Proms and promenades
The Worshipful Company of Actuaries Master's weekend this year was in the stunning south coast town of Lyme Regis.
Although Friday afternoon journeys are somewhat stressful, this was quickly forgotten once we checked into our excellent hotel, The Alexandra, with lovely views of the sea and harbour and aided by some delicious food and a couple of glasses of wine. Highlight of the first evening was the battle of the chess masters in the bar afterwards.
Day two brought a leisurely breakfast and an even more leisurely stroll to the artisan part of town, with a tour of the flour mill and a local micro-brewery, the Lyme Regis Brewery, for a tasting presided over by pension trustee turned brewer Richard Main.
After a casual barbecue lunch back at the hotel, we received a highly entertaining tutorial on the local fossils from Chris and Paddy from the nearby museum. The Master presented a donation to the trustee of the museum to help with a refurbishment programme underway. Chris and Paddy then took us on an accompanied fossil hunt on the beach.
The formal dinner in the hotel was made less formal by our preparations for the Last Night of the Proms with a red, white and blue union flag theme, with bunting and flags a-plenty. The food was excellent, wine plentiful and the company entertaining.
Technology to provide us with the closing song at the Proms failed, but the consort showed his mettle by immediately leading the group in an unaccompanied rendition of the old standards, and enthusiasm made up for any lack of talent in the group. The evening ended with multiple launches of union flag Chinese lanterns from the lawn, with sparklers to finish.
Departure day saw the best weather - lots of sun and a cooling breeze for walks to the cobb and sandcastle building. The Master and others rose to the challenge laid down the previous night by former Lord Mayor Sir Roger Gifford to meet him on the beach for a swim. Thankfully he also provided swimming trunks for past Master Waddingham. The more modest efforts of our swimming group coincided with the Lyme Splash - an open water swimming event to Charmouth, which we were able to watch start from the comfort of the beach. We finished with yet another fine meal, after which most left for hopefully quicker journeys home than arriving.
Overall, an excellent weekend, which I'm sure all enjoyed.