The streets of Hailsham will once again erupt in a storm of flame as the town’s bonfire society returns for its annual celebrations, after fears last year’s festivities could have been its last.
Last year, the Express reported how the 2013 bonfire could have been the society’s final celebration, because of dwindling members, a failure to attract support from businesses and a lack of donations from people.
Now, the bonfire society has received a large amount of support from numerous businesses from around the town, and residents, and this year’s celebrations on October 18 aim to be bigger and better than ever before.
The first torch lit procession will start at 7:30pm from Western Road and snake through the streets of the town to the War Memorial where a traditional bonfire act of remembrance will take place.
The procession will then return to Western Road for the award of the best dressed bonfire society trophy.
The Grand Procession will form up at 9pm and with torches blazing it will process once more through the town to the Leisure Centre Car Park where the bonfire will be lit.
Hailsham Bonfire Society will conduct ‘Bonfire Prayers’ before the grand firework display. The evening will culminate with the fiery destruction of Guy Fawkes.
Business Support Officer Alan Osborne said: “Our event costs around £9,000 a year to run and, as all of the tasks and fundraising throughout the year are undertaken by a small band of volunteers, this year we approached local businesses for support. Many have wanted to support the biggest free community event in Hailsham and the response has been outstanding. Support has included cash, meal vouchers, wood for torch sticks, hessian for torch heads, wire, effigy materials and catering supplies and we are very grateful to every one of them.”
Sponsors included Alsford, Callenders, Chapter 12, Charles Church, Chris Scott-Harman, The Corn Exchange, Costcutter (High Street), The George, Heathfield Windows, Iceland, Kitprint, Li’s Cottage, Parker Building Supplies, P J Skips, Subway, Truffles, Waitrose and Wickes.
The Hailsham Bonfire Society programme is now on sale around the town. It contains a full itinerary of the event and other interesting bonfire related articles.
If anybody is able to provide any assistance on the evening or if they would like to join the bonfire society contact Mike on 01273 510753.
Hailsham Bonfire Society is always in need of volunteers to help with the street collection. If you are able to help visit the Hailsham Memorial Institute any time from 6pm on the evening of the event.
During the processions Hailsham Bonfire Society will be conducting a street collection for a number of charities.
This year the society has chosen to support Environment Hailsham, East Sussex Wildlife
Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS), Sussex Army Cadet Force, Beachy Head Chaplains Team, Hellingly Rugby Football Club, Sussex Search and Rescue and Sussex 4x4 Response.
A spokesman for Hailsham Bonfire Society said: “Please give generously to help support these worthwhile local causes.”
To join Hailsham Bonfire Society contact 01273 510753