Fire and fun at annual procession

Seaford bonfire 2013 ENGSUS00120131021120600
Seaford bonfire 2013 ENGSUS00120131021120600

The streets of Seaford will be alive with fire and fun this weekend as the town’s fifth annual bonfire celebrations get underway.

Seaford Bonfire Society will lead the procession from the White Lion Hotel at 7:15pm to the War Memorial, where it will stop for a remembrance ceremony at 7:45pm.

The procession will leave the War Memorial at 8:10pm before the lighting of the bonfire at 9pm. The sky will be lit up by a spectacular firework display at 9:15pm.

This will be the fifth annual bonfire celebration since the town’s society reformed, and they promise it will be bigger and better than ever before.

The streets will be filled with pirates, smugglers and Saxons as members of Seaford Bonfire Society march the streets in traditional costume, selling programmes.

A spokesperson for Seaford Bonfire Society said: “When Seaford Bonfire Society re-formed in December 2010, a committee was formed and discussions took place on the costumes that would mean something to Seaford. Being a coastal town, Seaford has a long association with smuggling and piracy so for the leaders of the parade, pirates seemed the obvious choice.

Second choice was the Saxon as Alfred the Great had a palace at nearby Westdean. The name Seaford is derived from the Anglo Saxon ‘Sae forde’ meaning a place where you can cross the sea or the river. Locals, known as ‘Wreckers’, were responsible for the sinking and looting of many a ship when smuggling was at its peak. They wore knee length breeches, stockings, loose shirts, waistcoats and bandanas. Their faces would have been blacked to help them hide from the authorities. These characters had to be included in our procession.

“Lastly, we couldn’t escape the ‘bonfire smuggler’ that history named after the shag bird that frequents our shores hence ‘The Seaford Shags’.

“The hooped jumpers, white trousers, topped with a beanie type woollen hat have become part of bonfire throughout Sussex.”

More information and a map of the route is available in the programme on sale at various outlets in Seaford, and on the night of the event.

The spokesperson added: “The event is only possible thanks to the extraordinary efforts of members of the society and its many supporters - it’s you that keeps us burning. Please support us in any way you can and we look forward to seeing you on the night.”

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