Jimper Sutton RIP

Portrait of Jimper Sutton by Marina Kim
Portrait of Jimper Sutton by Marina Kim

Rye News has learned of the death on Tuesday, June 21, of Jimper Sutton, one of Rye’s outstanding characters. Born in 1944 to a family of fishermen that could trace its history back to the Norman Conquest, Jimper lived in Rye all his life. He was a countryman through and through, with a wealth of information and knowledge. He kept a diary and drew on this and his acute observation to write many books and articles about life in all its forms.

For many years he held a keddlenet fishing licence, and could be encountered on Winchelsea Beach inspecting his nets set at right angles to the shore-line. For 20 years he sailed a 36 ft. trawler out of Rye, fishing for mackerel and other species. He kept bees and wrote a book about them, “Bees in abundance“. He was a ballroom dancer, raconteur and television interviewee, and for a time he served as a Rother District Councilor.

He wrote for Countryside Weekly Magazine and was a regular monthly contributor to Rye’s Own from the very first article which appeared in 1966. His range of subject matter was immense. Among his 60 or so published booklets, his “Bonfire Recollections” was a best-seller, with proceeds donated to the Rye and District Bonfire Society of which he was one-time chairman and long-serving Life President. With his parrot on his shoulder, he collected thousands of pounds for local charities.

We give our condolences to Jimper’s wife and family.

portrait painted by Marina Kim

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  1. We’ll miss you Jimper. You were one of the last great characters of Rye.
    You could spin a yarn like nobody else. You knew all there was to know about nature, the weather and the sea. But we’re so thankful that we got to know you.
    God bless you and that old raggity parrot on your shoulder which we always saw at Bonfire.
    Sincere condolences to your family and friends. You’ll be greatly missed.

    Debbie and Peter Cosstick


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