Arsonist at large

The burnt-out remains of the Winchelsea Road car wash

During the early hours of Sunday July 1 firefighter were called to a blaze at the Ypres Castle Inn. Fortunately the fire was started in an outbuilding in the pub garden and not in the pub itself. The outbuilding has been totally destroyed along with nearby tables and parasols. A large area of grass has also been scorched. There was no damage to the main building.

The garden and burnt-out building at the Ypres Castle

At around the same time the well-known car wash business in New Winchelsea Road had their shed set alight and destroyed along with hundreds of pounds of cleaning materials and equipment. The owner of the business, Mr Sattar Mahedi, was distraught when Rye News spoke to him on Sunday morning, but neighbours were already there seeking ways to help him re-start and get back in business and have set up a Go Fund Me page here.
The police believe both fires to be arson, but, as at the time of writing, cannot say whether they were linked.
We will report further when more information is available.

Photos: John Minter


  1. Three fires in the Rye area over the weekend highlight one of the problems of the continuing hot, dry weather. Fires can start by accident and glass left lying around often causes fire to start, particularly in areas of moorland – such as the Lake District.
    But extreme heat may also affect chemicals and other flammables, such as gas cylinders – often found on holiday sites and in country areas away from urban gas distribution.
    So let’s hope the authorities alert us as soon as possible if there are dangers lurking which we have not thought about or even appreciated.

    • That’s very true but not applicable to the Ypres Castle or Rye Car wash fire, which the fire brigade and police say was arson and started with an accelerant such as petrol. Someone did this deliberately, sadly. I really hope the police catch them!

  2. I believe the only dangers in Rye is a certain element, hell bent on causing trouble, just like we saw a few years back, with the town smothered in graffiti, and then Rye united lost their premises, due to an arson attack,we had Neil our friendly psco trying to keep law and order then,now we have nobody, and it’s back to the wild west again, and sadly it will get worse, as the police have abandoned our town

  3. Its sad to hear that the fire at the car wash was possible caused by arsonists. Having viewed the Go Fund Me page for the car wash I am a little concerned on two matters: they had no insurance, and secondly what risk assessments have been taken place on the amount of chemicals that were stored there. I live very local to the car wash and witnessed a number of explosions. This does need to be looked into once the site is rebuilt. We need safety for everyone.

  4. If the police observed the streets of Rye in the early hours after midnight then they would see a band of feral yobs patrolling the area instead. They have bicycles (picture pathetic men in their twenties doing wheelies) and a motorbike that they use to search area making trouble. l see them from my property. Having had my car vandalised recently, l am now moving from area with some relief due to the lack of police presence and the yobs taking over.


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