Town’s big night ‘best fireworks I’ve seen by far’

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Hundreds of people lined the streets of Hailsham on Saturday for the town’s annual Bonfire celebrations.

Despite fears that 2013 would be the last such event, Hailsham Bonfire Society battled on and delivered a spectacular display.

It led the visiting societies on the first torchlit procession, heralded by the firing of a maroon, which set off from Western Road and snaked through the streets.

As the procession entered the High Street the society’s initials were ignited in red, white and blue fireworks.

The procession halted at the War Memorial where a traditional Act of Remembrance took place. Two large firework poppies and fireworks commemorating the First World War were lit before the traditional crackers were ignited, the shower of red paper representing the Flanders Poppy.

The Grand Procession formed up at 9pm, marching to the Leisure Centre car park where the bonfire was lit and culminated in the fiery destruction of Guy Fawkes and Hailsham Bonfire Society’s effigy which this year depicted a cartoon image of Rolf Harris.

One spectator Tweeted: “The best fireworks I’ve seen by far.”

Last year the society feared for the future of the celebrations because of dwindling members, a failure to attract support from businesses and a lack of donations. But it has successfully campaigned to turn things around.

South Heighton BS won the best visiting society award.

The street collection raised £1,200 which will be donated to the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, WRAS, Hailsham Army Cadet Force, Hellingly RFC, Sussex Search and Rescue and Environment Hailsham.

Hailsham Bonfire Society has thanked the following for their support: Alsford, Callenders, Chapter 12, Charles Church, Chris Scott-Harman, The Corn Exchange, Costcutter, The George, Iceland, Kitprint, Li’s Cottage, Parker Building Supplies, Waitrose, Wickes, Subway and Heathfield Windows.

Special thanks go to Hailsham Town Council, Truffles, Brad Mitchell, Hailsham Scaffolding, PJ Skips, Greenacre Recycling, Hailsham Army Cadets and Sussex 4x4 Response.