Harry ‘Crusty’ Crampton

A Larger Than Life Rye Character

There are some people who appear larger than life, we call them characters. Harry ‘Crusty’ Crampton, fisherman of Rye, must rate high on the list of the town’s unforgettable characters. Harry’s real name was Henry

Although Harry died more than thirty years ago he is still thought of and spoken about by those that made his acquaintance.

Songs have been written about him and the endless supply of stories he told of his sea going exploits are repeated from father to son. The legend lives on.

Harry 'Crusty' Crampton ...

There used to be a painting of Harry hanging in the bar of the Ypres Castle Inn where the old salt spent most of his retirement. It is said he never had to pay for a drink, so many interested visitors hung on to his every word and kept the ale coming. It would be great if someone were to rediscover the painting of Harry, we should like to print it in the magazine.

Harry on His Wedding Day

Any of Harry’s stories would be welcome too, or any photographs, especially those with his fishing boat or tales of his exploits during the War years.

The picture of Harry outside the Ypres Castle Inn with an old crony would have been taken in the fifties. The picture with his new wife was taken well before the War. All the pictures on this page were loaned by Mrs. Jane Rees (Jane Wood) who was related through her mother to Crusty and now lives in Welwyn Garden City. These pictures came along as a result of a previous article about the old Rye seaman.

“Rye’s Own” October 2002

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