Rye has a busy weekend with two contrasting events – one extremely noisy and the other very quiet. Saturday, November 9 is bonfire parade night and the following Sunday is Remembrance Day with a minute’s silence at 11 o’clock.
The first (whatever the weather, and some years have been very wet) features a noisy procession around town of bonfire societies with flaming torches and very loud drummers, while the second features more stately processions of uniformed organisations and town councillors to St Mary’s Church with the laying of wreaths at the war memorial after the service.
The first ends at the Salts on the riverside having set off around 7:50pm from Tilling Green to process around the town to the bonfire and the firework display around 9pm.
The main A259 through Rye will be closed, there will be bus diversions, and trains coming into and leaving Rye are expected to be very full – and there is usually a strong police presence.
The streets are normally packed with people, bringing a pushchair is unwise, and there will be marshals and barriers to ensure people are safe. Fireworks, including sparklers, are not allowed in the crowd areas as this is illegal and can be dangerous – and this will be enforced.
There will be lots of noise, fire, smoke and very loud bangs – and pets should be kept well away.
The finishing time is flexible, but everything will have to be cleared away by the following morning when the uniformed organisations gather at Adams in the High Street at 10:30am before marching past the town hall to salute the mayor and then go into St Mary’s behind the town hall at the top of Lion Street for the service.
If you want to attend the service, the church is usually packed and you need to be seated by 10:45am. Wreath laying takes place at the war memorial in the churchyard (behind St Mary’s) immediately after the service.
Image Credits: Rye & District Camera Club , Kenneth Bird .