Beauty, Sadness and some Lively Morris Dancing

Beauty, Sadness and some Lively Morris Dancing


May was already a very busy month at the Museum’s two sites, topped by two special events in the last weekend: The Flower Festival 2018 and a display of Morris Dancing


Rye Museum was among the 28 organisations contributing to the 3 day Flower Festival 2018 at Rye’s parish church of St Mary’s May 26-28.and what an outstanding display it was!  


We are fortunate to have a professional florist among our very active members:  Sue Mankelow,  a  Museum Director, who created a stunning arrangement of beautiful white lilies, with a touching arrangement alongside commemorating the sad story  of two young Ryers who lost their lives in September 1918  when a German U boat torpedoed the ship  intended to carry them to  South Africa.  


The girls were Ivy and Freda Reeves (ages 9 and 7), and had left  their home  at  71 The Mint with their mother,  bound for Plymouth to board the Galway Castle.  The vessel carried a large crew and several hundred passengers including  many wounded South African soldiers as well as women and children. They were only  two days out of Plymouth when the attack came.   The ship was abandoned and 143 people lost, Ivy and Freda among them.  Their mother, after  8 harrowing hours on an upturned boat, made a futile search for her daughters among the survivors; then,  against a doctor’s advice, travelled back to Rye. Still very unwell,  the next day she insisted on returning to Plymouth and was able to identify one of the girls whose body had been found as Freda;  the other was never found.  Their mother attended their funeral where  a small white coffin was carried by surviving but wounded South Africans.

The mother’s letter to her husband after the death of their daughters is included in the just-out  Rye Museum Journal 2018.


East Surrey Morris Dancers

On the Sunday afternoon Ryers and our  many visitors enjoying warmer weather were treated to a fine display of Morris Dancing (Cotswold style) by the East Surrey Morris Men.  In the  photo they are dancing outside the Tower which has been receiving record numbers of visitors.  (If you have not visited the Tower lately it is time to do so as there are new displays.)

With thanks to Ray Prewer and Heather Stevenson for the photos!



First posted in Featured, Past Events on 29th May 2018
Last updated: 2nd September 2018