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The Museum Blog

All the latest news from Lyme Regis Museum

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Herbal Medicine

A talk by Mary Tassell on Monday 6th July at 7.30pm in Woodmead Hall. A medical herbalist reveals the secrets of natural remedies used for centuries before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin; some are still widely in use today.

Facts about Fossils

These regular talks are given by Museum Learning Officer, Chris Andrew. This month they're on at 2.30 pm on Saturday 11th July and Saturday 25th July.

Walks

The full range of guided walks is on offer this month:

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Lyme Regis Museum’s "Help us Grow" (HUG) group will hit the streets again for two different money raising events this month.

HUG got together earlier this year in order to help raise money towards the Museum’s Mary Anning extension wing. They have already enjoyed success with cake sales and children’s activities. Throughout the summer, they plan several more events.Here are the next two

CAKE AND GOODIES

On Wednesday 24th June Hug will hold a Cake and Goodies stall at the Marine Parade shelters. They will be selling home-made produce from 10.30 a.m.

SECOND HAND BOOK SALE

Another event at the Shelters will be held on Sunday 28th June from 10.30 a.m. HUG will be selling a selection from the Museum’s collection of used books, ranging from coffee-table hardbacks to popular paperbacks…all at reasonable and cheap prices.

COME AND SUPPORT THE MARY ANNING EXTENSION FUND!

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She felt the clocks stop
Never more than beneath Lyme cliffs She felt the rushing tide rock The Earth around
The thin line of times’ orbit
She felt it knocked
Or dropped, like the fragile pocket watch of 
A careless creator, scattering the beach
With a mess of glass and dislodged cogs

In some places, like the sands on Golden Cap
The ground gives way
The time-keeper loses track
The pendulum snaps. Just as the scientists’ scalpel slices into the belly, inside we find
The past, long gone from life.
But still,
She knows, and helps the old bones.
She scratches free the ancient giants forged in stone

With a bronze claw she picks
Her way over Lyme and Blue Lias by the shore,
For imprinted pebbles and vertebrae dredged by the rift Of the Earth as it hurls itself into
The drift of its’ sea.
She gathers the pieces to give to the men, always men
Who devise strange ways they are to be named Stripped and sanitised by cold hands
Then caged in glass cases, tamed

She felt the doors shut.
This Sand and salt stained woman has nothing
In the fickle female brain to offer
The marble wrought museums and precise minds of the stronger sex.
They turned the lock
And held her always apart from those worthy of learning, but,
The wheel of science did not stop
To stand beside her on the cliff

It did not know

How to feel old bones stir and reach
Out through all time from
So close within the rock below.

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Coach Trip to Salisbury Cathedral

Tuesday 16th June, leaving from Holmbush Car Park at 9.00am. See the best original copy of the Magna Carta, tour the Cathedral and visit Mompesson House. Organised by the Friends of the Lyme Regis Museum.

Facts about Fossils

A talk by Museum Learning Officer, Chris Andrew, at 2.30 pm on Saturday 27th June.

Exhibition: NightLyme

International fashion photographer Joe Boggon also takes very interesting exposures of Lyme Bay at night. Come along to the Rotunda Gallery before 28th June to see his exhibition.

Walks

The full range of guided walks is on offer this month:

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Next weekend, 23-24 May, Lyme Regis Museum celebrates Mary Anning Weekend , with free entrance to the museum on Saturday 23rd and fossil polishing on the terrace on both days between 10 am and 4 pm.

Other activities:

  • Natalie Manifold will give an illustrated talk on Mary Anning in the museum at 3.15 on Sat 23rd.
  • Angharad Strillozzi will run a “Brickosaur” children’s activity in the community room above the Town mill gallery on Sat.23rd, from 10.30 to 12 and again from 2 to 4 pm.
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LYME REGIS MUSEUM DOES FOSSIL FEST

The Museum has lots of exciting activities and exhibits for Fossil Fest on 1-3rd May.

All day in the Marquee on the beach, our team will be providing fossil polishing; ammonites can be purchased at pocket-money prices; you will be shown how to prepare your fossil for its final glossy finish. They make memorable souvenirs of the festival..and good presents!

Alongside the Fossil Polishing will be our Pop-Up shop selling a range of products including our new “goodie”, or lucky-dip bags. On sale too will be copies of Simon Winchester’s book, “The Map that Changed the World”, at a special reduced price.

On Saturday and Sunday, 2nd and 3rd May, there will be free entrance to the Museum.

