Autumn celebrations have begun in Sussex - from now until the end of November, bonfire societies are ‘on tour’ – visiting each other's villages and towns to help stage impressive torchlit processions and firework displays.
These events are smaller than the big event at Lewes on November the 5th but are as much fun and more family friendly. The celebrations mark both Guy Fawkes Night and the burning of the Protestant martyrs, both in Lewes and elsewhere, from 1555 to 1557. Donations to the events help raise many thousands of pounds for charities and other worthy causes.
Procession dates are as follows* (please contact individual bonfire societies for procession times and to confirm that processions are going ahead):
- 6 October: Eastbourne Bonfire Society
- 13 October: Hastings Borough Bonfire Society
- 20 October: Hailsham Bonfire Society
- 20 October: Northiam Bonfire Society
- 20 October: Seaford Bonfire Society
- 20 October: Nevil Juvenile Bonfire Society
- 20 October: NinfIeld Bonfire Society Ninfield
- 20 October: Fletching Bonfire Society
- 26 October: Isfield Bonfire Society
- 27 October: Littlehampton Bonfire Society
- 27 October: Ewhurst and Staplecross Bonfire Society
- 3 November: Newick Bonfire Society
- 3 November: Battel Bonfire Boyes
- 4 November: Lamberhurst Bonfire Society
- 4 November: Robin Hood Bonfire Society, Icklesham
- 5 November: Lewes Societies: Cliffe, Waterloo, Borough, South Street, Commercial Square, Southover
- 5 November: Lindfield Bonfire Society
- 5 November: Edenbridge Bonfire Society
- 10 November: East Hoathly & Halland Carnival Society
- 10 November: South Heighton Bonfire Society
- 10 November: Chailey Bonfire Society
- 10 November: Rye Bonfire Society
- 17 November: Robertsbridge Bonfire Society
- 24 November: Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society
*Event list courtesy of the Battel Bonfire Boys website, which contains a wealth of information about the Sussex bonfire tradition and the history of the Battel Boys; read more here.
Be aware that many high streets and surrounding roads are closed for the events and parking tends to be on roads and lanes at the outskirts of the towns/villages. You may therefore need to walk some distance into the town/village and a torch may be useful.