Rye Observer Comment

When French raiders caught Rye out hundreds of years ago and stole the church bells the response from the town was swift and decisive.

Rye men set sail for France and the bells were swiftly recovered.

We have always admired Rye’s tendency to be proactive and get things done.

When Rother took on the town’s allotment holders claiming that it, and not Rye was the rightful owner of the allotments, they got a fight they could not have dreamed of.

Faced with the closure of the Rye rail line for nine weeks this winter a public meeting was organised in a matter of days and rail bosses were brought in to answer questions.

One newcomer to Rye commented that he was highly impressed with the quality of the questions raised by local people and less impressed with the rail operator’s ability to answer them,

When the town was told by Hastings College that the much loved Lion Street site was going to be sold as a housing development and there was nothing they could do, a group of local people came together and put in a successful planning bid of their own with the ambitious plan of opening a new theatre and education centre on the site. They then raised the money to buy the site from the college.

To accomplish that using just the skills and knowledge of local people is simply staggering. They achieved what many local authorities or big companies, with all their resources, would have found a real challenge.

Now with winter approaching and Rye still under threat from flooding a local action group was established and used it’s wide knowledge and expertise to come up with prevention and early warning plans.

REACT will unveil it’s latest findings to a public meeting on Tilling Green next Wednesday.

Rye has never been a town that sits back passively waiting for the inevitable or looks to local authorities to rescue it.

The town has a collective voice that rings out as loudly as those stolen church bells.