The cost of Battel bonfire

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On behalf of all the Bonfire Boyes thank you for all the comments of support since Battel Bonfire. We are glad you all enjoyed the night as much as we did. Great thanks to all those who helped with the last minute arrangements. All of us were so pleased to have our main Bonfire back on the Green as it used to be. The Bonfire Boyes would love to keep it that way however it was not the decision of the Bonfire Society to move away from the Abbey Green in 1996 and it has taken us many years to regain the small elements of the night that we do hold there now. When we last held the main Bonfire on the green in 1995 we had the full size effigy of a French nuclear protestor in front of the Abbey gatehouse, fireworks from the Battle Abbey school lawn and a much larger Bonfire. I’m sure many of you fondly remember the silver rain that used to cascade down the battlements and the BBB lights that used to hang there. We would love to see any photos or videos you have of the old Bonfires. Our members are currently compiling an archive and you can find the photos we do have of previous years on our website

Our Town Mayor, Richard Bye, kindly judged the Children’s fancy dress competition on Saturday morning. 1st prize went to Cleo and Ellie Wheatley, 2nd Prize to Emiko Roesch and 3rd Prize to Robbie Maskell. The Guy for the Bonfire this year was made by Blue Petratis Williams. A big thanks to Blue who also raised money again for next years Battel Bonfire. It is a shame that the Observer hasn’t reported the winners with some photo’s. I will try to get copies of the photos we took so if parents would like a copy please contact us via our website.

As we anticipated the late cancellation of our main Bonfire and Fireworks significantly reduced our charity collection. We understand this will be a blow for some of the charities that have been used to receiving an annual donation from us and we are very sorry that we are able to offer less help than normal in already hard times.

In last weeks Observer it was incorrectly reported that because of the cancellation we would save around a third of the cost of our normal event. Unfortunately that is not the case. Last years costs were around £22k. Although we may see some savings such as a reduced rate of hire from English Heritage and less equipment hire these will mostly be offset by reduced income from catering and our programme sales. As the cost of staging Battel Bonfire seems to increase by a couple of thousand pounds every year when the final costs come in I expect us to be in much the same position as normal where the need for fundraising is concerned for 2013.

Planning is now underway for Bonfire 2013! Our first fundraising began with a firework display for Ely Round Table in Cambridgeshire last Saturday and our next event is our Christmas Craft Fair in the Memorial Hall this Saturday 17th November. We look forward to seeing you there.

Hannah Thomas


Battel Bonfire Boyes