After a long and difficult year with COVID-19, the bonfire societies are back and better than ever. 

Although the celebrations are not quite as they were before, bonfire societies all over Sussex have been preparing for a night that is steeped in history. Dating back all the way to 1605, when the gunpowder plot was discovered and the first celebratory bonfire was lit, Guy Fawkes Night has been a tradition that no one could ever forget. With magnificent firework displays and an impressive parade filled with torches, masks and show-stopping costumes, Hailsham’s Bonfire Society was as spectacular as ever. 

This years bonfire night took place on the 16th October and involved a parade and fireworks finale. Many other bonfire societies also took part in this event, including Crowborough and Heathfield, as well as several other well-known societies. The parade set off and looped round the town centre twice, showing off the costumes members of the societies wore. These costumes included smugglers costumes, each society having a different colour, Hailsham’s being grey, as well as outfits reminiscent of the Victorian era, and these were just a few of the many spectacular costumes on show. The parade led through the streets of Hailsham, eventually ending at the Hailsham Recreational Ground, where the fireworks display took place. This year, COVID-19 restrictions had a slight impact on the fireworks display, meaning there was only a firework finale, instead of their usual display, however, this finale was still absolutely incredible. The colourful display lit up the sky and the audience was left just as amazed as they are every year.

Despite the traditions of Bonfire Night fizzling out in many parts of the country, Sussex Bonfire Societies still remain and celebrate this event annually. Hailsham have celebrated bonfire night for many years, and although a short break was taken during which there was no Hailsham Bonfire Society, the celebrations have been back since 2005, which was 400 years on from the year of the gunpowder plot in 1605. These celebrations have only improved over time and still remain as traditional as ever, memorialising this moment from our country’s rich history.