Special Exhibitions

  • A range of interesting new fossils on loan from Dorchester County Museum
  • An original first edition of William Smith’s “Map that Changed the World”, which first charted the geology of Britain

Talks

At 2.30p.m. on Saturday and Sunday Professor Tom Sharpe, recently retired from Cardiff University, will give a talk about the “Map that Changed the World” in the Museum. He and other geologists such as Chris Andrew and Ben Brooks will be around during both days to answer questions and tell you about it and about the fossil display.

THE REST OF THE MONTH

Facts about Fossils

A talk by Museum Learning Officer, Chris Andrew, at 2.30 pm on Saturday 16th May and Saturday 30th May.

Ongoing Exhibition: NightLyme

International fashion photographer Joe Boggon also takes very interesting exposures of Lyme Bay at night. Come along to the Rotunda Gallery between 1st April and 28th June to see his exhibition.

Walks

The full range of guided walks is on offer this month:

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Lyme's Battle with the Sea

The web-site now contains two extensive articles about the Town's sea defences by Museum researcher, Richard Bull.

Click here to read the articles.

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The summer season has started at Lyme Regis Museum with opening hours 10.00 a.m. till 5.00 p.m Mondays to Saturdays and 11.00 a.m.till 5.00 p.m on Sundays. April sees a new exhibition in the Rotunda and a cake and home produce stall from the new "Help us Grow" group. More events are planned for the rest of the season, with learning officer Chris Andrew giving regular "Know Your Fossils" talks in the museum on many Saturdays. It promises to be a busy and exciting summer at Lyme Regis Museum!

Cake & Goodies Sale

Wednesday 8th April from 10.30am at the Museum, in aid of the new Mary Anning Wing.

Dinosaurs of Crystal Palace Park

Thursday 16th April in Woodmead Hall at 2.30pm. A talk by Professor Joe Cain. Thirty statues were created by Benjamin Hawkins for the 1854 park. We’ll explore the struggle to design and create these first ever life-sized models and their conservation today.

Lyme Regis Philpot Museum – Then, now and future

Tuesday 28th April in Woodmead Hall at 2.30pm. A presentation by Museum Director David Tucker, organised jointly with the Lyme Regis Society.

Exhibition: NightLyme

International fashion photographer Joe Boggon also takes very interesting exposures of Lyme Bay at night. Come along to the Rotunda Gallery between 1st April and 28th June to see his exhibition.

Walks

The full range of guided walks is on offer this month:

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Early Lyme Regis

We now have an article about the very early settlements around Lyme. Click here to read it.

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Lyme Regis Museum wants to hear what the people of Lyme think about its plans to extend the museum through the creation of the Mary Anning Wing.

Director David Tucker said “As many people know, the museum has been working on a plan to extend the museum for several years. We are making excellent progress and have over £1,000,000 pledged and have very significant support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. We now want to give the people of Lyme a chance to see our plans”.

Consultations are being held at the Woodmead Hall between 2 pm and 5 pm on Tuesday March 31st. David added “I’ll be there to meet local people, as will our architect Robert Battersby and other members of the museum trust.”

The Mary Anning Wing is intended to bring the museum building up to modern standards by providing a new Learning Space for schools, universities and community groups, public toilets as well as a lift, a larger shop and a re-designed fossil gallery.

Over the years we’ve consulted many museum visitors and not surprisingly as interested as they are with the town’s wonderful history, they also want us to have basic facilities. Our spiral staircase might be lovely, but it isn’t easy for people with mobility challenges to climb and currently, we are sending even very young children across a busy road to use the public loos. As we get 25,000 visitors a year and are the most popular Dorset museum for schools not having these things makes life very difficult.”, added David.

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Sea Defences - The Cobb breakwater

Our web-site now contains an article giving an extensive history of the Cobb breakwater.

Click here to read Richard Bull's article.

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New in the Museum: Novelty Postcards

As pictured above, Lyme Regis Museum has a new exhibit of Novelty Postcards on show! This features a number of novelty cards of Lyme, taken from a collection recently given by the Friends of the Museum. It will remain on display until mid May.

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Vile Ministers and Poor Silly Creatures

Thursday 5th March in Woodmead Hall at 2.30pm. A talk by Bruce Upton. Stories from Dorset in the Civil War, some tragic, some comic, all happening in the mid 1600s.

