Rye celebrated Sussex Day in style with the Ryebellion group drumming up a crowd outside the Town Hall on the morning of Sunday June 16.
At first only a few people had gathered in anticipation of the annual treat but the incredibly loud and proficient drumming soon drew people from church, the High Street and all over Rye, to see what was happening. The number of drummers also expanded as time went on. They started with about six, but ended with twice that number.
Ryebellion is the drumming arm of Rye & District Bonfire Society. It was founded in January 2017 and has quickly built up an impressive repertoire and sound. They look good too.
After Ryebellion had drawn in a large gathering of spectators, some of whom were dancing along in time to the beat, town crier Paul Goring read out the Sussex charter, the words of which are reproduced below.
This year (and last) we also gave three cheers for the new(ish) Duke and Duchess of Sussex, otherwise known as Harry Windsor and Meghan Markle.
The party then processed down Lion Street, along the High Street to the Old Borough Arms where the ceremony was repeated, to a new group of people who had not expected this uniquely Rye entertainment. Ryebellion drummed the way, cars stopped to allow them through, spectators came out of the shops and pubs to film the action, all with broad smiles and looks of bemused excitement.
There was a mixed reaction from dogs. They all went berserk, some because they clearly wanted to join in and were trying to bark along to the beat. But others were shocked and were dragging their owners away in horror. There were quite a few rockabillies in town over the weekend, attending a themed music weekend at Pontins, Camber, and they were clearly enjoying the experience as well.
The Sussex Charter
For all the people of the ancient kingdom of Sussex!
Let it be known: the 16 June of each and every year shall be known as Sussex Day.
Sussex day shall be celebrated according to the rites and traditions of Sussex.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for the maintenance of those boundaries that join to those of our neighbours.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for all the environs within those boundaries.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex shall recognise the inshore waters that lie inside a line drawn from Beachy Head, and extending to Selsey Bill as being, the Bay of Sussex.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex will undertake responsibility for the general well being of our neighbours.
Let it be known the people of Sussex shall be guardians of our wildlife.
Let it be known the people of Sussex will, through custom support all local business.
Finally, let it be known, as guardians of Sussex, we all know Sussex is Sussex … and Sussex won’t be druv!
In God we trust.
God Save the Queen!
Image Credits: Seana Lanigan.