Rye has a special feel in November, like a great many East Sussex towns and villages it has a thriving Bonfire Society  whose hardworking members stage a flaming torch lit procession around the town, with a magnificent  firework display and huge bonfire  down on The Salts-this year’s date is Saturday 11th.

The whole day has a special excitement with the scent of smoke & darkness  and members of other Bonfire Societies marching around the town most of the day in full costume. Rye’s tradition goes way back beyond Guy Fawkes to medieval  days when our local  fishermen and their opposite numbers across the Channel in France were continuously raiding each other and setting fire to the fishing boats. There is always a “ Burning boat” bringing up the rear of the procession to this day, though its more mundane task now is to collect the burnt out torches. Grown-up children who have long moved away from Rye make a point of trying to be back for Bonfire Night.

>> To find out more visit the Rye & District Bonfire Society website here!

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Vintage Sussex Pigs

Vintage Sussex Pigs

Today (31st October 2011) Tarquin has been asked to help identify an early 20thcentury “Sussex Pig” for a collector, but the consensus from all the local experts was that it was nothing to do with Rye. Too many things did not match up, colour of the glaze, the lettering technique and of course no basemark at all. It looked as if it was cast from a mould so beware there could be more about!

Note to the wary: Pre war Sussex Pigs were all thrown by hand & not made in a mould.

Here at Rye Pottery we do not reproduce pre-war pieces and any post-war designs we do introduce always have our current Rye Pottery mark, or “back stamp” as we call it in the trade, to make sure there can be no confusion.

>> We hope one day to add more about the various marks used to identify Rye Pottery in the future, but in the meantime, click here to find out how our backstamp and initialling systems work – both now and in years past.

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More from October

We had a wonderful  family outing yesterday. We went up to the King’s Head in Islington to see our son Josh Cole who is in Kvetch, which is running there until November 4. Lovely as ex-Londoners to be back there even if only for half a day, the weather was perfect, but seeing all the shops full of Hallowe’en things did make us quite glad that witches, ghouls and ghosties are all a bit spiky and not really suited to our sort of pottery! We think we will stick with October 25 marking  611 years since Geoffrey Chaucer died.

>> You can read some of the reviews and book tickets here.

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OCTOBER seems to be a month full of important dates for Rye Pottery.  First The Battle of Hastings to remember on the 14th while  October 21st  is the  Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805,  as a former naval officer Tarquin  felt Rye had to have its own  NELSON figure to mark the 200th anniversary in 2005!, Last but not least October 25 1400 marks the death of GEOFFREY CHAUCER.  Chaucer should be remembered not only for his wonderful literature including THE  CANTERBURY TALES,   he was also Clerk of the Works to Richard 11 from 1389  and as such he is thought to have been responsible for the building of Westminster Hall;  he is the first poet to be buried in Westminster Abbey.

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Rye Pottery - Bayeux Tapestry Collection - William the Conqueror



Today is the Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, I wonder how many figures in our Bayeux Tapestry series we will have to mark the 950th Anniversary in 2016!

>>  This is an ongoing series with new pieces to be added in regularly, to take a look at the current beautiful figures in our Bayeux collection click here.

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Japanese Television

I wish you could have seen us here last Friday, we had a Japanese TV crew making a travel documentary about  South East England.  They had already visited the Hop Farm and Museum in Paddock Wood  and were due to take a ride on the Bluebell Railway later that day. They were all very enthusiastic and loved Rye and our Pottery

I spoke direct to camera  in short sound bites, which could be translated later, ending by inviting their viewers to be sure to vist Rye Pottery and Rye. It took 3 takes for them to be happy while I felt more and more stilted with each retake so hope it will sound reasonable when it  is finally shown. Fortunately they also took some lovely shots of Jane Davies glazing and painting a Rye Rabbit . Jane was of course lucky enough to have something useful to do with her hands while they filmed her, unlike me who was  filmed  just  standing in our shop with our wonderful medieaval wall as a back drop.

They have promised us a copy once it is all edited.  So fingers crossed!


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