Robert Hildyard - Lord of Catherstone Manor

Tuesday 31st March in Woodmead Hall at 2.30pm. A presentation by Mike Seaman, organised jointly with the Lyme Regis Society.

Exhibition: Serendipity

On display in the Rotunda Gallery at Lyme Regis Museum until 31st March 2015, an exhibition of items from the Reserve Collections chosen by the Curatorial and Research Teams for your enjoyment, with a few things loaned by our friends.

Walks

The first rockpooling walk of the year will take place on Thursday 12th March at 2.20 pm, in addition to the full schedule of other walks:

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Newly found Ichthyosaur named after Mary Anning

A fossil ichthyosaur that was discovered on the Dorset coast in the 1980s has been discovered to be a totally new species. What's more, it has been named Ichthyosaurus anningae after Lyme's famous fossil hunter, Mary Anning. To read more about the ichthyosaur and to watch a video click on this link.

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Family Fun Day - February half-term 2015

Have great fun making a Pasta-saurus between 11am and 3pm on Thursday 19th February.

Everything is free all day!

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EVENTS: Coming up in February

Thomas Hawkins and his Sea Dragons – a mad, bad, fossil collector?

Thursday 5th February in Woodmead Hall at 2.30pm. A talk by Stephen Locke. Hawkins was a highly successful and in every way extraordinary, notorious and obsessive early collector of ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. A contemporary of Mary Anning but a very different character!

Lyme through the year – a photographer’s view

Tuesday 24th February in Woodmead Hall at 2.30pm. A presentation by Peter Wiles, organised jointly with the Lyme Regis Society.

Exhibition: Serendipity

On display in the Rotunda Gallery at Lyme Regis Museum until 31st March 2015, an exhibition of items from the Reserve Collections chosen by the Curatorial and Research Teams for your enjoyment, with a few things loaned by our friends.

Walks

The rockpooling and Lyme History walks will return in March, but February has plenty of fossil-related walks on offer:

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New Exhibition: Serendipity

From 14th January, there will be a new exhibition in the Rotunda Gallery at Lyme Regis Museum. It is a “lucky-dip“ of pictures and objects from our reserve collections, chosen and put together by the Curatorial and research teams at the Museum.

Works by Richard Eurich and other Lyme painters will be shown, together with items from the Museum’s John Fowles collection of New Hall fine porcelain made around 1790-1810. Other curious but more everyday pottery will be shown alongside.

If you have wondered what the museum has tucked away in reserve, this is a chance to view some of our treasures. The exhibition will run until 31st March. Opening hours are 11 a.m to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday during this winter period.

Pictured above: "The Pink House" by Richard Eurich, OBE, RA (1903–1992). Oil on canvas, 1933. Specially loaned for this exhibition by Ronald Severs.

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A shell-crushing Jurassic fish

One of the many impressive fossils on display in Lyme Regis Museum is that of a Jurassic fish known as Dapedium. This was first discovered by Lyme's pioneering  fossil collector Mary Anning in the nineteenth century, but one of its secrets has only just been uncovered by an undergraduate student at Bristol University. In a groundbreaking paper in the prestigious journal Palaeontology, Fiann Smithwick has reconstructed the feeding behaviour of this extraordinary ancient fish - showing how it used its powerful jaws to crush the hard shells of its prey.

As part of his research project, Fiann studied the specimen in Lyme Regis museum and worked closely with the museum's geologist Paddy Howe. For further information about Fiann's work, see the University of Bristol website.

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There is still time to catch the Sydney Jessett exhibition in the Rotunda Gallery, which has been extended into the first few days of January. But the last day will be Sunday 4th January!

A new exhibition should be opening soon - watch this space!

Even though it's the middle of winter, there are still plenty of Fossil walks on offer - every day from 2nd to 11th January, and again from 18th to 26th!

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The Conservation of Seaside Towns

Tuesday 9th December at Woodmead Halls - 2.30pm. An illustrated talk by Peter Coe of The Lyme Regis Society. Organised jointly with The Lyme Regis Society.

Know your Fossils

Saturday 27th December at 2.30pm. A talk and hands-on experience of local fossils with the Museum's geologists.

Exhibitions

The Sydney Jessett exhibition in the Rotunda Gallery closes on 1st December 2014. but you can still read about it on the Exhibitions page, as well as any news of forthcoming exhibitions.

Walks

The rockpooling and Lyme History walks have now finished for the winter, but there are still plenty of fossil-related walks on offer this month:

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