Bonfire boyfriend pops the question ... in letters of fire

Hailsham Bonfire Society's celebrations. Photograph by Robert Shearing
Hailsham Bonfire Society's celebrations. Photograph by Robert Shearing

Hailsham Bonfire Society’s celebrations on Saturday were a particularly sparkling occasion for members Terry Philp and Lucy Hamilton ... they got engaged.

Just before Bonfire Prayers a fiery message was lit saying ‘Lucy Will You Marry Me?’ as Terry got down on one knee. His shocked girlfriend said ‘yes’ to great applause from the crowd.

The society enjoyed one of the biggest processions in its history. Members were supported by 17 visiting societies and the torchlight processions through the streets featured seven bands.

Several thousand filled the town for the spectacle and the host society, which has more than 100 members, shone in their Victorian costumes along with the traditional ‘smugglers’ ranks in their grey and black hoops.

The firing of a maroon signalled the start of the procession from the Hailsham Memorial Institute Club in Western Road and it made its way to the War Memorial for a short ceremony of remembrance

This year’s charity collection was for The Charles Hunt Centre, WRAS, 2nd Hailsham Scouts and the ABC Playgroup.

Climax of the evening was the grand fireworks display and the detonation of the effigy of Guy Fawkes.

Catherine Musk, Secretary of Hailsham Bonfire Society, said: “Once the crowd disperses we cook burgers and have some down time before we sweep the car park and take down barriers – yes before we go home!

“We are back at 7am on Sunday to start the massive clear-up which apart form the council road sweeper we all do ... by hand. This usually takes us up to lunchtime.”

The long day had started at 8am when work started on building the bonfire at the fire site, followed by programme and badge selling.