The debates rumble on. he list is endless and it will forever be so until a group with some sense and no axe to grind takes over to plan Rye for the benefit of the town and the people who live here.
Lets face it, Rye lives as a viable place because of its tourists, the town must become even more friendly towards them.
Parking is a problem that needs sorting out. A group with no axe to grind and not driven by profit would realise that the old school site in Ferry Road could be landscaped and developed into a car park There would be plenty of room to accommodate a new Doctors Surgery here as well.
Visual attraction is another important factor. The first thing that tourists leaving Gibbet Marsh Car Park should see on the riverbank walk into town past the windmill should be beautifully landscaped banks of the river, mown like lawns giving visitors a place to sit and eat their sandwiches while the kids feed the ducks as in other attractive towns. Today we look at a sewer filled with rubbish and banks of rough grass and waist high weeds.
The cobbled streets could be repaired and restored to their pre-1973 condition. The High Street could be closed to traffic for several hours each day to pedestrianise it. There could be many more seats for visitors and shoppers and dropped kerbs for the better mobility of less fortunate chair bound.
The Hilder’s Cliff lookout, donated to the town by E. F. Benson could be reopened and with the technology now at hand, a raised promenade could be stretching the whole way back to the Tower for people to sit and eat their lunch while viewing the extensive hills and marsh to the east. With the High Street pedestrianised, the type of shops would improve to cater for the increase in visitors and local shoppers. Good information posters could make more of the places of interest in the Ancient Town. The Gun Garden needs a lot done to it but nothing a good man or woman with the right eye could not accomplish with ease.
For every dwelling and business that makes visual improvements there should be an incentive, perhaps a reduction of rates for a year or a grant towards the costs.
A better sign board on all major roads denoting you are now entering the Ancient Town of Rye, similar to the one outside the Suffolk village of Lavenham, which makes passing travellers think that perhaps, after all, they should stop, if only to have a look. Its like fishing; once hooked, it is up to the angler to play and land the fish. Rye is like that. The bait for Rye should be inviting car parks, once in the town Rye has plenty to offer and something to see that they will talk about long after they leave.
All this town needs is a good polish and the cobbles will become streets paved with diamonds again.
When a group is formed that puts this town first they can count on my support. Rye is one of the most beautiful towns in my England.
Watch out Jimper, they need men like you in the Town Hall. (Editor)
Rye’s Own August 2005
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