Pauperism in Rye

Late Victorian & Early Edwardian Rye

By “Rya”

Pauperism remained an unresolved social problem at the opening of the twentieth century. Social reform in this county was confined to filing the most glaring gaps in the existing social system. The bed-rock of social provision was to be found in the Poor Law, first enacted in the time of the Tudors, and re-enacted Continue reading Pauperism in Rye

The Rye Mill


Rye Mill
Rye Mill

Actual documentary evidence on the history of Rye Mill is virtually non-existent. It was the subject of Victorian mezzotints and oleographs, but beyond that visual and literary records are silent. Whether a mill existed on the present site earlier than, say, 1850, is a matter of pure conjecture. We do know, however, that long before the Webb family, who used the mill for baking and bread-making before and after the Second War, came into residence the buildings had been given over to storing grain. Probably the last flour actually produced there was sold either before or during the First World War. Then the bakery was at the Mill Cottage – the old tall chimney of the bakehouse can be seen in the photographs taken in the 1920s. Continue reading The Rye Mill

Tommy Sinden

Tommy Sinden Dies in Tasmania

Many older readers will remember Tom ‘Tommy’ Sinden who recently died
in Tasmania aged 83.
Tom Sinden, older brother of Francis Sinden of North Salts, was born
in Rye in 1922. He was educated in Rye and took up an apprenticeship
as a painter and decorator on leaving school at 14. The war came along
and prevented Tom from completing his apprenticeship. He joined the
Territorial Army as a bugler. In 1939, at the age of seventeen, he
was mobilised with many more local lads and went to war. He served
in many theatres of the war until demobilisation in 1946.
Tom did various jobs around Rye in the years after the war but decided
to emigrate on the Australian £10 scheme in 1955.
He lived and worked near Melbourne. On retiring he moved again, this
time to Tasmania, where he lived out his final years doing charity