AN historian is set to give the last in a popular series of talks spanning 25 years.

Ken Gollop, 82, has been giving an annual lecture called Tales from under Shady Tree for Lyme Regis Museum for around a quarter of a century. And there's one last chance to see him talk, at a lecture at 2.30pm this Sunday (March4) at Woodmead Halls.

Mr Gollop said 'it's time' to end the lecture series, and had intended to stop after last year's event, but returned for one last time by popular demand.

The title of the talks comes from the name of a large wych elm which grew in the field above Jordan Flats, now occupied by Anning Road. As it was the only flat area of grass in the town besides Bumpy Field, it was a favourite playground for local children and reputed to be the one where Mary Anning was struck by lightning as a child.

Jordan Flats has a varied history, having been built in the early 1800s as a cloth factory and later in 1919/20 to 1930s was the White Rose Laundry which closed down before the outbreak of the Second World War. It was occupied by the military during the war and then converted into four flats by Lyme Borough Council.

Mr Gollop talks this year about the new housing developments in Lyme including the history of the Woodbury Down Estate, still known locally as St Albans, after the hotel that used to be there.

The police, traffic and pubs also feature in this year’s talk.

Mr Gollop is a part of Lyme's history himself, having lived there almost all his life, and growing up listening to his grandfather Frank's tales of life as a stone boatman.

He said: "I have not quite run out of stories to tell but I'm 82 and time is getting on. The talk has become a big local event in Lyme and has quite a following. We get a lot of good feedback. I think it makes people more interested in local history, and it's especially good for people who move to Lyme and want to find out more about the town.

"I was lucky enough to be brought up in an era when there were still a lot of old men around who has been through Victorian times, and had seen so many changes."