Midsummer Madness a triumph at Pells Pool in Lewes

Photograph by Willie Robb
Photograph by Willie Robb

A ‘living fox effigy’ was among the explosive entertainments on show at the Pells Pool in Lewes for this year’s Midsummer Madness.

Phil ‘The Fox’ Rose performed Mission Impossible among an eruption of fireworks for the dazzling finale on Saturday (June 24).

Photograph by Willie Robb

Photograph by Willie Robb

This was the 14th sell-out year for Tongue and Groove’s event, which has now raised more than £30,000 for local charities.

The weather held out as Lewes-based Starfish Youth Music kicked off the evening with six young bands.

Tongue and Groove, which describes itself as an ‘11-piece funky groove monster’, played for almost two hours. Its brass section, backing singers, and keyboard player were all students and ex-students of Sussex Downs College.

Meanwhile, band’s guitarist John Evens and Phil Rose himself both teach at the college.

Photograph by Willie Robb

Photograph by Willie Robb

In an extraordinary flourish, the fireworks, created by Waterloo Bonfire Society, flew through the projection screen and into the pool for their final detonation.

Phil Rose said this year’s Midsummer Madness ‘surpassed all others’ and praised the ‘brilliant’ acts as well as the show’s production, run by Lewes Youth Theatre, and the lighting delivered with ‘flair and skill’ by Sussex Downs College.

He said: “The Pells Pool is key to this special event happening each year with Phil Ransley and his team keeping all the swimmers and guests safe.

“The event would not be the same without Steve Franklin’s support from Starfish and Waterloo Bonfire Society donating their brilliant pyro team to make the finale go with a bang. Community in action.”

Photograph by Willie Robb

Photograph by Willie Robb

The main projects which benefit from the fundraising show are Starfish Youth Music and Landport and Malling Summer Playschemes – but the full total of Saturday’s show has not yet been announced.

The event celebrates the summer solstice each year and aims to give its spectators a bonkers night to remember.

Midsummer Madness sold out within a week this year – so revellers are encouraged to book tickets early for the 2018 event.

Photograph by Willie Robb

Photograph by Willie Robb

Photograph by Willie Robb

Photograph by Willie Robb