Lewes is gearing up for Bonfire

Waterloo Bonfire Society banner
Waterloo Bonfire Society banner

A strange transformation is already underway in the normally peaceful town of Lewes.

Shop fronts are being boarded up in the High Street and Cliffe, while Bonfire Boys and Girls can be seen in their smugglers’ outfits walking around the town.

No popery banner in Cliffe High Street

No popery banner in Cliffe High Street

Parking meters are being removed to prevent them being blown up with fireworks.

In previous years the unpopular parking regime in Lewes has been targeted during bonfire, with parking meters in the line of fire.

As the streets are closed off and the office workers are sent home, the deserted town seems to sink into a ghostly silence, broken only by the occasional explosion of a firework or rookie.

The pubs begin to fill up and the sightings of Smugglers, Vikings and Cavaliers, as well as a great many other costumed locals, grow ever more frequent.

As darkness descends on the medieval streets of Lewes, the cries of ‘Og Ogi Ogi,’ ‘Oi, oi, oi,’ and ‘Burn him’ ring out through the night air.

Getting into Lewes becomes a Herculean effort, as the trains fill up and the roads are closed off, yet such is the popularity of this incredible event, that thousands find a way to visit the town despite this.

The first of the processions will begin at around 5pm, after which you can expect to see thousands of Bonfire Boys and Girls parading through the town in costumes ranging from monks to Anglo Saxons, from Zulus to Victorians.

Blazing torches will light the streets, smoke will fill the alleyways and burning crosses, fire banners and burning barrels of tar will all feature in an evening which makes you feel like you are stepping back in time.

Once the main procession is over the Lewes Bonfire Societies head for their six fire sites scattered across the town to stage their breathtaking fireworks displays.

But who will the Bonfire Societies choose for their tableaux this year? Whose likeness will they blow up with fireworks?

I hope like us at the Sussex Express, you can’t wait to find out.