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Bits and Pieces

Cobbled Streets

As Rye is sweltering in the heatwave it is filling up with visitors coming to visit the sights of the citadel and the nearby beaches. One of our committee, Dr Bamji has drawn attention to the proliferation of weeds on the cobbles and verges of the old streets and fronts of houses.

This weed growth gives an air of neglect to parts of the Town and we are therefore pleased to hear that East Sussex County Council, the body responsible for the upkeep of our streets is scheduling an annual visit from the weed sprayers next week. They will be concentrating on the cobbled areas. We better keep an eye out! Funnily enough the recent drought has limited some of the growth but see picture of the kerb in Mermaid Street,.

I have also been told that Southern Water have been digging up some cobbled areas of Mermaid Street and replacing the cobbles with tarmac. This of course is totally against normal good practice in the Conservation Area. Please advise us of instances and we can alert the ESCC.

How it should be done

A bad case of tarmac use

Rye Waterworks

After the last Committee meeting a few of us went down to have a look at 'The Waterworks', a new micropub in Tower Street owned by David Roder. It is a fascinating place housed in a building that was for three hundred years a water pump house which from 1620 pumped water to cisterns at the top of Conduit Hill and the Chuchyard cistern by means of a horse engine. The New Rye Church Cistern was completed in 1735 to hold 20,000 gallons situated in the corner of the churchyard where Market Street joins Church Square. In 1869 the Waterworks was rebuilt to house a steam engine driven pump capable of pumping 1,000 gallons an hour. Externally the building is little changed since then.

In 1895 the building was leased to the Guardians of the Rye Poor Law Union and enlarged for use as a soup kitchen (formerly housed in Ypres Tower). The soup was made in larger coppers capable of holding 70 gallons of soup.

Some members may recall that the building after being used as a store room was again converted in 1976, this time as public toilets run by Rother Council until 2012 when the use again changed to being an antique shop.

Following two years of planning work the building reopened again as the Waterworks Micropub in May 2018. It is well worth a visit as many of the old features have been preserved and as an interesting twist all the furniture is for sale so that the interior is constantly changing. It is serving eight local real ales, four local ciders and a selection of other drinks.

I would like to wish all members a good Summer holiday. We hope to be able to give you some positive news about the Landgate as a meeting of interested parties is due in August and at least some essential remedial work is imminent (hopefully!).

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