Let’s be Men – Let’s be Ryers
By the Editor
The First World War was a terrible time for the young men of Britain. In the early stages they volunteered in their millions to the call of “Your Country Needs You”.
The youth of Rye were no exception as testified by the names emblazoned on the Memorial in Rye Church Yard. The Rye Football team were among the first to sign up. They went off to the fields of Nothern France together. They fought together and in many cases, died together. As they scrambled over the parapet of their trench and raced across ‘no man’s land’ to attack the enemy they recalled the words of the team captain “Let’s be men, let’s be Ryers”, pride overcame fear as they remembered the town they loved and the families they were fighting for.
It is difficult to recapture the atmosphere of the terrible 1914-18 War years. Ninety-two years is a long time, a lot of water has passed under the bridge but the words “Let’s be men, let’s be Ryers” still evoke feelings of pride in the breasts of all who love this unique town.
The words are as potent now as they were then and be they associated with war, sport or actions taken for the preservation of this town for the benefit of future generations, they will always stir those that live here.
The time has come for those words to be used in ernest again. Rye is under attack, not from potential foriegn invaders but from a bodies much closer to hand. Rother District Council plans to close all toilets in the town, put up car parking prices, and chase the allotment holders off their plots by doubling rents. East Sussex County Council want to sell off public land i.e. the Ferry Road School Site. They also want to close the Primary Schools at Tilling Green and New Road and build another on the Thomas Peacock sports field!
The Tilling Green School will presumably be knocked down to allow access to the huge new estate of houses that are planned for the rear of Udimore Road. What will the Freda Gardham at New Road be used for? My guess is that a vast super-market will occupy this site withing the next five years.
Now, it is not for me to say it is right or wrong for all or any of these new developments to take place but what I am saying is that the decisions as whether they do, should be made in Rye by representatives of Rye people not by Councils based far away in Lewes and Bexhill where Rye is represented by a minute minority.
There are three kinds of Ryers, Ryers by Birth, Ryers by Choice and Ryers at Heart (those who love the town but do not live here). Rye needs them all now.
Rye Town Council should be united as never before. Surely they can see now what kind of people they are dealing with. They should be demanding back Planning, Ammenities, allotments and Car Parks plus the return of £4,000,000 held by Rother which they accrued from the sale of OUR council houses. Let them know Rye means business, tell them they are incompetent, are wasting our money and we want to run our own affairs.
The Campaign for Democracy in Rye, a group set up with the intention of supporting Rye Town Council achieve a power base again, had 100 people supporting them at a recent public meeting. They are proposing that an Area Council be set up including any local villages that wish to participate, based on Rye. It would be called Rye Area Council and follows, in part, the pattern set by Eastliegh in Hampshire which has split it’s council into five elected bodies, all running their local affairs including planning. This system has been a great success and brought democracy back to the smaller towns and villages. It could be addopted here if Rother can be pursuaded!
The Town Council has been asked to submit it’s ideas for an Area Council for a District Council meeting to be held at Bexhill in March.
The Campaign for Democracy for Rye is also preparing it’s plan for a presentation at the same meeting.
Now is the time for Ryers to voice their disapproval of Rother District Council and demand a return of democracy to Rye. Let your local Town Councillor know that you want a change in the system. Stop him in the street, write to him, phone him. If you don’t know a Councillor look on page nineteen where you will find a complete list.
You may like to PHONE THEM ALL.
Let’s Be Men, Let’s Be Ryers
“Rye’s Own” February 2006 Issue
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