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13th July 2011

LYME REGIS: Council unveil new 1.3million shelters

By Francesca Evans

THE new £1.3 million regenerated Marine Parade shelters in Lyme Regis is a “long-term investment” in the town, said the Mayor, Councillor Sally Holman, at the historic opening ceremony on Saturday.

Councillor Holman told a large crowd that the shelters would be “used, developed and fostered by the generations now growing up”.

She thanked those who had helped with the project, with particular mention of architect Tim Williamson, consultant David Gale, fundraiser Chris Boothroyd who has led the Share in the Shelters Fund, town clerk Mike Lewis, deputy town clerk Simon Ratcliff and administrative officer Vickie Stickler, who organised the opening celebrations. 

She also thanked all those who had helped to fund the project, the town council, Shelters Regeneration Working Group and those from the local community who had offered their time and ideas to the project.

Councillor Holman added: “The shelters that you now see transform what natural forces had turned into an unsightly public liability into a magnificent community asset – I’m sure you’ll agree successfully. 

“Remarkably, this physical transformation has taken just 10 months, a tribute to David Gale’s determined and meticulous leadership on behalf of the town and the council.”

She then officially opened the new facilities and cut a ribbon to the central pavilion, alongside mayoress Jane Whittington, Woodroffe School head girl Robyn Lewis and St Michael’s Primary School pupil Samuel Sims.

The day’s celebrations started with a civic parade from the Guildhall to the shelters, led by the town crier Phil Street, the mayor, mayoress, macebearers Derek Hallett and Colin Barker and the town clerk. Chairman of West Dorset District Council, Gillian Summers, also took part in the procession with her granddaughter Emily, followed by deputy mayor Councillor Daryl Turner and deputy mayoress Catherine Turner, other councillors, past mayors for former councillors.

On arrival at the shelters, the new war memorial clock outside the central pavilion was dedicated by members of the Royal British Legion Lyme Regis branch, including chairman Ken Whetlor, who said the legion members were “proud and honoured” to be part of the day’s events. He described the dedication of the clock as a “bitter sweet” occasion.

“Not only is it wonderful to see this memorial timepiece back where it belongs, but it is a timely reminder of the supreme sacrifice which so many of the brave sons of Lyme Regis paid in the fight for justice, honour and freedom,” he added.

President Cecil Quick then spoke the Kohima Epitaph and Exhortation while the Royal British Legion flag was lowered. The crowd took part in minute’s silence and prayers were led by the Reverend Jane Skinner.

The civic party, alongside members of the Emmett family, then made their way to the upper level of the shelters where Councilor Michaela Ellis was asked to unveil the plaque dedicated to her great uncle and former mayor, William Emmett, first unveiled in 1945, in its new position near the Langmoor community room. 

She said: “This commemorative stone, which has been relocated due to the refurbishment of the shelters, was unveiled 66 years ago by my great uncle William Emmett near the end of his eight year term of office as Mayor of Lyme Regis in 1945. It was located on the steps built by his brother’s – my grandfather’s – firm of builders, Eli Emmett’s.

Councillor Ellis said it was “great” to see so many of William Emmett’s relations at the occasion, and invited his grandaughters Ann Rattenbury and Carol Robson to help unveil the plaque.

An official sail past and salute was held in the afternoon. The mayor and mayoress joined harbourmaster Graeme Forshaw MBE in the bay, and waved as many of Lyme’s seafarers, including members of the sailing club, gig club, fishing community and lifeboat crew, sailed past. Salutes were made by the harbourmaster at sea and deputy harbourmaster Mike Higgs and Andrew Kaye on Marine Parade, where they watched the sail past with members of the civic party.

Other entertainment during the day included performances by St Michael’s Primary School Choir, Lyme Voices Community Choir, B Sharp, Lyme Regis Town Band, Lyme Youth Theatre, Lyme Regis Majorettes and Mary Lands Pure Dirt Band. Local artists were also demonstrating their techniques in the Lister community room and stallholders sold crafts and home produce in the market area.

The celebrations were finished with a balloon launch from the top of the shelters, named the Forum, organised by Lyme Regis Regatta and Carnival Committee.

PICTURE: HISTORIC MOMENT - Mayor Sally Holman, helped by Woodroffe School head girl Robyn Lewis and St Michael's Primary School pupil Samuel Sims, cuts the tape to open the new Marine Parade shelters

LYME REGIS: Council unveil new 1.3million shelters

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