On February 25, 2020 a letter was sent to the residents of Rye Harbour from Anna Evett, parish clerk of Icklesham Parish Council, explaining that the flagpole had been damaged beyond repair in Storm Ciara and would be taken down.
Within days a WhatsApp ‘Save our Flagpole’ group was set up to gather together passionate villagers who wanted to reverse this decision or at least get a second opinion, as the flagpole was considered to be an essential part of harbour community life. The movement grew and so too did its determination not to allow the flagpole to be taken down and removed. The group asked the council to get a second opinion.
On June 10, the old mast was lowered for closer inspection. Rock Channel Marine presented their findings to the parish council for consideration. At their next meeting in July it was on the agenda because the people of the village had emailed and contacted the council to put forward their objections. The councillors agreed to go ahead with the recommended repairs. Covid meanwhile intervened and things took their time.
Saturday, September 11 arrived and so too a large crane to lift the flagpole into place, back where it belonged. Andi Rivett, from Rock Channel Marine, and a team of workers were at the harbour to oversee the crane and the fixings of the mast, watched by interested villagers. He said, “The job was more complex than originally thought and therefore it took longer to repair than expected. Sadly, the summer weather was not on our side and this delayed the drying of the resin and the paint. We are thrilled today to see its return for all the community to enjoy.”
So, a big congratulations to the group of passionate locals (including Tom, Rosamund and Andre, who instigated the group) for being so determined to save the flagpole, to Rock Channel Marine for their expertise and to the council which listened to the voice of the village. It will be wonderful to see the starlings return too.
Image Credits: Martin Bruce .