What do you think should happen? By Andrew Townsend
When I was on holiday in Lyme Regis in August, I was hoping that I could have visited the Three Cups with my family for morning coffee or afternoon tea to enjoy an old fashioned hotel, full of character, charm and a sense of history. Sadly, no one can enjoy the hospitality of this venerable hostelry now.
I would like to see the building back in business as a hotel with a restaurant, bar and public meeting rooms. I know that this would be difficult given the lack of en suite rooms and difficult trading conditions for hotels in Lyme Regis recently but I am optimistic that if its cultural heritage can be exploited then a market could be created for a very special place to stay. I would hope that it would become a place for local people to meet as well, for societies and family occasions. I can’t help thinking of the Three Tuns in Durham as a model for such a hotel.
It has to be recognised that there are other ideas being considered. The owners want to turn it into private flats. A Jurassic Coast Visitor Centre has been suggested, possibly in conjunction with flats. Perhaps a visitor centre could include a café or restaurant and open up most of the ground floor.
Could the National Trust make use of the building? I don’t know. Could the Youth Hostel Association run it to provide accommodation for visitors? If this could help walkers on the coastal path, then that would be in keeping with Tolkien’s love of the Dorset countryside.
Do you have any other proposals? Please post your comments anyway.