employing a sledge hammer, four foot long crow bars and a wheelbarrow!
Needless to say I could not find a single ‘old friend’ from Monmouth Beach. I could not even fine one of the comma-shaped stones I like to balance!
When challenged one perpetrator, near the famous Ammonite Pavement, informed me that no ‘collector’ would break this up, and the unsightly mess of broken fragments he had made would soon become rounded by the sea; which is also continually releasing fossils from the cliff. Well over centuries, this may be true, but like a discarded biodegradable banana skin the hammered mess will be an eyesore for some a time.
I am sorry, I am old enough to know first hand how long it takes for the sea to destroy the fossils, because for many years I could keep going back the same recognisable ammonites. At the same time erosion is making replacements far too slowly to keep up with this kind of selfish wholesale ‘collecting’.
It is disappointing that the existing £20,000 fine for removal of this significant geological heritage is nether enforced nor acts a deterrent.
Richard Arthur BSc FGS,
Lifeguard hut a ‘white elephant’
Friday, April 20 2018
NO, no, no! I feel compelled to write as a protest to the elevated lifeguard station that has recently been featured on LymeOnline.
It is so American and so wrong for Lyme Regis – a quintessentially English seaside town. These large cabins are put on legs because the huge sandy beaches in America are so flat, the higher viewpoint is necessary for the lifeguard to see for miles.
Lyme’s beach is small – the sandy part, very small – and the beach has its own natural gradient to the water.
The old RNLI lifeguard hut can see clearly above people’s heads, positioned on the ‘upper level’, as it was, and we all knew that if there was a lost child, or a swimming drama, someone would run and tell the lifeguard immediately if they had not spotted the trouble themselves.
Please do not spoil our beautiful, quaint and very special holiday resort by putting a huge eyesore white elephant on the beach that is so inappropriate.
Council members, please reverse your decision again, or take a public vote. It will ruin the look of the beach front and is quite unnecessary.
Long Entry, Lyme Regis
Do we want our beach to be a dog’s toilet?
Sunday, March 4 2018
AT half term on a lovely sunny day, my two granddaughters were happily sitting eating their lunch on the pebble beach in Lyme Regis.
Many dogs were racing around on the sandy part of the beach, which is exposed at low tide. Suddenly a large golden labrador bounded up the pebbles and, without hesitation, cocked his leg over my nine-year-old granddaughter and weed over her.
I yelled at the dog and tried in vain to push it away. The owner just looked at me and casually walked on.
How can it possibly be sensible to have dogs loose on our lovely beaches? I have owned dogs all of my adult life and love them, but there is sensible place to exercise dogs – Monmouth Beach for example.
On another occasion I watched as a smart young lady kick pebbles over her dog’s excrement. The sea does not reach that part of the beach.
Do we want our superb but small, main beach to be a dog’s loo? Okay this is not all the year round but dog poo takes a while to disappear.
I hope with all my heart that the powers that be will reconsider their decision regarding dogs off the lead on the main beaches, at any time.
Somers the most worthy of Lyme’s historic personages
Monday, February 26 2018
IF Geoff Baker takes his information from Wikipedia it is not surprising that all the statements he made about Somers are complete rubbish.
He was not involved in the slave trade, it started some 40 years after he died. He was not a pirate, he was a privateer operating under Letters of Reprisal issued by the crown.
He was born in Lyme, the family lived in Coombe Street, his childhood was spent in the town. He was a captain in the Queen’s navy and served with distinction. He was a founder member of the Virginia Company and played a major role in establishing the first English colony in America and in fact died on Bermuda while attempting to resupply the colony.
He was also an effective MP for the Borough and held in high regard. The full facts reveal that he was without doubt the most worthy of Lyme’s historic personages.
He was however a ‘man of his times’, Elizabethan England was not the England of today, judgements need to take this into account.
I would be happy to give Geoff a free tutorial on Somers, after all I did spend five years of intense research before my biography of his life was published last November.
As to Mary Anning, when I was coastguard I was frequently asked the best place to find fossils, when I mentioned her grave there was a complete lack of interest. Instead of statues (including Somers) we should celebrate Lyme’s history from ‘Port to Resort’ with a pictorial display in the Marine shelters.
Fairfield Park, Lyme Regis
Pedestrian crossing a ‘waste of money’
Friday, February 23 2018
IT would seem the Lyme Regis town councillors are hell bent on copying Bridport in wasting money.
Bridport has a cycle path that no one can see was needed, Lyme are manoeuvring to install a pedestrian crossing that only a few councillors seem to think is necessary.
I know 600 signed a petition to install one but I wonder how it was worded because I never saw it.
Councillor Reynolds is quoted as saying: “I know you’ll say it will back up the traffic but in the summer there traffic is already backed up and there’s nothing we can do about it.” Yes alright, but what about all the waffle on trying to streamline the flow of traffic through the town then?
If as Dorset County Council says we could not have it adjacent to the Royal Lion entrance how close is the suggested site to the Three Cups to say nothing about the loss of parking spaces?
I have lived in Lyme since 1972, in our early days here the main A35 trunk road ran through Lyme Regis and we all managed to cross the road with no accidents then. It does not matter where you put a crossing here people will still cross the road wherever they happen to be standing. To say that we are the only town with no crossing is beside the point.
Let DCC spend the money on something useful, like mending a few potholes.
Charmouth Road, Lyme Regis
The ‘local paper’ binds community together
Friday, February 23 2018
DO you share my mixed feelings on welcoming LymeOnline?
This phoenix rises from the ashes of the View From stable of free papers that covered West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset. Local newspapers are being wiped out nationwide as advertising moves online: the wonder is not that the View From titles fell victim to that tide, but that they battled on so long despite it.
When papers die, so do jobs. The talented, predominantly young team that brought us our free weekly news, information and comment must now hunt for jobs in a difficult climate.
When a community paper dies, the staff pay the most direct and human price; but also lost is something of what binds the community together. ‘The local paper’ has for generations been one of the most important ways that those who live in a place access a common store of knowledge about it, share ideas and wishes for it, and hold to account those who govern it. Social media, even when responsibly used, cannot fulfil those needs.
Regret at what’s lost, then. But also a welcome for the new, an online source of things we need to know, a fresh way for the community to talk with itself about what matters.
For elderly stick-in-the-muds like me, it’s good to know that a regular print version will arrive in my letterbox (a logistical feat in itself); it’s great that the coverage is Lyme, Charmouth and Uplyme, recognising a neighbourly inter-dependence that transcends both boundary-lines on a map and political inwardness.
So good luck to the new venture. Even more than luck, it will need the support of its advertisers, most of them local businesses. Among the many contributions that business makes to our community, its share in sustaining a serious local ‘press’ – even if ‘press’ is no longer a true descriptor – is a vital social good. Let’s welcome that, too.
Uplyme Road, Lyme Regis
‘Appalling’ to refuse permission for lifeguard hut
Friday, February 16 2018
I FIND it appalling that your councillors have refused permission for the RNLI lifeguard hut; these are neccessary for their use and are situated all round the coast. Shame on you.