For various reasons, not least a global pandemic, the Rye Christmas Festival team sadly could not put on the usual incredible day of Christmas cheer in Rye this year. And, despite considering simpler plans, it just proved impossible and, what is always a wonderfully organised day by these hard working volunteers, was not to be in 2020.
But Rye’s deputy mayor Councillor Andi Rivett took it upon himself to try and bring some light to Christmas by taking on the role of chief lamplighter this year. Spending a whole day just sorting out the strings and strings of lights that worked or had broken, Andi handed over the good ones that were PAT tested by R & S Paine, work very kindly sponsored by the Mermaid Inn.
Rye Hire and Castle Engineering Supplies very kindly supplied tie wraps, and Andi gathered together Martin Coates as chief helper, plus Jonny Walker, Phil, postman Matt and Gary Quinell – all socially distanced – to don lights in the Strand, the High Street and Cinque Ports Street. And with the help of Chris Cooper they then went to Tibbs Farm in Udimore and selected (and sponsored) a beautiful Christmas tree for the Strand, spending most of the weekend putting it up and getting it lit.
Councillor Rivett said: “I know it’s been a really tough year for so many people in the town, but I hope what we’ve done – and it is all thanks to an incredible team of helpers – that it brings some cheer to the end of a year we all want to forget! And, if all goes to plan, the lights should be on for Wednesday, December 2, as we exit lockdown – however, there can be no formal switch on due to social distancing. We wish you all a safe and happy Christmas”.
Image Credits: Nick Forman , Rye News library .