Category Archives: Uncategorized

Belmont Public Open Days

The restoration of Belmont by the Landmark Trust is nearly complete and, in line with their promise when they applied for Planning Permission/Listed Building Consent, the Trust will be opening the house to the public. The Society has been involved in discussions with the Landmark Trust on the restoration of Belmont for several years and has fully supported what they plan to put in place. Now is an ideal opportunity to judge if we were right.
The restored frontage is above and details of the opening times are below.
Belmont Public Open Days: Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September 2015 – 10am to 4pm
No booking required.

Heritage Matters Competition

For more information click here to go to our Heritage Matters page.

Another chance to see …..

On Friday 27th March, Keith Shaw will present his illustrated talk, “Monique Bellingham – Lyme’s Canadienne” to the Charmouth History Society.

If you missed this talk last year then come along to The Elms on The Street, Charmouth at 7pm to hear the fascinating story of this French Canadian who came to Lyme in the 1820s with her four beautiful Irish daughters and lived here until her death in 1856.

This time, the talk will include more about Monique’s daughter Henrietta (above) and her children who lived in Charmouth for some years.

Lyme through the year – a photographer’s view

On Tuesday 24th February, well respected local photographer Peter Wiles will give a presentation of his photographs depicting Lyme during the different seasons and the varying weather we all know so well. The presentation will, as usual, be at Woodmead Hall and start at 2.30pm.

Entry costs £1.50 including refreshments and everyone is welcome.

Attendees will also be able to purchase some of Peter’s cards and his 2015 calendar at reduced price. The Society’s new booklet, Historic Houses of Lyme Regis Part 3 will also be available for purchase at member’s prices.

Coffee Morning at the Alexandra Hotel

Anyone who has an interest in the natural and architectural heritage of Lyme Regis may well be interested in coming to the Society’s annual Coffee Morning at the Alexandra Hotel on Friday 30th January.  The event starts at 10.30 am and is your chance to meet the Society’s committee, to see our publications and to talk to other members.

Everyone is welcome and admission is by donation with free coffee and biscuits or you can buy a home-made should you wish.


Since posting our 4 April article below (“Whistler’s Wood”) it has been pointed out that the fourth paragraph was misleading. Although the WDDC Case Officer’s official Recommendation was for approval, at the 14 March meeting of the Development Control (Planning) Committee, Councillors were sufficiently concerned about objections raised, to defer a decision.

The Minutes of that meeting read:  “That the decision be deferred for a member only site visit and for further negotiation on the details of the proposed Section 106 Agreement which is to be brought back to a future meeting of the committee for consideration.”  (see )

There is still time to make any views you have known to the WDDC Planning Committee as they do not meet again until the 16th of May 2013.

Whistler’s Wood

Once again, at a very late stage in the planning process, Whistler’s Wood has hit the headlines.

In 2009 the owner of the copse, known as Whistler’s Wood, off Pound Street applied for planning permission for two “eco” houses. The Society, among many others, objected to the application and it was turned down by WDDC. The owner took his application to appeal and lost again.

In December 2012 the owner re-applied for planning permission including a detailed definition of a Trust that would be set up to maintain the woodland which would meet the planning inspector’s major objection. Once again we objected to this new application on the same grounds as to the previous one but also that the proposed Trust would only be practicable if WDDC seconded staff with appropriate expertise.

© Google Maps

The application went before the WDDC Planning Committee earlier this year and was recommended approval subject to the completion of legal agreements regarding the handing over of the woodland to a Trust to secure its future.

Despite this, Frances Whistler, a Society member and daughter of the former owner of the woodland, believes that public opinion may hold sway. She has organised an awareness raising gathering at “the green door” in Pound Street on Saturday 6th April at 3.00pm. She also believes that contacting Lyme’s WDDC representatives may help. If you would like more information contact her on

You, the readers of this post have ability to express whatever disquiet you may feel at this proposed development. The more voices that are heard the better.

A Community Land Trust for Lyme Regis

NB – Diary date
March 11th, 7.30pm
Woodmead Hall

For over five years the Society’s committee has actively supported efforts to get more affordable housing in the town. Efforts that have on most part been thwarted by both the lack of available building land within the Development Boundary and the rules for Rural Exception Sites for Affordable Housing not applying to Lyme because of the popukation limit.

Now, under the Coalition Government, things have changed. The population limit for Rural Exception Sites has increased to 5000 and the Community Right to Build has been introduced which means that if sufficient members of the community (and sufficient is a very high percentage) then the town can overrule the planners to gain planning permission for community needs such as housing.

Now would, therefore, seem the ideal time to start a Community Land Trust (CLT) in Lyme. This will allow land and property such as affordable housing to be owned by the community and to be kept as affordable housing in perpetuity – No more sell offs!!

The merry band pictured above have been investigating how a CLT should be set up in the town and will report back at a Public Meeting in Woodmead Hall on Monday 11th March at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome to come along, listen to the proposals and give their support. The more the merrier!!

The Society’s Committee believes that the town needs affordable housing for our young workforce to ensure that Lyme remains the vibrant place that we all know and love.

Please come along to support this venture if you can.

Smell the coffee!

And a wonderful time was had by all, as you can see from the pictures. Forty attendees, lovely coffee and cake (well we would say that…)



Three new members joined the Society on the day with several more showing interest.

Thanks to the View from Lyme Regis for the photographs.


Smell the coffee and talk the talk. Everyone is welcome to the Society’s annual Coffee Morning at the Alexandra Hotel. Enjoy wonderful coastal views, coffee and cake.

Come along and discuss important issues about Lyme’s development or just the weather. We’d love to see you there.


10.30 till 12noon on Friday 25th January in the Alexandra Hotel’s beautiful restaurant. Entry by donation with free coffee and biscuit.

West Country Sailcloth – The Flax Industry in South East Somerset

For centuries in the past, the building of sailing ships was an important industry for Lyme Regis with Henry Chard and John Mansfield amongst the well-known ship-building names of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Earlier, Lyme built several of the ships that fought the Spanish Armada. We can well imagine where the wood for ship building came from and it is well known that Bridport was central in rope making but from where was the cloth for the sails sourced?

On Tuesday 11th December at Woodmead Hall, Tony Brook will give a talk entitled “West Country Sailcloth – The Flax Industry in South Somerset” which will describe one such possible source.

The Picture above shows a typical Somerset flax mill.

The talk has been jointly organised with Lyme Regis Museum and will start at 2.30pm. The entrance charge will be £1.50 which will include refreshments.