Latest News

George Hotel Fire – Update 22 July 2019

George Hotel, Rye – Fire 20 July 2018

Roof of the George Hotel, Rye, badly damaged by fire on Saturday 20 July.

ROSA Bulletin 2018

With thanks as always to Richard Moore for his hard work, the ROSA Bulletin 2018 is now available here

ROSA Committee Meeting – 30 October 2018

The ROSA Committee met, as usual, at the Mermaid Inn on Tuesday 30 October. The Committee enjoyed the normal excellent hospitality provided by Judith and Claire.

Here are the main highlights.

Committee Membership

The Committee were delighted to welcome a new member, Kevin Moore. Kevin attended Thomas Peacocke from 1968 to 1975. He had a distinguished career with Sussex Police, eventually achieving the position of Head of Sussex CID. Kevin has recently had a book published detailing his career and his thoughts on policing. It is a fascinating insight into the workings of the police and how much it has changed over the last 50 years. Kevin’s book, ‘My Way’ has had excellent reviews and is available in bookshops and from Amazon here

Relationships with the school – Aquinas Trust

The Committee were very pleased that Barry Blakelock, Executive Headteacher of Rye Community Primary School and Rye College, was able to join them for a detailed discussion about education in Rye and future developments concerning the schools, which are both academies. The schools will be transferring from the Rye Academy Trust to the Aquinas Trust on 1 November 2018. More information about the Aquinas Trust can be found at

Rye College also has a website at

The Rye schools and the Aquinas Trust are able to offer an education experience from age 2 to age 16 which distinguishes them from many other academies and trusts. Barry is very keen to strengthen ties between ROSA and the Rye schools and the meeting was very positive. Watch this space!

Chair and President

Because of other pressures on his time, Tim Rothwell has stood down as ROSA Chair. But he will continue to look after the ROSA website and will remain as a Committee member. In the meantime Richard Moore, the ROSA President, has taken over as Chair until the AGM in May when the future roles and terms of office of the Chair and President will be discussed.

ROSA Archive

The ROSA archive is now in storage having lived in Tim’s garage for a few months. Consideration of its final destination will take place at a future meeting including discussions with the school on the role the latter might play once the current building works which are being undertaken at the school are finished.

1960s Reunion

The Committee agreed that despite the awful weather the 60s reunion on 22 September was generally thought to have been a success, despite numbers being a bit down on the previous reunion in 2015. There had been some positive feedback. Although the atmosphere at the Sidney Allnutt Pavilion was good, some of the Committee felt that it was a bit crowded and it was difficult to circulate. The fact that the venue was on two floors didn’t help this either. The reunion made £625.11 profit for ROSA funds.

1970s reunion

The 1970s reunion will, as already reported, take place on Saturday 21 September 2019 most probably at the school hall – work on that should be finished by then. More details on the reunion will be posted on the website and ROSA Facebook page when they become available and also in the 2018 Bulletin which Richard is currently finalising.

AGM and Annual Lunch

The 2019 ROSA AGM and Annual Lunch will take place at the Mermaid as usual on Sunday 19 May 2019. More details will appear on the website and Facebook page in due course.

Next meeting

The next ROSA Committee meeting will take place on Thursday 21 March 2019 at 7.30 at the Mermaid.

Tim Rothwell

School Magazines -RX and RYA

We are pleased to have available some editions of RX, the magazine of Rye County Secondary Modern School and RYA, the magazine of Rye Grammar School. We have probably exhausted the supply of RXs, but there are several more editions of RYA available in the archive, which we hope to upload over time.

If anyone has any editions that they are prepared to lend us to upload, please email Tim Rothwell at

We have created a new page – School Magazines: RX and RYA – here

ROSA 1960s reunion

A report and photos of the 1960s reunion held on 22 September 2018 are available here

ROSA email list

In circulating emails for the ROSA 60s reunion, it is clear that not all ROSA members are receiving the regular website update emails.

If you have found this website, but do not receive email updates, please send you email address to Tim Rothwell – and he will add you to the list.

Rye Town FC – Sponsorship

ROSA have sponsored two Rye Town FC players for the coming season 2018/19 – Charlie Stevens and Player/Manager Shane Ridgers.  Charlie went to Rye College and Shane went to Thomas Peacocke.

