Dazzling display at Cowbeech bonfire

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, in four volumes
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A magnificent spectacle of colours and shapes lit up the night skies over Cowbeech at the weekend when the Merrie Harriers Bonfire Society held its annual Guy Fawkes celebrations.

The celebrations were choreographed by BrightFX under the leadership of John Kennett, which saw the fireworks accompanied by a soundtrack of the best pop songs from recent years.

Merrie Harriers Bonfire Society event in Cowbeech. Pictures by Sally Wallis

Merrie Harriers Bonfire Society event in Cowbeech. Pictures by Sally Wallis

Leslie Webb from the Society said: “In terms of a family event you could hardly ask for better.

“It took about an hour for the flames of the bonfire to die down sufficiently for the firework display to begin, and what a display it was.

“For fifteen minutes the sky was illuminated by a magnificent spectacle of colours and shapes all choreographed and dancing to the music provided by pyrotechnics specialists ‘BrightFX.’

“Every show that John has done for the Bonfire Society seems better than previous ones and comments from the onlookers reflected this.”

Before the display there was a fancy dress and pumpkin carving competition for all ages.

There were a whole host of spooky costumes from devils to witches and spiderman to batman.

The barbecues were kept busy with hungry spectators munching on burgers, hot dogs and bacon rolls.

Leslie continued: “A free-range Hog was roasted and by the time the event closed only the bones were left and most of these had disappeared by the time the Clear-up Team arrived on Saturday morning.”

Herstmonceux Scouts made four Guys which were laced with Chinese Crackers. Leslie added: “So not only did they go up in flames but they also went out with a series of bangs.”

The event saw 20 volunteers dedicate their time to making the bonfire a success with some starting at 8:30am and not signing off until 9:30pm.

Organisers said the event cost around £4200 for fireworks and insurance.

The gate took just over £3,800 and it is thought the barbeque made a profit of £500.

Society secretary Mary-Anne Gordon said: “We will certainly break even and hopefully have a small margin of profit.

“Fortunately we have generous sponsors for the Fancy Dress Competitions, including sweets for all entrants, and all labour is given and equipment loaned freely.

“A great night for us all with the weather so mild and warm.”