Farewell to local bonfire legend John as funeral takes place in Hastings

John Hunnsett funeral 1 SUS-190227-114959001
John Hunnsett funeral 1 SUS-190227-114959001

The funeral of great Sussex bonfire enthusiast John Hunnisett took place at Hastings Crematorium on Monday

John, who was born in Bexhill, was one of the most recognisable figures in bonfire processions at Hastings, Rye, Battle and Lewes, in his stunning Henry the Eight costume.

John Hunnisett funeral 2 SUS-190227-115115001

John Hunnisett funeral 2 SUS-190227-115115001

He passed away earlier this year aged 78.

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Many of those paying their respects to John on Monday wore traditional bonfire costumes.

Andrew Clifton, from Hastings Borough Bonfire Society, who attended the funeral, and took these pictures, said: “The funeral of John Hunnisett on Monday February 24, was blessed with a cloudless sky and record temperatures.

“It was attended by family and friends, including those representing his lifelong connection with Sussex Bonfire, particularly Lewes.

He was often seen at various local events, usually in the guise of King Henry VIII, accompanied by a coterie of friends in magnificent, authentic, period costumes, hand made by themselves.

“For two decades, John was accompanied by Carol, in a sympathetic outfit. Since she, herself passed away in recent years his new consort, Maggie. has been his companion.

“John was a considerable personality, possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of local social history. A man who enriched our community. Such a sad loss to us all.”

A spokesperson for Rye Bonfire Society said: ““John was exceptionally well known in the Bonfire fraternity, former member of Rye, and probably its oldest representative having reputed to have first joined at four.

“He along with his wife were members of Lewes Borough Bonfire Society for many years also Waterloo Bonfire Society. More recently he was a member of Phoenix.

“John’s ability at costume making was exceptional. “His name is on many a trophy in the bonfire world. He also attended many carnivals by invitation travelling widely over the country during the summer months. He was even invited to Disney world in The USA.”

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