Sad loss of a mariner

Martin Carter 1944-2020

Regrettably, Martin Carter (who was heavily involved in Rye Harbour and the local maritime world) died around two weeks ago whilst walking in his home village of Iden where he lived at Rose Cottage, he was 76.

He was born in Cumberland in August 1944  then moved to Highgate, North London where he spent his childhood augmenting his pocket money with caddying at the local golf club. After leaving school he became an apprentice with a print company. He then moved on and worked in film production as an editor for several years before setting up an editing company, Picture Post, working mainly in advertising commercials with a West End office.

During this time he met quite a few ‘celebs’ and often worked late at night with Mel Smith. He first came to the Rye area with the Hampstead sub aqua club diving at Dungeness. Shortly after that he came to Peasmarsh, but still commuted to London, where he met local businessman Stuart Pope in the local pub and they became great friends.

He later moved to Peasmarsh permanently  then to a barn conversion at Stone, then to Military Road and finally to Rose Cottage in Iden for the last fifteen years or so.  He didn’t get too involved in village life, with his social life centred mainly around Rye. He had varied interests but his main passion was the sea.

Rye Maritime Festival is quite a picture.

Martin’s lasting friendship with property developer, hotelier and entrepreneur Stuart Pope continued and a few years ago they held an auction at The River Haven Hotel, owned by Stuart, raising £1,500 in support of British Aid for Deprived Children from the sale of old pictures.

They then joined the ‘Convoy Of Hope’ driving trucks full of locally collected aid to Kosovo to the Revival Centre there. This convoy was run by a small privately run charity called British Humanitarian Aid and comprised of vehicles – small vans, trucks, a coach and an articulated lorry driven by volunteers from all over the country

Well over 100 people came to the fund raising event for the “Convoy of Hope” and were shown slides of the work at the Revival Centre and where pictures of old Rye were then auctioned by Jim Hollands. All in all a thoroughly enlightening and entertaining evening thanks to everyone’s generosity.

Items for the raffle and auction were donated from town shops and included packs of coffee, the use of a rubbish skip, an old ships porthole and some ornaments made of hand turned wood. The cheese and wine were donated as was the use of the Riverside Restaurant for the whole evening.

Martin was an experienced diver, joining the Rye Harbour sailing club and was often out racing, crewing on Helena Anne round the buoys in Rye Bay, with some success and was also a supporter of the RNLI. His sailing often took him on several trips to the Channel Islands and Northern France.

Martin was a member of the Rye Harbour Boat Owners Association (RHBOA), a director of Tollgate Lock Company and played a great part in the organisation of the Rye Maritime Festival at the Strand, Rye for a decade or so and remained being involved with social events for RHBOA and its members.

Thank you to Stuart Pope, Jo Fletcher and others for their invaluable input and contributions to this article, Martin was obviously very popular and will no doubt be missed by many.

Image Credits: Jo Fletcher , Rye News Library .


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