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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Curator’s Newsletter September 2011

From Mary Godwin, Curator of Lyme Regis Museum:

It’s been our busiest August ever, with over 8,091 visitors
(5,552 in 2010)!

And so far it’s also been our busiest year ever overall, with
23,462 visitors to the end of August compared to 18,681
last year. The August numbers were boosted by our fossil
fun days, which attracted up to 900 people to experience
Chris, Paddy and Brandon Lennon doing exciting things
with fossils. These days have been massively successful
with the star attraction being the cutting and polishing of
ammonites which had people queuing up all day. We hope
to be able to do more of these days in future.
Local fossil expert Brandon Lennon with visitors during one of the
museum’s Family Fossil Days

Let there be Lights!
The museum will be closed from the 14th to 27th
November for the installation of new lighting, general
decorating and end-of-season repairs. Closing the
museum is a radical move but the electrical work isn’t
compatible with having visitor in the building and as this
is one of the quietest times of year hopefully not too many
people will turn up and be disappointed. Please do spread
the word as far as possible.

The Friends and I are still actively fundraising for the
lights and we still need £5,000 in order to be able to do
the whole museum. If anyone would like to assist us by
grateful! Each LED museum spotlight fitting costs £200
and we can have multiple sponsors for each light, so all
donations of whatever size will be very, very welcome!

History of Sport Researcher Still Needed
I’m still keen that we mount a History of Sport in Lyme Regis
exhibition in 2012 but so far we don’t have anyone who
has offered to do the research. If anyone might be
interested in taking this on please do get in touch.

Mary Anning Day Tickets Still available
Tickets are still available for Mary Anning Day on 24th
September. Our theme this year is ‘200 Years of
Discovery’ to tie in with the Anning’s discovery of the
great ichthyosaur skull in 1811. Once again we have a full
programme of talks and activities for all the family. Come
and get your tickets from the museum.

The Lymiad Published
We have just published a fascinating book entitled The
Lymiad, the original manuscript of which we have on
display in the museum. Written anonymously during the
autumn of 1818, The Lymiad describes social life in Lyme
Regis in the time of Jane Austen and Mary Anning. It is
composed in the form of letters from a young lady visiting
Lyme to her cousin in Bath and casts a gentle but satirical
eye on the inhabitants of the town, Lyme’s bloody history
and the troubled political times of the early 1800s.
During the 1980s John Fowles made a transcript of the
poem and he always hoped that it could be published.
Now, after many
years, this has
finally happened
and it is dedicated
to his memory.
The publication
has been made
possible by the
dedicated work of
John Constable
and grants from
the John Paul
Getty Junior
Charitable Trust,
the Marc Fitch
Fund and many
subscriptions from museum Friends and volunteers and
people from as far afield as the USA and Australia.
Copies are now available from the museum.

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