Scallop Festival helps boost Rye local economy

Scallop Queen
Scallop Queen

RYE Scallop Festival came to an exciting close on Sunday when teams braved the wind and rain to take part in the What A Load of Scallops Race.

Based around the Ship Inn, on the Strand, teams raced to be first across the finishing line while pushing wheelbarrow loads of scallop shells.

Winners again this year were Rye Rugby Club, who received their award from Rye’s Scallop Queen.

Sunday also saw an impromptu performance outside the Ship by the Scallop Festival flash mob dancers, set up by former Rye Mayor Lorna Hall.

The Festival provided a great out of season boost to the town’s local economy as well as helping secure Rye’s place on the nation’s culinary map.

Danny Delenio, of Olde Worlde Wines, said: “It was a fantastic week for business, We have never had such a good week in February before.”

Rebecca Webbe, from Webbes at the Fish Cafe, said: “Scallop Week was a breath of fresh air for Rye,.

“It was a fabulous feeling to have our restaurant full to bursting! Over 4,500 scallops were shucked and seared to perfection.”

Oliver Campion, from Domain Support, who promoted the Festival, said: ““The individual efforts to lift this event have been staggering. To name a few; Glenda Procter was able to persuade 115 businesses to display her scallop shell boxes in their windows; meanwhile Jon and Leo’s Sushi Bar at the Ypres was superb, I think it’s popularity took them by surprise!

“The town has come together this year and that’s just what the economic doctor ordered.”

Judith Blincow, from the Mermaid, said: “We had guests staying from all over the country as well as from Europe and two ladies from America. Our chef thoroughly enjoyed both of his cookery demonstrations and it definitely helped to brighten up what can sometimes be a bit of a dull month!”

Kate Hayden, from Hayden’s Coffee House, said: “We had a great week with sales up on last year’s festival and may guests coming just for the scallop dishes served in Rye.”