My Place… Lyme Regis — Virgil Turner

Virgil Turner stands on The Cobb in Lyme Regis

I’m Virgil Turner, I’m 49 and my main job is window cleaning. I say main job, but being Station Commander of the fire station in Lyme Regis takes up most of my time!

I have been with the fire service for 18 years now and we are also the ambulance co-responders here as well now

My partner is Hannah Moses and we have a one-year-old boy, Noah.

I am Lyme born and bred. I have got three brothers and three sisters — my eldest brother Daryl, my eldest sister Cheryl, then Lance, then Grant, Symphony, Melody, then me!

‘I don’t think you can beat it’

Mum did love her music, but with me, it was that she loved her poetry, so it’s after the Roman poet, not Thunderbirds!

I was born just after Thunderbirds and it has been the bane of my life for God knows how long. It was great fun at school being a Virgil, I don’t think! I went to St Michael’s Primary and Woodroffe.

I have stayed in Lyme because I don’t think you can beat it, to be honest. I love the place. I am into my fishing — I have got my boat in the harbour.

I have always liked fishing, since I was a kid. I have always liked outdoor stuff — I am the outgoing and practical one in the family.

I quite often go and sit down there, on the end of the Cobb, with my mate John King, who runs Susie B, the mackerel boat, and he has got a hut at the end.

So that’s where you’ll often see us and the mayor, Sally, (Holman) sometimes. We have got some deckchairs and John will always put the kettle on and so we sit there chewing the cud. It’s really nice down there, in the summer.

The little’un was born on 26 April last year, so things changed a bit.

But he went out on the boat when he was about two weeks old and saw his first bass, because I do like my bass fishing.

I woke him up to show him, but he went straight back to sleep again, so that was that! But he is an absolutely smashing little kid.

Hannah’s family come down here quite a bit and we were walking down through what they call Balamory — Coombe Street and Monmouth Street, with all the coloured houses, and we counted one day and I had 55 “Hello Virg’s” so I do know a lot of people here.

‘And then there’s the wallaby. I’ll never live that down’

It was John again. It was about 6.30am, around four years ago, and the phone goes. It was John saying: “You’ve got to get down here! There’s an escaped wallaby, but no-one can catch it.”

So, one thing led to another and basically I rugby-tackled it in Church Street.

I was off-duty, but I had my Dorset Fire and Rescue Service T-shirt on at the time and loads of people were taking pictures, because I was sitting on it for ages while John went to get a cage.

So I had to ring up to tell the service what had happened and luckily the Chief was very amused, apparently.

I think I see myself being in Lyme for ever — I can’t see me moving.

I enjoy this, I enjoy my fishing and the Cobb side of things. It’s a lovely place to live, but it’s expensive.

It’s very difficult to afford to live here. But I won’t move. I have to get up every morning and go down to the beach. I get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t.

I go down to the harbour, check my boat if she’s in the harbour, but I always spend five minutes there and then I start my day.

It is quite idyllic, when you can fit it all in. Lyme’s a lovely place. There’s a nice lot of people in Lyme.

Almost all my brothers and sisters are back in Lyme now, the only one who isn’t is Grant. He’s only in Axminster, mind!

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