Illuminating story


Travelling around the local area and despite all the doom and gloom surrounding us all there seem to be as many Christmas lights as there have ever been, or am I just seeing things through rose-tinted spectacles? This year our town looks fantastic, thanks to Andi Rivett and his team of volunteers , the High Street, Landgate and all along the Strand looks so welcoming as the lights extend in all directions linking with the magnificent tree on  Strand Quay.

Christmas window at the Mermaid Inn

These fabulous lights set the scene for “a Rye Good Window Wanderland” which took place over the weekend of December 11 and 12, the brainchild of Arabella Ansar who’s grit and determination culminated in a stunning display of so many fascinating windows throughout the town. She pulled it off against all the odds in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and gave us all a reason to celebrate. Well done Arabella, what an achievement. We had drag queens, Rye Players and Ryebellion drummers doing their thing, choirs and live music at various venues, live painting projected onto the High Street, the Rye ukulele group plucking their stuff and with mince pies and mulled wine along the route, talk about variety, it could only happen in Rye!

A Christmas window display in the citadel

Not forgetting the villages, there is the magnificent tree light display for all to enjoy at the Old Dairy in Playden, each year a huge tree is illuminated in ever changing coloured lights and this year, there were additional light displays along the drive, perfect for kids to see from the back of travelling cars.

Playden tree lights

The annual light fest in Westfield is also a sight to behold and despite the cost of putting on such a vibrant display the local residents never fail to show their support for St Micheal’s Hospice by raising much needed funds and with huge additional support from a whole raft of local sponsors and businesses. Motorists are actively encouraged to ‘toot’ their support as they drive by, preferably then parking up so their kids can see the display on foot while mum and dad dig deep and leave a donation.

Its very easy to get immersed in all the seemingly never ending doom and gloom around us, but thanks to all those who have given their time and expertise so we can all enjoy the fruits of their labours as they make our local area somewhere special and somewhere we can be rightly proud of. So on behalf of Rye News and its readers we would like to say a resounding “thank you” to all concerned.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .

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