Work on storm-damaged Cobb nears completion

Work on storm-damaged landmark nears completion

VITAL: Deputy harbourmaster Mike Higgs

INTRICATE RESTORATION: Lyme’s Cobb had been battered by Mother Nature earlier this year

First published in News by , Reporter

THE end is in sight for repairs to the historic Cobb following damage from severe storms that lashed the county at the start of the year.

Beaches in Lyme Regis had been strewn with washed up litter and trees, with some trees measuring up to 30 feet.

The Cobb and Grade II-listed buildings on the Cobb Pier were also damaged by harsh waves and powerful winds.

Back in May, teams from Western Power Distribution began work on behalf of West Dorset District Council (WDDC) to repair the mains power supply to the Cobb buildings and install ducts to allow pipe and cables to be replaced more easily in the future.

Workmen could be seen lifting large stones from the Cobb before using tracing paper and numbering each stone to ensure they are returned to the correct location.

Earlier this year, a WDDC spokesperson told The News that due to the nature of the job, it was difficult to say when the work will be completed.

But now the end is in sight for the repairs as a date for completion has been revealed.

The repair work has proved controversial, with some residents of Lyme questioning why it had to be done in the busy tourist season during the summer.

However, Lyme Regis deputy harbourmaster Mike Higgs described the work as ‘vital’ after the storms earlier this year.

He added: “The work is running to schedule and isn’t causing much disruption.

“In fact, many people are intrigued with the work because they have never seen a trench so big around the harbour. The work is a positive step for Lyme and, after the severe storms, it simply had to be done.”

Nick Browning, head of engineering projects at WDCC, said the storm damage repair work at the Cobb is going well and is due to be completed during October.

He added: “Because of the historic importance of the structures the work needs to be done very carefully, as far as practical using traditional lime mortars and re-fixing stone cobbles in their original positions.

“An archaeologist records what is uncovered in the excavations and a conservator advises on materials.

“The repairs need to be very durable to stand up to storms and are being used as trial areas for future repair and restoration work.”

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