Dr Syn is alive and well


The novels of Russell Thorndike, brother of the famous actress Dame Sybil Thorndike, featuring Dr Syn of Romney Marsh were hugely popular back in 1915 when the series of novels first appeared.

So, while drinking my breakfast coffee today (Friday, May 13) in St Mary’s churchyard, I was amazed to meet Dr Syn’s reincarnation, dressed from be-wigged head to buckled shoe in an authentic tailor-made costume of the early 18th century period, complete with frilly cuffs and cane.

Days of Syn, the Dymchurch bi-annual celebration of the Dr Syn novels

“Dr Syn” revealed to me that in fact, he was no other than the very charming and convivial Frank Parsons Esq, a historic ships model maker by profession and down holidaying in Rye for a few days from his home in Wiltshire.

Frank, a great admirer of the Dr Syn novels and lover of all things historical, had been once dared to dress in costume and visit Rye by his cousin Rita.

So now he is attending to that challenge, staying appropriately at The Mermaid, and casting his surprise and joy for all to see while sauntering around the town like a delightful dandy of times past.

English innocent eccentricity at its most charming and best, this was the perfect chance encounter to have brought both fun and happiness to anyone’s breakfast coffee!

Editor’s note: The Day 0f Syn Weekend, celebrating all things smuggling and “Synful”, will take place in Dymchurch over August Bank Holiday weekend, August 27-29.

Day of Syn, the Dymchurch bi-annual celebration of smuggling and all things “Synful'”

Image Credits: Terence Pomroy , Days of Syn .

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