Tag Archives: society

Rotherfield Bonfire 2011

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.

Steam Fun in the Village Square

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!

Rotherfield and Mark Cross Bonfire Celebrations are also known as Rotherfield Bonfire, Rotherfield Carnival, Rotherfield Bonfire Parade, Rotherfield Bonfire Procession and (probably) Rotherfield Fireworks Night!  Phew!

Barcombe Bonfire Society Announcement

LAST NIGHT THE BARCOMBE BONFIRE SOCIETY COMMITTEE MADE THE DECISION THAT THIS YEAR’S EVENT WOULD BE BY INVITE ONLY AND “BRING YOUR OWN TORCHES” WOULD BE THE ORDER OF THE DAY FOR THOSE THAT DO ATTEND.

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.

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN HELPING THERE WILL BE AN EGM IN THE ROYAL OAK ROOM, BARCOMBE ON 26th SEPTEMBER 2011 AT 8PM.

Mayfield Bonfire and Carnival 2011

Times, travel, parking and procession (parade!) information for Mayfield Bonfire 2011

*** A STRICT ALCOHOL BAN WILL BE IN FORCE ON THE MEMORIAL FIELD, ENFORCED BY THE POLICE ***

With the two bonfire procession down, on Saturday, 17th September 2011 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 the Natwest 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, the lanes can become very congested and emergency vehicles still need access, as do locals.

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. The society have confirmed they have organised their own bar and food stall and are asking everyone to support it – last year it was very conspicuous in the middle of the village street – good value beer at £2.50/£3 a pint!  Programmes are on sale in the village with the full information!

 12:30-3:30pm  Street Market in the High Street
 3:15pm  Children’s Fancy Dress Procession (from the Royal Oak to the Memorial Hall)
 7:00pm  Ceremonial Laying of the Wreath (procession around 6:45pm)
 7:30pm  First Procession – West Street to Rose and Crown
 8:20pm  Second Procession – Rose and Crown to Stone Cross
 9:15pm  Third Procession – Stone Cross to Natwest Bank
 9:30pm  Grand Procession – Natwest bank to Memorial Hall
 10:15  Grand Aerial Fireworks Display

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 official website can be found here!

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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THE FESTIVITIES:

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!

GETTING THERE:

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!

Crowborough Carnival & Bonfire 2010

Saturday 11th September 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 wreaths 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, with a long ramble right round the town, which last year was in the area south of Crowborough Hill and took in a refreshment stop at the Bricklayers Arms in Whitehill Road, but the details of which can be found in the programme, which is available in the town. 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.

Last year there were no fireworks and I believe this year will be the same, although this is unconfirmed at the time of writing, but there was a fairground and small bonfire on the green, again check for details if this is of importance!

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/Oxted to Uckfield. The last train TO Uckfield is 23:03 and the last train TO London is 23:47. It should be noted the train station is a fair walk from Crowborough town centre.

Nevill, Eastbourne and Firle Bonfires 2009

This week we take a quick look at Nevill, Eastbourne and Firle Bonfires which are all taking place on 24 October 2009!

Nevill Juvenile Bonfire Society was formed, almost by accident, in 1967, when two local men had their own bonfires destroyed before the 5th November, and decided to have a community bonfire, with forty of their friends and 50 torches, along with fireworks and a small set piece, on the local allotments.

Within two years the society were using 1500 torches in four processions and within five years they had over 500 members.  Today the society marches with a large number of visiting societies, making an impressive snake around the Nevill estate, headed up with their own colourful costumes and green and white striped guernseys.  Topical cartoon or toy related tabs are usually the order of the day with Nevill, last year a giant Lego Batman was hauled through the streets to meet a firey, explosive end, in recognition of the 50th birthday of Lego and the Batman film, the Dark Knight, which had been released earlier in the year.

Events kick off at six when the first procession forms up in Highdown Road for a march to the green, where poppies will be lit and the Martyrs’ Memorial will also be set off.  The Last Post will be played and there will be a minutes silence, before the procession returns to Highdown Road.

At half seven the main procession will form up and leave at around quarter to eight.  Taking around seventy five minutes, it will wind its way around most of Nevill before heading down to The Green and up the Nevill Road to the firesite at Landport Bottom, which, confusingly, is neither where the Landport Estate is or the bottom of anywhere!  It’s more commonly known as “The Race Hill” and it’s where Borough Bonfire have their fireworks on the fifth!

After the fireworks have completed the final procession will form up in Highdown Road, do a loop of Firle Crescent and Mount Harry Road before returning the the headquarters for Bonfire Prayers!

Don’t forget to support Nevill by buying a programme, which are available from the shops on the estate and by paying the small £3 charge for adults to enter the firesite.  Don’t forget that accompanied kids are free!  There will be a collection for charities along the route, please don’t forget to give generously!

If you want to support and up and coming bonfire society, then maybe Eastbourne will be the night for you.  Reformed after a long absence in 2001, Eastbourne is a small yet friendly society, who can be seen with their distinctive banner and unevenly spaced Guernsey stripes at all of the main events in Sussex.

Advertising themselves as a family friendly event, the discharging of rook scarers, flares and other scary things in the procession is strictly prohibited and the procession will actually take place along the promenade in the town, rather than along the road.

It’s no great secret in bonfire circles that Eastbourne have had a hard time with the council, who have made it difficult  even for torches to be part of the procession in the past, I believe citing reasons such as “fire risk to buildings” as an excuse not to have a torchlit procession.

The procession will leave about 7:30 from Silverdale Cross and end with an explosive firework display and beacon on the beach around 8:30, behind the bandstand, so a nice early one and good for the kids, with the added advantage that the area is well lit and policed, making it one of the safest events on the calendar.

One final note, it is illegal to drink on the streets in Eastbourne, and accordingly drinking is prohibited both in the procession and in the crowd.

Our final bonfire preview this week is for Firle, who have a long history and are the only big society that don’t invite other societies to attend their procession.  Not because they are an unfriendly lot, but because there are so many members and such a small village, that there just would be room for everyone!  Famous for its fire banners coming down the hill, Firle is a great destination, but being small, it’s often overcrowded, so  hopefully the clash with Fletching this year will help relieve some of this.  Winner of the “Where In Sussex Best Bonfire Brew” in 2005, I will be sad to not be attending this year.  There is usually a charge for parking at Firle Place and the fireworks are always spectacular.  Those heading to Firle hoping for something controversial will be sadly disappointed, as Firle bonfire is, as it always has been, a celebration for the villagers of Firle.

Rotherfield and Mark Cross Bonfire 2009

This Saturday, 3rd October 2009, 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 (if I recall correctly from last 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 are, so if you are in the crowd, be prepared for some noise.  For members of the procession, a playpen is 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!

Rotherfield and Mark Cross Bonfire Celebrations are also known as Rotherfield Bonfire, Rotherfield Carnival, Rotherfield Bonfire Parade, Rotherfield Bonfire Procession and (probably) Rotherfield Fireworks Night!  Phew!

Burgess Hill Torchilit Procession and Bonfire 2009

INFORMATION ON PROCESSION ROUTE, FIREWORKS, PARKING, TRAVEL

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

SECOND PROCESSION (2030 start):

  • Silverdale Road
  • Station Road
  • Church Road NOTE: THIS IS A CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS YEARS
  • Crescent Way NOTE: THIS IS A CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS YEARS
  • 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 🙁