Bonfire returns to Abbey Green this weekend

3/11/12- Battle Bonfire.
3/11/12- Battle Bonfire.

AFTER months of fundraising, negotiations and preparations, Battle Bonfire will return to the Abbey Green for the second year running tomorrow (Saturday).

The most eagerly-anticipated event in the town’s calendar will see bonfire fans gather to observe the ancient tradition - but those from outside the area are being encouraged to stay away.

There will be no dedicated public viewing area at this year’s event, and those planning on attending are being urged to keep themselves safe.

Matt Southam, Battel Bonfire Boyes’ health and safety officer, said: “It’s likely to get busy around the Abbey Green.

“There is not a big display on the battlefield, it is likely the town will be crowded, so it’s up to spectators to keep themselves safe.

“We have got a lot of security and marshals around the fire site and people need to listen to them.”

Matt warned the event will not be suitable for young children and people who are not comfortable in large crowds.

This year’s event is similar in nature to 2012’s scaled-back bonfire celebrations, which attracted a crowd of 6,000 - a fraction of the usual 15,000.

BBB has previously said it wants to keep crowd numbers below 10,000 for 2013.

The day kicks off at 10am when the Oldest Guy in the World will be led down the High Street to the Abbey Green by children taking part in the fancy dress competition.

This will be followed by the judging of the Guy competition.

At 7.45pm, around 10 bonfire societies will take part in the torchlit procession through the town centre, before the day finishes in a blaze of glory, with the lighting of the bonfire and firework display.

Matt said: “It’s a thank you to the people of Battle for their support throughout the year.”

A charity collection will take place on the night, with money going to local causes.

Anyone who would like to help should come to Battle Club at 6pm on Saturday to pick up a collection bucket.