Tag Archives: Barcombe

Barcombe Bonfire Society Announcement


Committee member Charlie made the following statement on the Sussex Bonfire Forum:

“Just to clarify all the rumours surrounding Barcombe this year, our celebrations WILL  take place  on the 19th November as usual, however; our event will unfortunately be scaled  down.  This is due to us having to operate at  a  budget of over £2000 less than required.  A further blow was the cancellation of our big fundraising event  of the autumn: our autumn ball due to lack of  support and failing to even break even. 

We had a vote at our public committee meeting on the 12th September as to cancel this year’s event or go ahead with a smaller budget.  The motion carried that we go ahead as we felt cancelling the event would make it very hard to get off the ground again for 2012. 

As a result we are having a smaller firework display and a shorter procession. 

We stress that this year Barcombe is strictly INVITE ONLY [for visiting societies]. If you are not invited please do not turn up as you will not be torched up or permitted to partake in the procession. 

Societies that are invited are kindly requested to bring as many torches as they can for themselves and also due to our  committee now standing at a lowly seven or so dedicated people we require much help with marshalling as we  only just managed last year. A request to the Bonfire Council will be made for  this.

We apologise unreservedly for this  situation as we are aware many societies enjoy Barcombe to end the season but we do not have the financial support or the manpower to put on the grand  spectacle that is normally expected with no clear way of gaining the extra money in the short amount of time set.”

While rumours of problems at Barcombe have been circulating for some time, it is, nevertheless, quite a surprise for this statement so soon after the demise of Burgess Hill’s procession, which has been cancelled for “manpower and support” reasons, in the last few weeks.

This needs to serve as a wakeup call to those involved in Sussex Bonfire that you cannot just pay your £5/10/15 to join a society, get granny to knit you a guernsey and expect to be able to roll up at the village pub, twenty minutes before the start of the procession, and have a jolly good laugh for a couple of hours, before going home and waking up gritty eyed and black bogeyed the next morning.

I know we all have pressures on our time, but bonfire doesn’t “just happen”.  Organising 500-1000 men, women and children with sticks of fire for three miles takes enough doing, then there are the “services” – fire, police, first aid, refreshments, placing and organising the filling of water butts, the building of the bonfire, fencing on the fire site, clearing up.  And that’s just on the night….. making the torches is a time consuming process, collecting the kerosene, dipping the torches….. this all takes time, as does preparing tableaux, fire banners, other set pieces.  Oh, and then there is the fund raising, the pub quizzes, the standing under a gazebo which is trying to blow away as a July squall hits the summer fete……  Did I forget to mention the legal side?  Organising and paying for insurance, making sure road closure orders are obtained, making sure there is parking, keeping the local farmers on side, organising the fire site location and arrangements.

I’m sure that Barcombe will have a great evening and I hope I’m not restricted to standing in the crowd.  What is good is that the cry for help has gone out, maybe a bit late, but it’s gone out.  This is something which didn’t happen with Burgess Hill – most of us found out via Facebook and Twitter that the event had been cancelled, and this was the first we knew of any problems.  Whilst I understand that there may have been other forces at work, internally, leading to the cancellation of that event, it’s always better to ask for help before you are forced to cancel.

Well done to the Barcombe Committee for doing this, I hope that you get the support that you need to put on a great night, as it always is, and come back bigger and better than ever in 2012.


Uckfield Bonfire 2011

After a great fireworks display last night at Holy Cross School, bonfire 2011 properly gets underway this evening in Uckfield, for the first of (what is now, following the cancellation/imploding of Burgess Hill) eleven Saturday nights of burning fun and intense banging, between now and the middle of November, including the “big daddy”, Lewes, on 5th November,which falls on a Saturday this year.

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It all gets underway at Grange Road in Uckfield from 7:30pm this evening with the procession heading off down to the station, up to New Road, Harcourt Road, Vernon Road, Selby Road, Framfield Road and then back up to the top of the High Street to Southview Drive and then, after a short pause, back down to the bus station.

Roads in the town centre will be restricted during the procession, so make sure you are parked in plenty of time and don’t become trapped if you wish to leave early!

The Weather:

Should be dry, probably quite warm, with just the outside chance of a thunder storm!

