Mary Anning’s spirit returns to Lyme Regis
The most varied and eventful summer season in Lyme Regis has been framed by Mary Anning, the great fossil hunter.
The season began with the Fossil Festival and draws to a temporary close with the Mary Anning weekend on 29th & 30th of September.
Arranged by the Lyme Regis Museum, two action-packed days of fossil facts and fun activities will celebrate the significance of Lyme Regis as the birthplace of palaeontology. There’s something for everyone - young and old, the doers and the thinkers - and for those who both think and do!
On Saturday the Marine Theatre will host a series of fascinating talks by experts in their fields - people you’d be unlikely to find gathering together in a small seaside town were it not for Lyme’s continuing reputation as a great place to learn about geology and the knowledge revealed by the fossil record along the Jurassic Coast.
Stefanie Klug of the University of Bristol will be uncovering the secrets of Jurassic sharks, and Matt Friedman of the University of Oxford will tell the story of the coelacanth fish, a living fossil thought to have become extinct 65 million years ago but rediscovered in 1938 still swimming the earth’s oceans.
Lyme’s own Richard Edmonds, Earth Science Manager for the Jurassic Coast, will explain why our coast is so important, and Tom Sharpe of the National Museum of Wales will bring to life the story of the Philpot sisters, important fossil collectors in Lyme at the time of Mary Anning. A highlight of the weekend will surely be Sir Crispin Tickell, environmentalist and expert on global climate change, tackling the subject of the human future.
Museum admission will be free all weekend. Here is a rare opportunity to see an exhibition of local fossil fish, including the Philpot sisters’ collection on loan from Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Especially for children there will be ammonite polishing activities and the chance to join in making a giant fossil fish with artist Darrell Wakelam.
The museum’s geologists Paddy Howe and Chris Andrew will be conducting fossil hunting walks, historian Daphne Baker will present an insight into the life of Mary Anning, and Natalie Manifold will take groups on guided walks of the town as Mary knew it.
So late September visitors staying in Lyme Regis accommodation have a feast in store - a beautiful autumn weekend (surely?) with a full programme of extra-special events. What more could one ask?
To book talks or walks telephone the museum on 01297 443370 or email .
Published on 20/09/2012.