Residents and businesses of Rye town centre have been notified that normal traffic access will be disrupted between 6pm on Monday January 21 and 6pm Tuesday January 22. This is to facilitate the filming in Rye of some scenes from Netflix’s series 3 royal biopic The Crown.
In a letter from LBP Ltd, (Left Bank Pictures, the television film producers), recipients are advised that approvals for car parking suspensions in the High Street and East Street have been obtained as appropriate from council officials, Sussex Police and the Sussex Film Office.
It is understood that Rye has been chosen by the producer to provide an alternative setting for Pitlochry, Scotland (some 30 miles southwest of Balmoral) where the action of the film is supposed to take place. It is not clear how the area of the High Street as chosen in particular can simulate the architectural streetscape of Pitlochry but that is not our concern.
What is of concern is the question as to what benefit the town of Rye will derive from this exercise? We are reminded that previous filmings in Rye have to some considerable extent benefited the town. In recent memory there was The Monuments Men, when George Clooney stayed in a Rye hostelry and the film company donated the sum of £10,000 to be shared between various local environmental organisations. Then again, the BBC production of EF Benson’s Mapp and Lucia gave an enormous fillip to the local tourist industry.
What will The Crown produce? Not a lot, I suspect unless someone makes it their business to seek some advantage. It would be unthinkable for such a high-profile film to be staged in a French town, without the mayor’s office getting directly and purposely involved.
All we get in Rye is a note from East Sussex County Council (ESCC)’s library service saying that “the closure of the library may cause some temporary inconvenience to customers, for which we apologise.
“However, we believe that allowing Rye library to be used for the filming means we can play a role in supporting the economic benefits that are likely to result from Rye being used as a location.”
Maybe ESCC can spell out what economic benefit it has in mind for the citizens of Rye?
Image Credits: Kenneth Bird.