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Thousands of people lined Uckfield High Street on Saturday evening (September 6) for the town’s annual bonfire carnival.

There was an explosion of colour as bonfire societies from around the county turned out to march through the town in the Grand Torchlight Procession, launching the bonfire season.

By Ron Hill

By Ron Hill

Uckfield Concert Brass Band led the way on the night followed by a number of bonfire societies including East Hoathly and Halland Carnival Society, South Heighton Bonfire Society, Hailsham Bonfire Society and Crowborough Bonfire Society.

Societies from Lewes also showed their support with South Street, Waterloo and Lewes Borough turning out on the night.

Other visiting bonfire societies included Lindfield, Isfield and Little Horsted, Eastbourne, Phoenix, Littlehampton, Fletching, Maresfield, Rotherfield, Chailey, Burgess Hill, Seaford and Mayfield.

As well as Uckfield Concert Brass Band, music was provided by Uckfield Performance Ensemble and Heathfield Silver Band. There were 15 tableaux and dancers and Majorettes. Bonfire prayers were led by Father Martin Onions of Holy Cross Church and then Uckfield Bonfire and Carnival Society lit up their pieces which included two poppies and a We Will Remember Them banner to mark the centenary of World War One.

The total collected was around £4,000 which will be distributed to local groups and organisations.

Earlier in the day there was a great turnout for Uckfield Carnival Children’s Parade with the crowd showing its support by cheering as the children marched in wonderful costumes and passed by on floats.

The children’s parade started at the Victoria Ground and headed down New Town, up the High Street to Downsview Crescent, then back down through the High Street to Holy Cross School playing field where fancy dress entries were judged.

The carnival prince and princess were Cameron Connelly and Charlotte Newman.

On Friday evening (September 5) a grand fireworks display took place where crowds were entertained by Uckfield FM until Commercial Square Bonfire Society took over lighting up the skies with a fantastic fireworks display. Lynne Ireland, Uckfield Bonfire and Carnival Secretary, said: “What a weekend. On behalf of Uckfield Bonfire and Carnival Society we would like to thank all the people of Uckfield who either joined in the processions throughout the day or helped contribute to the day.

“Thank you Uckfield and here’s to Saturday September 5 2015.” The society said it wanted to thank the people of Uckfield for turning out to support the carnival, and the organisations which help to ensure the carnival goes ahead, and raised money to help the community.