By Frank Palmer
Rye Borough Police Force came into being in 1838, two years after Hastings and nine years after the Metropolitan Police.
Photograph (left) shows William Henry Henley who is wearing the uniform of the Rye Borough Force, he was born in Rye in 1845. The Police Station was in a small cottage adjacent to the Ypres Tower ‘Police Station’ can be seen painted on the wall to the left of the upstairs windows.
The local government act of 1888 obliged the very small Rye force to amalgamate with the East Sussex Constabulary. This took place the following year and resulted in a new Police Station being built in Church Square in 1891.
In Coronation Year of 1911 (George V) an official photograph was taken of the Rye Police (and other services) for the Mayor’s Album, it shows, L to R standing :- PC Berry, PC Muggridge (my grandfather), PC Boniface (Playden); seated: Supt. Whitlock and Sgt. Sinclair, who lived in the house to the left of the Police Station, as you face it.
More changes, the Church Square station closed in 1966, when a new larger Police Station opened in Cinque Ports Street.
The force name changed for a short while to East Sussex Police, then, more amalgamations, East joined West to produce Sussex Police, which we have today.
The final photograph shows the Church Square Station just before it closed in 1966.
The wife of the resident police officer is talking to my mother who lived there from 1910 to 1914.