On the Ball

The Story of the First Rye Football Clubs

Football, the soccer variety, captured the imagination of the people of Rye well before the turn of the century. There were doubtless many teams playing the old style “kick and rush” type of football in Rye and the surrounding districts in the days of the great Corinthians and Wanderers—but legend only tells the story of the early clubs of Rye. Continue reading On the Ball

Down Rye Way – April 1966 – Robert Bayley

by J.P.H.

Pushed Handcart to Battle before Breakfast

Robert Bayley was born in Rye on the 19 November, 1886 at the Mint, where he grew up. When he was a small boy his father was a sailor. Bob still remembers the good hidings he had for going on his father’s ship, after being told not to. One day he went aboard with his brother and they locked the ship’s crew in one of the cabins and cast off in an attempt to sail the ship, but, unfortunately it resulted in his brother falling over the side. Luckily after he went under for the second time he was seen by a fisherman and pulled out just in time. Continue reading Down Rye Way – April 1966 – Robert Bayley

Easter Visitors Guide to Rye

A Quick Guide To Rye

To view Rye there is only one satisfactory way, on foot. The town is very compact and all places of interest are within easy walking distance of each other. Leave your car in one of the car parks scattered around the foot of the town and proceed on Shank’s Pony. Continue reading Easter Visitors Guide to Rye

Aground in the Bay

Aground in the Bay

Old photographs by kind permission of Mr. B. Jones

The sea has been a magnet to man since the first recorded history of the world, it first provided food and then presented a challenge. The challenge was accepted, first by the Vikings from Scandinavia then by the English and Spaniards, and Continue reading Aground in the Bay

Scouting in Rye

The 1st Rye Troop of Scouts ‘Captain Cory’s Own’ proudly held the official opening of their new Headquarters recently. Over 200 people, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Rye, Alderman and Mrs. W. J. Hacking, were present as Father Richard, the Group Scoutmaster, handed the key to County Commissioner, Continue reading Scouting in Rye

Fire at Furniture Repository

Furniture Store Blaze…

At 7.5 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, 1st February, fire burst through the roof of Messrs. T. Bourne & Sons large furniture store in Eagle Road. This was the first indication of the blaze, minutes before passers by saw no signs of smoke or flame. The Rye Fire Brigade was quickly summoned and were on the scene within a few Continue reading Fire at Furniture Repository

Rye Firemen Go Over to Compressed Air

After Exhaustive Tests Rye Firemen go over to compressed air

East Sussex, like many of the Local Authority Fire Brigades throughout the Country, have found it necessary to replace their breathing apparatus equipment. After exhaustive tests and experiments with different types, it was decided to equip the fire appliances with compressed air sets and take out of service the ‘Salvus’ and ‘Proto’ oxygen sets. Continue reading Rye Firemen Go Over to Compressed Air

Rye Regatta

Water Spectacular at the Fishmarket

Amongst the mass of pictures that have been brought into our office after our appeals in Rye’s Own, were two remarkable pictures of the Rye Regatta, one of which is reproduced here. Regattas were held at the Fishmarket up to 1913, and as can be seen by the photograph, they were very popular events. Continue reading Rye Regatta

Fatal Car Crash 1905

Crash It’s the same old story

With the New Year comes the usual warnings from the various motoring organisations in the Country to take special care when driving. The reasons given for the vast number of road accidents that happen at this time of the year are many and varied—the main ones being ice, fog and drink. So much emphasis is put on road accidents being a modern day phenomena it is difficult to believe that even as far back as the early nineteen hundreds Rye had its fair share of traffic accidents.

We do not know for sure when the first motor car graced the streets of Rye but a tale from that far off time illustrates the interest that the local people were taking in the development of the petrol engine.

A certain young man entered the barbers shop that used to be at 14 Cinque Ports Street, and in an excited voice exclaimed “There is a horseless carriage outside the Crown.” A great rush for the door took place, and the entire saloon was emptied, save for the barber and the young man. The excited throng raced round the corner to the Crown Hotel, only to find a small pedlar’s cart with a mule harnessed

The First Car Smash in Rye?

First Car Crash in Rye

The first motor accident of any consequence in Rye was on 21 March, 1905. A nearly new Panhard 7 h.p. French motor car careered out of control down Rye Hill, crashing into the paling fence and eventually coming to rest on the pavement in a very sad state indeed, a complete wreck— fortunately no one was seriously hurt. (This was published in the January 1966 issue of “Rye’s Own” – New facts about the accident soon emerged and we learned that Captain Oaks was killed in the crash) The photo­graph of this incident gives some idea of the speed at which the car must have been travelling. Note the solid tyres, one of which has been torn from the rim.

Motor Car in The Strand

Sunbeam After Dip in The Strand


The other pictures are of an accident that has been repeated more than once since. A 1904 four cylinder Sunbeam ran into the channel at the Strand on the night of 24 August, 1906. Great effort was made to retrieve the wreck from the Channel and the other photograph shows the state of the car when it was eventually towed out the following day.

These are but two mishaps of the time, no doubt there are many others that have gone unrecorded or forgotten.

Motoring in those days was a far more exhilarating and adventurous affair than it is in these modern times. The driver really had to dress up for the occasion—a proper motoring jacket and of course the inevitable pair of goggles. The lady of his choice also had to take proper precautions. The enormous hats with ostrich feathers and all the trimmings of that age of fashion had to be tied with a gay scarf securely knotted under the chin.

No Parking

A modern day accident in Landgate. In a no waiting area too

A days motoring was a very special occasion, with the wind whipping in the faces of the occupants and more often than not, the excercise of pushing on the very steep hills. Garages were very few and far between and journeys had to be planned carefully in advance and there was always the risk that the joy ride would end by walking home, this was not always the case though, as the owners of these temperamental machines were all good mechanics— they had to be, even to start them.





Rye’s Greatest All Rounder

Down Rye Way


By M. J. P.

The Oxford Dictionary describes the word sportsman as a person who regards life as a game in which his opponents must be allowed fair play, a person ready to play a bold game”—what better way then to introduce you to William (Blower) Pierce—Rye’s finest sportsman. Continue reading Rye’s Greatest All Rounder