Waterman’s lives on


Those of you familiar with Cinque Ports Street will recall mention of a new leather goods shop called Waterman’s in a recent Rye News article.

Now, Waterman’s is a familiar name in the town, with the much loved leather goods shop in Lion Street run by Gerry Waterman, who retired full of years, nearing eighty in fact, in June this year and sold the shop, but the new antiques business there needs another story.

So, back to a new and thriving shop in Cinque Ports Street. Because it was good to see all the beautiful leather bags, belts and other goodies displayed so proudly in the window, hanging outside and inside, and wanting a large purse to carry money, cards, face covering, and sanitiser – I’m sure you remember – I was curious about exactly who was running it, and how it came by its familiar name.

All sorts of leather goods

On going in, suitably masked and socially distanced, I was met immediately by the wonderful smell of a good leather shop, and my eye was caught by all manner of stock. There were bags and gloves, backpacks, sheepskin and leather coats and laptop bags, wallets and belts and – if it could be made out of leather – it seemed to be there. It even had umbrellas (not leather), walking sticks and hats (some leather) and there were kids’ sheepskin slippers and moccasins to add to the mix as well.

I asked the shopkeeper who greeted me all about these new premises in a new place, but an old name, and it turned out that this is a joint venture as Patrick Browne, helping me select the bright red leather purse I needed, and Gerry Waterman, owner of the old Lion Street leather emporium much missed by Rye shoppers, have joined forces very effectively and now own the building – and Patrick runs the shop.

Patrick, who has led a varied and interesting life, always self employed and including a stint in New York as a sound and lights engineer, found himself in a very difficult position with a seriously injured leg wound that would not heal, and eventually requiring amputation, so was looking for a new adventure once he was fully back in action, and Gerry, his friend of ten years, was getting bored (days can be long when you retire) so they joined forces and now have a new business in completely refurbished and accessible premises, close to the railway station and the car park.

To quote Patrick, “Waterman’s has re-opened bigger, better and stronger in improved premises with mobility friendly access to the shop. The new Waterman’s will be expanding its range of leather and sheepskin and will, for example, look to include things like shoes and boots”.

So, what are you waiting for? Go and visit it and buy something special. We need new shops and shopkeepers in Rye and variety is the spice of life, they say.

Image Credits: Patrick Browne .

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