News – Views and Letters July 2006


Rye High Street is back to normal again after the upsets of June. Some have applied for compensation from the Highways Agency for loss of revenue during three weeks of mayhem when the whole town suffered from restricted access caused by the road closure between Skinners Roundabout and the Kettle of Fish Roundabout.

Best Trading Area in Town?

Market Road has always been one of the best trading areas in town, linking High Street and Cinque Ports Street. and with its access onto Cinque Ports Street directly opposite Station Approach.

Two established businesses have moved from other locations in the town to this favoured area. John Cawdron Antiques has moved to the old ‘Odell the Cycle Man’ premises and Len’s Tackle Shop has relocated from Rope Walk Shopping Centre to no 58a, which was formerly the Chocolate Shop next door to Rye Cleaners.

Work on the George Hotel is nearing completion, the Bar and Banquet Hall should be open shortly and rooms will become available as they are completed. Patrons will be pleased to know that the Tavern Clock, a fixture at the George since the early nineteenth century, has been fully restored and is a working reminder of the history of the famous Coaching Inn.

Catastrophic Fire

Martyn Channon’s Country Store in Rye Market suffered a catastrophic fire at the end of May, destroying most of the stock and severely damaging the building.

Martyn and his staff are still trading from the site in the Market but have also moved to a temporary warehouse at Rock Channel (Rye) with the help of the Bourne family (Bourne’s Removals).

Martyn Channon told a “Rye’s Own” reporter “The support from local people has been incredible, Martyn and his staff would like to thank everyone for their help and good wishes – which made an enormous difference.

Within a couple of weeks the store will be back to almost normal trading, with nearly all of the usual products back in stock”.

Rye’s Only Butcher’s Shop

Ashbee & Son has been a butcher’s shop since the 1850’s. The shop still has the original front with brass plates and hooks which meat was once hung from outside the shop many years ago.

The shop is in historic Rye’s main High Street and is now the only butcher’s shop in town.

The introduction of a Supermarket in Rye and the trend to motor over to Hastings or Ashford for all meat and groceries that once would have been purchased in the town, saw the demise of Rye’s other two long standing butcher’s shops.

Paul and Jayne Dengate have owned Ashbee’s for over twenty years have survived by looking after their customers by knowing and supplying just what many of their customers are looking for.

Lady Penelope

Who is Lady Penelope? The answer to this question is easy. Lady Penelope is the hairdresser running the boutique in the Rope Walk Centre.

After leaving school, Penelope attended West Kent College Tonbridge on a two year full time course, graduating with City of Guilds qualifications in Ladies and Gentlemen’s hairdressing, wig making, communication skills, design, manicuring and colouring diplomas from ‘Wella’ and ‘Sckwarzkopf’ plus a ‘Revlon’ manicurist’s diploma.

She then returned to the College on a part time basis to do a City of Guilds in Facial Beauty.

During her third year of studies, Lady Penelope decided to start her own hairdressing business, a decision she has never regretted.

Whilst running her business, Penny continues to study: she has taken a C&G Waxing course, gaining Diplomas’ from ‘Dermatological’ and ‘Finders’, C&G NVQ level two & three Beauty Therapy, C&G NVQ level three Aromatherapy, C&G, VTCT Reflexology, Indian Head Massage and Sports Massage and has qualified as a P&MOV instructor – Prevention and management of violence and aggression – she has not, as yet, used this qualification on any of her clients.

As well as running her salon, Lady Penelope has also worked as a part time teacher in a private girls school, teaching ‘Beauty Culture’.

In 1999, Penny opened her Hair and Beauty salon in Rye East Sussex where she and her staff offer a wide range of beauty treatments.

The best recommendation of all is that her customers speak so well of her.

Dear Editor

There are a few Ryers living here in the Bay of Plenty / Waikato area of New Zealand and we are thinking of having a “Ryer’s re-union” sometime soon. However, that can’t happen for a while as my old chum Pat Pierce is away just now.

Pat emigrated to NZ a couple of years ago but is back in Rye for a few weeks visiting family.

Please put a note in your magazine welcoming him home.

Hope all is well in Rye.

Chris Clarke (Bernard’s brother) Waikato N.Z.

Dear Editor,

I have sent two recent round robin emails to ‘Old Scholars’ (Thomas Peacocke) entitled “Cash For Schools”. Unfortunately the college’s bid was unsuccessful and recent requests for funding for improvements to the hall have been declined.

Having arranged Theatre Organ Concerts at the College for the past 16 years there has never been a better time to raise money to move the Wurlitzer from the gallery to the stage in its own customised pit. So, on concert days it can rise out of the floor on its own dedicated lift. When not in use it will be safe and out of the way.

The college wish the hall to become a local conference centre with improvements to the sound system and visual projection all things that of course will assist the Wurlitzer Concerts. Both Thomas Peacocke and Friends of Rye Wurlitzer are totally committed to the project and have so far committed £7.5k to the fund.

To help the fund swell for moving the organ we propose to launch adopt a pipe ( see below) and wonder if you may consider adopting a pipe in memory of a loved one or for yourself.

The Rye Wurlitzer is the oldest Wurlitzer Theatre Organ in the UK still entertaining the public is only one of around 40 venues in the UK that the public can have access to hear these mighty instruments.

Over the past 16 years the organ has been reinstated to its 1925 specification ( with the help of modern day electronic relays and effects) and is in the best playing condition in its 49 year history at the college. What better way than to celebrate its 50th anniversary by giving it a new home that will enhance the every popular organ concerts ten fold with use of curtains, stage lighting and effects – basically it will put the icing on the cake.

The total cost of moving the Wurlitzer is just under £19,000 and we have a target of May 2007 to complete the project with a special Wurlitzer Weekend.

The details of Adopt a Pipe are outlined below and I call on Rye Old Scholars and supporters with a love of the Theatre Organ to support this worthy project.

Thank you for your time. I will pester you no more.

Best Wishes to one and all Richard Moore

Friends of Rye Wurlitzer Rye Old Scholars Association

Dear Editor.

I thought that your readers might like to know that a Mr. Nigel Perrin is in the process of researching a biography of Henry Peuleve. It should be published later this year or early next. He has told me that a commemorative plaque has been placed on the house in Brive Le Gaillard where he was betrayed and arrested by the SS which is a very appropriate gesture in memory of a morally and physically courageous man. He is commemorated in our museum in Winchelsea and has his own place of honour at the R.E.M.E. Museum which is in Arborfield, Reading, Berkshire.

Some years ago, in response to a request in the Rye Observer for wartime reminiscences, I contacted the Head of History at The Thomas Peacock School, which is the successor to The Rye Grammar School attended by Henry and his sister. I gave her all the information that I had on Henry. Sadly after three months it was all returned to me with the single comment that the School could not use the information. I was extremely disappointed that in a time where young people are lacking role models of the calibre of Henry Peuleve that his story was to be ignored particularly by the successor School to the one which he had attended.

Mr.D.R.Bourne High Street, Winchelsea.

“Rye’s Own” July 2006

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