Lewes Bonfire Night 2012

Like the Apocalypse, but fun

Lewes Bonfire night is where you’ll be cold, get wet if it rains, stand in long queues for food and to use the lavatory, breathe in a lot of smoke, have to cope with heavy crowds, and be surprised by loud, close, bangs.*

It’s the biggest and best Bonfire Night in the country. It’s fantastic, wonderful, amazing, awesome (in the word’s old-fashioned sense from before it was bastardised) and has become a fixture of my year from around the time I met the Art Director.

Recalling the Gun Powder plot of 1605, commemorating the 17 Martyrs burnt at the stake in Lewes during the 16th Century, and remembering the Fallen in the World Wars, bonfire night sees the local (and some visiting) Bonfire Societies come together to parade through the normally quiet town with burning torches, effigies, and tableaux before heading off to their own bonfire sites.  It’s a continual assualt on the senses that can’t be adequately explained – you have to experience it – but remember no one is forcing you to be there, and volenti non fit injuria.

I have put up a collection of photos from the 2012 night on flickr – go have a look.

Oh, and the picture above? It was taken at the Southover Bonfire site during the fireworks display. A crop of a single frame taken at f/5 at 1/500th, ISO 400; it’s not, as supposedly good friends of mine have alleged, a composite of multiple frames – just a lucky angle.

*Every year a number of ‘bonfire related’ injuries are reported in news media.  I strongly suspect, but have no strong evidence, that most of these are a result of having a large number of people in close proximity where many have drunk some amount of idiot juice, rather than being injuries caused by a torch/fire/firework/banger/etc.  It would be a crying shame if the Elf ‘n’Safety brigade ever got a grip on Lewes Bonfire Night.


Hallowe’en has been and gone…

… and next up is Bonfire Night.  As is now traditional, I shall be heading to Lewes for the evening*.

Spider cakes

The cakes aren’t mine – they were made for an bake-off side-show at an event I was covering.


*I wonder what the gear bill will run to this year – something always gets broken.