Mayfield Bonfire and Carnival 2010

(Provisional) Times, travel, parking and procession (parade!) information for Mayfield Bonfire 2010 (based on last year)

With the first bonfire procession down, in a couple of weeks on Saturday, 18th September 2010 the focus turns to the small village of Mayfield, between Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells.

Events in the village start early in the day, with a street market from 12:30-3:30pm in the village centre and at 3:15 the children of the society and village take part in their own procession from the Royal Oak to the War Memorial at St Dunstan’s Church in the village.

If you’re looking for something to do earlier in the day, then take a trip to the Congregational Church in the village, in Station Road near the junction with Rotherfield Road, where you will find a memorial in the courtyard to the six martyrs of Mayfield (and one of Rotherfield) who were burned near this location in the persecutions of Bloody Mary. But more of that when we visit Lewes on the 5th!

The main events of the evening kick off at 6:45, with the laying of a wreath at the War Memorial, followed by the crowning of the Bonfire Princess, who, I am reliably informed, will not be burnt on the fire (there isn’t one!)….

At 7:30 the first procession heads from West Street to the Rose and Crown, where “refreshments” will surely be served. At 8:20 we move off to Stone Cross, via South Street before forming up again at 9:15 to head from Stone Cross to Nat West. After this short procession the final “grand” procession heads from Nat West to the Memorial Hall, before fireworks at 10:15pm in Court Meadow!

Parking in small villages can be a nightmare, so make sure you arrive in plenty of time, or you will be in for a bit of a hike. Make sure you park with consideration.

Remember – Mayfield is a small and remote village with no station and can become very congested. The discharging of fireworks is not welcome in this procession and the local police will be backed up with reinforcements from around the County, so don’t try it!

Support the society and community by only buying merchandise and food from authorised retailers.  This year the society are organising their own bar and food stall and are asking everyone to support it.  Programmes are on sale in the village with the full information!


By car follow the A267 from Tunbridge Wells towards Heathfield or the A267 from Heathfield to Tunbridge Wells.

From the coast the best route is to Lewes and then take the A26 towards Uckfield, fork right to Ringmer on the B2192, follow the B2192 over the A22 at Halland and then after about four miles take the left hand fork just before Cross-in-Hand for Tunbridge Wells (A267) along the “Mayfield Flat” then follow the A267!

The (out of date) website can be found here!

Burgess Hill Torchilit Procession and Bonfire 2009


After the hot and humid gathering in Mayfield yesterday, next Saturday, 26th September 2009 sees the Sussex Bonfire circus move to the West Sussex (former East Sussex!) town of Burgess Hill.

Back in Victorian times, Burgess Hill was known for it’s “theme park” at Victoria Gardens.  These days it’s better known as “that place between Brighton and Crawley, just off the A23.  Although often made to look second best to neighbouring Haywards Heath, it has twice the number of train stations, a railway junction AND a level crossing!  It also has the newish A2300, which, as well as having a smart number, it makes the town very easy to access, just 3 mins for Hickstead and the A23.

So, what about the bonfire?  In 1894 the first recorded bonfire celebrations were held in the town and in 1969 the society we know today was formed.  This year there are some changes to the procession route of the second procession, and also there will be a ceremony at the war memorial too, before the main events kick off.  Around 5,000 people attended the event last year, and many of the roads around the town are closed on a “rolling” basis, so try and be sensible with your parking, obey local instructions and be courteous to the residents of the town.

At 1840 there will be a service of remembrance at the war memorial for the members of the society, before the main procession gets underway from 1930.

FIRST PROCESSION (1930 start):

  • Cyprus Road Car Park (behind the precinct)
  • Crescent Road
  • Mill Road
  • Cyprus Road
  • Church Road
  • Station Road
  • Silverdale Road


  • Silverdale Road
  • Station Road
  • Church Road
  • Lower Church Road
  • Royal George Road
  • Fairfield Road
  • Western Road
  • Fairfield Recreation Ground

Fireworks and the Bonfire will be around 21:45-22:00.

Burgess Hill station is served by frequent services from London, Brighton, Worthing and Hove and Wivelsfield station (which is like “Burgess Hill North station) is served by trains from Lewes and Eastbourne.

