Conservation Society Awards
Last year the Society Awards highlighted projects that celebrated what makes Rye unique and different, from its historic buildings to the details that make its High Street so different and attractive in contrast with the increasingly bland and faceless shopping streets of most towns.
For many years the future of The Monastery has concerned all the residents of Rye so it is with great pleasure that we said ‘a new star has arisen, not in the East, but on Conduit Hill’. Our first award therefore went to Alex MacArthur for the refurbishment and reuse of The Monastery and for the simple but very imaginative signage.
At a time when all shopping streets look increasingly the same, Rye’s High Street and its range of historic shop-fronts are a vital element in its enduring appeal. Our second award therefore went to Rosie Furnival for the exemplary redecoration and signage of Fig at No 2 High Street. The use of colour in articulating the shop-front and the sophistication and integration of the signage was considered particularly successful.
Finally, among the elements that we need to preserve are the many fragments of visible history that help to illuminate Rye’s past. Our third award was given to Helen Broomfield for the retention of the old shop lettering below that wonderful bay window during the recent refurbishment at The Apothecary.
During the year it was decided to present the awards at the annual Christmas Gathering held at the Town Hall. So it was fitting that the first award was given to Rye Town Council for their Town Steward initiative. The award was accepted by Deputy Mayor Michael Boyd, who thanked the Society and said that the Town Council hoped to expand on the scheme in the future.
Our second award was given to Mr & Mrs Paul Osbourne for Hawthornedene, their new house on Military Road. Although just outside of the Rye Parish boundary, the Society’s remit covers the surroundings and the setting of Rye, to which the new house was considered to contribute. Mr Osbourne received their certificate and commented that it had been a labour of love on their part.
Certificates of merit, for contributing to and improving the appearance of Rye by the excellent presentation of their premises, were awarded to Amanda Bheir of the Café on the Quay, Lucy Forrester of the Café des Fleurs and Scott Brotherton of The Standard Inn.
KT and Martin Bruce received a Certificate of Merit for contributing to and improving the appearance of Rye Harbour by the excellent presentation of their house The Saltings, Tram Road, Rye Harbour.
A Craftsmanship Award was presented to Southern Gas Networks and to their contractors, CLC Ltd, for the reinstatement of cobbles in Church Square. This was accepted by Daniel Johnston, Rodney Johnston and Ian Kennard of CLC.
The Townscape Award 2015 was presented to the Fletcher in Rye CIC for a major contribution to life in Rye by the re-use and refurbishment of the historic schoolrooms as Kino Digital. Hugh Kermode and Mike Eve accepted this award, and Rob Pollard of Jonathan Dunn architects was also congratulated. Mike Eve said that it had been a huge effort by a huge number of people, 40 individuals had made financial contributions which had allowed the project to go ahead, Kino itself had made a huge investment and ESCC had given a grant of £100,000. The project was in the running for other awards. Tributes were paid to the late Charlie Parsons and to Freddie Lees for their major contributions to the project. Hugh Kermode commented that all those who had objected in the past had apologised, or were using Kino regularly.
Townscape Awards 2012
High-quality craftsmen’s work in Rye was recognised by the Society at its 2012 annual general meeting in Rye Town Hall on 27 April.
The winners of this year’s Townscape Awards were announced, with three projects winning prizes for the quality of design and workmanship and the enhancement they provide to the ancient town.
ST. MARY'S CHURCH
The Awards were made to stonemason Kevin Hughes and glazier John Corley for the stonework and stained glass restoration of the West Window of St Mary’s Church. The two craftsmen were commended for their work, which is of the highest quality, and the completed restoration now bathes the nave in glorious light.
THE HOPE ANCHOR HOTEL
A Townscape Highly Commended Award went to the Hope Anchor Hotel for the re-signage on the building at the end of Watchbell Street. The Award was made by the Society to recognise the good design, traditional materials and fine sign-writing skills and was accepted by the hotel’s owner, Mr John Sankey.
A third Townscape Award was made for the re-roofing of St Anthony’s in Church Square, which is probably one of the most photographed buildings in Rye. John Pickering of Rother Valley Roofing was presented with the Award and his work was acknowledged as showing exemplary craftsmanship, since it maintains the character of the old roof, but includes modern insulation within the roof-space.
In 2010, the Award went to Rye Art Gallery, which has since also been awarded one of Sussex Heritage Trust’s Public and Community Architecture Awards.