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All the latest news from Lyme Regis Museum

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Just three weeks from now, over the weekend of May 3rd and 4th, Lyme's Fossil Fest returns with a new theme of “Citizens’ Science”. Lyme Regis Museum will be joining in the action by offering Free Admission to the building on Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th May where visitors will have a chance to view rare fossils on display and to learn about fossilised insects with our geological team. Enjoy the drop-in sessions too where you can observe micro-fossils through a microscope.

Then enjoy some Fossil Polishing in the Marquee, at pocket money prices.

Fossil Walks leave the museum at 12.30 on Friday 2nd, 1.00 on Saturday 3rd and 1.30 on Sunday 4th. These are popular and can be booked in advance through the Museum.

The Mary Anning Walk will be leaving the Museum at 1.30 on Saturday 3rd May and can also be booked in advance.

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Wednesday April 9th is free entry day at Lyme Regis Museum. Come and see our collections of fossils and local history. We have two special exhibitions on show too; “REPHOTOGRAPHY” by Woodroffe School’s sixth form photography students, on the ground floor, and, in the Rotunda, “Drawing Inspiration”, a display of local landscape pictures.

FOSSIL POLISHING

From 10.00 -5.00 there will be Fossil Polishing at pocket money prices on the museum terrace. Take home your own piece of the Jurassic Coast!

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There are three talks this month:

2.30pm Wednesday 2nd April in the Guildhall: "The Day the Earth Moved: The Great Landslip of 1839" – an illustrated talk by Professor Chris Paul as part of the Drawing Inspiration Project running all the way along the Jurassic Coast at this time (see also the current exhibition mentioned later).

2.30pm Thursday 3rd April at Woodmead Halls: "Hidden History: Slavery in Dorset" – an illustrated talk by Jane Ferentzi-Sheppards, organised by the Friends of Lyme Regis Museum. The talk is preceded by the Friends' AGM.

2.30pm Tuesday 29th April at Woodmead Halls: "High Cliff House and the Lister Family" – an illustrated talk by Richard Bull of Lyme Regis Museum. The Lister family were hugely important in the world of science and were the most well known residents of High Cliff House on Sidmouth Road but several other interesting people also lived there. The talk is organised jointly with The Lyme Regis Society and is preceded by the LRS AGM.

Also this month – Fossil Polishing on the Terrace, Wednesday 9th April. Buy a fossil at pocket money prices, polish it and take home a personalised souvenir. Free entry to the Museum!

There are two exhibitions in the Museum this month:

"Lyme Landscape: Outstanding in Natural Beauty" is a Drawing Inspiration exhibition by Lyme Regis Museum celebrating our local landscapes, from 2 April to 5 May.

"Rephotography" is an exhibition of photographs by Woodroffe School photography students inspired by photographs in Lyme Regis Museum, also from 2 April to 5 May.

This month also sees a full schedule of Fossil walks, Mary Anning walks, Lyme History Walks and Rockpooling walks.

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Next month will see a new exhibition at the Museum: "Lyme Landscape: Outstanding in Natural Beauty" – a Drawing Inspiration exhibition celebrating our local landscapes by Lyme Regis Museum. In the Rotunda Gallery from 2nd April to 5th May 2014.

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There are two talks this month:

2.30pm Thursday 6th March at Woodmead Halls: "The Wonders of Glass" – an illustrated talk by Alan Leadbetter on the history and uses of glass. Organized by the Friends of Lyme Regis Museum.

2.30pm Tuesday 25th March at Woodmead Halls: "Monique Bellingham - Lyme's Canadienne" – an illustrated talk by Keith Shaw of the Lyme Regis Society. Monique Bellingham, a descendent of one of the first French settlers in North America, lived in Lyme Regis for over 30 years from the mid 1820s until her death in 1856. How did this come about and what influence did she and her family have on the development of the town? Organized jointly with The Lyme Regis Society.

The current exhibition in the Museum's Rotunda Gallery is "Charm in Memento", presenting contemporary ceramics by Caroline Barnes. For news of forthcoming exhibitions, keep an eye on the Exhibitions page.

There are plenty of Fossil walks, Mary Anning walks and Lyme History Walks this month. There is also the first Rockpooling walk of the year, on Sunday 23rd March at 3 pm.

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There are two talks this month:

2.30pm Thursday 6th February at Woodmead Halls: A talk by Tony Smale entitled "The Code Breakers of Bletchley Park", giving a fascinating insight into this vital WWII story. Organized by the Friends of Lyme Regis Museum.

2.30pm Tuesday 25th February at Woodmead Halls: Will Best of Manor Farm, Godmanstone on the subject of "A balanced view of organic farming". Organized jointly with The Lyme Regis Society.

The current exhibition in the Museum's Rotunda Gallery is "Charm in Memento", presenting contemporary ceramics by Caroline Barnes. There are also regular Fossil walks and Mary Anning walks.

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The current exhibition in the Museum's Rotunda gallery is "Blurring the Boundaries": illustration and painting by Carolyn King – including the fun and factual book The Fish Lizard of Lyme.

There are also plenty of Fossil walks this month.

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The recent exhibition "From the archives : Lost Buildings of Lyme" proved so popular with visitors that we have decided to share some of the highlights with a wider audience by putting them on this website. You can find them in the Exhibitions section – a fascinating collection of artworks depicting buildings in the town which no longer exist.

