Hub goes purple for Polio


On Saturday, October 24 the Hub on Rye Hill took part in World Polio Day when, in conjunction with the Rye and Winchelsea Rotary Club, they were supplied with 4,000 purple crocuses which will be planted in the tank trap area of the car park alongside the A268 so that all passers-by will be able to see them blooming next spring, while the Hub itself was transformed by beaming purple floodlighting on to the exterior of the building in support of such a worthwhile cause – which looked spectacular.

Keen to find out more I met up with Francesca Clent at the Hub on Rye Hill last week. Francesca is not only involved with the smooth running of the Hub, but is also company secretary of the Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital Charity which owns the site comprising the hospital, the Hub on Rye Hill, St Bartholomew’s Court, the Rye Medical Centre and the soon to be built 60 bed care home.

Francesca talked about the preparations for ‘going purple’ including the staff wearing purple on the Thursday and Friday before the official day and the lights being applied with special gel to achieve the eye-catching effect.

A purple Hub, in support of World Polio Day

The sun was pouring through the reflective glass in the main atrium, a stunning and peaceful place to relax and chat, the temperature inside was very comfortable and anyone visiting will feel safe as social distancing measures are firmly in place with automatic hand sanitisers, a clearly marked ‘in and out’ entry and exit system, well-spaced tables and effective ventilation.

We sat in the café for the interview, and I wished I had timed our meeting for lunchtime as the menu, which is changed regularly, looked very tempting and competitively priced. The ‘special lunches’ are proving popular, particularly with regular diners, so much so that a new table booking system has been introduced.

It’s not all about the café, though, as the Hub is essentially about the local community and promoting ways to improve wellbeing. Diversity is also the focus and this has already attracted a variety of groups and organisations.

Rye and District Day Centre enjoy their twice weekly visits with games, exercise classes, lunch and a chance for a natter. The Hub has also attracted interest from U3A (University of the Third Age) who recently held a jazz appreciation workshop there.

The large activity area can be divided into three smaller rooms which are ideal for exercise, music, art, games and other events. A Pilates group has recently started weekly session and in the recent warm weather have been able to have the doors open on to the patio area. It is an added attraction having free parking and the chance of coffee or lunch after classes. If you fancy reading or buying a donated book there is a library with a good selection of titles for all tastes but good quality, clean books are always welcomed as donations.

A light and welcoming interior, an ideal venue for morning coffee.

St Michael’s Hospice already meet twice a week at the Hub and for those who want office space there are rooms available upstairs, ideal for wellbeing and exercise, in varying sizes. There is already a regular osteopath on site available by appointment if required and various groups have made tentative enquiries about hosting their classes or events at the Hub which will no doubt come to fruition once the current restrictions on numbers are finally relaxed.

Three superb prints by celebrated local artist Richard Adams hang in the dining area, and there is a large print of Camber Beach by popular local photographer David Purdie in the atrium. There are also prints by Annie Soudain, Andrew Reddens and David Purdie in the therapy and consulting rooms. Richard’s annual Christmas card painting is in its final stages, available shortly from the Hub, where you will also be able to buy greetings cards, stamps and even post them whilst you are there, in the post box close by.

One of the advantages of the Hub is it’s easy to find, you don’t have to pay to park and there is no restriction on how much time you want to spend inside. Rye Wheelers recently used it as a meeting point for their annual timed cycle trial with an even bigger event planned for 2021.

So, you see, there is lots going on in your Hub on Rye Hill but don’t just take my word for it, get a few friends together and arrange to meet up there or better still, whilst we have the opportunity, contact Pat Hughes, the bus driver and see if she can pick you up in the Rye and district community transport bus and do the driving for you, and she and her team can be reached on 01797 227722.

Trust me, when you visit the Hub you will feel safe there and you will be met and welcomed by enthusiastic and helpful staff who are keen to make your visit one to remember. From what I experienced they are obviously proud to be part of something very special.

The literal definition of the noun Hub is ‘the effective centre of an activity, region, or network’. The Hub on Rye Hill has been designed and built around this principle and is now fulfilling its name and function. It is surprising what’s available inside this magnificent building as behind the imposing architect designed glass panels there is a hive of industry and potential for so much more.

Further information and contact details are available on the Hub website or you can call direct on 01797 331800 or email at

Image Credits: Nick Forman , Francesca Clent , Caroline Everett .

Previous articleEnergy help is at hand
Next articleA moving story for centre


  1. As Nick explains the centre is a very worthwhile asset to Rye and the community! I took my mum there a few weeks ago and we had a very warm welcome and a superb lunch!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here