As Rye heads into the May Day weekend it is time to enjoy
- a model railway bonanza (on Saturday ;
- Mayor making (Bank Holiday Monday) ;
- and Macbeth on Sunday –
- not forgetting Jack in the Green festivities all weekend in Hastings
- and the start of the Hastings Folk Festival (from Tuesday May 2 until the 7th ).
And all this comes before the county council elections next Thursday May 4, and June’s General Election, with May Day Monday (the Bank Holiday) being particularly busy in Rye with Mayor Making and all that follows during the day.
A series of events on Monday marks the annual Mayor Making when it is expected that well-known local publican Councillor Jonathan Breeds will be elected to serve a second term.
After the official Council Meeting in the historic Rye Town Hall at the top of Lion Street the public are welcome to attend a Service of Thanksgiving at nearby St Mary’s Church from 11:45am followed by the Blessing of the John Izod Community Bus in the Churchyard at 12:20 pm.
John, a Town Councillor who died last year, was initially to be remembered by a memorial bench in the High Street, near where he often sat, but the Town Council recently agreed to donate the money instead towards the purchase of a new community bus, as John had been very active in particular in supporting this service and raising funds for it.
This will then be followed by the traditional “Throwing of Hot Pennies” at 12:30 pm. As in previous years children (pictured at top) are invited to gather in front of the Town Hall to collect the pennies , thrown from the Council Chamber windows by the Mayor and invited dignitaries.
This tradition is thought to date back to when Rye had its own Mint. However it has also been suggested that it might have something to do with the days when Rye was known as a Rotten Borough as it had very few voters and someone wishing to become its Member of Parliament just needed to spend a bit of money in the right places.
At 1pm the public are welcome to follow the Mayoral Procession (but probably no longer in the full regalia of black gowns, white gloves and historic hats (bicorn for males, tricorn for females), led by the Town Crier and Rye Bonfire Boyes (of which John Izod was also a very active member), to the Tilling Green Community Centre in Mason Road for an afternoon of fun and entertainment which is open to all and begins at 1.30pm.
The family-friendly line-up includes stalls staffed by local community organisations, a bouncy castle, food and drink, and performances by the Rye Singers, the Rye Bay Crew (usually featuring three councillors, including the Mayor), Rye Dance School, line dancers and Gum Boots Reggae.
Photos : Rye News library