Judging by the comments we have heard, the installation of portaloos in St Mary’s churchyard has not met with universal acclaim. “Totally inappropriate”, said one; “why couldn’t they put it in Lamb House garden”, said another, “there’s plenty of room in the vegetable patch”. “It’s caused quite a ‘harumph’ in Church Square” said a third person. “Sacrilege”, muttered a fourth, a view evidently not shared by Canon David Frost who gave his permission.
The two loos were placed there for the Lamb House garden production of Twelfth Night on August 15/16, but fears were expressed that they may remain in situ for the Rye Arts Festival. Canon Frost later commented: “I did give my permission for two portaloos to be put in the churchyard at the west end of St Mary’s church for the duration of the Jazz Festival. Lamb House had ordered them but they were too large to go through the gate to the garden and the wall was too high to winch them in safely. I agreed as a favour to Lamb House. This was never intended to be a long term arrangement. My understanding is that they are being removed today. Any thought of them being around for the Rye Festival was never on the agenda.
“I’m sorry if people have been offended by this but it was only for a very limited time. I would point out that there are still many churches in rural locations that have no toilets whatsoever”.
There was a timely report in the Daily Telegraph yesterday, September 2, about a woman who was carried away at the Newlyn Fish Festival. She was using the facility when it was hoisted by fork lift truck and teleported to the opposite side of the harbour. Such a thing could surely not happen in Rye.
Photo: Kenneth Bird