MISSING A FRIEND: Nat West Bank has long been my friend. I met my husband indirectly through Nat West. A friend of his worked in Nat West Camberwell Green. He invited him to a party in a house where I lived with seven other nurses. We left the party and went to our flat upstairs, where I made him spaghetti on toast, [which was all nurses could afford if we were to buy clothes and eye shadow.] I can’t believe my bank in Rye has gone. Oh, I know I can go to the Tenterden branch, but that makes me feel as though I’m borrowing someone else’s bank. Beside my own deserted bank, the cash machine looks like a square, sad grave stone. I feel like buying a bunch of flowers and laying them at its feet. Banks have long been such stalwarts, such an integral part of our lives. Bank robberies are of course not to be recommended, but the ones in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’’ were bungling and romantic. The very word ‘bank’ suggests something true and correct. Like so many aging folk, I’m afraid of on line banking, yet my grandchildren bank on line with no trouble at all. It’s probably the biggest development which sorts the sheep from the goats, one of life’s crossroads. I can manage to lose a thank you note on the computer, so I’m scared rigid to trust my money to what is in effect a bunch of wires. I will miss talking to the person handling my money too. Being asked if I’d prefer it in fives or tens was all part of a bank’s courtesy. Pretty soon there will be no need for conversation at all in life except perhaps ‘pass the salt’. I hate change. If I had my way we’d still be making butter in a churn!

BANK HOLIDAY FUN AND GAMES: The Bank Holiday Monday fete held outside Iden Church was all fun and games, and very much enjoyed by people of all ages, who wandered from stall to stall taking part, then into The Old Hall for tea. I’ve never seen so many cakes. Many thanks to all who donated the gingerbreads and the lemon drizzles, the meringues, the raspberry shortcakes and the myriad of choice. ‘Hook A Duck’, ‘lucky ladder, hoop La, ‘Splat A Rat’ etc, a raffle, a Pimms stall and a prize for the biggest vegetable kept young and old amused. A big thank you goes to the church flower- group, who provided a lovely show of summer flowers in the church. Thanks to all the many helpers, and particularly to Paula Riley and Glenn Wassall who worked very hard arranging the fete, providing enjoyment for all.

A DATE FOR THE DIARY: There will be Bingo at Iden Bowls Club on 21st September [6.30pm for 7pm] All are welcome.

AFTERNOON TEA ON SUNDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER: There will be a tea at Iden Bowls Club in aid of breast cancer. Everyone in the Rye area is welcome for tea, coffee, cake, a raffle and tombola, and a good chat [23rd September from 2pm-5pm.] in Iden Bowls Club [opposite The Bell Inn.]

THE NEW RYE ANCIENT TRAILS 30K RACE: On Sunday 9th September, at 9.30am, the town crier will start the above race outside The George Inn, Rye. The race is organised jointly by ‘Nice Work’, local race management company, and Rye runners, with sponsorship by The George Inn, for the Oliver Curd Trust, [charity number 1124648]. The race will envelop local Norman churches including Iden church plus wonderful scenery and terrain. This is a new race with a 15k, or 30k option, both beginning and ending at ‘The George Inn.’ Along the way will be stations for drinks for the runners, and some quirky, festive food for spectators, including our own AJ at ‘The Bell Inn’ who will provide a South African delicacy called Biltong. For information ring Rachael Wood [telephone 01797 229955], or online info from Runners can sign up online at, or on the day at race HQ, behind Rye Sports Centre.

RYE ON THE NEWS: Did you see St Mary’s church and the Kino on the news a week ago? The Jazz festival brought a host of people out into Rye streets. I like Jazz don’t you? There is such an airy-fairy allowability about the way it goes off at a tangent whichever way a person chooses to sing or play it. Joan Armatrading in St Mary’s church, how great was that? Rye is so spiritual and quirky, so much history in its wake. The good thing is that it probably won’t change. How can it? It’s narrow and cobbled and there is little room for garages and extra buildings. It still belongs to the horse and cart era, a nightmare for today’s dust carts and ambulances, but staunchly quaint and historic. The trendy, arty shops and galleries are at odds with its old- world surroundings which is exactly what makes it special. Exciting to see it show-cased on TV.

CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything to add to the Village Voice, please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01797 280311]