In Video:Get a taste of the famous spectacle that Lewes stages on Bonfire Night
By Chris Bennett
What connects Gordon Brown, Osama Bin Laden and a pole dancer?
It's not the kind of answer that tabloid editors dream about. It's Sussex bonfire, because all three have at one stage been burned as part of the heady mix of protest and party that characterises Bonfire Night in this county.
Bonfire is a serious business in Sussex. Some events, like Lewes, attract thousands. So many in fact, that this year there are
serious attempts by the authorities
to prevent a major turnout.
Lewes hosts the largest celebrations, where seven separate societies annually mark both November 5th and the burning of seven Protestant martyrs in the 16th century.
But torchlit processions wind through the streets of many other villages and towns from September to the end of November. So here's a guide to what you can see and where;
Saturday 31st October
The Littlehampton Bonfire Society brings the month to a close with a torchlight procession, a 'mammoth bonfire' and seafront fireworks. Newick Bonfire Society also holds its annual celebration; like many, the culmination of fund-raising throughout the year.
Lewes, the largest of all bonfire celebrations in Sussex and probably the largest of their kind in the UK, takes place on the 5th. It is hugely popular - crowds have reached 50,000 in past years - and the packed streets, torchlight, exotic costumes and sheer scale mean a night of rich images and loud enjoyment.
But be aware, as above, that the authorities are trying to limit numbers this year and small children could find the packed streets quite intimidating.
Lindfield has its increasingly popular bonfire, starting at 6.30pm with a fancy dress competition at the King Edward Hall before a torchlit procession rolls from Pondcroft Road via the High Street to the Common. The bonfire is lit at 8pm and fireworks start at 8.15pm.
Battel Bonfire Society hold their annual celebration in Battle, starting with a procession to the Abbey Green at 10am, with the main parade at 7.45pm. The bonfire - on the site of the Battle of Hastings - starts at 9pm.
Chailey Bonfire Society hold their event too; starting at 5.30pm with the judging of floats. A procession from Chailey Comprehensive to the village hall starts at 6pm. Fireworks at 7.30pm. with the lighting of the bonfire at 8pm.
Robertsbridge , the last of the season, sees a good turnout from other societies as well as local people. Up to thirty other groups are expected to attend in what in bonfire circles is called an 'outmeeting'. A torch lit procession starts at Station Road, winds through the village and ends up at the recreation ground, where there are fireworks and a topical effigy is burned.
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