Mackenzie Dewar Gibb receiving his prize from David Cox, chairman of the Friends of Lyme Regis Museum

Friends of the Museum Bursary Award Video 2022

Posted on: 6th July 2022

The Lyme Regis Museum has been celebrating its centenary. As part of this The Friends of the Museum set up a bursary for sixth form students from Woodroffe School. The bursary was to support these students while they researched and reported a project based on the Museum. At the end residual money would be used to give a prize for the project.

Mackenzie Dewar Gibb took the challenge. He explored the Museum, talked to volunteers including the curator, and found information and images to produce a video on the history of Lyme Regis.

Mackenzie showed the story from the initial small village of fishermen, farmers and salt producers, which changed when the Cobb was built. The new harbour allowed goods to be moved in and out of England, this port became the fourth biggest port in the country, and with that Lyme became rich. It wasn’t to last, cargo ships got bigger and the harbour was too small. Lyme was poor again.

A second chance came in the eighteenth century as the well to do of Britain were persuaded that to drink or bathe in sea water improved health, as did walking in the clean air of the seaside. A wealthy man called Thomas Hollis saw the potential of Lyme and improved it, buying up and knocking down slums before building the Assembly Rooms essential for fashionable Georgian towns. He also improved the hotels and built the walk along the sea front. He brought his important London friends to the town and with that came money. Alongside this were the new discoveries of palaeontology which brought curious visitors and scientists. Lyme lived again, as a pleasant town and a holiday destination.

Mackenzie’s video goes on to show why Lyme is still, in 2022, a desirable place to live or spend your holidays.

The Friends of the Museum are a Trust set up to support the Museum. Some of the members work as volunteers with visitors, curate the exhibits, or research into local history. The Friends have paid for improvements in the building, supported the Learning Facilitator and have been involved in the restoration of the Mary Anning portrait lent to the Museum by the Geology Society which can be seen, during the summer months of 2022, in the Palaeontology Gallery. The Friends are always looking for new members .

The photo shows Mackenzie Dewar Gibb receiving his prize from David Cox, chairman of the Friends of Lyme Regis Museum.