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Lyme Regis: Jurassic Earth Festival takes off
FAMILIES flew back 185 million years to the time of the dinosaurs when Jurassic Airlines took off from Lyme Regis.
They boarded the innovative flight simulator – decked out as an aircraft – after passing through passport control and a departure gate at ‘Lyme Regis International Airport’.
The Onboard: Jurassic Airlines ride was one of the main attractions as the Jurassic Coast Earth Festival opened on Friday, May 4 in time for the bank holiday weekend.
The seventh annual Lyme Regis Fossil Festival was also held on Saturday and Sunday while other attractions included Horace the Travelling Pliosaur Cinema, entertainment and performance art called Battle for the Winds.
Earth Festival spokesman Jill Newton said: “It all went tremendously well. We could have sold three times as many tickets for Onboard.
“It was a huge success. We had people of all ages, from very young to 89 years of age.”
Jill added: “The Fossil Festival attracted so many people.
“It was probably the best one so far.”
Jurassic Airlines was built in the Marine Parade Shelters and the Fossil Festival was based in a marquee on the beach nearby.
Pupils from St Michael’s Primary School were the first to fly on Jurassic Airlines’s maiden, 12-minute long flight.
The aircraft, a converted Boeing 737 seating 12 passengers, features footage and images of dinosaurs as well as a stewardess and commentary from the captain.
Jan, John and James Kennedy, of Charmouth, were among the first passengers on the first public trip.
John said: “It was quite enjoyable. I think children will enjoy it.”
James added: “I liked the spirit of it all.”
Onboard: Jurassic Airlines was the idea of Lyme’s Richard Hartnell.
Heathrow Airport marketing and insight director Nick Adderley also sent a good luck message and joked that he was disappointed they did not have a free slot for Jurassic Airlines.
Jurassic Airlines’s last day in Lyme Regis is Thursday, May 10 and it will be in Weymouth from July 26 to September 9.
Artist Sarah Butterworth led a team to create Horace the Pliosaur. The 35 feet long puppet has a cinema inside explaining more about the creature.
Jon Williams was with Laurie, 10, Simon, seven and Gabriel, three.
Laurie said: “It was good and not scary. I went inside and had a good look around.”
Dignitaries include Petya Totcharova, who is chief of the Europe and North America world heritage unit, Others on hand includes Jurassic Coast world heritage site manager Sam Rose, Jurassic Coast Earth director Candida Blaker and Lyme Regis Development Trust chief executive Marcus Dixon.
The Fossil Festival marquee was packed with stalls. The natural History Museum and Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre were among the stands.