West Bay Discovery Centre, West Bay, Bridport, DT6 4EN.

Visit from Bridport Mayor Ian Bark

Published by Editor on

Last week we were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Bridport Ian Bark to view our current exhibition ‘Turning the Tide’, which is about plastic pollution. The Mayor writes a weekly blog where he supports, encourages and praises organisations and people in the town. It has also allowed him to reach out to wider audiences- it is well worth a read!

We have kind permission from Ian Bark to reproduce his blog and images here:

West Bay Discovery Centre by Bridport Mayor Ian Bark

It is always a pleasure to visit the West Bay Discovery Centre which in a short time has become one of the highlights of a visit to West Bay. It is interesting watching people as they make their way around the exhibits, even the most reluctant in a party is quickly engaged by something on display and pointing things out to others with them.

The West Bay Discovery Centre currently has a fantastic, informative and thought provoking exhibition devoted to plastic. You can find out all about where it comes from and how it is made and the impact it is having on the environment and our own health and wellbeing. I met with Liz Bryant. the Centre Manager and Sarah West who told me all about the exhibition and some of the outreach work linked with it. The photographs below give a quick insight into what you will find there.

The first set of images give some general information about plastics and the impact they are having. Simon Jordan’s plate of plastic makes a strong statement about the way in which our plastic waste has become a lethal source of food for marine life. I also liked the metal crabbing bucket – a much friendlier way to indulge in this much loved pastime, by adults and children alike. Why are the plastic crabbing buckets treated as throwaway items and found discarded around the harbour, whereas the metal ones seem to be valued and kept?

The second set of images show some of the amazing creations produced by children from Symondsbury Primary School. All of the plastic used was collected from local beaches and turned into these wonderful sea creatures as part of a workshop led by Peter Margerum.

The third set of images was inspired by JMW Turner’s painting, Bridport Harbour, the original of which was recently the focus of an exhibition at Bridport Museum. This wonderful contemporary copy was created by Bridport Community Shed, a project bringing people together to make, mend and share experiences in a friendly supportive environment. A beach clean with Transition Town Bridport provided the material used to create this interpretation of Turner’s painting on display. The artwork illustrates the wide variety of colours and textures that can be found in all corners of our everyday lives whilst at the same time highlighting the care that needs to be taken by society as a whole in how we use and dispose of it. I love this picture and it is now the background image on my computer.

The final set of images tells a very simple story about a very hungry shark. How do you think it should end?

Like so many places the West Bay Discovery Centre is manned by volunteers. Just as many hands make light work you can never have too many volunteers. If local history and contemporary issues are something you know and care about why not join the team and share your enthusiasm with others. Have a look at the volunteer section of their website or simply call 01308 427288 to find out more.

Thanks Ian for these kind words. Discover more about Mayor of Bridport and the work he does please visit his weekly blog.

The month of July has been designated ‘Plastic Free July’ for the past 11 years and millions around the world have joined in and followed their simple tips. It’ has been found that small goals, made for a short time, can lead to long term changes. Take a look and see what changes you can make to reduce the amount of single use plastic you purchase.



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