WACOR Project Videos on YouTube
You might enjoy watching four short videos showing aspects of the WACOR (Women and Children in Rye) Project. One is a Retropective of the project as a whole while the other three feature children from local schools learning and telling about WWII, the Victorians and Smuggling. The making of the videos was sponsored by the WACOR Project Heritage Lottery Fund, Rye Partnership, the Women and Children of Rye Project, Rother District Council and Rye Castle Museum.
Video 1: The WACOR Retrospective
You will learn about the project aims and renovations to the Women’s Tower, be amused by scenes from the Opening of the Women’s Tower event, see and hear about courses and activities of the Educational Programme including feedback from adults and children who participated in Photography courses (e.g. sun printing), Gardening courses (e.g. hanging baskeets, medicinal properties of herbs), Children’s Activity Days — making lanterns, puppets, a photo book of Rye history, or dramatising some of the things they’ve learned about living in Rye during Smuggling days, Victorian times and World War II. ective exhibition and event at Tilling Green Community Centre. There were impressive displays featuring the many products of the project at the closing event at Tilling Green Community Centre. You can find out more about that here.
Video 2: A Reflection on the War Years in Rye (1939-1945)
A dozen 10 and 11 year old children from Rye Primary School and St Michaels’, Playden present some of their findings about the war years in Rye via stories and poems, interviews and drama. The children illustrate what they have found out about blackouts, bombing raids, rationing, Land Girls, being evacuated, posters, gas masks and more.
Video 3: A Victorian tour of Rye
Children from Brede and Peasmarsh Schools troop around the town with stops at places where the activities were quite different in Victorian times: The Apothecary shop (What was swallowing a spider with butter supposed to help you get rid of?). A master jewellers where in 1890 30 girls were at work upstairs. Tthe former shop of an ‘outfitter and draper’ (what were they, and a ‘haberdasher’?,Grammar School Records where corporal punishment was still in vogue, Lamb House, to meet the sad son of a member of the Lamb family who had become a cattle rustler in Australia and come to an unfortunate end. They hear from a former dame school pupil who recalls using a box for a chair and being jabbed with a knitting needle if he made a reading mistake. They attend the interview of a young man applying to be the town gaoler (for 15 shillings a week) and see a girl jailed for two months for theft — some of it in solitary confinement . . . .
Video 4: Smuggling in Rye
This video features pupils of Winchelsea School, Rudyard Kipling’s A Smuggler’s Song with its refrain ‘ Watch the wall my darling, while the gentlemen go by’, and the Mermaid Inn, popular with the Hawkhurst Gang. It explores the relationships among raised taxes, the price of tea, rampant smuggling and customs officers. We find out about the prisoners now in the Women’s Tower — Mary Reid who couldn’t pay a £100 fine for smuggling 1 1/2 gallons of brandy so is spending months in the gaol instead, and her poor cellmate, whose husband died ‘fighting for the King’ and was reduced to stealing a loaf of bread to feed her child. And there is even an interview with the leader of the Hawkhurst Gang, Arthur Gray.