There is a tradition in East Sussex of public bonfires, preceded by flaming torch processions, in which whole villages take part, many in costume and fancy dress. These bonfires are organised by Bonfire Societies, and apart from setting fire to things and letting off fireworks and celebrating the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, and Britain' s freedom from foreign religious oppression, and setting fire to things, and a few more fireworks, and making really big fires, they have a lot of fun, and raise money to support good works generally.
Did I mention they set fire to things? Huge piles of things.
Robertsbridge and the surrounding areas have their bonfires on different days, and the societies, and half the county, visit each other's bonfires.
Dates for 2011 include:
Hastings 14 October
Staplecross 30 October
Lewes 5 November
Battle 5 November
Rye 14 November
Robertsbridge 19 November
There are over 50 bonfire societies in East Sussex, so look out for something near you. Walk, don't drive.
The Seven Stars Inn, as one of the oldest buildings in the village, has seen all the Robertsbridge Bonfire Nights and is hugely popular with the marchers, both during the procession, and after the fireworks and bonfire itself. Open until late, very late, the net abounds with photographs and videos like this one on Myspace. Everyone is having a very good time! The Photoset from Barry Slemmings on Flickr is well worth a look.