LYME Regis came alive with memories of the great siege of 1664 on Saturday, as the town celebrated 363 years since the end of the conflict.

The event celebrates the end of the six-week siege, when men and women successfully defended their town against the Royalist Army and Prince Maurice during the English Civil War.

A Parliamentary decree that Lyme should stage a day of thanksgiving was revived last year by Lyme Regis Regatta and Carnival Committee, who also organised this year's day of commemoration.

Committee chairman Alan Vian said the day was one to remember. "It went very well indeed," he said.

"The Taunton Garrison made a splendid procession down the main street of Lyme Regis. The town really came alive, as it would have been in the civil war."

In her speech, deputy mayor Barbara Austin praised the strength of the townspeople in 1664, but said that spirit still remained today.

She said: "The spirit they showed during the English Civil War when this town was besieged by forces who sought to overthrow their resolve. They stood firm.

"They resisted all that was thrown at them - missiles of fire which set their houses alight, cannon fire and frequent attacks by the besieging army.

"They stood firm because they believed in their town and their cause. Men women and children together enduring hardship.

"Today we still have the same spirit in this special town.

"People who were born here work with those who have chosen to live here to make Lyme Regis a great place to live and to visit.

"Today we can celebrate that after all the work of the last few years we have a town which is once more at peace. A town that looks forward to the future whilst celebrating its past."

Members of the Lyme Youth Theatre entertained crowds and added to the air of authenticity.

Mr Vian said: "They dressed up and became the crowds and townspeople cheering and shouting, encouraging the soldiers as they would have done in 1664.

"The regatta and carnival committee are very grateful to them for taking part. We were excited by their enthusiasm and participation."

Coun Austin thanked the committee and their chairman Teresa Evemy for reviving the June 16 celebration.

"Thanks to all who have made today possible," she said.