Bonfire countdown to Hailsham’s £9,000 big night

Hailsham's celebrations last year. Photograph courtesy of Darren Gillett at Sussex Bonfire Pics
Hailsham's celebrations last year. Photograph courtesy of Darren Gillett at Sussex Bonfire Pics

The streets will be spectacularly transformed on Saturday (October 22) when Hailsham Bonfire Society stages its annual celebrations.

It has been a tough year for the society in organising the event around the ongoing improvement works in the High Street but revellers will be using the same procession route as usual.

The first torchlit procession will commence from Western Road at 7.30pm making its way via Station Road, Bellbanks Road and Market Street before arriving at the War Memorial in the High Street for the traditional act of remembrance.

The procession then moves off through the High Street, into Vicarage Lane and back down George Street to then return to Western Road for a 15-20 minute break.

At approximately 9pm the procession then leaves Western Road, heads up George Street, turning left into the High Street once again and then turning right into Vicarage Lane. It is due to arrive at the Freedom Leisure Centre car park between 9.15 and 9.30pm.

Here there will be the trophy presentations for best visiting society, best male costume, best female costume and best banner carrier. These categories will be judged by Jenny Seale and Hailsham FM.

Hailsham Bonfire Society members will then light the bonfire and conduct their traditional Bonfire Prayers before the grand firework display will light the skies above the town at approximately 9.30-9.45pm.

Business Support Officer Alan Osborne said, “Our annual bonfire celebration event costs around £9,000 to run. All of the tasks and fundraising are undertaken by a small band of volunteers and the society is always looking for new volunteers to come on board and help with all the day to day tasks of getting this event off the ground as it takes a full 12 months preparation before it can happen.

“We are very lucky to have an outstanding response from our local businesses in Hailsham, some of the support we have received this year contains financial donations, shop vouchers for meals to auction off, wood and hessian for our procession torches and effigy and the catering supplies, too. We are extremely grateful to every one of our businesses for their support as every little bit of help makes a massive difference to us.”

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