Uckfield kicks off the bonfire season in style

The streets were lined for the procession. Picture by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)
The streets were lined for the procession. Picture by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)

Uckfield Carnival and Bonfire Society has kick-started the Sussex bonfire season and visitors say others will find it hard to beat.

The society’s 190th annual celebration took place across the weekend, starting with a grand fireworks display at Holy Cross Primary School’s field on Friday (September 1).

There was an international feel as visiting societies showed off costumes. Picture by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)

There was an international feel as visiting societies showed off costumes. Picture by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)

On Saturday afternoon (September 2) Uckfield’s youngsters paraded through the High Street in a grand fancy dress procession; it was followed by a dazzling evening torchlight procession.

Participants wore colourful costumes, travelled on decorated floats and were accompanied by live music. The procession paused outside the home of former councillor Jim Molesworth-Edwards who died last Sunday.

Society secretary Lynne Ireland said: “We are pleased, proud and slightly emotional to say the 2017 street collection has beaten all previous records and raised more than £4,000.

“We had a record turnout in both the children’s and torchlight processions from visiting societies, local firms and youth groups.”

Blazing symbols ... Uckfield starts the Bonfire celebrations across Sussex. Picture by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)

Blazing symbols ... Uckfield starts the Bonfire celebrations across Sussex. Picture by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)

With this success under their belts, society members will be guests at other bonfires, including Lewes, as the season moves on.

The society began in 1827 when shopkeepers organised a carnival to welcome winter trading. With the motto, ‘We Burn for Charity’, it’s a not-for-profit group with money raised during the day or the year fed into improving the event itself, and going to back to charities and organisations in and around the town.

This year the ‘ante’ was well and truly ‘upped’ with what watchers described as its best event ever.