‘The best Battle bonfire since 95’

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‘THE best bonfire since ‘95, without a shadow of a doubt.’

That was the verdict of the Battel Bonfire Boyes following Saturday’s bonfire event.

The annual celebrations were scaled back this year because of the poor state of the 1066 battlefield, where the main bonfire is located.

The field was left a muddy mess following the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings last month, prompting concerns emergency service vehicles would struggle to access the site.

A small bonfire was lit on the Abbey Green as usual.

In a bid to keep the crowds away, the Boyes had advertised that the fireworks display had been cancelled. But a shorter firework display did light up the skies over Battle, bringing the event to a close.

An estimated 3,000-4,000 people attended the event, just a fraction of the usual 15,000-strong crowd.

But bonfire societies and spectators have praised the intimate feel of the event, leading to calls for the bonfire to return to the Abbey Green permanently.

The Green was traditionally the site for the main bonfire, with the last one taking place there in 1995.

The event moved to Battle’s recreation ground for one year only before moving to the battlefield in 1997.

For more, turn to page 4.

For pictures taken on the night, see pages 46 and 47.