Best Scallop Festival Ever

What many locals proclaimed as “The best Rye Scallop Festival ever” came to a close with masses of praise being heaped on the shoulders of event organiser Oliver Campion and the many helpers he bulldozed into helping him realise such a great success.

Some of the quotes tell of the great boost it was to local traders and hoteliers.

“Fantastic week for business, Hugh Kermode’s Rye Pop-Up went down a treat and sold out by 9 o’clock! Never had such a good week in February before.” Danny Delenio, Olde Worlde Wines.

“Scallop Week was a breath of fresh air for Rye, fabulous feeling to have our restaurant full to bursting! Over 4,500 scallops shucked and seared to perfection!” Rebecca Webbe, Webbe’s at the Fish Café.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on Rye Bay Scallop Week throughout the winter. The individual efforts to lift this event have been staggering. To name a few;

Lorna, Tim, Corinne, Russell Drew, John Botterell, John Izod, John & Leo, Nigel Anderson, Ian Foster, Jane & Jane at 1066, Clive Sawyer, Graeme, David, Reb, Jim, Andy Hemsley, Duncan Hall, Hugh Sutton, Dick Dengate, Laura Mitchell, Chris, Glendale Proctor, Cathi Baker, all the restaurants and accommodation providers who joined in and lastly my awesome wife Ali who definitely had a massive part in helping to get the job done! Glenda Procter was able to persuade 115 businesses to display her scallop shell boxes in their windows; meanwhile Jon and Leo’s Sushi Bar at the Ypres was superb, I think it’s popularity took them by surprise! The town has come together this year and that’s just what the economic doctor ordered!” Oliver Campion, Domain Support Ltd.

“Scallop Week seemed to encourage our guests to ‘shell out’ for more!” Tom Watkins, The Ship Winchelsea Beach.

The Reverend Richard Dengate blessing the fleet at the Rye Bay Scallop Festival. Picture by Frank Nunneley. For more pictures visit

Antony Bailey Scallop Chef at the Rye Bay Scallop Festival. Picture by Frank

“We had a great week with sales up on last year’s festival. We even had people come to stay in our guest house who said they were visiting Rye specifically to enjoy some of the scallop dishes being served up in the restaurants around town. It was a much-welcomed winter boost.” Kate Hayden, Hayden’s Coffee House.

This is what all the fuss is about – Delicious Rye Bay Scallops. For more pictures visit


“Really great business this early in the year …. did help a lot” Anthony Bailey, Baileys of Rye “Rye Scallop Week was a tremendous success. Big thank you to Oliver Campion for making it so. We eased over 50kg down customers’ throats. Yum, yum!” Tudor Hopkins, The Gallivant Hotel.

“Rye Bay Scallop Week was fabulous with fresh smiles everywhere!” Jennifer Vinter, Tuscan Kitchen.

“All our guests and visitors loved everything Oliver helped to organise. We had guests staying from all over the country as well as from Europe and two ladies from America. Our chef thoroughly enjoyed both of his cookery demonstrations and it definitely helped to brighten up what can sometimes be a bit of a dull month!” Judith Blincow, The Mermaid Inn “A successful Scallop Week! Thanks to Oliver Campion for the Support.” Neon Poyiatzis, Marino’s Fish Bar.

“Rye Bay Scallop Week 2013 was a tremendous success this year which drew many enthusiasts in from the cold to taste the different choices available on the menu and the Wine & Scallop Indulgence evening was a beautiful evening with lots to talk about over candlelit dinner in the ballroom.” James Blom, The George in Rye.

               Rye Flash Mob strike at Scallop Week

On the last Sunday morning of Scallop Week, in extremely adverse weather conditions, Rye’s new flash mob dancers performed their debut. The Ship Inn at Strand Quay generously allowed the enthusiastic group of street dancers to entertain the crowds at the end of their ‘What a Load of Scallops’ race.

Members of the 20/20 Fitness club and their friends were brilliantly choreographed, by dance teacher Laura Mitchell, in an energetic routine to a medley of music. Despite the wind and rain an appreciative crowd gathered to cheer on the ladies in pink.


Thanks to Tim Phillips, Graham Lowe and Mike Chapman for their assistance with the sound.

If you missed the show and want to view the performance you can visit Youtube, search for ‘Flash Mob Rye Scallop Festival’ and watch the video kindly uploaded by Barry Hawkins. The film has already attracted hundreds of viewings.

“It’s a great way to get fit whilst having fun”, said Lorna Hall, “if you are interested in joining Rye Flash Mob or perhaps booking a surprise for your own event then give us a call on 01797 229808 or email flashmobrye@”.

“Rye’s Own” March 2013

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