Bonfire book ‘too historical’

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Regarding your report ‘No Popery’ out at town’s TIC (Sussex Express, November 1) and the two letters in the November 8 edition on the same subject, I would like to share my experience with the Tourist Information Centre in Lewes.

Being born and bred in Lewes, I have a great interest in the town’s history and especially Bonfire Night.

I was a member of Cliffe Bonfire Society for many years, but I have no particular alliance at the present time, just a great interest in bonfire in general.

In October, 2011, my book Bonfire Night in Lewes was published.

This collected together for the first time articles from 1679 to modern day; it also includes Lewes Bonfire Society information, the bonfire council fancy dress competition, a time line of bonfire in Lewes plus much more, including 15 illustrations/photographs.

It was published in October to coincide with the November bonfire night celebration and to attract local residents and visitors.

Being a local author I paid a visit to the TIC with a copy of the book and my details to ask if they would stock and sell some copies.

I was asked to call back in a few days after the manager had had a look at the book.

I duly returned after a few days and was told that they could not stock any copies.

I enquired why and was told that it was too historical and lacked photographs.

I accept that there are only a few photographs, but too historical I find rather ridiculous. I have purchased in the past from the TIC books about the town, the twittens, the Priory and Thomas Paine, surely these are of historical content.

On the cover of the book is a photograph of the last bonfire and firework display held in Lewes High Street. There is no mention of ‘No Popery’ in the photograph. Of course it is mentioned in the book.

I do not want to get involved in a long discussion regarding the ‘No Popery’ part of the celebrations, but it is after all part of the annual celebrations and long may it and the celebrations continue.

I hope that in future the TIC will give local authors the chance to sell their publications through their shop, whether they agree with the content or not. After all, they are a service to the local residents as well as the visitor.

Brian W Pugh

Lewes