Rye puts on Easter bonnet


As the Easter holidays grind to a halt with (sadly) the usual traffic accidents  as holidaymakers head home, and schools get ready to re-open, summer kicks off with two sell-outs – the celebration of American writer Henry James at Lamb House  on April 17 and Acting Up In Rye’s Singalonga Sound of Music Singalong on April 8 at the Community Centre.

Lamb House
Lamb House

No doubt this reflects the variety of “culture” available in Rye and for those who may now be feeling they are missing out we include below an extract from James’ writing (from the National Trust website) and there should also have been a few verses from “The Sound of Music” but the editor’s deputy (who is writing this while the editor, himself, is on sick leave), now can’t get the tune of “doe a deer, a female deer”, out of his head and just cannot bring himself to write it down as well as being forced to listen to it.

It was love at first sight, though, when Henry James saw Lamb House, as he describes:

“I simply sighed and renounced; tried to think no more about it, till at last, out of the blue, a note from the good local ironmonger, to whom I had whispered at the time my hopeless passion, informed me that by the sudden death of its owner […] it might perhaps drop into my lap.”

And it did, to Rye’s good fortune, indeed do just that.

Rye News editor Charles Harkness, recalled a Sound of Music singalong in a mountain hut in South Island, New Zealand.

“It was Christmas day and most of the walking group were Japanese and they’d brought Japanese instruments with them and lots of sake (a heavy duty Japanese drink) and settled in to a long singalong to the Sound of Music. Thankfully the NZ company organising the trip had also helicoptered in a crate of Kiwi wine – which can can be very good – so the six English people present sat outside and got well and truly plastered.

“However the following day we had to climb over the pass to descend to Te Anu, there was a thunderstorm and the bridges over rivers were mainly underwater. Two Germans behind us got washed off, but I didn’t notice much because of my headache.

Street Pastors Marguerite Kenward and Chris Emson
Street Pastors Marguerite Kenward (left) and Chris Emson

“When Sound Of Music first came out I was reviewing films on the Kent Messenger – and it was on for months. There is only so much you can say about it. I still cringe whenever it comes on TV”.

Easter however is a spiritual occasion and our heading photo shows the “The Churches Together” procession through town on Good Friday , which started the Easter break, and the photo (right) shows the Street Pastors  from the churches who keep an eye open late at night for those who may be in need of help.

The Easter holiday, as always, will also have seen the start of the visitor season with the caravan parks as well Pontins at Camber springing back to life. A few thousand were reported to have booked into Pontins and they, like others, probably suffered from the spring flowerings – of dud twenty pound notes as well as daffodils and the ubiquitous rapeseed springing up in the fields of the Marsh.

Many local B&B owners said they had a full house and local pubs and popular eateries such as Simply Italian, in the Strand, reported brisk business. The “season”, despite unreliable weather, seems to have started well and we must hope it continues to flourish with our welcome visitors contributing so importantly to the town’s economy.


Photos: Ray Prewer and Kenneth Bird

Image Credits: Street Pastors .

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