November Memorabilia Afternoon

November Memorabilia Afternoon

20 November 2012
Show and tell for grown ups

This was the third of our memorabilia afternoons when participants brought items ‘from the past’ — or came to see what others had brought.  Sometimes we made various wrong guesses before learning what an item really was used for. Always we learned something more about Rye or how our forbears lived from the conversation sparked by an item.  What follows explains items in the slideshow.  Apologies to people with their interesting objects who’ve been left out. Perhaps next time!

Amy Breeds’s family used to run the longrunning Clark’s Bakery, one wall of which forms part of Needles (formerly Vennall’s) Passage.  Amy brought copies of two old paintings by an unknown artist showing that part of the Mint over a century ago which generated memories and anecdotes about that part of Rye and its inhabitants.

The child pictured, Amy told us, was her grandmother!

Our Curator, Linden Thomas, brought two items proving that a coincidence really happened:  A paperweight showing the cottages inside the Landgate came from a person who thought  the owners of one of them (Linden and Ray) should have it.  On moving to Traders Passage shortly afterwards, Linden and Ray received a package addressed to ‘The Occupier’. Inside was a biscuit tin depicting their house there, together with a note from the sender, someone in Devon who had once visited Rye and thought sending the tin to the unknown resident of the house a better idea than discarding it.  A momento from each of their Rye dwellings from two thoughtful strangers.

Some of us were reminded of our first schoolbooks when Len and Julie Fuggle showed a Beacons Study Reader: First Lessons,used in the 1930s.The author’s express purpose was to teach children how to read for study purposes, a step up, he considered, from the mere ‘mechanical proficiency’ and silent reading emphasized in previous readers.

Another good conversation starter was the Frith photo of Cadborough Farm and Oast Houses  in 1925 brought by Yvonne Metcalfe who once lived there.  The barn dates from 1720. Jeremiah Smith, once the country’s biggest hopgrower, seven times Rye mayor and subject of a famous Rye ‘scandal’, lived there and founded Cadborough Pottery which eventually became Rye Pottery. Today the various buildings such as dairy and stables are holiday cottages.  (The Jeremiah Smith story will shortly appear in its own article.)

Objects brought are  always of interest not least because of the information and memories they evoke, but they may also be  mysterious, curious, and amusing.

One we couldn’t guess was a press, heated to make a pattern in velvet, brought by Ann Lingard.

And Priscilla Ryan’s contribution this time was a container for a cook’s solace or pick-me-up!

First posted in Past Events on 20th November 2012
Last updated: 13th January 2013