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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Banksy in Lyme Regis

At the beginning of April this new piece of street art was discovered in Lyme Regis, as was mentioned at the time on the Lyme Regis Society blog. It depicts an origami-style crane holding a goldfish in its beak, and is located by the river where Coombe Street meets Mill Green. It looks like the work of the world-famous Bristol based artist, Banksy.

Natalie Manifold now reports that the picture has been confirmed as a genuine Banksy! The photograph below is featured on the official Banksy website at

Friday, 25 May 2012

A moth evening in Lyme Regis

As part of the nationwide Museums at Night initiative on Friday 18 May, Lyme Regis Museum held its first moth evening! Dr Phil Sterling, Dorset County Council’s natural environment manager and ecologist, gave a talk at the museum, and then led over 30 people to a site off Charmouth Road, where mercury vapour lights had been set up by Alan Kennard and Marjorie Waters. Some 36 different species were seen over a two hour period. Pick of the catch was a Ruddy Carpet, a nationally scarce moth, but known to inhabit Lyme. A Cream Wave also stood out amongst the more common species such as Flame Shoulder, Hebrew Character, Scalloped Hazel, Green Carpet, Iron Prominent, Pale Tussock and Twenty-plume moth.

The left-hand picture below shows Phil Sterling identifying one the catch to members of the tour group. On the right can be seen two of the moths that were caught: the yellow one is a ‘Brimstone’ (Opisthograptis luteoilata) and the other specimen is a ‘Green Carpet’ (Colostygia pectinataria).

Saturday, 19 May 2012

New acquisitions

The photograph shows some of the new objects on display in Lyme Regis Museum. As well as objects found on the beach and old souvenirs of Lyme, there is the deckchair attendant's ticket machine and branding iron. Both objects were rescued from the Marine Parade shelters before the recent refurbishment work started.

The 'brand' on the branding iron reads LRTC, for Lyme Regis Town Council. It was used to mark deckchairs to deter people from walking off with them!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

New Museum Director

A new director has taken up his duties at Lyme Regis Museum. David Tucker arrives with the ambition that the museum should become to Lyme Regis what the Tate is to St Ives.

‘That means a bigger museum building’, he confirms, ‘And recognising our strengths – which are in palaeontology of course, but also our link with Mary Anning (it was on the site of her house that the museum was built), and in Lyme’s literary connections.

‘Immediately, I shall be building relationships with other Lyme organisations. For instance the Development Trust and its plan for a Jurassic Coast Studies Centre – the museum and such a development complement each other.’

David Tucker has 20 years’ museum experience, most recently as County Museums Adviser for Dorset, where his involvement was instrumental in acquiring important fossils for Jurassic Coast museums.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ammonite research

‘Epifaunal worm tubes on Lower Lias ammonites’ is the rather daunting title of a research paper published in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, which describes parasitic worms that can be seen on numerous fossil specimens in the Lyme Regis Museum’s collection. On the example shown here, the worm tube starts just above the point marked O in the ammonite’s umbilical seam, follows the umbilical seam for over half a whorl in the same direction as the ammonite growth, and then crosses the penultimate whorl where it is overgrown by the ammonite. It continues around the periphery of the ammonite and terminates well short of the ammonite aperture (the white bar indicates a scale of 5 mm).

You can read the full paper, with many more illustrations, on the Museum’s website.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Museum Events in May


SATURDAY and SUNDAY 5 and 6 May

Free entry to Museum - Download flyer
See superb fossils and William Buckland’s coprolite table. Discover the extraordinary story of Mary Anning and – this weekend only - see archives that shed light on the geologists she associated with courtesy of the Museum of Wales.

Ammonite Polishing: Polishing has never been this much fun! Turn your ammonite into the most glittery fossil of all time, with help from Paddy, Chris, Harry and Ben. Both days 10am-4pm in the marquee. Small charge for the ammonite.

Paint your own Fossil Plaster Cast: Make and take home – family fun activities with Phil Anslow. Both days 11am-3pm in the marquee. Small charge for materials.

