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Autumn Thoughts

As the heat of the summer gives way to the mists of Autumn and the nights become

longer it reminds me that Rye looks good at all times but perhaps particularly at this time of the year when people start lighting fires (hopefully having had their chimneys swept) and the mornings cooler but with wonderful sunrises.

At the moment we are at the start of the short official consultation about civil parking and the proposed new zones. East Sussex are responsible for on street parking and are

proposing to bring Civil Parking Enforcement to Rye during 2020. Residents should have received a letter outlining the proposals and comments have to be submitted by 27 September. The documents can be studied in the library. In broad terms parts of central Rye will see parking machines and traffic wardens to enforce parking rules with an extension of resident parking permits. Most of us probably support some controls rather than the current free for all where cars regularly block pavements and junctions especially in and around the High Street. The RCS will submit comments broadly supporting the proposals but with some concerns over the siting and number of meters and the need for a new loading bay. Our response will be published on this web site.

It is several weeks since the shocking fire that engulfed the George Hotel and I was pleased that the owners have opened a attractive bar restaurant in the Rye Lodge. But we have raised deep concern that work on the George itself remains to be started. Looking up from the High Street the sky is visible through the roof and at the very least it would seem urgent to put some temporary cover over the property before the Autumn rains arrive. Obviously the RCS is concerned about the future of this historic listed building but the effect on other High Street traders must also be significant because the very popular George attracted hundreds of customers to the area.

At this time of the year the seagulls tend to leave town for the coast much to some peoples relief. Between now and next summer we hope to work with the council to remove remaining open litter bins and replace them with gull proof versions.

I wonder if there is a case for sponsorship of bins. For example there is a bin in the Church Square, the contents of which are regularly strewn about the church yard and the RCS could fund a replacement perhaps with a plaque on the bin. Commercial businesses might be encouraged to follow suit.

We are in discussion with the Mayor concerning the Landgate, being keen to ensure that weeds do not again flourish on it, but more significantly we hope that there will be a Rye fund raising activity to finally sort out the clock and reinstall modern flood lighting. A revival of the joint working party with Rother and Rye representatives is needed.

The Conservation Society is planning a coach trip on 7 November from Rye to Charleston, a National Trust property situated in the South Downs National Park. Charleston from 1916 was the home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, who were key members of the Bloomsbury Group in Sussex. We intend to book a guided tour which will enable a group of members to explore Charleston’s house, garden, galleries, shop and cafe. Details will be sent to members in the September Newsletter shortly.

Last week thanks mainly to excellent work by Colonel Kimber there was an unveiling ceremony of a memorial stone to commemorate the Rye First World War airfield. From which in 1917 very brave pilots took off in extremely basic early flying machins to attempt to shoot down zeppelins (airships) which were destined for London and other targets with their bombs. Thanks to donations from people including this Society and the efforts of Colonel Kimber with the British Legion this bit of Rye history can now be remembered

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