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Devon, Dorset & Somerset Series of Newspapers Ltd




  • News from West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset

Thursday 26th March 2015, 4:20pm

Duke of Kent visits Boat Building 

Academy and lifeboat station

LYME Regis was able to show off the best of its seafaring culture when the town welcomed a royal visitor today (Thursday).

His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent visited the town’s acclaimed Boat Building Academy, was introduced to members of Lyme Regis Gig Club and given a tour of the lifeboat station on the Cobb.

After flying into the town by helicopter and landing at the Woodroffe School, the Duke, accompanied the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell, was introduced to civic dignitaries, including the chairman of Dorset County Council, Councillor John Wilson; chairman of West Dorset District Council, Councillor Gillian Summers; and the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Sally Holman, accompanied by watch commander of Lyme Regis Fire Brigade, Virgil Turner.

The Duke also met with principal of the Boat Building Academy, Yvonne Green, director Tim Gedge and traditional boat builder Gail McGarva who showed the royal visitor around some of the boats currently being built in the workshop.

Members of Lyme Regis Gig Club then greeted the Duke with a guard of honour of oars and shanty singing as Gail showed him their gig “Tempest”.

His Royal Highness, who is president of the RNLI, then moved on to the lifeboat station at the Cobb, where he was greeted by operations manager and harbourmaster, Grahame Forhsaw MBE, and other representatives of the charity. Mr Forshaw showed the Duke around the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat “Spirit of Loch Fyne” before introducing him to members of the crew.

The Duke was taken inside to tour the station’s facilities and met with volunteers in the award-winning RNLI gift shop before heading back to London.

PICTURED ABOVE: Lifeboat operations manager and harbourmaster Grahame Forshaw shares a joke with the Duke and Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell

The Duke is introduced to members of the lifeboat crew

Traditional boat builder Gail McGarva tells the Duke of Kent about current projects at Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy

Gail McGarva show the Duke “Tempest”, the gig she built, and introduces him to members of Lyme Regis Gig Club

Selected photos from 2013/14 are available to purchase online here


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