What is a ‘Ryer’?


One thing newspapers try to pride themselves on is accuracy and there was blood all over the carpet when Editor Charlie Harkness began to question the apparently careless use of the term “Ryer” in stories and, indeed, headlines.

Some asserted that a “Ryer” was simply someone born and raised in Rye (which means that there are more and more “Ryers” around every day) but the Editor is convinced that he saw a definition somewhere (which he can not so far find) which implied that a “Ryer” had to trace their ancestors back more than one generation to claim to be a real local.

And he is aware that at least one former Mayor has traced his ancestors back to the 1400s. He also recalls (in Tenterden magistrates’ court in the 60s when he worked on the “Kent Messenger”) someone in the dock claiming that he was a “Ryer” with generations before him fading back into history and was therefore much better informed than the “upstart newcomer magistrates” who had only been around since the First War – or words to that effect.

It may be that being born in Rye is adequate qualification to call yourself a “Ryer” but Editors can get obsessive about these sort of things. Can anyone advise?

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  1. I regard myself as third generation Ryer but I expect most of us were born in Hastings since there was no maternity hospital in Rye.


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