As we put the first magazine of 2004 to bed the great news has just come in that Rye & Iden United have beaten St. Leonards four – one to complete a fine Christmas double. They beat Pagham by the same score on the December 20 and now stand fifth in the County League Division One table. Well done boys.

2004 may well prove a very important year in Rye’s history. Proposals are under way for all manner of developments, some good and some bad, on the south side of the Brede opposite Rock Channel and in the South Undercliff and Rock Channel areas themselves. Any protests involving the projects must be lodged at the Rother District Council offices in Bexhill by January 9.

What a disappointment the ‘face lift’ at the Gungarden has proved to be. What is a garden without flowers? The excuse that vandals may wreck any flower beds is weak. The reason there are no flowers in our once magnificent Gungarden is because it is cheaper for the Bexhill dominated District Council to run. There are plenty of flower beds in Bexhill!

2004 could be the year that Rye gets the vandals on the run. Inspector Gould is doing a fine job with his very limited police resources and the new Action Group, with the help of information gained from the Rye Electronic Neighbourhood Watch will be pinpointing trouble makers and getting public nuisance orders that will prohibit them from certain areas in the town with the threat of being carted off and locked up if they transgress. 2004 is the year that Rye competes in the “Britain in Bloom”. If we are going to win this competition it will be important to get our Gungarden looking like a garden again. Perhaps Rye Council could put pressure on Rother to do something about this or maybe volunteers will take over the area and make it look like a garden again. To win the competition would give Rye the biggest boost, it would be to this town what winning the Rugby World Cup is to England.

Town Manager Yolanda Laybourne tells us that there are less empty shops in the town. This is a move in the right direction and she herself is partly responsible for the improved state of affairs. Her efforts to publicise Rye, the Town Guide, the “Pride in Rye” initiative and many other things she has been involved with have helped to turn things round. The big problem with running a shop in Rye has yet to be overcome however. Business Rates are far too high for the small man. The time has come for the government to recognise that they are making things too tough for those who wants to run their own business. England is said to be a country of small shopkeepers, Rye has certainly been that over the years. Why not give this hard-working group of people a chance? A variable tax system based on the number of people employed would be much fairer.

Jimmy Fuggle is calling for players from the long defunct Rye Athletic Football Club to come back for one last game, perhaps against old adversaries Iden or Udimore. The match will be arranged for the end of the season and may be held in conjunction with a fund raising effort on behalf of the Rye St. John Ambulance. No doubt there will be quite an interest in seeing a few old bones rattled a bit. More details next month.

“Rye’s Own” was pleased to hear that Councillor Paul Carey, Mayor of Rye, is continuing with Peter Dyce’s Mayor’s Charity for the second year. The Rye St. John will be the beneficiary again and it it hoped to raise enough cash to complete the target to get their new ambulance before the end of Paul’s Mayoral term.

“Rye’s Own” January 2004

All articles, photographs, films and drawings on this web site are World Copyright Protected. No reproduction for publication without prior arrangement. © World Copyright 2017 Cinque Ports Magazines Rye Ltd., Guinea Hall Lodge Sellindge TN25 6EG