Town Crier

                       News and Gossip Pages

                            Gains & Losses

What a wonderful holiday season, crammed with seasonal gatherings. Jo’ and I attended an amazing variety of family functions, a ‘Tarts & Vicars Christmas Birthday Bash’, several Dinner Parties and a Twelfth Night event that we put on at our house.

I now find that I am the proud owner of a quantity of diaries and calendars, have an intimate knowledge on the game ‘Cranium’, and discovered seven pounds on my belly that were not there on Christmas Eve.

I also have a collection of ‘tarts’ and ‘vicars’ photographs that will make the subjects cringe for years and a vast file of ‘gossip’ picked up at food and wine laden dinner tables that could fill this column for months to come. So balancing it all up it was a terrific Christmas and New Year, the set-back with the few added pounds can easily be solved, the weight drops off when one gets out with the ‘Wheelers’.

Other sufferers should take advantage of the new Tuesday aft ernoon runs. The Rye Wheelers set off at 1 pm. from the Riverhaven Car Park for a gentle ride. There is no better way of losing weight than cycling along in good company. A stop for a cuppa’ is made during the ride, which is always completed before 4 pm.

It was good to see Kevin Hall out on a Tuesday run. Kevin and Lorna Hall have been a great asset to the town since they moved here three years ago. Rye in Bloom has been revived. Lorna’s infectious enthusiasm has inspired the group and this year the town, as a result of the 2003 success winning the South East in Bloom competition, have been invited to enter the Britain in Bloom event, an invitation which has been accepted. There are even folk about, including yours truly, who think we are going to win.

                            Taken to Task

I have been taken to task by “Ronnie Two Flags” for missing out the fact that the Rye Bowls Club won the Mermaid League in my review of Rye’s last year successes. Sorry Ronnie, the lads and lassies of the greens did Rye proud in 2003 – Just make sure they repeat their success in 2004 and this could be a golden year indeed for Rye.

                             Sorry to Hear…

I had a nice letter from Les Pankhurst who now lives in East Grinstead, renewing his subscription. Sadly he lost his wife Win last year.

The Pankhursts lived in Rye, at Marley Road and later at Udimore Road for many happy years. They moved to East Grinstead to be near their daughters when Win became ill. Les tells me the family have always kept in touch with Rye and look forward to receiving “Rye’s Own” every month.

                       Beware of Garden Thieves

There have been many instances in and around Rye over the past couple of months of thefts from gardens.

Garden furniture seems to be the main target. Large stone and concrete garden ornaments have disappeared in the night, usually from the outskirts of the town.

If you have any information or suspicions as to who the thieves could be, pop along to Rye Police Station and have a talk with the duty officer.

“Rye’s Own” on The Net

Readers who ‘surf the net’ or in lay man’s terms ‘mess about on computers’ may have notice a new feature on the “Rye Tourism” site.

“Rye’s Own” has an archive section displaying articles from earlier magazines. This archive, which includes many photographs, is added to on a regular basis and as one Australian friend informed us “Has become a “good read.”

If you would like to visit the site and don’t want to mess about with www. etc. just ask for Rye’s Own or Rye Tourism and the search engine will get you there in a flash.

Talking of computers and the Internet, Broadband has arrived at Rye at last. No! Rye Town Band has not been reformed, this is just a new fangled system to make the internet work ten times faster. Ours will be installed within the month so I will report on this amazing wonder and how it may effect this town in the next issue.

 George Shackleton’s Letter

I always read the Letters Page in Rye Observer. On January 9 a letter by George Shackleton, that great old man of Rye town politics, produced an account list of Rother’s incomings and outgoings.

Far from being the fine mathematician that George is, even I could see the vast paper discrepancies that would have any self employed businessman pulling out his hair and sacking half his staff.

We are told that Council Tax will be hiked up again this year, possibly doubling the figure it stood at three years ago. When I say double, that is 100% more than it stood just four years ago. If it had risen at the rate of inflation it would have cost about 12% more!

George put the question “Where is the money going?” I think we should all be asking Rother Leader Councillor Gubby that same question.

George wanted to know if he had the stomach to instruct his officers to produce a budget lower than the rate of inflation.

