A market or a festival town?


Rye was traditionally a market town, being the hub of the local rural community, but it has also become a historic tourist town and in recent years a festival town, turning Rye into a culture hub.

Over the years Rye lost its livestock and produce market but has not quite lost its market-town status, as there is a weekly general stall market (on Thursday by the station), a farmers’ market (on Wednesdays at Strand Quay) and a country market (on Fridays in the Conduit Hill community centre).

But in the past 12 months there has also been sea, jazz, Christmas and comedy festivals. And if you count the scallop and wild boar weeks as festivals, there is a festival on average every two months, and all the festivals/events seem to have music as one of the main attractions.

Is there room, though, for any more festivals?

Does anyone have any suggestions for one that does not have culture, music or food as its main attraction? Such as a festival bringing the rural and village communities together with Rye to promote community spirit.

Perhaps a fun festival with silly event and happenings (silly races, tiddly winks, fake news bulletins, and pub Olympics)?

Or a sports festival with all the local sport clubs holding events, matches, races and games?

But perhaps, best of all, no more festivals – so the community has a quiet time to enjoy the town and one another’s company?

Photo: Rye News library

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  1. I count the Wild Boar and Scallop weeks as Festivals! I say hats off to the organisers and all the businesses involved! They bring people and money to the town. Maybe the author, who seemingly might want to actually start or revive one his favoured Festivals rather than sitting on the sidelines.

    [Note:this comment has been edited to comply with Rye News guidelines for comments]

  2. Thanks Andy and Sheila for your comments on my article, but you missed the point I was making, or I did not put my point across very well that Rye could be a thriving market town as well as a thriving festival town. To do this there should be some way to create a community spirit. Andy your personal comment about me standing on the side line does not help to create a good community spirit, I do not like to blow my own trumpet but I have been involved in organising and running many community events and happenings in the last forty years and at this present time am still doing this. So I’m not standing still.
    Andy, as an educated opinion former and a town councillor, some respect for people in your community that have different opinions than yours will greatly help to create a better community spirit.
    Sheila says I am a misanthrope, some one that has hatred or distrust of people. Disrespectful comments like that one might turn me into one! Did you imply that all us in the community that are not into culture are dead beat and would make the town die.
    You both read it as being anti-festival and anti-culture and this shows you read it with a narrow mind. You are respected members of the community I hope Andy and Sheila you keep reading the Rye News with an open mind.


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