Rye Castle Museum held its 90th birthday on Saturday (July 28) with a wonderful party at the East Street Museum.
A change of location was hastily made on Saturday afternoon, as strong winds would have made an outdoor event difficult at Ypres Tower.
Honoured guests included the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and his wife, Mr and Mrs Field; Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye; the chairman of Rother District Council, Cllr Jonathan Johnson, and several Rye Town Councillors.
Other invited guests included Rosemary Bagley, whose late husband Geoffrey was instrumental in setting up the museum again after the war and became curator for 38 years, and Pricilla Ryan, a great supporter of the museum.
A Guard of Honour welcomed the Lord Lieutenant, provided by three Cinque Ports volunteers and the Town Crier. A large party of more than 60 museum members and guests gathered inside.
Drinks and canapés were served to the group, provided by the Museum Muses ladies.
Jo Kirkham, chairman of Rye Museum Association, gave a short history of the museum and asked the Lord Lieutenant to propose a toast. He said he felt sure Her Majesty the Queen would also wish us well – which, as the Crown’s representative in East Sussex, he is permitted to do.
The museum was founded on July 28, 1928 in Battery House next to the Castle, where the grass is now. There was a direct hit by a 1,000lb bomb on the building in September 1942, which destroyed the museum and badly damaged the nearby houses and chapel, and the roofs of the Ypres and the Women’s Towers. The museum reopened in 1954.
Guests were given a booklet, written by Jo Kirkham, outlining the full story of Rye Castle Museum, which is now available to buy.
A commemorative tile was on sale at the event, designed by Sarah Cooper and produced by Rye Pottery exclusively for the museum.
Only a few of the 50 boxed and numbered tiles are still available.
Everybody wishes continued success to the museum, and may it run for another 90 years and more!