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A race official resists the temptation to try a pudding before the race begins

One of the highlights of “Great Expectations” last Saturday was the Christmas Pudding race (above) and the winners from the Mermaid Inn are featured on our Sports page  where the rules may or may not be explained. However different people responded in different ways to the day’s events. One elderly lady in Lion Street said : “Seeing all those children enjoying themselves, moved me to tears” but a GOM (Grumpy Old Man) nearby said: “It’ll be good when we get our town back”.

The reindeer were a big attraction, both down on Strand quayside in their stall and in the procession. Should you need one or more (and there are 90 in the flock near Ashford – which can be confusing for foreign visitors leaving Eurostar at Ashford for the designer clothes outlet) contact Rye’s reindeer comprised a male, a female and a child (young reindeer) – but it was not their own calf, and we did not like to enquire further.

And finally a story from the day from man about town, bridge-playing sailor John Minter. “Getting money out of Barclays ATM, a voice behind me said, “Hello John”. I turned round and saw a youngish man I thought I recognised, but could not place him. We got talking and it rapidly became clear to me that I did not know him after all, but that he thought I was his uncle!

I told him of his mistake and, embarrassed, he apologised, and rushed off. An hour or so later I bumped into him again amongst the crowd in the High Street. He said he had told his family, who were only a few yards away, of the mistake and insisted I meet them. This I did, including the uncle he had mistaken me for. They were absolutely charming, and we had a nice conversation for 10 minutes or so before parting, now knowing each other’s complete history.

It could really only happen in Rye” – and December 12 proved to be a day for great happenings as well as “Great Expectations”.