It’s a small world


In June 2020, local surveyor and historian, Alan Dickinson wrote an article for Rye News entitled Themed Walks-Industrial Buildings which featured a selection of buildings in the town as one of his series of walks during lockdown. The lead shot was of the former Granary Club (see image below) which has since been transformed into luxury apartments (see lead image).

Also mentioned in his article was the former Tony Bowles carpet shop in Ferry Road which has since changed hands but was once the home and workshop of David Huggett, carpenter and builder who lived there in 1859.

The former Granary Club before the conversion

It was a very interesting and informative article which was well read and has since struck a chord with one of our local residents and regular contributors, Guy Harris.

Whilst looking through the Interesting-Collectables section on eBay, he came across a very interesting item for sale, described by the seller as “Antique pre-1876 Lost Key Reward Keyring Tag Huggett builder RYE-refK128” The asking price was £30 plus postage and packaging.”

The original key fob, as advertised on eBay

Alan’s article immediately rang bells with Guy.  He put the two pieces of the jigsaw together and sent it to me. This was an opportunity not to be missed so I immediately contacted Alan who in the past has identified various items of local historical interest. Wearing his Rye Castle Museum director hat, he then passed the information on to Jo Kirkham (chair at the museum) who contacted the seller and secured the fob. It will now be displayed in the museum for all to see and enjoy. It’s a small item but I’m told in beautiful condition and the museum is delighted with it.

What a fitting end to an interesting story but thanks must go to Guy Harris whose eagle-eye spotted the item and, as a regular reader and contributor to comments in Rye News, remembered Alan’s article, put it all together and the rest as they say, is history.

An example of communication at its best – everyone’s a winner. The seller got his sale, the museum secured its prize, your local paper put everyone together and the town can now enjoy a piece of history which may have otherwise been lost for ever.

Image Credits: Nick Forman , Alan Dickinson , Interesting-collectables .

Previous articleMen on a mission
Next articlePainting the town red


  1. I have been pointed at a couple of Rye items for sale. One was a set of WW1 medals belonging to a Ryer whose name is on our War Memorial. The other was a tipstaff with Rye’s coat of arms on it. In each case I was outbid; the latter went for the same as my upper bid. I phoned the auctioneer (in the West Country) to ask why it wasn’t mine; he explained that not only had the other bid come in before mine, but also their upper limit was higher by a factor of 10. But neither disappointment stops me from looking and in the past three months there have been a couple of Rye themed paintings in auctions. It would be a great shame though if Rye residents started bidding against each other!

  2. I’d be interested to know the name on the medals, I have family who survived WW1 and who’s name is on the memorial.
    The Granery was formally Foreman’s grain store and Tony Bowles was the garage where they kept their lorry.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here