Rye’s bonfire brings in £4.5k

Rye Bonfire 2015. Photo by Frank Copper
Rye Bonfire 2015. Photo by Frank Copper

Organisers of the annual Rye Bonfire festivities have hailed the event a success as thousands of pounds were raised.

Despite high winds and torrential rain on the night (Saturday, November 14), more than £4,500 was collected.

Luckily the rain held off for the procession which saw many bonfire societies from across the county carrying flaming torches through the streets of the ancient town to the fire-site on the Salts.

Neale East, spokesman for Rye Bonfire Society, said: “Our collectors raised more than £4,500 which is simply fantastic. Our top single bucket collectors were Bill Wickens with £332.74, Sham with £323.02 and those who had two buckets, Penny with £303.64 and Jimper with £300.94. A great effort by all.”

At the event Rye Fawkes was chaired down to light the enormous bonfire before a stunning fireworks display took place.

Mr East added: “Rye Bonfire Society would like to thank all who attended our successful event on November 14. Despite the wind and rain all agree it was a great evening.

“We would also like to thank the following nations for their donations, namely Iraq, Brazil, Hong Kong, USA, Sri Lanka, Canada, Vietnam, Czech Republic, Latvia, India, Mexico, Singapore, Algeria, Argentina, Malaysia, New Zealand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates - and the NHS for a hearing aid battery!

“Many thanks to R & S Paine electrical contractors at Rye Harbour for their kind sponsorship.”

Bonfire has a long, illustrious history in Rye. In the 18th century, the town was witness to some wild bonfire nights where it was not uncommon for feuds to be settled by seizing people’s boats, setting them ablaze then dragging them through the narrow streets. By the 1880s the town was notorious throughout Sussex for being unable to control the annual demonstration.

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