Blacksmith’s Son Beats Countdown

Although, like many of his generation, he was forced to leave school at the age of 14, he was a very clever man. He could work out conundrums, or anagrams, or do the mental arithmetic on Countdown faster than his son or his son’s computer. One of the sadnesses for him of his final weeks was that his stroke left him unable to read the newspaper or do the daily crossword.


(Born, August 3rd 1920. Died, March 8th 1999.)

Edwin Rye (known as Ted) was the son of a Blacksmith.

Ted RyeHe grew up in, and around, King’s Lynn, and joined the Royal Norfolk Regiment at the start of the Second World War. However, he was soon captured and spent most of the war in various European prison camps.

On returning home he joined his wife’s family businesses and for over a decade helped run a Cafe next door to the Police Station in King’s Lynn, and the Tower Restaurant in New Conduit Street. The family have many photos of dinner-dances at the Tower Restaurant and of Ted laughing or dancing and helping his customers celebrate with some enthusiasm!

After the collapse of the family businesses, Ted worked as a Canteen Manager at Lockwoods, and would sometimes travel to Long Sutton on Christmas Day to cook for many of the immigrant Italian work force. His son has fond childhood memories of rides through Sutton Bridge on a motor-scooter, and of arriving at the factory to eat his dad’s spaghetti and tomato sauce.

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