Memories of Old Rye

By Arthur Woodgate

Situated at the Winchelsea Road entrance to Gateborough Farm Road and surrounded by houses and other buildings stood ‘Gasson’s Hut’, a large timber building, open fronted on the road side, was used for tarring sails. It was very close to Suttons Marine Store and home (later known locally as Sutton’s Yard). On the other side of the hut was a roadway leading round a row of houses, This was wide enough to take several vehicles at the side and just before dark, one night back in the 1930s, two vans were parked there, laden with fuel for oil stoves, ready for delivery around Rye the following morning. Continue reading Memories of Old Rye

Rye in Edwardian Times


By Ken Clark

Pauperism in Rye remained an unresolved social problem at the opening of the twentieth century. Social reform is this country was confined to filling the most glaring gaps in the existing social system. The bed-rock of social provision was to be found in the Poor Law, first enacted in the time of the Tudors, and re-enacted in 1834. Administered locally by Boards of Guardians and financed from the local rates, the Poor Law provided a minimum subsistence under conditions which were deliberately designed to deter all but the utterly desperate from applying for it. It is little wonder, therefore, that the poor feared the day when, through ill health, misfortune or old age, they would no longer be able to earn their living for, unless they had been extremely thrifty or possessed children who were in a position to help, the workhouse was the only place for them. Continue reading Rye in Edwardian Times

Life & Times of Reg Weeks

“The life and Times of Reg Weeks”, who lived in Rope Walk and died on 1 March 1993 were compiled by his daughter Daphne Lewellyn of Sidmouth, Devon, from her memories of all the things he told her about his early life in Rye.

Reg Weeks was born at 2 Bridge Place, Rye, Sussex on the 1st February, 1907. His parents were married in the Registry Office on 30th November, 1901 and their first child, Elsie was born a month later. Alice was relieved that Reg was born healthy, her previous baby had been stillborn and her first child. Elsie, was now five years old. She would soon begin to take in washing again to supplement her husband Charles’ earnings as a bricklayer. Continue reading Life & Times of Reg Weeks

Down Rye Way – Kenneth Clark


It is hard to imagine “Rye’s Own” without Ken Clark. When I mentioned to him, shortly before his death, that I was toying with the idea of relaunching the magazine he was filled with enthusiasm and promised many more articles on the history of this small town he loved so well. Continue reading Down Rye Way – Kenneth Clark