Locals and visitors have been puzzled by the disappearance of the Rye anchor (writes Tony McLaughlin). For years it has been a meeting point, as well as a climbing frame presenting great photo opportunities. But then, for some reason, the anchor was removed from it’s site at the corner of Strand Quay and the Deals, next to the Rye Heritage Centre. At the weekend one local lady was heard explaining to her disappointed grandchildren that “pirates must have taken it”. In fact staff at the heritage centre have a more practical explanation: repair and maintenance. Some of the anchor’s wooden fixings have deteriorated, part of the metal is rusting and the paintwork has started to peel. The centre’s staff expect the anchor to be returned in three to four weeks “all clean and sparkling” in time for summer, when it can resume it’s role as a useful location point and a much photographed symbol of the town.