The fence is broken, the Ferry Road site overgrown. But the four year stalemate over a supermarket for Rye is over. Both Sainsbury's and Tesco are walking away after locking horns since 2010, another retailer may be unlikely, and nearby schools need more space. But who will buy the site? And will Rye benefit - Charlie Harkness reports.
The party's over, a giant puppet slumps in the railway booking office, and after over 50 events the Arts Festival is done. . . . until next year. Art had a strong presence on the fringe events, 'freebies' included getting 'Brahms and Liszt' and learning to tango, and Rye's history got an airing as well as the arts with walks and tours. The schools played a bigger part, and those giant puppets were made by pupils - and will hopefully find a home to go to.
At the point when memories start to become history, Rye was very much on the front line during the second world war, both when a German invasion seemed possible, and in the run-up to D-Day, and when Hitler counter-attacked by launching thousands of flying bombs at London - mainly over the town and the nearby coastline. So Rye was not immune from bombs (and planes) falling out of the sky. Charlie Harkness reports on his childhood.
Residents have supported the broad ideas behind the Neighbourhood Plan, which could give the town hall greater control over Rye's own affairs. But education was omitted and, now the "supermarket proposal" has been abandoned and that land is up for sale, more issues and options have to be considered - including playing field provision. So a lot needs to be done between now and the planned vote on the plan next May alongside the general election.
Parking is a major issue for Rye residents, as a recent survey shows. A High Street loading bay is on the way, "park and ride" is a possibility and some sort of "pedestrianisation" might be introduced. But the reality, for now, is traffic jams, roadworks, vans on pavements, streets blocked, and no one taking responsibility. Charles Harkness reports