The air was full with the smell of candyfloss and fresh doughnuts as the 65th annual Littlehampton Bonfire kicked off on Saturday.  The charitable event, marking the 412th anniversary of Guy Fawkes, was aiming to bet its previous record of £9283 a staggering country record and attempt to raise over £10000 this year through donations from street collections as well as contributions from the many stalls and events that were present.  Returning to the seafront was William Cole’s Family Fair offering visitors a hair-raising ride on the ‘Freak Out’ or a dizzying run on the ‘Waltzer’.

The celebrations began at 7:15 with the torch light procession of multi-coloured floats and marching bands such as Sussex Steel and the Littlehampton Sea Cadets.  Miss Bonfire 2017 was 15 year old Maisy Stanford who sat on her throne waving majestically to the heaving crowd. Littlehampton Bonfire Society members dressed in spectacular North American Indian costumes carried their flaming torches to the mammoth bonfire and quickly turned it into a roaring inferno watched by the wide eyed crowd.            

‘Another amazing display, great entertainment and well organised’ – Emma Jane, after her 5th visit to the annual event.

 The still, clear evening sky was then lit by hundreds of fireworks crackling, fizzing and exploding over the sea in a truly amazing display of psychedelic colours.  As the fireworks drew to a close and the bonfire continued to rage, the leaving parties of satisfied spectators were greeted by magnificent steam engines with polished brass gleaming in the moonlight.  The night was another outstanding success having raised over ten thousand pounds and sending everyone home in good spirits.    

Harry Fisher

Lancing College