Family Fossil Hunting Walk: SATURDAY 9.45am and SUNDAY 10.45am. Get hands-on on the Jurassic Coast with the Museum’s celebrity fossil hunters Paddy Howe and Chris Andrew. Educational and fun. Maximum of 15 people per guide. Walk takes 3 hours. To book – telephone 01297 443370 or email Adults £10, Children £5.  Meet at museum.

Mary Anning and her Geologist Friends: SATURDAY 11am and SUNDAY 3pm. Share the thoughts of the 19th-century gentlemen fossil hunters who became Mary Anning’s friends. Illustrated by archives from National Museum of Wales, Tom Sharpe talks about the unusual relationships between Mary Anning and Buckland, Conybeare and De la Beche. FREE - no booking required. Suitable for age 12 and above.  Venue: museum.

Dinner with Dr Buckland: SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 12noon. Nineteenth-century scientist-clergyman William Buckland boasted that he had eaten his way through the whole of animal creation. Neither sentimentality nor revulsion stopped him devouring slices of crocodile, hedgehogs, puppies and mice. Join him for dinner! Harry Ford plays Dr Buckland in a performance of William Plomer’s outrageous comic verse. FREE - no booking required.  Venue: museum.

Mary Anning Walk: SATURDAY 1.30pm. Explore the paths and streets of Old Lyme as Mary Anning knew them with guide Natalie Manifold. Walk takes about 1½ hours. To book – telephone 01297 443370 or email Adults £6, Children £3.  Meet at museum.

What Kept Ammonites Afloat? SATURDAY 3pm and SUNDAY 11am. Insight into the lifestyle of Lyme’s quintessential fossils; how they lived, were bitten and played host to hitch-hiking worm tubes! A reconstruction of the lifespan of an ammonite, by Prof Chris Paul. FREE - no booking required. Suitable for age 12 and above.  Venue: museum.



Come to Museums at Night, the annual after-hours celebration of the arts, culture and heritage at Lyme Regis Museum – free entry.

Hedge Britannia at 6.30pm: Author Hugh Barker talks about his enthusiasm for the hedgerows and hedges that shape our landscape and are among our most ancient monuments. From segregated fields and twisting hedgerows to hedge-laying champions and topiary-tenders – no aspect of the hedge world escapes him. Free. No booking required.

Drinks at 7.30pm: Refreshments and book signing by Hugh Barker.

Museums at Night Moth Ball at 8pm:
What do moths get up to at night? Find out during this evening with Dr Phil Sterling – a talk, followed at dusk by a walk to see the nightlife of the local moth world. We will walk to an area off Charmouth Road, Lyme Regis, to see what species are attracted to our lights, captured, identified then released. Dr Sterling is Dorset County Council’s natural environment manager and ecologist, also the county moth recorder. He will be assisted by entomologist Alan Kennard and museum zoologist Chris Andrew Free. Please make a booking for the Moth Ball to avoid disappointment – numbers are limited: telephone 01297 443370 or email Sensible shoes needed – and sequins if you would like!


E-mail to book your place...

Fossil Walks

  • Friday 4 May 2012 09.00
  • Saturday 5 May 2012 9.45
  • Sunday 6 May 2012 10.45
  • Monday 7 May 2012 11.30
  • Tuesday 8 May 2012 12.15
  • Friday 18 May 2012 09.00
  • Saturday 19 May 2012 09.30
  • Sunday 20 May 2012 10.15
  • Monday 21 May 2012 10.45
  • Tuesday 22 May 2012 11.15
  • Thursday 24 May 2012 12.30
  • Friday 25 May 2012 13.00
  • Saturday 26 May 2012 13.30

Mary Anning Walks
  • Saturday 5 May 2012 13.30
  • Sunday 13 May 2012 13.30
  • Saturday 19 May 2012 13.30
  • Saturday 26 May 2012 13.30
  • Sunday 27 May 2012 13.30

Rockpooling Walks
  • May 9 14.15
  • May 10 15.00
  • May 11 15.30
  • May 23 13.00
  • May 27 15.30