Bonfire event could be town’s last

Hailsham Bonfire Society
Hailsham Bonfire Society

Threatened Hailsham Bonfire Society has pledged to ‘go out with a bang’ at this year’s Guy Fawkes Celebrations on October 19 after society members said the event could be its last.

Despite the society appealing for support in the Sussex Express and on local radio stations, it said the response for new members and donations had been ‘extremely limited.’

Mike Farley, spokesman for Hailsham Bonfire Society, said due to the hard work of society members there is enough funds to stage this year’s event. But the society still needs new members.

He continued: “At present we have 27 members and most are having to take leave from their work in order to complete all the preparation for this years event, unfortunately this situation is unsustainable and the demise of the society is looking inevitable. Regardless of the current situation we are determined to go out with a bang and hope that the residents of Hailsham appreciate our efforts.”

Hailsham Bonfire Society will be joined on the evening by 12 other bonfire societies including Isfield and Little Horsted, Littlehampton, South Heighton, Uckfield and Rotherfield.

Music for the processions will be provided by The Heathfield Silver Band, The Sussex Stompers and The Rebel Drummers.

The first torch lit procession will start at 7:30pm from Western Road and wind its way through town to the War Memorial where a traditional bonfire act of remembrance will take place - crackers will be ignited with the red paper representing the Flanders poppy.

The procession will then return to Western Road for the award of the best dressed bonfire society trophy.

The Grand Procession will form at 9pm and with 1000 torches blazing it will process once more through the town to the Leisure Centre Car Park where the bonfire will be lit with torches from the procession.

The Bonfire Clergy led by the Lord Bishop of Hailsham will conduct ‘Bonfire Prayers’ before the grand firework display erupts in a feast of light and sound.

The evening will culminate with the fiery destruction of Guy Fawkes.

Hailsham Bonfire Society is always in need of volunteers to help with the street collection.

If you are able to help go to the Hailsham Memorial Institute any time from 6pm on the evening of the event.

The Hailsham Bonfire Society programme is now on sale around the town.

You can support the society by buying one. If you can provide assistance on the evening or want to join the bonfire society contact Mike on 01273 510753.