Tower stays shut, kino opens

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Ypres Tower, seen from St Mary's tower, both major attractions for visitors to Rye.

The Ypres Tower in Rye (shown above) remained shut this week to visitors despite some loosening of the government’s Covid-19 lockdown rules because of the need to maintain social distancing while Covid-19 infections continue.

Normally it opens all year and for seven days a week from March to October. But it is an ancient monument with “uneven floors, low doorways, uneven steps and no lift” as a notice outside the tower says.

Museum chair Jo Kirkham had said in the museum newsletter earlier this month that “Ypres Tower presents a challenge for social distancing. It’s so small inside and there’s only one entrance for each floor so we couldn’t possibly implement a one way system”.

She went on to say that “we’ve heard from some who have been recently to other venues that people are pretty good at following instructions and distancing themselves” and “with good signage and plenty of hand sanitiser on offer we’ve decided to try it (a trial opening) some time later this month – but only a day or two at first to see how it goes. It’s a start”.

However the government is still stressing the need for social distancing as the India variant infections continue to rise, and even a trial opening may not be possible – and the museum’s East Street premises probably also pose similar problems.

Thursday afternoon update: Rye’s Kino cinema announced it is to reopen on Friday, May 28 with booking open at 4pm on Monday, May 24.

Image Credits: J. Minter .

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