Fishmarket and Strand
Since Norman times Rye has been an active port with its own fishing fleet and boat building industry. It is all scaled down in these modern times but still fishermen leave Rye on every tide to fish for whatever Brussels allows them to catch. These fishermen are a tough lot, the Rother is not an easy river to navigate and the estuary can be a terryfying place when big seas are running. It was here in 1928 that seventeen Rye Harbour men of the Lifeboat Service were drowned after going to the aid of ”Alice of Riga’, a steam ship in distress. Many of these boys were fishermen.
There are even a few boats being built at the remaining Rye boat yards. Fibre glass moulds have taken over from the traditional ‘clinker build wooden vessels that served this port so well. There are still coasters coming into Rye Harbour and unloading at Alyslford’s Wharf. Not too long ago they were unloading timber at The Strand but now both
The Strand and the Fishmarket cater for pleasure craft and fishing boats respectively. Over the years the Port of Rye has had to adapt, no doubt things will go on changing.
Rye’s Own February 2004
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