This August Bank Holiday in Dymchurch is the bi-annual event known as “The Day of Syn” – no, it’s not in the slightest bit naughty (unfortunately). The Day of Syn is an event based on the exploits of a fictional character of the same name taken from the Doctor Syn books by Russell Thorndyke.
Sybil and Russell Thorndyke lived intermittently in the village for quite a number of years and apparently Russell could often be seen in The Ship Inn. The Thorndykes met Paul Nash in Dymchurch and were a part of what was a thriving social scene in the village for artists, writers and theatrical people, who wanted to escape from London to the seaside.
At present a large proportion of the Dymchurch tourism “offer” (as they say) is based around the aforesaid Doctor and his storybook buddies. The Day of Syn has recently, for various reasons, suffered decline, becoming an excuse for alcoholic excess, mostly by the scores of South Londoners who choose to make the village their summer destination. The Syn Committee, are making a special effort this year and in a bold attempt to introduce a cultural thread to the day have organised an art competition in addition to their usual pageantry. Additionally the Dymchurch Martello Tower in the centre of the village, will be opening over the weekend. The Napoleonic Tower is probably the only one in existence that is authentically restored to its original state. Well worth a visit.