Another loss for am-dram

Dilys Mayor, John Breeds and Yvonne Hamilton singing at the Rye Museum party

Just a matter of weeks after losing their patron Priscilla Ryan, Rye Players and The Rye Shakespeare Company are mourning the loss of Yvonne Hamilton, a long time active member, wardrobe mistress and fine character actress – well known in Rye for many years as the proprietor of Hamilton Furnishings at 105 High Street – a shop that was an Aladdin’s cave of high class soft furnishing material, rugs, glassware, pictures, silver jewellery and even miniature clocks.

While she was proud of having made and hung the curtains for the great and the good in the town, she was equally happy to advise on curtaining the smallest window in the house. Her talent as a designer had also been employed in the past by some well known hotels, including The George here in Rye.

Over the past year, although her health was deteriorating, she managed to move house and still get out and about to the things she enjoyed, singing in a choir, volunteering in the community charity shop, which she helped set up, at the museum and of course, drama.

Her last public performance was at The Mermaid at the end of last year’s Rye Festival where, though she had to be helped onto the stage to a chair, she gave a great performance as a truculent, unhelpful bank teller. But to many of the fans of the RSC’s outdoor series ‘The Secret History of Rye’, she was the one in disguise who usually delivered the denouement when they couldn’t wait to cheer as she revealed that “in reality she was Lady Hamilton of Camber!”

Yvonne Hamilton 1939-2020 RIP.

Image Credits: Rye news library .


  1. She’ll be very sadly missed by all. I first met Yvonne about 30 years ago when I bought a wall hanging, still in pride of place and some cushions from her wonderful High Street shop. I remember her encouraging me after my knee surgery and proudly show me the single line on her knee.
    She was so supportive in always coming to see Martin in everything he appeared in and making sure she congratulated him.
    Yvonne had a wonderful sense of community spirit and got involved with so much voluntary work in Rye. We’ll always remember her energy, determination and positivity in spite of her health issues. A life well lived!

  2. I was not aware of all her other activities, but she will be missed from the U3A lunch group which she bravely attended earlier despite the difficulty for her of doing so. Always a cheery and chatty member who had had many adventures and who will be remembered. Mike Wade


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here