Pebble memorial gathers pace


Rye Museum was buzzing with creativity on Monday, February 18 with 62 adults and 59 children painting pebbles.

Last year, November 15 marked the 90th anniversary of the Mary Stanford Disaster which claimed all 17 lives of the gallant crew of the Rye Harbour lifeboat. To mark the occasion within the village an idea was born to get local people to paint a nautical design on a pebble and when enough were painted, a pavement would be created.

Aunty Joanna, Gracie and Freya

There have been five workshops so far and everyone wants to be part of this community project. In total 950 pebbles are needed and we are well on the way to achieving that number. It is wonderful to see so many groups, societies and schools wanting to be involved. It shows that the disaster is still very close to the heart of the community. Many families directly descended from the lost crew still live in the village or nearby and it will be wonderful for them and others to see such a colourful display.

Kayla with her pebble

Local businesses are supporting this project and yesterday David Bookless presented kt Bruce with a cheque for £102 on behalf of Rye Conservation Society, while Priscilla Ryan generously gave a £100 cheque. This money will help to cover the cost of the paints, varnish and brushes, and will also be used to create a memorial plaque explaining the project. £100 donations have also been received from both Rastrum Ltd and Atlas Business Park.

Thus there will be a permanent reminder in the village to celebrate the brave crew and to remember their families, whose lives were changed for ever in 1928. It is hoped to have all the pebbles in place by October or November this year when there will be a grand opening to mark the village memorial to those who gave so much.

The Harbour Ducks having fun

Heather Stevenson, director of Rye Museum, commented at the end of the day: “It was a great joy to see so many people coming through the doors of the museum. Because of the numbers a few more tables and chairs had hastily to be set up, and thankfully there were enough pebbles to go round and plenty of paints and pens. By the end of the afternoon there was a fantastic array of painted pebbles to be seen and a lot of happy children and parents.

“The museum would like to thank kt Bruce, RNLI press officer at Rye Harbour and creator of the project, as well as the various sponsors and such a great turnout of children and their parents. Thank you to all who attended and to the museum volunteers for assisting. This was a worthwhile project perhaps to be repeated at the museum in the summer holidays.”

Image Credits: kt Bruce .

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