Snow! What a surprise, it came as rather a shock but did not last long in Rye. The Bay has always sheltered the town from cold weather, here in this little corner we seem to escape the worse.

Spring is on the way, the nights are drawing out, soon the hour will go back and television programmes will take on their new spring format, repeats! No matter, the garden calls and soon the mowers will be out to tidy the the areas that are already blooming with early flowers.

Rye will be spruced up again for a new holiday season which starts in earnest at Easter, and this year Easter is early, coming before the end of the month. What will the new season hold for the holiday businesses of Rye? Last year was the best since the series of disasters that started with Nine Eleven, next the terrible effects of Foot & Mouth and then the uprooting of every street in the town to lay a new water main decimated trade and brought many of Rye’s business community to their knees.

2005, so long as the T.I.C. problem is solved and Rother District Council do not have any more nasty shocks up their sleeves, should be a good year for tourism. The Dollar is getting stronger against the Pound and there are more visitor planning to come from the Continent for holidays.

As one of the better places to visit in all round weather conditions, Rye will be attracting many of these tourists. They should be made welcome by everyone because they create so much employment in the town. Visitors, either directly or indirectly, benefit all who live here. Let us all be ambassadors and make friends with them all, whatever part of the world they come from. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful spot, lets be proud of it and show it off in its best light to those that come here for a brief stay.

We have another great cover this month, again by a local artist but we are not giving his name. Can you work out from the style of the work who it can be? Drop us a line if you know the answer and also tell us which of our covers in your opinion is the all time best.

Talking of artists have you visited the new Gallery in The Strand? Delphine Pope is the proprietor and displays her own work and that of other competent local artists?

Rye is fast becoming a centre for the arts. Another Gallery getting a lot of visitors is The Rye Art and Framing Centre at the Atlas Industrial Park. Both galleries are well worth a visit.

The Potters of Rye are also gaining ground in the art world. Several, including David Sharp and Rye Pottery are getting mentions in the Millers collectors books and e-bay on the internet is awash with bits of pottery and other craft work and ephemera relating to the Ancient Town.

Rye Auction Galleries are now holding Collectors Auctions on the third Friday of each month and there are opportunities to pick up Pottery, Paintings and memorabilia relating to Rye at these sales. There are sales every Friday.

Rye has had far more standing as a centre for the arts since the Rye Festival became firmly established. The Festival is one of the top ten events of its kind in Europe and has grown in stature year by year. The Festival is held in late autumn and visitors come from all over the world to be in Rye at Festival time.

So here we are, on the threshold of a new season of tourism. Let us be tolerant with our visitors, even when the High Street is jammed choc-a-bloc, remember they are the lifeblood of the town, with them Rye will prosper, without them she would wither and die. Take a leaf out of the book of our greatest ambassador The Town Crier, he has a smile for every visitor. well done Rex you are doing.

March 2005 Issue of “Rye’s Own”

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