This year has seen people up and down the country remember the Battle of Waterloo 200 years on and 70 years since VE and VJ Day - but Cliffe Bonfire Society had an anniversary of its own to celebrate too.
Thirty-five years ago, the society acquired its own yard and to mark the occasion, has spent 2015 giving its premises a makeover. Now, with new workshops and storage units, Cliffe is better prepared than ever before to put on a spectacular show this bonfire night.
As has been tradition, Cliffe’s fearsome Vikings will lead the procession from headquarters at The Dorset in Malling Street to Lansdown Place via Eastgate Street, Albion Street, School Hill and Friars Walk. The Vikings will be followed by the second pioneers in French Revolutionaries costume, medieval ladies and knights and smugglers in Cliffe’s black and white stripes.
After the Grand Procession, effigies of Guy Fawkes and Pope Paul V will be ceremoniously destroyed by fireworks, while giant heads representing people deemed by the society to be this year’s ‘Enemies of Bonfire’ will be similarly exploded.
A stunning aerial display will be set off from the society’s firesite at Ham Lane before this year’s Cliffe Bonfire Society Tableau will be detonated in explosive style.
Last year, while there were no ‘Enemies of Bonfire’ because ‘no one really upset us [Cliffe] that much’, Vladamir Putin was chosen as the public figure to be immortalised in a Grand Tableau of ‘mammoth proportions’ - 20ft tall, to be precise.
During Cliffe’s processions, which will see thousands of flaming torches brandished by the society’s ever-growing numbers, there will be people collecting money for the chosen charities - St John Ambulance, The Sussex Heart Charity and Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.
For timings, buy the Cliffe Bonfire Society programme.
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