The streets of Hailsham will once again erupt in a storm of flame as the town’s bonfire society returns for its annual celebrations – after fears last year’s festivities could have been its last..
Last year, it was reported that the 2013 bonfire could have been the society’s final celebration because of dwindling membership, a failure to attract support from businesses and a lack of donations from people.
Now, the bonfire society has received a large amount of backing from numerous businesses from around the town, and this year’s celebrations on October 18 aim to be bigger and better than ever before.
The first torchlit procession will start at 7:30pm from Western Road and snake through the streets of the town to the War Memorial where a traditional bonfire act of remembrance will take place. The procession will then return to Western Road for the award of the best- dressed bonfire society trophy.
The Grand Procession will form up at 9pm and with torches blazing it will process once more through the town to the Leisure Centre Car Park where the bonfire will be lit.
Hailsham Bonfire Society will conduct ‘Bonfire Prayers’ before the grand firework display. The evening will culminate in the fiery destruction of Guy Fawkes.
Business Support Officer Alan Osborne said, “Our event costs around £9,000 a year to run and, as all of the tasks and fundraising throughout the year are undertaken by a small band of volunteers, this year we approached local businesses for support.
“Many have wanted to support the biggest free community event in Hailsham and the response has been outstanding.
“Support has included cash, meal vouchers, wood for torch sticks, hessian for torch heads, wire, effigy materials and catering supplies and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped us.”
Sponsors included Alsford, Callenders, Chapter 12, Charles Church, Chris Scott-Harman, The Corn Exchange, Costcutter (High Street), The George, Heathfield Windows, Iceland, Kitprint, Li’s Cottage, Parker Building Supplies, P J Skips, Subway, Truffles, Waitrose and Wickes.