Prizes for Heritage Matters, the arts competition organised by the Society and sponsored by it, Lyme Regis Museum and the Town Mill, were presented on Saturday the 19th September at the Jubilee Pavilion. Scores of entries were received from pupils at Woodroffe School, St Michael’s Primary School and Mrs. Ethelston’s School and we believe that the competition really succeeded in raising the profile of the town’s heritage amongst its young people.
The Jubilee Pavilion will have an exhibition of the three first prize winners (one from each school) and those entries which were “Highly Commended” for the remainder of ArtsFest. All the other entries are on show at The Hub in Church Street.
The best overall entry was awarded the Ron and Norah Driver Youth Heritage Prize by the Society. This went to Polly Howarth Yates of Woodroffe School (shown left with her mixed media composition). Polly’s concept was that a town’s heritage is shown in what is thrown away. Her picture shows the huge Black Ven landslip of 2008 which brought down some of the contents of the old rubbish dump. Polly used small items from the dump mixed with pictures from the town’s history (e.g. Mary Anning, John Fowles, Thomas Coram) to form the landslip in her picture which was created on an old woodedn panel on which she had transcribed the history of the dump. Great concept and wonderful execution. It is hoped that, following its display during ArtsFest, Polly’s work will be on display for a while in the Museum.
Another great concept came from Lila and Evelyn Churchill of Mrs Ehelston’s School who won the first prize there. Their Belmont House was a painted box (right) and the inside of the box was decorated with extract of information about John Fowles life and works together with information written in their own hands about their great-great grandfather who was John Fowles’ gardener in the later years of his life.
The first prize winner for St Michael’s School was Lucy Waplington with a painting of the Cobb (left).
A visitor to the Museum on Saturday announced that there was anew piece of Banksy graffiti art in Lyme Regis! It didn’t take long to find out that it is a tasteful picture of an origami wading bird with fish in beak and is located by the river where Coombe Street meets Mill Green. A picture is given below but it really requires a visit to see it in situ.
Here we have an interesting conundrum. We celebrate Lyme’s connection to art both old and new but does graffiti art fit into a conservation area? If you have any thoughts then please comment below.
Laurence Whistler, the glass engraver lived in Lyme and was a committee member of the Lyme Regis Society for many years. This is common knowledge but what his engraving was like and where to view examples is less well known.
The church of St. Nicholas at Moreton which is a few miles east of Dorchester, was bombed during WWII. Strange but its juxtaposition to Bovington Camp might well explain it. After the war it was rebuilt, the windows were glazed with plain glass and, over a period of thirty years, Whistler engraved them.
The effect is stunning. By day, the beautiful countryside is seen through the engravings whilst at night, the engravings are set of against a black canvas.
The first three pictures show the daytime effect. The final picture is taken from the Laurence Whistler board in Lyme Regis Museum and shows the night time effect.
Moreton is well worth a visit. You will also be able to see the grave of T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) who died in a motor-cycle accident on his way from Bovington Camp to his home at Clouds Hill. The grave is in the local cemetry not the churchyard but it is quite close. Clouds Hill, owned by the National Trust, is a good country walk from Moreton.
Lawrence also has a distant connection to Lyme Regis but that is another story.