Meet Our Committee

Lizzie Wiscombe & Mr. Healey

My name is Lizzie and this is my wonderful guide dog Healey. We are both on the committee of Mary Anning Rocks and will not rest until there is a fitting memorial to our girl Mary (and of course her dog Tray) in our shared hometown of Lyme Regis.

I’m from one of the old family’s of Lyme. We come from a long line of builder’s in the town and are now into the 6th generation.

I’m a retired nurse and when not getting out and about with Mr. Healey we can usually be found at our town’s museum, volunteering on the front desk. Healey thinks he has the skills to serve, but really he should stick to what he knows best.... customer relations!

I’ve had a very long association with Mary Anning. My mum tells everyone as a child, in 1970, going to St Michael’s Infant School, with my twin, I would always run and touch Mary’s headstone in the churchyard, as we passed. 

Later I asked Mayor Barbra Austin why there wasn’t a statue of Mary, but she thought to have a bus with her name on and celebrating her birthday was more than enough. However, this was before the advent of social media! We can access so many supporters now, that just wouldn’t have been possible then.

I know we can achieve this! I so look forward to the day that Healey and I can walk past Mary every day and know that her amazing achievements will be forever memorialised in what is going to be a fantastic sculpture! I’ll also be able to keep eye on her from the museum!

Brandon Lennon

My name is Brandon Lennon and I’m a professional Fossil Collector from Lyme Regis. I started preparing and selling fossils in the early 1980s. This was from our family owned shop called Lennon`s that was originally set up by my parents. I now sell to Museums and other shops around the UK from our lapidary workshop. I have taught in schools in Cambridge, London and the Dorset area as a STEM ambassador and I provide schools with practical lessons and talks on the science of geology. As well as selling fossils I have for the past 30 years been doing fossil walks out along the Jurassic coast. 

I admire Mary Anning greatly, she is, without doubt, one of the greatest British fossil collectors who has ever lived.  Mary was witness to the birth of the science of Palaeontology and, although she had virtually no schooling, she read all the scientific papers of the day and created perfect drawings of many of her finds. In many ways, Mary Anning was responsible for educating the best brains of the country at that time.

I am really happy to be part of Mary Anning Rocks campaign, it gives me a chance to work on a local project to raise a statue to Mary in her home town. I believe the statue has been a long time coming and I look forward to the day when I go out on my fossil walks and can point to her statue and talk to visitors and tourist about her amazing story and contributions she made to my life. Without this remarkable woman’s achievements and insights, we wouldn’t know as much as we do today about what she called ‘deep time’ and how life evolved on our planet.

I am 100% behind Evie and the campaign and will do my utmost to help them raise the funds needed to raise this statue for Mary Anning

I feel very fortunate to live in this beautiful part of the world and I always say, what more could a modern-day fossil collector working in a World Heritage Site want than to live and work in the place where the Earth`s history is being revealed every day? 

Anastasia Jeune

My love of fossils, the coast and all things Mary started at my placement at Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre as part of my degree. From there I went on to work there as a seasonal warden before getting a job at the local Museum as a Museum Assistant. In my short few years working on our wonderful Jurassic Coast I have spoken to hundreds of people both through public talks, school visits and fossil walks all about Mary and the wonderful fossils she found.  I am now a fossil collector in my spare time and do everything I can to share my knowledge with as many people as possible! 

I have been inspired by the work carried out by Mary Anning Rocks and when the chance came along to help out I couldn't say no!

Mary is long overdue a memorial to her life, a monument to celebrate her achievements and struggles. Her story is one that inspires all and one that should go on to inspire future generations. The statue of Mary will not only be a symbol of her but also of equality and most of all, it will be a symbol of hope proving that anyone can achieve anything and everything, even if the world is against them they can still prevail. Being a female fossil hunter comes with both highs and lows.

A famous part of Mary's story is that she was never allowed in the Royal Geological Society because she was a Woman Unfortunately still to this day I get told to, 'Leave the hammering to the men, Love' and 'You shouldn't be out there doing that, that's a hobby for men!' But I'm hoping this statue and the message behind it will open peoples eyes to the truth. It doesn't matter what your social status, education or gender is, as long as you have a passion - you can make it happen and you can do and be whatever you want.

This statue will commemorate the people of Lyme, Dorset and its supporters. Being a part of this group is being on the right side of history. And that is something I want to be a part of.  

Darrell Wakelam

Hi, my name is Darrell and I’m a professional artist based in Lyme Regis. As part of my work as an artist I travel far and wide delivering art workshops for children and young people usually comprising of 3D models, masks, and sculptures. 

I’m originally from the West Midlands but moved to Dorset fifteen years ago to set up my own business. The reason I headed for Lyme Regis was based partly on a childhood love of ‘Natural History’ and a desire to explore my passion through the skills and techniques I had acquired as an artist. 

Like so many other people Mary Anning was a very important inspiration for me as a child. From a very early age I was fascinated by Myths, Legends and Monsters only to be told by my parents, “They aren’t real, they don’t really exist” . . . then at the age of five, I bought myself a ‘Fossil Book’ and this young girl jumped off the pages, dug a monster out of the cliffs with her bare hands, held it aloft and shouted to me “oh yes they are real . . . come and see”. I’ve been following her ever since.”

A statue in honor of Mary is long overdue. A clever, determined, working-class woman who managed to become an expert in her field against the odds in an elitist and male-dominated era.

I hope to help in many ways with the campaign but in particular, I am happy that I will be involved in the community engagement project for the design and look of the statue. A project that will be commissioned by the Mary Anning Rocks Committee to help bind and connect this work of art into the landscape where she worked and even more importantly to the people of Lyme Regis to whom she belongs. 

I am proud to support 11-year-old Evie Swire in her mission to raise a statue for Mary! Well done Evie, we are all behind you.

Cllr John Broom

Hello, my name is John Broom and I am a Devonian by birth but have lived in Lyme Regis since I was five days old. I was educated at Lyme Regis Grammar School and the South Dorset Technical College where I received an Ordinary National Diploma and a Higher National Certificate in Building, I have worked in the construction industry all of my life.

I believe it's about time Mary had a statue to her in Lyme Regis and I am more than happy to support Evie and the Mary Anning Rocks committee as we work together to achieve that.

Mike Harrison

Bio to come

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