What next for Cliffe Bonfire Society?


If Cliffe Bonfire Society’s daring calendar is anything to go by, then this year’s procession looks set to be just as bold.

Their programme displays photos from the calendar and features Bonfire Girls and Boys in their birthday suits, with strategically placed Bonfire paraphernalia.

Cliffe was formed in 1853 and has something of a maverick reputation. Last year its tableau depicted former Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi sitting with a ‘don’t shoot’ sign and a machine gun in the back of a truck.

It was being driven by a devil, with the grim reaper riding shotgun and a number plate which read: ‘To Hell.’

Of course there’s no hint from Cliffe as to what the tabs or Enemies of Bonfire could be this year, as the society keeps this a closely guarded secret until the night.

Cliffe’s members will be dressed as Vikings, French revolutionaries and smugglers during Bonfire.

Watch out for the 17 blazing crosses representing the 17 Protestant martyrs from Lewes, as well as the banner across Cliffe High Street reading ‘No Popery.’

Bands will include the Tubthumpers, Heathfield Silver Band, Brazilian style Sambalanco, Uckfield Concert Brass and the British Airways Pipe Band.

During the second procession the members will throw a blazing tar barrel into the Ouse, signifying Cliffe’s intentions to keep the true meaning of Bonfire. After the wreath laying look out for the society detonating its set pieces.

At the Bonfire site, just off Ham Lane, the Archbishop of Cliffe will deliver his annual address.

In previous years a giant model of an aeroplane crackled on the bonfire, while Pope Paul V, Guy Fawkes, tabs and Enemies of Bonfire were blown up.

To find out the timings and more buy Cliffe’s programme for £2 from shops in Lewes, including the Tourist Information Office on School Hill.

Calendars at £8 from The Gardeners Arms, The John Harvey Tavern and Lewes Con Club.