New Lyme Regis Easter Bonnet parade cup will pay tribute to Barbara Austin (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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New Lyme Regis Easter Bonnet parade cup will pay tribute to Barbara Austin
A NEW cup will be presented at this year’s Lyme Regis Easter Bonnet Parade in memory of former mayor Barbara Austin.
Mrs Austin, who died in January, founded the popular event 15 years ago and headed the organising committee for the Easter Sunday event.
Lyme Regis Regatta and Carnival has stepped in to organise the parade on March 31, which will pay special tribute to Mrs Austin.
As well as the usual awards in various categories, a new cup called the Lyme Regis Easter Cup 2013 will be presented to the group with the best bonnets in honour of Mrs Austin.
The Treetops Cup, which is awarded annually to the best overall entry, will also be presented this year in her memory.
Alan Vian, secretary of the Regatta and Carnival Committee, said: “Because Barbara always liked to see families and groups take part, in her honour we are doing a new cup for the best group.
“This is a new cup, it is inspired by Barbara because she loved it when families took part together. This is a special section to encourage people to do that.”
Mr Vian said it was important that the Easter Bonnet Parade should continue as Mrs Austin would have wanted.
“The Regatta and Carnival Committee has been involved with it for the last few years, and particularly my wife Lynne and I have been involved with Barbara and Judith Pothecary, who sponsors all the prizes,” he said.
“We were keen to make it carry on and continue the tradition that Barbara started years ago.
“She had such an impact on Lyme Regis as a whole and it’s so important we are true to her memory and the commitment she had to make this event happen.
“So many people had so much enjoyment from what she did, she was one of those people that made things happen.”
Last year’s event attracted record entrants and the organisers expect it to be just as popular this year.
Mr Vian said: “It’s an amazing event, people come from a very long way for it. It’s lovely that some people come on holiday and bring their Easter bonnets with them.”
Judging of the bonnets will take place at 2pm at the Baptist Church and the parade will leave there at 3pm and head down Broad Street.
Mr Vian has also revealed that plans are already in place for the Christmas lights display to honour Mrs Austin, who was chairman and secretary of the Christmas Lights Committee.
Christine Lovell has now taken over as chairman to organise the switch on and lantern parade, which will be on November 30.
Mr Vian said: “We are looking to have a special set of lights and part of those lights will be dedicated to Barbara and will reflect her input into that particular event.”