Mayor making took place on Monday, May 2 for the first time since 2019. Dignitaries and invited guests attended the ceremony in the town hall to witness the installation of Councillor Andi Rivett as the new mayor of Rye.
Swearing the oath of office in the traditional form, he undertook to serve the commonalty of Rye without fear or favour. Then came the nomination for deputy mayor. Councillor Michael Boyd proposed Councillor Andy Stuart, who was duly appointed, necessitating another adjournment for robing up, signalled by town sergeant Paul Goring and his fellow mace bearer, David Paine. These were later re-elected in their turn along with the mayor’s chaplain, Revd Paul White and the mayor’s cadets for 2022-2023, Lara Botley and Bradley Williams. All was conducted with the greatest solemnity, relieved by little touches of humour such as the passing of the 1951 new-minted pennies back and forth into the safe-keeping of the new mayor.
Then there was the procession to the civic service in St Mary’s church. Following prayers and hymns, and the rousing anthems of Jerusalem and “God save the Queen,” the service concluded and the mayoral party returned to the town hall for refreshment and toasts to the Queen, to the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and the Antient Town of Rye.
It was time now for the ceremony of throwing the pennies, no longer heated as in former times. An eager crowd of children had assembled with a goodly group of adults in the street below. The excitement was palpable as the pennies rained down and were caught or picked up by the scrabbling youngsters, some with plastic bags to catch the bright copper coins, The event was rounded off as the crowd dispersed by the lively percussion of Ryebellion drummers with their rhythmic sounds parading down to Cinque Ports Street.
Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .