About Me And My Involvement - Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations
June 21, 2013 at 10:54 am by v
When my Father died, My Mother (Bless Her Soul) wanted a fresh start and she asked me to choose somewhere new to live, I could not decide, so she took a map out and opened it and told me to close my eyes. She then gave me a pin and instructed me to lay it wherever on the map blind, and that is where we would move to : Lewes is where the pin landed.
We had lived for years only a couple of streets away from The Martyrs in Three Bridges (A Farm House where one of the Sussex Martyrs was apprehended) and Martyrs Avenue, named after the persecuted. Well Spooky in my mind as I didn’t have a clue at the time, to the reason behind their names.
My mother was a great believer in the American Indian Ideology and life beyond earth and its to her I thank for my views on life today.
We moved to Lewes in 1978, shortly before the Sussex Bonfire Season had got underway, never heard of Lewes let alone the 5th November celebrations and I was aware of the main topic of the conversations, “Lewes bonfire celebration this Lewes bonfire night that” and thought yeah right oh ! , Penny for the guy being taken too seriously and a big bonfire with lots of people and fireworks.
I went out that day, I think to Brighton and when I got back in the evening, and found the road closures blocking my way back to my local pub and all the people and cars parked willy nilly in the town, I thought what the £%$*, so I dumped my car and had a look around and all I could see were blazing torches everywhere and costume clad folk marching around the town.
I couldn’t make head or tail of the events but enjoyed it all, and I ended up at a fire site somewhere and watched the firework display, and was then aware that this was not the only firework display in town, something big was happening tonight, I was hooked.
The following year by which time, I had met a local lass and married her in 1980, her birthday falls on the 4th November and was born at home in Lewes on Lewes bonfire night (the 5th fell on a Sunday that year so it was brought forward to the 4th) my lass is a real Bonfire Belle !, we were living in a bed and breakfast in Station Street and watched some of the bonfire night processions go by in the warm but ventured out at the end of the night for the firework display.
For several years we watched the Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations only and got to know the best viewing places, but was always wondering what it would be like to be in it, finally in the mid 80s we were invited to join a town society which we accepted and stayed with them for 3 or 4 years, then one bonfire night in Lewes we got talking to a Village Bonfire Society and the rest as they say is history, we now belong to another town society as well.
We were both actively involved with the Village Bonfire Society and turned out for most of the Sussex bonfire night celebrations, and left them due to stupid in house politics and joined another village bonfire society which we have now left due to indifferences between what we thought were good friends and us, we are now just “Silent Partners” in a Lewes Bonfire Society.
There has been a lot of changes some good and some nasty, have seen the demise of several societies in our short time and have always turned out for Home and the Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations!
“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end”
I have worked in many areas of the Bonfire Night Celebrations and have done loads of research into the history of the Lewes and Sussex Martyrs and the Gunpowder Plot, have been on both sides of the law as in arrested and arresting !
I adore and believe in everything that the Sussex and Lewes Bonfire Celebrations stand for, which is freedom of speech, thoughts and religion, tolerant to other peoples views or beliefs and finally remembrance to those that died fighting for their beliefs and our freedom. I consider myself a Lewes and Sussex Bonfire Boye first and a Bonfire Society member second.
I strongly believe that bad acts of the past should be remembered such as Nazism, Slavery, Popery and the Bomb, so that hopefully later generations will learn from our mistakes. A site of this nature is never going to be finished either, as I am constantly on the look out for new additions and arguments to throw in.
I feel qualified enough to be putting a site of this nature together, and I am always looking for new facts and info and to include them into this site as and when I find them. Many facts have been lost over the years and there is a lot of crap and hype concerning the Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations out there which needs to be corrected.
My basic aim is to tell the story as it is historically known to me and to make you the reader, to seek out the truth, and to make you sit up and think, and help you understand the deep rooted Lewes and Sussex traditions, and to remove the glorifications and misunderstandings of the Sussex and Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations. If someone out there can explain to me with a 100 per cent proof as to why the Bonfire Celebrations only happen in Lewes and Sussex area, I will shut this site down a very happy bonfire boye indeed.
And yes I do know more than a load of so called hardcore bonfire society members than given credit for, but I do not consider myself as a historian, just deeply interested in the history of the Sussex and Lewes Bonfire Celebrations.
I have spoken to several members and they have not got a clue why they are out on the 5th or whatever date their bonfire celebration happens to be on, they mention “won`t be druv” and all that, but when it comes to push to shove they shove so very easily! . Like Lambs To The Slaughter!, also they wouldnt know a clematis within a bush if it jumped out at them . . Lol
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
I cant imagine a world without the bonfire season, the outmeetings, months of fundraising, bonfire costume making, torch making, torch dipping, society politics, committee meetings, designing and setting up firework displays, effigy and tab making, health and safety, council politics, police politics, the gutter press, insurance, rookies, chineese crackers, flares, harveys beer, the aroma of sulphur and paraffin and lastly the good old Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations. Cant imagine sitting around flower pressing either?
This is my all time favourite toy, Chinese Crackers, It beats stamp collecting! and has got me into more trouble than I can remember, The local constabulary hate them and I cant think why! . A firecracker display in Malaysia in 1988 used over 3 million chinese crackers, measured almost 6 kilometres and burned for over 9 hours, the longest firecracker display on record.
So whether as a bonfire boye/belle or spectator have a safe, explosive, enjoyable bonfire season or bonfire night but please remember the reasons behind it all . . Freedom of Speech, Remembrance and Lest We Forget and please no prams/pushchairs or fur coats, See you at the bonfires.
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