This Saturday, 1st October 2011, sees the Rotherfield and Mark Cross Bonfire Society hold their annual torchlight procession (sometimes known as a parade – incorrectly!). The procession is in two parts – following the same route in both directions, except at the end, where it spurs off down “Mayfield Road” before turning back to the village.
After pouring rain for two of the last three processions at Rotherfield, we could have record breakingly high temperatures of 27-29°C this year!
Click here for a general map based on my personal knowledge. This is unofficial but shows parking, procession route and fire site.
Official parking is at Milk Lodge Farm and this is where the procession will form up. The procession will form up at 7:30pm and move off at 7:45pm. As far as I know the procession route will be up to the village square, and down the B2100 to Town Row, where shelter from the rain last year was most welcome. There will be a twenty minute break at the railway bridge before heading back to the village and the firesite, where there will be a fairground.
Rotherfield is the second “village” bonfire of the season, but is the first to have both a fire and fireworks, with Mayfield two weeks ago only having fireworks. The village square itself is always attractive on carnival night, with traditional sweet stands, steam engines, musical organs and bands all making appearances in the past.
Rookies are not permitted in the procession, but boom boxes have been in the past, although I’m not sure on the rules this year, as there were some incidents last year, so if you are in the crowd, be prepared for some noise. For members of the procession, a playpen has always been provided for “antics”…. I’ll say no more than that.
Fireworks are scheduled for around 10pm at the firesite.
All the above info is accurate to my knowledge, but I haven’t got it from any official sources!
The Rotherfield bonfire procession also has floats from local organisations at the tail end, making an attractive finish to the night, with all the kids in fancy dress.
Access to the parking is from Crowborough. I remember finding a parking are on the approach from the Argos Hill-Mark Cross road a couple of years back, but it was full and I parked on the road, and walked into the village, which is a fair old trot. I believe the parking area was somewhere around here (click for map). This is “unofficial from my brain” so it may not be correct.
There is no public transport available and don’t forget all roads around the village will be closed to the public from around 7pm.
Last year was very wet, so hopefully this year will be a bit kinder, as we have had at all events thus far in 2009!
PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT TO LOCAL BUSINESSES AND LICENCED TRADERS IN THE VILLAGE SQUARE AND PUBS AND AVOID THE UNAUTHORISED SCALLYWAGS!