Thousands of people flocked to the seafront on Saturday in what is thought to be the biggest turnout yet for Eastbourne Bonfire Society’s celebrations.
A spectacular parade of pirates, soldiers and other revolutionaries could be seen by spectators on the evening which welcomed more than 17 other bonfire societies, a number of bands, drummers – including the Pentacle Drummers – and Morris Dancers. The bonfire was held on the beach by the Wish Tower as was the spectacular display of fireworks.
The event had been under threat because of a cash crisis but was saved after Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd helped to secure a sponsorship deal from Southern Water.
Mr Lloyd, who is patron of Eastbourne Bonfire Society (EBS), said an estimated 15,000 turned out to support the event, adding, “This year’s bonfire procession was absolutely brilliant and the crowd was the biggest I have ever seen for the Eastbourne bonfire.
“I had the incredible task of choosing the best non-Eastbourne bonfire group and I finally plumped for Ninfield - but frankly they were all brilliant.
“Well done Eastbourne Bonfire Society.”
Despite the event being well supported bonfire society boss David Oliver stressed that more support was needed for the event to continue, adding, “EBS would just like to remind everyone that it was nearly a non-event and if it is to continue we need more backing from the community and businesses alike. It is not just asking for money, there are logistics, marshals, collectors and labour.
“Of course we would like to thank our sponsors, emergency services, St John Ambulance and the council who have helped us so much, but most of all it was our members drawn from the community that made this event.”
EBS will be holding a meeting on Monday (October 14) at the Crown and Anchor pub at 7.30pm. Anyone interested in joining EBS is welcome to come along.