Retrospect 1967

1967 fades into 1968, this is the time of year when we look back over the past twelve months and reflect on the events that have taken place. What kind of year has it been for Rye in general.

The Queen at Rye Town Hall
The Queen at Rye Town Hall

1966, with the Royal visit and all the glamour it entailed, 1967 might seem dull compared with it, but taking all in all, events of the past months have had their own importance and news appeal.

The Movie Society set the ball rolling with its first public showing of the colourful record film of the Royal visit. No less than 400 people turned out one cold Saturday night and queued outside the Further Education Centre, waiting their turn to enter the hail. The Society ran continuous performances until everyone who came had seen the colour/sound newsreel film.

Christine Turnbull
Christine Turnbull



History was made at Rye in February, when a hydrogen balloon, piloted by Malcombe Brighton and Christine Turnbull of Farnham and carrying three other passengers, took off from the Salts at the start of a record making flight across the English Channel.

The 18th March was a big day for aspiring young footballers, the local Primary Schools Football Tournament took place at Rye Primary School. The results reflected the ability of Rye lads. Division One was won by Rye Primary School and Division Two by the Rye Collegiate team.

Football Stars of the Future

April was a black month for the town. British Railways announced that the Hastings – Rye -Ashford line would be closing. Meetings, objections and a public enquiry have given the Primrose line at least a temporary reprieve but the town awaits with baited breath the findings of the enquiry, will 1968 bring a silver lining?

Film Stars Invade Camber

Excitement came to Camber in May. The “Carry On team invaded’ the sands to film desert scenes for their latest production “Follow That Camel.” Jim Dale in the part of a young English nobleman, joins the French Foreign Legion and his life in the desert is arduous, adventurous and hilarious, hardly surprising considering his comrades-in-arms are the familiar “Carry On” gang Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtry, Joan Sims, Angela Douglas, Peter Butterworth and Bernard Bresslaw, all aided and abetted by Phil (Sgt. Bilko) Silvers and the lovely vivacious singer Anita Harris. This film was premièred in London in December.

Bernard Breslau in Follow that Camel
Bernard Breslau as ‘Abdul’ in Follow that Camel

—the film was premiered in December

Linda Ashbee - Miss Rye's Own 1967
Linda Ashbee – Miss Rye’s Own 1967

The winner of the 1967 Miss Rye’s Own competition was announced in June, no less than 1,200 votes were received for the six finalists and Miss Linda Ashbee was elected.

Rye Firemen with Dumbrell Cup
In July, the Rye Fire Services’ four man team won the “Dumbrell Cup” in the East Sussex Fire Brigade’s Pump Drill competitions. This is the first time that a Rye team has won the trophy and it is all to their credit that the 48 seconds time they recorded beat the existing by no less than three seconds.

Mike Ashdown wins East Sussex 1000 yard Championship

The annual Sports Festival run by the Rye Sports Committee on Summer Bank Holiday Monday proved as big a success as the previous year’s meeting. It is nothing short of remarkable that the Committee have come through a tough financial period into one of comparative security in the course of two years. A great deal of credit must go to the members of this committee for the efforts that, undoubtedly must have been put in to prevent the Sports Festival being abandoned as have so many similar events in other towns.

September was a great month for Rye’s Own, the feature on “The Rye and Camber Tram” proved so successful that the issue was completely sold out.

Fire at Johnson's Supermarket.

Rye Firemen were soon on the scene when a fierce blaze threatened several High Street premises on 21st September. They were called to Johnson’s Self Service Store where a fire had got hold in the cellar. It quickly spread to two adjoining premise and it was two hours before the Rye brigade, assisted by firemen from Broad Oak and Hastings, could get the blaze under control.

Despite severe damage, the Self Service Store was open for “business as usual” the following morning, but the adjoining Monastery Guest House had so much fire damage that it had to close down for the rest of the season.

Strand Sluice Overflows
Strand Sluice Overflows

October saw severe flooding in the town, caused by the exceptionally high Autumn tides. The water in the Strand at one time rose above the level of the Lock and a spectacular waterfall resulted.

Rye Fawkes 1967, Hugh Manning
Rye Fawkes 1967, Hugh Manning


Rye Fawkes Night could be described as a wet success, for although torrential rain marred the evening’s proceedings, the number of floats were well above average. Hugh Manning (Mr. Hunter of T.V. fame) joined a list of personalities when he lit the bonfire and became Rye Fawkes 1967.

Yes, 1967 has been quite an eventful year in the ancient town—what has 1968 got in store for us all?

From the January 1968 issue of “Rye’s Own”

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