Rye Conservation Society AGM


Friday April 22, I could not resist, like many others, the offer of free cream tea at the Country Market, in the Community Centre, Conduit Street to commemorate the Queen’s 90th Birthday.

After this yummy breakfast, hurrying up the hill, I arrived just in time for the Rye Conservation Society’s AGM in St Mary’s Centre. The chairman, John Griffiths, opened proceedings, thanked everyone who had given their time in 2015, the Planning and Executive Committee. The minutes and treasurer’s report were approved and officers ‘en groupe’ were voted in again.

Swiftly moving on the officers gave their report. Andy Stuart, responsible for membership and publicity told us that there were more or less the same numbers of members which financially was good but new members were always welcome.

Julian Lockett , (chairman of planning) gave us an update about a few Rye sites – The Tesco and Sainsbury site, now available, may go to the Rye College (which the society supports) if the money can be raised, or housing. The application for the old Gristmill site on Winchelsea Road has been rejected by Rother and the Society and everyone is in agreement to watch very carefully the development of plans concerning this area as well as the possible development in Rock Channel. He also added that Amicus Horizon have now pulled out of the Tilling Green development because dealing with the flood issues would not make the build financially viable.

Mike Slaven said that “there have been major changes in the last 12 months in the energy landscape nationally as the result of big shifts in Government strategy. Locally these changes are leading us to concentrate on energy conservation, improving the availability of support services to those in energy difficulties rather than solar projects.”

Andrew Bamji, (Highway Forum) told the audience that there had been considerable success with the mending of cobbles and that a couple of repairs had been very satisfactory. He also reported back from the ‘Parking Working Group‘. He said that the meeting was very constructive and that the police was very supportive towards the concerns of Rye people after spending a considerable time in Rye. Apparently they counted 868 available parking spaces which is quite surprising. The police also suggested that they will visit all the businesses, they will send out a press release reminding locals what is allowable or not. They promised better enforcement re the lay-by outside the George Hotel in the High Street.

A suggestion was put forward that car numbers of regular offenders will be taken and owners written to. Andrew Bamji also said that a Park and Ride on Thursday may be looked at.

Wayne Jones was very passionate about how important the fabric of the town is and that perhaps too many satellite dishes, PVC windows and banners were appearing. He was very vocal about the Pump in Church Square, an artefact of Rye, which is close to his house. He feels it needs to be looked at as it is near collapse.

A Grade II listed building the conservation society is concerned about
Rye Ancient Water Supply, a Grade II listed building the conservation society is concerned about

Rye’s water supply dates from the 18th century and includes a surviving brick cistern and tower, standing in the north-east corner of St Mary’s churchyard. The cistern pre-dates more well known Victorian water systems by more than 100 years, and is now a Grade II listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

John Griffiths thanked the officers for their reports and the audience for attending. He reminded members of the next event which is an outing to Canterbury on May 25.

I was not part of the 50 rushing for lunch so can’t gush about the food at the Mermaid.


Photo by Jane Joyce

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