Spotlight on the Black Death

Up to 200 million people died and Europe was devastated over an eight-year period by the Black Death. It took a generation to recover from the pandemic, which features in Rye's fifth Medieval Conference in October at Rye College on "The Hazards of Life and Causes of Death in Late Medieval England". The conference is organised by Rye Museum and at least 60 academics and others interested in history are expected to attend.

Digital widens the angles

Twenty local snappers, some of them previous winners of the Sussex Trophy, showed off their skills at the annual exhibition of the Rye and District Camera Club. Membership is open to all - whether you have been wielding a camera for years or just started snapping

Operational difficulties

The town is buzzing - with performers, spectators, music lovers, would-be dancers, artists, artistes and plain old residents. And away from the limelight a lot of chat goes on. Rye News is keeping its ear to the ground . . .

Gegants on parade

This year's Arts Festival has seen a big input from the schools, including sets and costumes for the opera "La Traviata" and the opening procession, and the Festival itself taking performances and performers into schools.

Students help stage opera

Rye Studio School students helped to design and produce the sets and costumes for the opera "La Traviata" at the start of the Arts Festival, led by conductor and stage director Alisdair Kitchen and starring Icelandic soprano Rannveig Karadottir in the principal role.

Whirling awards

Two young locals from the Rye Wurlitzer Academy, which is supported by the Rye Fund, won awards at the UK Young Theatre Organist of...

Trains – by Southern

What do you do when your train from Rye is cancelled and you have a bit of time on your hands? Forced to delay his commuting, Dan Scarsy took to composing - a poem

The French connection

Rye Museum is holding a special exhibition during the festival season illustrating the extraordinary links - both friendly and hostile - between the town and its neighbour across the Channel, Normandy

Sir Donald Sinden, friend of Rye

Sir Donald Sinden who lived in Tenterden has died. John Griffiths pays tribute to the actor who for the last 19 years was president of Rye Conservation Society

Students on parade

Students at Rye Studio School have been heavily involved backstage in preparing for Rye Arts Festival. Their own performance kicks off with a parade. Harley Gentry, a student at the school, has been watching the preparations

Crafty van shows

Rye Harbour features an art exhibition, a caravan full of crafts and some rocking hot potatoes this weekend as the Arts Festival kicks off

Hitum society revels

High jinks, high society and hilarity at the annual dinner of the Friends of Tilling, led by Gyles Brandreth at the Mermaid - who will reappear shortly at the Rye Arts Festival on September 21, but in the Milligan Theatre this time... and after lunch.

Memoirs of Georgian intrigue

The first performance of AP Waxkirsh's new one-man play "Spite and Smut and Tales and Lies" will take place at the historic 17th century thatched Barn Theatre, Smallhythe on Saturday September 20th at 7.00pm in the grounds of the early 16th century Smallhythe Place, home of renowned Victorian actress Ellen Terry - now owned by the National Trust. Lord Hervey (pictured) was Vice-Chamberlain at the Court of King George II and Queen Caroline.

Curtain up on Rye Arts Festival

Rye Arts Festival opens this Friday for two hectic weeks from Friday September 12th to Sunday September 28th with a free concert at the Community Centre, and some events are already sold out - or the best seats have gone. But many are still available either online from or the Phillips & Stubbs' box office in Cinque Ports Street, open 9.30am to 1pm Monday - Saturday. Charlie Harkness reports on the full programme and there are further reports on our Culture page

Scots on the edge

As Scotland stands poised to vote for or against independence, a young author talks at Rye Arts Festival about Robert the Bruce, a historic figure in the fight for nationhood.

The Rain That Washes

Live and breathe one man's extraordinary and dramatic journey from escape to finally returning to his homeland to witness Robert Mugabe's betrayal

Art creeps into fringe

An Open Studios Day is being held at the School Creative Centre along with three talks as part of art's contribution to the Rye Arts Festival. Charlie Harkness reports.

Local artists shine in superb show

Rye Art Gallery's latest exhibition "A Celebration of Light" opens on Saturday September 6 with works by Andrew Blyth and Andy Wood PRI RBA who now live in the Rye. For admirers of watercolours the exhibition promises to be one to savour with beautiful images of land, town and sea. And both artists will be working in the gallery at various times during the exhibition.

Art pays for repairs

Almost 100 paintings by Winchelsea artists were displayed at the annual Bank Holiday art exhibition to raise funds for the town's Millennium Artefacts Fund.

Brickwall plays on

Brickwall Music and Arts Society completed its forty-seventh season last month with a wonderfully enjoyable concert in the Great Space at St. Ronan's School, Hawkhurst.