We have just returned from a trip to Rye in Sussex. Those of you who followed the Channel 4’s Mapp & Lucia series will probably know that filming for the town of Tilling, in that series, was done in Rye. What a quaint and interesting place it is.

Most people who have heard of Rye will know of the Mermaid Inn in Mermaid Street and I’d hate to disappoint you so here it is.

That cobbled road surface can be uncomfortable to walk on unless one’s footwear has very sturdy soles. There is a narrow pavement down one side but even that disappears occasionally.

There are cobbled streets aplenty here and West Street is another one. Note the narrow pavement.

The church tower is open to the public most days so we couldn’t resist a visit to the top to look at the views. One does have to squeeze along this little passage to get there and it is as narrow as it looks.

The tower is divided into three stages. The first is where the bellringers do their stuff and is also where the mechanism of the tower clock is housed. This mechanism is the oldest clock mechanism in the country and dates from 1561.

The next stage is the bell chamber itself where the bells are hung. We chanced to be looking at the bells at two o’clock when suddenly there was an almighty BOOOONNGGG followed soon after by another. One of these bells is used to strike the hours and if you are not expecting it it will take you by surprise. It is very, VERY LOUD!!!! The views from the top were worth having one’s ear drums rattled though.

The rather grand looking building in the centre of the picture is Rye Station.

Rye used to be on the coast and town sits on the edge of the old sea cliffs although the sea has now retreated 2 miles. Makes a change from the coast being rapidly eroded.

We had a lovely and interesting time in Rye and I shall now start preparing the pages for the main web site. I don’t know when they’ll appear as there is a lot to write about.

Everything comes to him who waits.