Developers want to reject famous Rye man for road name

A ROW has broken out over a proposed road name on Rye’s Valley Park housing estate.

The developers asked Rye Town Council to submit names with links to well known Rye figures.

Now they are objecting to one of the streets being named after former Rye Mayor Alec Vidler.

Gavin Thomas, from the developers, in a letter to Rye Town Council, said: “We are not happy about the religious background of Alec Vidler.

“We would prefer less contentious artists, authors and historical/military figures, in keeping with the rest of the street names on the development.”

Alec Vidler, born in Rye, was an Anglican theologian and historian who went on to become Dean of Cambridge. He is not recorded as being a controversial figure.

Cllr John Breeds said: “I don’t see why Vidler’s religious background is contentious at all. He was Queen’s Chaplain.”

Deputy Mayor Bernardine Fiddimore commented: “This does seem rather silly”

Councillor Jonathan Breeds said: “Vidler is an old Rye family name. I think their suggestions and reasons are ludicrous.

“There are still some Vidlers around who may be quite offended by the stance the developers are taking.

“They came to us in the first place and asked for name suggestions for what was a deeply unpopular development.

“There are many Vidlers, all of which have historic connections to this town.”

The developers have put forward their own preferred list of names for the street which include Nash Park, or Drive, after the WW1 artist who lived in Rye from 1930; Conrad Park, after the writer Joseph Conrad, who had associations with Rye; Blake Circus, after Admiral Blake , who based his Channel fleet in Rye or Black Prince Drive, who defeated an enemy fleet off Rye.

Alec Vidler retired to his Rye house in 1966.