For more information, please see the programme of events, which is available for sale at shops in the town, or the Burgess Hill Bonfire Society website.

Note:  Some people call the procession a “bonfire parade”!  This is incorrect lingo! 😛

Crowborough Carnival and Bonfire Procession 2009

Tonight sees this year’s second Sussex Bonfire procession of the year, with a trip to one of the highest places in Sussex, Crowborough.

The main event of the evening gets underway at 7pm, when wreths are laid at the war memorial, which I believe is at All Saints Church, next to the green.

The procession gets underway at 7:30, from Chapel Green, just after the crowning of the carnival queen at 7:15.

After leaving the green at 7:15, two hours of processing through the streets of the town get underway, the details of which can be found in the programme, which is available in the town for £1. The route of the procession will take the procession of torches and floats through the streets and back to the Chapel Green area for about 9:30pm.

It should be noted there will be no fireworks this year for financial reasons and the procession will NOT end at the leisure centre but WILL finish back at the start.

Roads will be closed from around 6pm and parking is available around the area, on street and in car parks, but please be sensible about where you park and be considerate to residents.

Trains arrive at xx:46 from Uckfield to London Bridge and xx:03 from London Bridge/Hurst Green to Uckfield. The last train TO Uckfield is 22:46 and the last train to London is 23:03. It should be noted the train station is a fair walk from Crowborough town centre.

For more info visit the Crowborough Bonfire and Carnival Society Website – also please note the insurance issuses they have been having and the costs involved 🙁

Bonfire Night is Coming!

Well, it’s still over two months away, but today is the first day of the meteorological autumn and that means we can only be a few days away from the Uckfield Carnival!

New badges have been purchased, the stripes have been hung up to air and the trousers are still being considered for replacement!  This Saturday night, the boyes and girls of Sussex Bonfire Societies will march through Uckfield in the first torchlit procession of 2009, and I’ll be there 🙂

Barcombe Bonfire 2008 – Pictures!

Wow! What an absolutely fantastic night we all had at Barcombe! It really was amazing!

Thanks to Roy Clever, Les Coppard and their team for another slick effort. Great fireworks, great attendance and great weather… perfect!

Here are some pictures from the night, for the full selection visit my Flickr Collection to see the lot!

I’ll see you all at the Carol Service on the 7th!

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Barcombe Bonfire 2008

This Saturday sees the grand finale of the Sussex Bonfire Season – yes it’s time for Barcombe Bonfire!

Barcombe always has a great following from all the local boyes and gals, as well as the rest of the bonfire community, who want one last blast.  There are a couple of processions, great fireworks and, more importantly, a “playpen” for letting those rookies off one last time!

To be assured of parking arrive early.  Processions start from around 19:30 usually, I will try and find out more precise info, last year we marched to Barcombe Mills old station first, then back to the Royal Oak, then back to the fire site.  There is also a final procession back to the village.

The firesite is on the left, by the junction of the road leading to the church, as you approach from Barcombe Mills.  As there are many routes into Barcombe, I will not recommend any particular.  The “easiest” way of finding Barcombe though is to approach from Lewes, heading north from the Cufail Tunnel roundabout towards UCKFIELD on the A26.  About 400 yards after the second turning to Ringmer on the right, just before the United Garage there is a junction for Barcombe on the LEFT.  Google Map of the area and facilities.

Facilities in the vilage centre include the pub (Royal Oak) food and refreshments etc.  Please note that the village is small and crowded, so moving along the (long) procession route will be beneficial.  The usual rules apply – no fireworks in the street, no picking up of discarded torches and behave yourself at all times!

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South Heighton Bonfire Success!

Just got back from the South Heighton bonfire!  It was really good fun, great to see loads of support for the society, the fireworks were great and the tab of a postbox with “RIP” in reference to the passing of the local Post Office at Denton Corner was really appropriate.

Thanks to Roger, Claire, Sophie, all the marshals, banner carriers, police, St John Ambulance, the Pentacle Drummers, Newhaven Youth Marching Band and all the other people who made the night happen!  See you at Barcombe!

Oh and afterwards, I put a rookie in my dustbin…. tee hee hee!

Turning the corner into The Hollow South Heighton Bonfire The Bell Bonfire Prayers Bonfire Prayers The Fire and Crowd