Lewes Bonfire: South Street Bonfire Society

South Street Bonfire Society
South Street Bonfire Society

South Street Bonfire Society members say: “We are a ‘warm, friendly and fun-loving family society and numbers are growing.” They emphasise plenty goes on all year with social events such as camping, race nights, quizzes and an annual Lamb Roast. This is set, no doubt, to be crowned by their most exciting procession and display to date.

Smugglers wearing distinctive brown and cream jerseys will by accompanied by the Glen Duart Pipe Band and the Expedient Jazz Band and be joined by Hastings, Firle and Rye bonfire societies. History is re-lived with costumes from the 18th century Colonial period and the elegantly plain or elaborate clothes worn by both sides in the English Civil War.

The Society played a major role in this year’s re-enactment of the Battle of Lewes. Its chief skirmish was to defend the town’s West Gate against Simon de Montfort - a gallant failure but with no dishonour as the brave leader was led off in chains.

Possibly the most significant event this year was a new Tab Shed on land jointly owned with Waterloo Bonfire Society on the town’s outskirts. Steve Newman said: “Now we’re our own masters and the land and Shed embody the independence so important to Bonfire. It’s a tribute to co-operations between Societies for a common purpose.”

Collections during last year’s processions yielded £1,118,47 was shared between the WRAS, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Cliffe Branch of the British Legion and Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust - chosen because South Street has an intimate connection with the Railway Land - its own firesite with a diverse network of habitats.