I think Rye Town Council should be instructing Councillor Gubby to do that self same thing in the interest of the people of Rye who are paying through the nose for poor services, and subsidising the interests of the Bexhill majority on Rother.

Tell him to follow the example of the Russians in space – use a pencil, not a ball point pen and save a packet!

                             David ‘Flash’ Britt

Another letter, this time one sent directly to me at “Rye’s Own”, from subscriber David Britt enclosing a photograph which came as a result of his 1960’s photograph in the November Issue.


Dave ‘Max’ Wall and David ‘Flash’ Britt at the Riverhaven



Dave and his family now live in Wales but try to get down for Bonfire Night each year. The ’60s photo brought them in touch with Dave ‘Max’ Wall and his wife Veronica. David wrote “It was really nice to meet Max and Veronica again after such a long time. We hope to be down again next year and possibly meet up with more friends from the past. Bonfire Night was excellent. Well done Bonfire Boys.

The only disappointing part of our trip was when we visited our family graves at Rye Cemetery. We thought the whole place had been vandalised but later learned it was ‘professional vandalism’ carried out by Rother District Council. We should like to know if a Method, Statement and Risk Assessment’ and a ‘Civil Engineers Report were either published or sent to families involved before the actions took place in the Cemetery.”

As far as I can ascertain David, it seems, from the sole marks on the headstones, that the only test carried out was the ‘boot’ test. It is strange that the educated people of Rother District Council could act in such an unfeeling way.

Your description of ‘professional vandals’ fits the bill exactly.

         One of the Five Best Known Streets in the World

Here in Rye we take Mermaid Street rather for granted but it is said that the old cobbled street is one of the five best known streets in the World. I mention this because an American friend of mine mentioned that the only street in Britain besides Mermaid Street that he had ever heard of was Fleet Street. I was surprised to learn he could not think of a well known street in America, He offered Manhatten Avenue but that is not a street.town2


Then I searched my own brain and could only think of Regent Street and Argyll Street in Glasgow (or should that be Edinburgh). Perhaps the old saying is right. Fleet Street, Regent Street, Argyll Street, Mermaid Street – where is the other one? Could it be Watling Street, the old Roman road? Somewhere in the back of my mind I have a feeling there is a very famous street in Australia.

Perhaps Rye could use the slogan ‘Home to one of the best known streets in the World’ as part of it’s 2004 advertising campaign.

                  Crime Figures

The crime figures are out and show a marked increase in violent crime. Burglaries and car crime have dropped.

Rye has had its share of violent crime, the recent case of a man having his nose bitten off at The Granary Club highlighting the problem.

A Broad Oak Man was assassinated at Cripps Corner and a man died after being stabbed at Pontins, Camber.

An elderly lady was mugged and beaten in Traders Passage and another knocked about in her home in Military Road. I have also heard that a man was dragged from his house on the east side of Rye, taken to Camber Sands, badly beaten and left locked in the boot of his own car.

All this and much more but we are still told that we shouldn’t worry unduly as it’s “Not the actual crime but the fear of Crime that is causing the most concern”. What rubbish.

I fear that if there is not a return to traditional police methods, i.e, officers on the beat living in the area they are policing and far less emphasis on ‘specialists units’ that always seem to be miles from the incident they are required to attend, then the number of violent crimes will escalate.

I am pleased to see that a new law will mean anyone owning an unlicensed firearm may get a sentence of five years imprisonment. This is a step in the right direction. Why not go one step further and bring back capital punishment for any person carrying a firearm or imitation firearm while pursuing any criminal act? Prevention is better than cure!

                 Rye Player’s Winter Fillip

What a fantastic evening of variety the Rye Players put on at Rye Community Centre in January.Town1

“Winter Mixture certainly lived up to its name with many Player favourites involved in the production.

Highlight of the evening was a skit performed by eight players “If I Were Not Upon The Stage” with Jack Greenhalf as the Policeman drawing roars of mirth from the audience with his antics.

Everyone performed so well it is difficult to pick out individuals save to say that Ray Fooks was his usual inimitable self and newcomer Ella Grice had a smile that captivated the audience.

The Players next production will be “Rebecca” which will be performed in May.

Jim Hollands

Rye’s Own February 2004

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