On this day in 1987


The following report is gleaned from the Rye Gazette (issue No. 234), a weekly newspaper published by Mrs Mary Owen during the 1980s.

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, then aged 87, paid her third visit to Rye (on July 17, 1987). She arrived in a scarlet painted helicopter at the school field and was driven through a light drizzle to the sports centre, which was then located at Thomas Peacocke School in Love Lane. There she was received by the then mayor and a bevy of local dignitaries, including councillors Jo Kirkham, Frank Palmer and Amy Breeds.

After the presentations were concluded, Her Majesty toured the sports facilities at the centre. The Gazette reporter noted that “the main hall was a hive of activity: trampolining, gymnastics, dance, short tennis, badminton and indoor bowls were all in progress as the Queen Mother walked slowly round, commenting and asking questions … she chatted and then bowled a couple of woods.”

And what did Her Majesty say to the mayor? “How lovely to be back in Rye, and I know all about your road!” In her capacity as lord warden of the Cinque Ports, HM was well aware of the strength of local feeling about re-routing the A259 around Rye. Not much has changed.

A rather scratchy film record of her previous visit in 1982 can be seen on YouTube.

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .

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  1. Correction: Amy breeds tells me that the Queen Mother’s visit was to open the new Sports Centre, which is now part of the Leisure Centre complex, and not at the Thomas Peacocke School as mentioned in the above article.


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