Rye Town FC

News about Saltcote

On 18 August 2018, ROSA President Richard Moore received the following update about Saltcote, following last year’s fire:

Saltcote Place has probably never looked so good. Following the fire of April 2017 we have been working with the insurance company and a great team of builders to restore Saltcote to its original condition.
We have now moved into what the Saltcote Girls will refer to as Bodiam and have planning permission to install double bifold doors from the old dining room directly out under the Loggia.
The fire destroyed the former conservatory as well as the adjoining room and the balustrade above. Extensive smoke damage meant the vast majority of the building needed to be painted both inside and out. Some of the damage and newly refurbished rooms can be seen on Instagram – for those without an account you can still view the content without an account
We are extremely grateful to Rye Fire Brigade who are simply amazing, having dialled 999 at 4pm the fire was actually under control 8 and a half minutes later with two appliances in attendance. Both Rye conservation society and Rother Planning department have been extremely responsive and very supportive making the recovery process a lot easier than it could otherwise have been.
With the new configuration the focus moving forwards is going to be Family events especially Wedding Anniversaries and Weddings although we will probably not be doing more than 12 Weddings a year.
Not all of the new images are on the website but we hope to have that addressed over the next few weeks.
Kind Regards
Paul and Alan
Tel 01797 222220

Richard Merricks Room

Rye Cricket Club have named the upstairs room at the Cricket Pavilion on the Salts after Richard Merricks, who died last year. Richard, known as Rick, an RGS old scholar, was a lifelong cricket fan. The report of the opening of the Room on 6 August and the cricket match that accompanied it can be read in Rye News here
Those attending the 1960s reunion on Saturday 22 September will get a chance to see the Richard Merricks Room as the reunion is being held the year the cricket pavilion.

David Crew – View from the Strand

Local artist David Crew, who attended Rye Primary and then Rye Grammar Schools, has recently had an exhibition of his work shown at the Rye Art Gallery. (Many Ryers will remember David’s father, Sergeant Crew, the much-respected local ‘bobby’.) The exhibition was entitled View from the Strand. The cover of the Gallery programme for January-June 2018 shows David’s painting Driftwood.

David has written about his exhibition in Rye News, and his article, which also contains further examples of his work, can be read here

The article has also been published in the March 2018 edition of Fixtures. In his article, David pays tribute to two ‘inspirational art teachers’ at RGS, Kitty French and Jill Elliot.

Britain At Low Tide

Although not strictly ROSA related, ROSA members might like to know, if they don’t already, that the first episode in the new series of Channel 4’s Britain At Low Tide screened on Saturday 17 February 2018 featured East Sussex.  It includes film and discussions about Rye, Smeaton’s Harbour at Winchelsea Beach and the petrified forest at Pett Level, amongst other things.

It is available for the next three weeks on the catch-up channel All Four here

Brian Dennis has sent in the following comment:

‘We saw the programme last week and found the piece about Smeaton’s Harbour at Winchelsea Beach of particular interest. My grandfather, Robert Victor Cooke owned Holfords Farm, which is close to Dogs Hill. Sadly now a caravan park!

ROSA members might find the following book of interest which includes a whole chapter on Smeaton’s Harbour. The book was written by Michael and Ruth Saville. Ruth was a relative of mine on the Cooke side – my mother’s first cousin:

A Changing Shore – An Illustrated Account of Winchelsea Beach. ISBN 0-9548390-2-1

ROSA Bulletin – 2017

This has now been distributed and is available here

RYA magazine

May 2017’s edition of Rye’s Own contains an article on RYA, the Rye Grammar School magazine. Rye’s Own have been given a collection of RYA from 1946-1951, and the May issue contains some interesting excerpts from the 1951 edition.

Of interest to ROSA members, the editorial for Spring 1951 says that complaints had been made about the inclusion of Old Scholars’ contribution to RYA. In sticking by its decision to print contributions from Old Scholars, the editorial says the following:

‘In our view Rye Grammar School is more than a place where a number of children are taught together. ..It is a fellowship of staff, pupils, scholars who have left, and scholars who are to come. The rules, privileges and traditions that are ours today have been handed down to us by those who have left and must be handed on to those who come after us.’

Not a bad philosophy in some ways of what ROSA is about today.

Rye’s Own is on sale in outlets in Rye and the surrounding area, and can be bought by subscription. More details can be found on the Rye’s Own Facebook page here

ROSA Bulletins

We have now added copies of the ROSA Bulletins from 2009 until 2017 inclusive on this site. Please go to the ROSA Bulletins heading on the Menu to find the links.

Contributions to the website

We are very grateful for the contributions (and kind words!) we have received since we launched the website in February 2017. We have included the contributions on the website, and have opened up a new category -MEMORIES. But we could do with lots more!

Please email any you have to


ROSA Website Launched!

It has taken some time, to say the least, for the ROSA website to see the light of day, but finally we have one. As you will see, it is very much a work in progress and there’s lots more to be added but we have made a start – only seven years after we first promised members a website!

The website will enable us to tell members about developments, news etc throughout the year, and we promise we will keep it up to date!

We hope that the areas we have included are the right ones, but please let us know if there is anything you would like to see included – or not included!

We want to make this your website,  and it will only be interesting and relevant if we add new material regularly. We therefore make a heartfelt plea for you to send us corrections, additions, articles, news items, photos etc – in fact anything you think might be of interest. We would prefer it if you could email your contributions. Please send them to Tim Rothwell at

If you would rather send them by snail mail, please send them to

Tim Rothwell, Breanross, Pett Road, Pett, Hastings, East Sussex, TN35 4HA

We look forward to hearing from you.