Sun brings much needed boost to Rye and Battle area

UNEXPECTED bank holiday sunshine brought a much needed kick-start to the season for the local economy in Rye and Battle.

Rye town was busy over the weekend with pubs and restaurants doing a good trade.

The weather attracted hundreds of bikers to the town while beaches at Camber and Pett Level were also busy.

In Battle around 2,000 people arrived in town for the big Medieval Fayre , which was described as one of the best ever by organisers.

Dale Cromwell, from Battle Chamber of Commerce said: “It was a fantastic weekend and great to see so many people out and about in the town.

“A lot of people gave up their weekend and worked really hard to make the Festival happen and it really paid off. I would like to thank everyone who helped and supported.”

Rye Heritage Centre manager Peter Cosstick said: “We are still playing ctach-up after what has been a very difficult start to the year.

“Easter and the whole month of April were wash-outs.

“Sunday was busy but Monday was even better with lost of groups around and a more normal sort of foot-fall for this time of year.

“It has been a very tough year so far and people have been reluctant to spend.”

The good weather also created an idyllic setting for the big National Trailboat Festival on the River Rother at Bodiam.

More than 20 boats took part in the festival, coming from as far away as Blackpool and Carmarthen.

The castle provided the perfect back-drop for a Saturday evening competition for the best illuminated boat.

The Rye and Battle area is now waiting to hear if it has reached the shortlist of the National City of Culture.

Tourism chiefs believe the bid could provide a significant boost to the local economy if it succeeds.