Jimper’s Jottings

May gone already, we are now just three weeks short of the longest day. From the 21st. we know that the days get shorter and winter approaches. The good news is that it get warmer as we get past mid June. My father always said, get my birthday over and let the warmer weather in.

The cold east winds of May made me think of another saying, ‘Don’t cast a clout until the May is out’ This does not mean the month of May but the flower of the Hawthorn that blossoms so white that in some years it can turn the country side into a winter wonderland of false snow when the blossoms are blown off by a light breeze.

The weather forecasters are predicting a heat wave for next month. I wonder. I am old enough to have heard that all before. The forecasters predicted a ‘sizzling July’ in 1990 – it never stopped raining!

The motorbikes roared into town during May. A nicer bunch of people you could not wish to meet. Flashing by in their leathers it is difficult to imagine the faces behind the helmets. I was amazed to see so many girl bikers driving a powerful machine when a group of about 20 arrived at The Strand and removed their helmets half were women. A good few of them explore the town and stay the night at a guest house or hotel. A complete London Bikers club were enjoying the music at the Ypres the other Saturday with a group of local under thirties. The music was good, all my sixties favourites, it went down well the bikers and locals alike. There was no sign of trouble and everyone enjoyed themselves. I have to wonder that if this well run pub, and others like it, were not open, where would the youth of Rye go for their fun?

As I sat there watching them have fun with novelty flashing artificial ear lobes (it was amazing the places these flashing lights reached by the end of the evening), I wondered what was in store for the next generation of Ryers. What will they inherit from us?

A town so changed that our Grandfathers would not recognise the place. The old Fishmarket is having a face lift, but it will not be a visual i m prove – ment. Look in any of Rye ‘s Art Galleries and you will see wonderful pictures of Rye Trawlers tied up to wooden piles These will be no more when the work is completed it will be all steel and concrete.

Modern buildings have no pleasing nooks and crannies, its all flat, solid facia. The streets are slowly changing. New boring buildings replacing those that had character. Even the Landgate Tower is being neglected with only superficial repairs being carried out.

I have mentioned the cobbled streets before. They are fast falling into a sorry state. They are in desperate need of constant expert repair to bring them back to the standard they were in when the District Council took over from the Borough in 1973.

Soon Tesco will arrive. This news must strike terror into the local traders but the general population should be concerned. The fact that the Doctor’s Surgery was turned down on the Ferry Road School site because the extra traffic would be dangerous has now been overlooked by the same authority even though a supermarket will mean the traffic in Ferry Road will increase tenfold.

People in cars from miles around will descend on Rye to do ‘one shop shopping’ They will not be interested in Rye’s little shops or services. The streets, already far too crowded with traffic in the summer months will now be loaded far beyond their capacity.

Rye as we know it will remain only in the memories of those of us who knew the greatness of this little town. When we die, Rye will die with us.


June 2005 Issue of “Rye’s Own”

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