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Hailsham Bonfire Society continues to progress despite parade cancellation

Hailsham, like many other towns across the country, missed out on their annual bonfire parade due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Despite our parade not going ahead last month, Hailsham Bonfire Society has been continuing behind the scenes to move it from strength to strength.

Bonfire Societies go back to the 1800’s and with exception of the war years, Hailsham Bonfire Society has maintained an annual celebration marking
the failure of the Gunpowder plot until disbanding in 1991. On the 400th anniversary of the failure of the Gunpowder plot, the Society triumphantly rose from the ashes.

With a lot of hard work, it managed to have a short torchlit finale and successfully continued with its celebrations each year since until COVID stole the 2020 bonfire season.

The parade was due to take place on 17th October and hoped to raise money for two charities – the Hailsham Foodbank and Sunflowers Mental Health and Well-being Project.

Members are vital to Hailsham Bonfire Society being able to put on the annual bonfire and firework display. Although the “bonfire season” is held from September through to November, throughout the year members need to raise funds to put on the event through bingo, quizzes, discos, attending fêtes and fairs and a variety of other fundraising events, but also need to arrange the necessary preparations for the bonfire celebrations including torch making.

On the night, several other societies join in to parade through the town and collect money that is presented to local charities. This is something all the Sussex Bonfire Societies do, and in 2019 jointly raised a total of £64,000.

New members can contact the Membership Secretary on: membershiphbs@gmail.com.

Photo: Lewis Isted.

The Wealden Eye Magazine | November/December 2020 Issue
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