A hundred years of blowing up Guy Fawkes

Rouser 2013
Rouser 2013

If you find yourself in the Snowdrop Inn, South Street, Lewes you can see a copy of this photograph on the wall.

It shows members of South Street Juvenile Bonfire Society on November 5, 1927, with their tableau and effigies posing in front of the adjoining stables.

The tableau was built in the stable block for many years and set off later, with bonfire and firework display, in the Chalk Pit behind the pub.

The tableau appears to be Lindbergh’s aeroplane Spirit of St Louis.

Charles Lindbergh completed the first non stop flight across the Atlantic on May 21, 1927.

The picture shows Joe Hudson sitting in the pilot’s seat. If anyone can name any of the other people pictured please let David Muddle know on (01273) 473144.

David is collecting memorabilia for a future exhibition to be held in St Thomas’s church hall in Cliffe to mark the society’s centenary.

Back in 1913 Tom Wheeler, who lived at No 51, set up a new juvenile bonfire society in South Street for the younger members of the Cliffe area.

No more than 15 children were members at first.

A thriving South Street Bonfire Society now has over 400 members of all ages.

David is especially looking for pictures or memories of the fire site when it was at the Chalk Pit.

Entrance was to the side of the pub garden and belonged to Southern Water, who allowed the society to use it until 1976 when it was requisitioned for the building of the Cuilfail Tunnel.

Fireworks were set up on a concrete platform and some more mischievous members recall climbing the cliffs to the side to lob fireworks into the fire from above.