Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Lyme Regis Fossil Festival: The Preparations

Several people (TetZoo, NHM) have already blogged about the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and how great it is. Instead of doing it again here are some things that had been occurring before and during but out of the public eye, mainly relating to the work of the official friends of the Fossil Festival: The Buckland Club.

For the second year running the Festival has had WiFi internet available in the marquee and around the Marine Theatre and the Cobb Centre. Last year we were fortunate to have Pao and Victor from the Quick Mesh Project in Barcelona to help. This time it was just me and Sam Bennet. The first full day of our holiday was spent wiring up the nodes to test them in the office of the Lyme Regis Development Trust, the second was spent with the ever helpful Chris (who had also taken a day off work) around the town - installing the nodes on buildings and inside the marquee and running ethernet cables through some troublesome runs. By lunchtime on day 2 everything was good to go.

Satellite Link
Eddie and Tony (media technicians at the NHM) setup a satellite link on the Cobb to beam back live video to the Nature Live events in the Attenborough Studio. This involved very quickly setting up some kit and a far greater amount of time hunting for the satellite with the satellite dish.

In this process there was a rather unfortunate exchange between Eddie and a seagull:

The Town Prepares
The event is celebrated by many places throughout the town. When in Lyme Regis we are all the adopted family of Rikey and Paddy. Rikey runs the famous Alice's Bear Shop, Paddy runs the infamous Fossil Workshop in its basement. For the festival weekend Paddy was allowed to have the window display.

Long lost potential relatives
The Festival is also a great time to meet friends old and new. After four years of nagging Richard Edmunds (Jurrasic Coast team / my Jurassic Dad) and I finally posed for a photograph together.

The Buckland Club contingent this year was a relatively small 14 requiring three properties in Lyme Regis organised by the legendary Jackie Skipper (plus the occassional sofa-surfer from Charmouth). The numbers were swollen on the Saturday and Sunday nights as we threw first a party then a BBQ for ourselves and a rather large number of people from the NHM and others associated with the Festival. We had our favourite party house named (at least by us) Cauli and Flowers after the fruit and vegetable shop that used to be below. No two rooms of the house are on the same level - making it resemble an Escher artwork.

The Cyclists
As if turning up to spend your holiday teaching people wasn't enough dedication Aoife and Sally decided to cycle to Lyme Regis from London (still time for a charitable donation here). There's more about their trip on Twitter at #london2lyme.