An explosive night out in Battle

Battlel Bonfire 2014 torchlight procession, bonfire and fireworks at Battle, November 1st 2014 Organised by the Battel Bonfire Boyes. SUS-140311-071515001
Battlel Bonfire 2014 torchlight procession, bonfire and fireworks at Battle, November 1st 2014 Organised by the Battel Bonfire Boyes. SUS-140311-071515001

Things will be hotting up in Battle on Saturday night (November 7) with the return of the town’s much-anticipated bonfire celebrations.

After months of fundraising, £20,000 of fireworks are set to go up in smoke in a glorious blaze of colour in front of a 15,000-strong crowd.

The festivities get underway at 10am with the annual children’s procession making its way down the High Street, heralding the arrival of the Guy on the Abbey Green.

The children’s fancy dress and Guy competition will be judged at 10.30am.

Then the town centre becomes a hive of activity as barriers are set up and preparations are made for the evening’s festivities.

The main event kicks off at 7.45pm, when the torchlit procession will make its way through the town.

Matt Southam, press and publicity officer for the Battel Bonfire Boyes, says a large number of bonfire societies are expected to take part.

He said: “Many of the Lewes bonfire societies will be coming along, with local societies including Hastings, Staplecross, Rye, Robertsbridge, Ninfield and Northiam.

“There will also be various drumming groups.”

The bonfire will be lit on the Abbey Green at 9.30pm, followed by a stunning firework display.

Spectators will also get to see the effigy go up in smoke, however Matt remained tight-lipped on the subject matter, saying “It’s top secret.”

The creation, which will be unveiled on the Abbey Green during the day, is the result of two months hard work by a team of four.

Despite attracting between 10,000 and 15,000 spectators each year, the bonfire charity collection usually pulls in £3,000.

“We feel that it could be quite a lot higher,” admits Matt. “We appreciate some people cannot afford to give anything, but there are a lot of people who give £5 or £10 each.

“If everyone gave a pound, that total would go up.

“When we count the money, we find buttons, washers and all sorts of things in the buckets.”

However, unlike some of the village bonfires, Battel Bonfire Boyes are not considering charging an entry fee as it would be ’impractical’.

Road closures will be in place 6pm until midnight.

Any cars left on the procession route after 6pm will be towed, at the driver’s expense.

Matt warned there will be a huge crowd, loud noises and possibly lots of smoke, making the event unsuitable for those of a nervous disposition.

Battle’s firefighters will also be out on the night giving out leaflets and safety advice.

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