Hurricane shadows busy weekend

Good weather is usually vital for the Country Show, one of the biggest annual open air events around Rye - but this year a virus has stopped it

Weather forecasting can be unpredictable but the current omens for the weekend are not helpful. Hurricane Gert, moving up the East Coast of America from the West Indies, may, or may not, burn it outself crossing the Atlantic and lose speed, but watch out if it does not.

In recent weeks the Met Office has issued Yellow Warnings of high winds, heavy rain and flash floods around here, but nothing happened. On the other hand earlier this week there was a noisy overnight storm with heavy rain, noisy thunder and scary lightning – but there had been no prior warning.

And yesterday (Thursday August 17) the rain seemed to last longer than predicted, the wind appeared stronger than forecast, and part of a tree was blown down, partially blocking the footpath and footbridge linking Cooper Road, the Old Brickyard and the Valley Park estate. Some pedestrians could scramble through the foliage. Others could not.

Weather warnings on TV for this coming weekend, and probably Sunday (but maybe Saturday), which are dependent on how quickly or slowly the remains of the hurricane move and wear out, are therefore uncertain. But it will be one of the busiest weekends of the year locally, particularly outdoors.

The main event is probably the Rye and District Country Show which moved last year to its new home at Elm Tree Farm, Icklesham, on the right of the main A259 road as you approach from Rye.

Entry is £5, but children are free, and there seemed to be ample parking last year. The horse show starts in the two rings from 8am, but the main part of the show follows from 10am to 4pm.

Jazz in the sun on the outdoor stage at a previous year’s “Wipers” musical performance

More than 100 classic cars are expected to be in that part of the show, and the 19 dog classes (with something for everyone) will be in the two show rings once the horses have jumped. The dog show includes the popular Grand National with dogs and owners clearing the fences, and the terrier racing will also attract a good crowd. Rye’s former Mayor, Councillor Bernie Fiddimore will be one of the dog judges.

The show also includes a Country Fair with various stalls, a Pimm’s tent (of course), other food and drink and a raffle with a big prize, all in aid of the local  St Michael’s Hospice.

Prize entries from a previous flower and veg show

There is a regular timetabled hourly bus service along the main road and there may also be a shuttle bus service from Rye station forecourt.

Two more outdoor events which might be threatened are the outdoor concerts in the garden of the Ypres Castle Inn, tucked below and behind the castle and the Gun Garden. On Saturday the Jamie Smart Trio feature from 3pm to 5:30pm, and on Sunday Wakin’ Snakes feature from 3pm to 5:30pm, followed by On The Level from 6pm to 8:30pm.

The musicians have some protection as the raised stage is tented and some of the audience will have sunshades over their tables. But many people end up on the grass or looking down from the Gun Garden so let us hope the hurricane runs out of steam mid-Atlantic.

If the worst happens, though, on Saturday there is the annual fruit and veg show in Rye Community Centre from 2pm with 50 categories.



Photos : Rye News library

Image Credits: Justin Lycett .


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