An Auction of Promises held at the Mermaid on Thursday 2 May attracted a good crowd, and spured on by Auctioneer Jim Hollands, assisted most abely by ‘porter’ Paul Carey, deep pockets were ‘picked’.
No less than £2,000 was realised which will go towards putting on this years spectacular ‘night of nights’ on Saturday 14 November.
Lots from a flight around Rye to a massage by …………. were competed for with brisk bidding. £240 was paid for a signed Captain Pugwash Book, possibly the last John Ryan will be able to donate.
Top bid of the night came for a very unique prize, the chance to be carried on the famous chair and light Rye Bonfire 2009. The idea of joining the many stars of stage, screen and radio who have been Rye Fawkes in years gone by, names like Spike Milligan, Joe Brown, Rod Hull, Vic Reeves, Alfie Bass, Gerald Champion and so many others, appealed to the bidders and a hush came over the room as the bids climbed higher and higher to an undreamed of figure of £380. Who made the highest bid? In the tradition of the modern Rye Bonfire Society the name is secret, we must all wait and see.
Every item put up was sold, even a bottle of House of Parliament Whisky signed by the Prime Minister.
A word must be said here for all the Rye Traders who gave such attractive prizes, there were meals for two given by many local inns and restaraunts, services or stock by other businesses but the biggest thanks should be to Judith Blincow and Robert Pinwill for making the Mermaid Function Room available and participating in the auction.
There were many expressions of worry about the health of Rodney Booth, one of the Rye Bonfire stalwarts, as news filtered through of his illness.. He had attended the Hastings ‘Jack in the Green’ celebrations with the ‘Group Five’ drummers on May Day and was taken ill the following day and at the time of the Auction of Promises was in Intensive Care. Rodney’s ever cheerful presence was missed and all present wish him a speedy recovery.