Rye had a fine brass band for many years. Alas it is no more. This photograph was taken shortly before the Second War, in 1938, and was loaned to us by Sylvia Cutting whose Dad Bill can be seen third from the left in the top row.Bill died a few years ago. He was a terrific character, many will remember him in latter years as the chap that collected the money on the gate at the Camber Boot Fairs. He was a prewar member of the Rye & District Wheelers and very much involved with the St. John Ambulance Brigade. In the 1950’s along with his with his wife Sally he was a leading member of the Tilling Green Entertainments Committee who put on great events for the children of the estate from the time of the Coronation.
Ray Cutting, top right, was another keen member of the band. He remained with them for many years and his son Robert followed in his footsteps.
‘Pug’ Bannister, forth from the right on the top row, lived in New Winchelsea Road and worked on the Catchment Board.
Charlie Bachelor, third from right sitting, became the head water man on Rye Corporation. It is said that when he eventually retired from the job such was the loss of his knowledge about the workings of the system a new water main had to be installed.
Vic Pulford, sitting at Charlie’s right hand, was a skilled bricklayer. He, his wife Lou and their children were one of the first families to move onto the brand new Tilling Green Estate shortly after the War.
Colin Batchelor, second from the left in the second row, was killed in Burma during the Second World War, There is a stone in his memory at Peasmarsh Church.
Bill Mepham, sitting on the ground to the left of the drum, served during the First World War in 5th. Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. After the War he worked for the East Sussex County Council and was a valued collector for the Rye Football Club.
Reg Bailey, seated third from the left, had an unusual nickname “Bunkum”. He was a carpenter.
On the left, seated, Arthur Woodgate. He became a Magistrate at Rye Magistrate’s Court in the sixties.
Sid Tiltman, standing third from the right, was a painter and decorator, Sid Ashenden standing to his right, lived in Cyprus Place. Others in the band are John and Cyril Cutting, sitting together far right, Peter Neilson, top left and Don Henley, sitting on the ground to the right of the big drum.
The only face no one can put a name to is the chap sitting behind the big drum. Can anyone identify him? Could it be the Band Leader Mr. Bumstead?
The picture below was taken at Lydd in 1947 during the filming of “The Loves of Joanna Godden”. Rye Town Band was included in the cast and members can just be made out mingling in the crowd. Filmed at New Romney, Dungeness, Brookland and Knockhill, Stone “Joanna Godden” was a great success. It starred Googie Withers.
From the February 2012 Rye’s Own.
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