Shopping “now and then”

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Horrell's chemist shop - one of the few survivors

Victor Vicarey has certainly stirred some memories with his article, A Trip down Memory Lane. This put me in mind of a booklet in our possession, published Autumn 2000, by the Rye Local History Group (now amalgamated with the Rye Museum Association).

WJ Bennett as it is today, 100 years later
WJ Bennett as it is today, after 100 years

Entitled Now and Then, it was written by Clifford Bloomfield, who on July 17, 1997 led about 50 members and friends the length of the High Street, recalling memories of the 1930s. He then added his own memories of the town’s social life during that decade.

Nearly 50 pages long, it is a mine of information, listing each premises with their past and present use as of Autumn 2000.

Clifford Bloomfield (1926 – 2016) lived in Rye his whole life. For some 43 years he worked with successive flood prevention, land drainage and sea defence agencies, responsible for securing the Walland and Pett marshes. As a teenager, he knew the sites of every plane crash on the marshes during the second world war and later he authored several small books including “Wings over Rye”.

[Editor’s note: This booklet may well be available from the East Street Museum in Rye once it can re-open as the museum stocks a wide range of materials about Rye]

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird , Hayley May .

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