12 Sept 2021 Speech by the Mayor after the Sail Past
“100 years – what an achievement – for any club, but particularly one of such humble beginning that has grown to become a significant part of the vibrancy of the Cobb and an important element of what comes to represent Lyme Regis.
– Quite novel at the time and completely in tune with the present – the club has survived a 100-year period of huge social history and is as active as ever – in fact it’s grown to be a huge part of the life of the harbour; the outlook is very good and its youth section is a sign of the health and future of the club.
I read with interest, the club’s commemorative booklet – ‘The First 100 years’ – which opens in its forward by saying: “The club would not have survived without the many unnamed people who have served on the committee or undertaken considerable work entirely voluntarily over long periods simply because of their love of the club and the activities of sailing.” …..How very true…. and from origin to the present, it has been shaped and influenced by the input of particular individuals and families, and the enthusiasm, energy and commitment they and the members have given towards the sport and the social side of the club. – I still can’t get my head round how cheap the subs were in the early days… and the description the booklet gives to how little the club had and managed to do at its Cobb clubhouse with so little means, – all I guess down to the ingenuity of those with an early passion for sailing and their want to create a sailing club in this very special setting…
We’re all encouraged to exercise and get out in the fresh air. – You don’t need me to tell you how sailing fits the bill very well for both physical and mental well-being… And the sailing club also contributes to the town’s economic health – it’s an important part of the life of the Cobb and its part in the visitor offering that draws people to Lyme as a destination of choice. – There’s no better sight than the launching activity around the cobb and the colour of sails out in the bay…. So, whether sailing or simply watching and relaxing – there’s a real benefit to be had that anyone can get from it.
As I said when invited to your evening in August, – the craft of today are all so very different with today’s modern materials and kit, – high tech design, light and fast – a far cry from the craft 100 years ago – wooden, heavy and high maintenance. – Yet boats of the time would turn heads today – such is the fundamental enduring interest in sail and sea where control of the wind over the water remains the basic aim and skill, and is just as exhilarating.
Wood may have given way to fibreglass, – canvass and rope to polyester – and physical sightings to GPS – but the fundamental challenge of the elements is still there and part of the same compelling interest and satisfaction that drove the founding members of the club.
An ageless pursuit as much, and even more of today as it was 100 years ago.
Congratulations Lyme Regis sailing club and all who commit to it being a successful club of the present and future. Very well done and continued ‘fair wind’..
All the best.