End of an Era

It was a sad day for the Employeees of Rye Cattle Market Company today.(May 8 2002) A worker was seen kneeling on the ground deftly manouvering an oxy-acetalyne cutter through the bars of an iron cattle pen in his effort to dismantle it. A huge fork lift then lifted the pile of this old metal to a lorry which carted it off to be scrapped. But can the history of Rye Cattle Market be that easily scrapped?

The Sheep Pens are Removed
The Sheep Pens are Removed


The iron according to Larry Cook, one of the staff, was over one hundred and forty years old. He reflected briefly on the history of the market explaining that before about 1860, when the Market was resited at its present home transactions were conducted in Market Street outside the Town Hall where cattle, sheep, and lambs were driven from surrounding farms to be sold. Livestock roamed loose in the street, there were no iron pens then.

A Sad Day for Rye
A Sad Day for Rye

Frank Igglesten remembers one occasion before the war in about 1931 when bullocks were herded toward The Cattle Market in its present location; the main route was up the Landgate and down Tower Street but a bullock decided to enjoy the view off Hilder’s Cliff and went through the Landgate Tower entrance up the High Street and through the plate glass window of Langton’s shop (now Adams).

The Sheep Pens are Removed
The Sheep Pens are Removed

Wyn Vincent whose family lived in the railroad house at the top of the station remembers her mother telling her to close the gate on Wednesdays as the sheep would run into their garden and ruin it. She also asserts that most local butchers would be amongst the bidders to buy cattle and then take them to their own slaughter houses to be butchered. There were three slaughter houses in Rye. There was one to the left hand side of Ashbee the butchers; the only butcher left in Rye today. Another had an entrance in Cinque Ports Street and supplied the meat directly to Neaves butcher shop in the Mint and a third was at the bottom of the landgate.

Now it seems those hundreds of years of history have been consigned to the scrapheap. A sad day indeed.

Rye’s Own June 2002

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Recollections of Mrs. Michell


As recalled by Rye nonagenarian

Charles de Salis

Soon after my wife and I moved to Rye in 1980, I took over a French conversation class at the Further Education Centre. At the first lesson, the students told me about Mrs. Michell, an old lady in her nineties who normally attended the class, but was in hospital, having broken her pelvis. She spoke fluent French, and her attendance at the class had always been, the students felt, the highlight of her week. Continue reading Recollections of Mrs. Michell

Gates for the Gungardens

From “Rye’s Own June 2002

Over recent years vandals have ruined Rye’s famous Gungarden. Flowers have been torn out of the ground, the toilets have been virtually destroyed and even the guns, which weigh more than a ton, have been dragged from their positions in a crazy attempt to run them over the cliff. Continue reading Gates for the Gungardens

Margaret Apps Then & Now

From the June 2002 issue of “Rye’s Own”

Looking back through the old Rye’s Own photo files we discovered many local girls from the ‘Swinging Sixties’. Rye’s Own claimed that Rye girls were better looking than those from any other part of the country. Margaret Apps worked at Continue reading Margaret Apps Then & Now