The watercolour shown here, produced by Lady Pittar in 1891, depicts the old walls and the Guildhall – the Museum itself was yet to be built.

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The main event this month is a talk about the Town Mill restoration project by David West, who led the project in the 1990s. The talk will take place on Tuesday 10th December at Woodmead Halls, starting with refreshments at 2.30 pm (organised jointly with The Lyme Regis Society).

Even though it is the Winter season, there are plenty of guided walks throughout December:

Keep an eye on the Exhibitions page of the website for news of upcoming exhibitions.

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Slightly out of order, but the third instalment in the "People of Lyme" series is now available on the Research page. This one concerns Cyril Wanklyn (1864 – 1943), who shared the honorary curatorship of Lyme Regis Museum with Dr Vitruvius Wyatt Wingrave between 1927 and 1940. Wanklyn's magnum opus was his history of the town, the first edition of which was published in 1922.

For the full PDF of Richard Bull's paper on Cyril Wanklyn, click here. You may also be interested in the research paper on Wanklyn's Lyme Leaflets, by Thea Hawksworth.

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The latest research paper in the People of Lyme series has just been added to the Research section of the website – No.4: William Porter (1819-94). Porter was born and brought up in Lyme Regis, and lived here all his life. Working first in the coastguard service and as a fisherman, by 1851 he had become the Harbour Master. In 1868 he was appointed to manage the Lyme Regis Cement Works and the stone trade. He was also a staunch and zealous non-conformist who wrote poetry, built his own house and served as town councillor and alderman.

For the full PDF paper, click here.

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This month sees a talk on the subject of "Managing the Cerne Abbas Giant" by West Dorset Countryside Manager Robert Rhodes, who will describe the history of the giant and the management required to maintain such an iconic feature (organised by The Friends of Lyme Regis Museum).

There is also a wide selection of guided walks this month:

There are no more Rockpooling walks this year, but they will resume again in the Spring.

The current exhibition in the museum's Rotunda gallery is entitled "From the Archives: Lost Buildings of Lyme". Keep an eye on the Exhibitions page for news of future exhibitions.

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The next Family Fun Day at Lyme Regis Museum will be on Wednesday 30 October, from 11 am to 3pm – featuring Fossil Polishing on the Terrace, a talk on Fossils by Chris Andrew, and the opportunity to make Fossil and Dinosaur Christmas decorations! Entry is free for everyone!

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Starting today (4 October) until the end of November there is a temporary exhibition in the Museum's Rotunda gallery entitled 'From the Archives: Lost Buildings of Lyme’ – an exhibition of unseen artworks from the Lyme Regis Museum Collection.

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There are two talks this month:

  • Thursday 10th October at Woodmead Halls at 2.30pm: "All Boats Have a Story to Tell". A talk by Gail McGarva, Lyme's lerret and gig builder (organised by The Friends of Lyme Regis Museum)

  • Tuesday 22nd October at Woodmead Halls at 2.30pm: "The History and Operation of the Seaton Tramway". A talk by John Jeffrey of the Seaton Tramway Company (Jointly with The Lyme Regis Society)

There is also the usual selection of guided walks throughout October:

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As part of Lyme Regis ArtsFest, the Museum is joining with Lyme Regis Library to host an event on Monday 23 September called "Memories of Broad Street". This will be held from 2 to 5 pm in the Library, and will consist of an exhibition of artefacts, images and stories from the Museum archives relating to Broad Street through the decades (the accompanying photograph, just one of many in the exhibition, shows Broad Street in the middle of the 19th century).

Residents and visitors alike are invited to come along, meet Museum staff, and share your memories of Lyme’s historic main street over the decades. You are invited to join in by bringing along your own postcards, advertisements, newspaper clippings etc and to re:collect your memories. Admission is free and refreshments will be available.

To find out more about this year's ArtsFest, visit www.lymeregisartsfest.com

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There are two event this month jointly organised with the Lyme Regis Society: Heritage Open Days at the Guildhall on Thursday/Friday 12th/13th September, and a talk by Peter Lacey on "The Maritime History of Lyme Regis" at 2.30pm on Tuesday 24th at Woodmead Halls. For full details see the Events page.

There is also the usual selection of guided walks this month:

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The website's longstanding "Writers and Artists" page has been given a bit of an overhaul, with a new title – Lyme's Literary and Artistic Connections – and more pictures and information than before on the wide range of writers and artists connected to the town... from Jane Austen and J.M.W. Turner to J.R.R. Tolkien, Colin Dexter and Tracy Chevalier. There's also a new addition to the list – the London-based artist Zdzisław Ruszkowski (1907 - 1991), who had a second home in Lyme Regis and often painted views the town – including this picture from 1977 of Autumn in Lyme Regis.

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There are plenty of fossil-related events this month, with fossil polishing days on Saturday 3rd, Wednesday 14th and Tuesday 27th, and "Facts on Fossils" on Thursday 15th, Saturday 17th and Friday 30th.  For full details see the Events page.

There is also a wide selection of guided walks this month:

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A new exhibition from the Artsfest re-collection project inspired by the Museum's collections.

The Catch by Sarah Thomas is in the Rotunda Gallery from 18th July to 8th September 2013.

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