On Monday, February 10, many friends of Shirley Gibson went to Rye Methodist Church to pay tribute at the passing of one of the great characters of Rye.
A talented lady well-known in church, choral, and other circles, but to a great number of us, be we residents of Rye or visitors , she was the Lady on the Door at the Friday Country Market, which she joined in 1990, when it was the WI Market. Those who have been will know that the queue starts to assemble very early and the first lucky dozen can be seated.
At 10am prompt, the door would open and Shirley would be standing there very poised, looking us up and down before allowing us to enter in an orderly fashion. On one notable occasion, two American tourists appeared just as she declared the market open and to our horror they marched straight towards the door, where Shirley explained to them, with authority and self possession, the queuing system in England in general and Rye Country Market in particular. She then waved us through like a mother hen guarding her chicks. It was a very satisfying moment. The world is poorer for her passing.
Image Credits: Richard Bedwell .