Uckfield kicks off the bonfire season

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Next weekend sees the first bonfire of the season in Sussex. The Uckfield Bonfire and Carnival Society holds fancy dress and torchlit processions followed by a firework display on Saturday, September 6.

The society goes back to 1827 when shop traders organised a carnival on a Wednesday afternoon.

Today’s carnival is organised by a committee of local people from Uckfield and surrounding area. All members can attend meetings to get involved in planning. The society also has help and support from other groups and organisations to make sure the day goes with a swing.

During the bonfire season the society will visit other towns’ bonfire celebrations, including the world-famous Lewes Bonfire.

Fancy dress parades start at 1.30pm and include the carnival prince and princess and Uckfield Performance Ensemble on the Victoria Pleasure Ground.

The Grand Torchlit Procession begins at 7.30pm at Grange Road and the display takes place on Holy Cross School field at about 9.15pm closing with bonfire prayers conducted by Canon Martin Onions outside Uckfield Cinque Ports Club.

Money is raised for dozens of local groups and good causes. At a presentation in February, more than £4,000 was handed to charities and organisations in the town. These included Wealden Talking Books, Uckfield Schools Stamp Club, Demelza Hospice Care for Children, St John Ambulance, Uckfield Housebound Club, Luxford Centre, MS Society, Sussex Horse Rescue, Uckfield Lions and Framfield and Blackboys Monday Club.