The Fossil Shop, right next door to The Watch House Cafe at West Bay is open soon. And with all good fossil shops there will be fossils - and in our case, 190 million-year-old ammonites (give or take a couple of million years!) - all collected a short hop along the coastline at Charmouth, part of the same Jurassic Coastline as West Bay.
The fossils have been collected and prepared by James Carroll, otherwise known as The Wobbly Fossiler, who gives popular walks and talks at Charmouth, although he will be at the Fossil Shop on a few dates over the summer to talk all things fossil! he'll be able to tell you what to look for, where, what it is and how old it is - and a whole lot more too. He'll also be able to tell you all about the ammonites, single ones as well as mass ammonite fossils, known as ammonite death-beds.
Although these ammonites may be small, James takes great care and time in preparing them for you to enjoy - in a painstaking process removing the 'matrix' or natural rock that surrounds the ammonites, and making them look their best.
200 million years in the making...
From left: James cleaning the rock from around the ammonite; a finished ammonite group, and James on Hive Beach with some of the finished fossils
...and why not surf the Jurassic on a Dinoboard!
Something else that has been in the making for, although not for quite as long as the fossils, are surfriders or bellyboards, or as we like to call them 'Dinoboards' - and created exclusively by Dick Pearce, Cornwall, for The Fossil Shop, and with fossils in mind, or rather dinosaurs!
We thought we'd like to make the most of our Jurassic Coast backdrop and have a bit of summer fun with some colourful bellyboards and a bit of dinosaur fun. There are a range of colours, and two dino designs (!) with tee-shirts and caps to match. You can buy a board, or rent one - up to you.
The bellyboards are handmade from wood - as a sustainable alternative to cheap polystyrene bodyboards. The Fossil Shop is one of 25 sites around the UK to have them.
Sun's out, surf's up - see you on the beach!