Frank Palmer Collection (1902)
This very rare photograph, from the Frank Palmer Collection, is of Rye’s ‘Unknown Inn’.
The Oak Inn, situated in the building very recently part vacated by Ollio Books on the right and the Rye Art Galleries Easton Rooms, was active for a period of three years or so a little over 100 years ago. By 1903, a year after this photograph was taken, the premises had become a tea shop.A close inspection of the picture reveals that “The Oak” was a Style & Wynch outlet.
Sunlight on the walls of what is now Adams of Rye point to it being an early morning shot, the milkman and his horse appear to have passed and the only person in sight is the Borough road sweeper with his bass broom.
The circle on the side window, adjacent to the sweeper, is a clock, the building was then owned by Neeve Masters who became the first man in England to do mail order with credit. There are still pocket watches to be found with the Masters stamp on them.
The shop opposite the Masters building was a chemist shop, The Apothecary Shop. The large bottles can be seen in the window. It was The Apothecary Shop right up to the end of the 1970’s.