Rye at War

War Comes to Rye

Rye went to war on 3 September 1939 – As war was declared a German Coaster was still tied up at The Strand. The German family who crewed her were well known and liked in Rye, They had been bringing in timber from the Baltic and Continue reading Rye at War

Can We Have Our Bomb Back

Please can we have our bomb back?


Rye’s bomb has been stolen — and not just the bomb and up to perhaps £50 in cash inside, but the trolley, padlock and chain, screwed very firmly to the wall outside the F.E Centre, which is what really mystifies its keeper, Keith Boreham. The bomb was part of a batch which fell in and around the Old Brickyard one Sunday morning in August 1940. It failed to explode, and Tom Upton, who was assisting the Bomb Disposal Squad, asked if he could have it as a souvenir — “they reluctantly agreed”, his account says — and in due course he chiselled and then Continue reading Can We Have Our Bomb Back

Down Rye Way – Percy Sherwood

Regimental Town Crier

About two years ago Down Rye Way featured Percy’s father Mr. Frank (Jerry) Sherwood. So there is no need to establish Percy’s credentials as a Ryer of many generations’ standing. Percy is not quite sure whether he was born in Lion Street or Wish Street; either way, he went first to the Infants School in Lion Street and on to the Boys’ School in Mermaid Street. He was one of the first pupils to join the new Rye Modern School in New Road (now Freda Gardham School) and left as soon as he was allowed to, to find employment. Continue reading Down Rye Way – Percy Sherwood

Len Smeed Retires

By Jim Hollands

In these days of strikes and labour problems. it is good to learn of people like Leonard Smeed, who has just retired, having spent 24 years with Ellis’ the Ironmongers in the High Street, who are incidentally reputed to he the second oldest Ironmongers in the country, having been established for over 300 years. Not content to call it a day yet, Leonard continues to work in the shop part-time. Continue reading Len Smeed Retires

Rye at War – Part Two

Rye at War

Part Two — In The Front Line

In August and September of 1940 Ryers had a grandstand seat for the greatest air battle in history, the “Battle of Britain” that was raging in the skies overhead.

The town suffered another serious bombing attack on October 9th, 1940 when 18 50 kilo bombs were dropped, doing extensive damage.

In September the invasion threat was at its height, it seemed certain that the Germans would attempt an invasion at any minute. With the idea in mind that a man would fight harder defending his own home town the Rye company of the Home Guard was allotted the positions on the town side of the river, along the Continue reading Rye at War – Part Two