My cousin Eve Brown sent me a December 2004 “Rye’s Own” and I was interested in the article on the efforts on raising money for Rye St. John Ambulance service. Good wishes to them. My father, Ron White, was a member at Rye for many years, he later became a full time member of the Ambulance Service.
In the 1940’s the St John Ambulance was all that Rye had. It was stored at Wright & Pankhurst’s yard in Tower Street and driven by volunteer drivers. I was taken to Hastings Hospital and because my father the driver I got a discount of nine shillings on the 29 shilling charge. Nine shillings was worth quite a bit in those days. The Treasurer to this service was W.S.Bryan.
The enclosed photograph shows the 1935 East Sussex Division of St. John marching past the Town Hall where Rye Mayor, E. F. Benson, later to become famous for his books, took the salute. The parade went on to St. Mary’s where they attended the Thanksgiving Service. I also enclose a 1939 ‘Wonder Fete’ Programme. The Fete was held in Rye Grammar School Grounds and all monies raised went to the Rye Division St. John Ambulance Brigade New Headquarters Building Fund. It was interesting to read that anyone could ‘Buy a Brick’ to help with this project.
I also read with interest the srticle in “Rye’s Own” about Reg. Weeks. I knew him and his family well when my family and I lived in Rope Walk .
Mrs. G Widdop (White) Skipton.
As you know my great grandfather was, at one time, the Landlord of the Pipemakers Arm, one reason why I am interested in the pub and Rye itself. I was especially fascinated to read in “Rye’s Own” of the archway entrance to the Pipemakers from The Strand. In Alan Dickenson’s book “Rye in Old Postcards” a picture on page 46 shows the pub being partly rebuilt in 1907. In Geoffrey Bagley’s “Book of Rye” it states that it was rebuilt in the 1930’s.
This would seem the time that the gateway arch was errected, as being a bricklayer by trade and having compared the brickwork on the newer part of the existing building with that in the drawing of the arch published in “Rye’s Own” I would say it was built at the same time, at some point during the 1930’s.
It was almost certainly demolished at the time “Strand Court” was built. The entrance is now closed off right up to where the arch stood and I remember visiting my father’s cousin who lived in the “Strand Court” complex until recently and noted that one of the exits is at the point where the archway used to stand.
I hope this helps to solve this mystery.
Roland Jempson Bristol
March 2005 Issue of “Rye’s Own”
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