Beach hut opens for cancer sufferers at Lyme

Nigel and Karen Ball officially open the Mary Anning Hut. Picture: Ashley Ball

Nigel and Karen Ball officially open the Mary Anning Hut. Picture: Ashley Ball - Credit: Archant

A beach hut solely for use by cancer sufferers has been opened on Lyme Regis seafront.

A painting of Lyme fossil hunter Mary Anning

A painting of Lyme fossil hunter Mary Anning - Credit: Archant

Money donated to the town by the makers of the film Ammonite has paid for it.

The Mary Anning Hut on the seafront Cart Road is named after the town’s famous fossil hunter whose life is the subject of the movie.

The idea for the provision of the beach hut came from a local woman Karen Ball and her family.

After going through her own cancer treatment, Karen attended the funeral at Lyme Church of a family friend who had passed away following a battle with breast cancer.

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Whilst leaving the church, the family saw an information board about the famous fossil hunter Mary Anning and discovered that she, too, had died from breast cancer, with limited treatment and support.

They later learnt that Fossil Films – producers of the movie Ammonite, which contained scenes shot in Lyme Regis about the story of Mary Anning’s life – had given the town a sum of money to go towards local causes.

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They thought a beach hut seemed a perfect idea.

Mary Khan, founder of the Axminster and Lyme Cancer Support group submitted the idea and plans and the town council agreed.

She said: “Following winning a share of the Ammonite grant, via Lyme Regis Town Council, we are delighted that we now have the use of a beach hut for five years.

“We are open for daily bookings to anyone in the local area dealing with cancer.”

Now those who have been through, are going through or have been affected by a battle against cancer, are welcome to relax by the sea and enjoy their own little bit of Lyme.

Mrs Ball and her husband officially opened the beach hut on Monday (July 6).

To request more details and a booking code, visit the website at and go to the beach hut section.

* Mary Anning who died, aged 47, in 1847, became known around the world for important finds she made in Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs at Lyme Regis.

Her discoveries included the first correctly identified ichthyosaur skeleton.

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