Caught In The Mint

          In the times when Policemen patrolled the Town

From Jimper’s Romantic Diaries

The Street in Rye called The Mint is narrow, twisting downhill and one-way traffic only. It was the quick way for me to visit my girlfriend up in Church Square. The shortest route to her home was by way of Mermaid Street but as this is also steep and paved in large cobblestones, did not appeal to me on my old drop handlebar push-bike.

Up the Mint, against the rules, was much more sensible; then a quick dash along the High Street, again one way for a part, and up West Street, again contravening the traffic rules. The whole trip was in breach of the law but girls “will drag boys further than dynamite will blast them” so the saying goes. It was the case for my girl and I if she was late home, as we were one wet winter’s night.

I stood up on the pedals to hasten my speed up the slope of The Mint, with her sitting on the crossbar, oblivious to the dark shadow lurking in the doorway of the Bell Inn Public House. The shadow materialised into the shape of the local policeman. “Got you young man!” and stood in the centre of the road with his hand up. The girl had been as willing as I was to go up the street on my bike and now she made out it was my entire fault, failing to mention that we both did it regularly. Tonight she stated was her first trip uphill. The policeman was not so sure who the young lady I had on my crossbar was each time he had spied us, but me he did know.

So from that day I never made up, only down and from that night, the girl went off me and I have been left to ponder since. Was it the thrill of breaking the law that persuaded her to come out with me as I never saw her again after this episode.

It was not so much the fact that I had a passenger on my crossbar, or that I was riding up a one way street the wrong way that so bothered the law man, it was the fact I had no lights that really got him going.


Members of the Northiam and Rye Branch of the RAFA will be out and about from 11 September to 18 September 2004 asking members of the public to dig deep and donate as much as they can afford as part of this years Annual Wings Appeal. To kick start the appeal a coffee morning including brica- brac and a raffle will be held at the Butter Market in Rye on the 11th September 2004 from 10am to midday.

Each September the RAFA hold their national Wings Appeal to commemorate the Battle ofBritain, the aerial conflict between British and German air forces in the skies over the United Kingdom in the summer and autumn of 1940 and the heroic sacrifices made by the young men of Fighter Command who withstood the German onslaught in what was one of the most important moments in Britain’s twentieth century history and a decisive turning point of the second World War.

The Association receives no public funding. To continue to provide the level of welfare and care that our members require we need to raise over £8 million each year.

The annual Wings Appeal allows us to continue providing support, welfare and care and for the whole RAF Family when and where it is needed. And this support does not just go to the veterans of World War II, but veterans of more recent conflicts such as the Falklands, Bosnia and the Gulf.

The nature of war has changed since World War II, but not the nature of need. Please give as much as you can afford to enable the RAFA to continue to support the men and women of the Royal Air Force and their dependants who have fought to secure the freedom we enjoy today.

“Rye’s Own” September 2004

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