Thousands of excited people braved the cold on Saturday to enjoy the first winter celebrations in Hastings town. Hastings Borough Bonfire Society volunteers raised £16,000 to pay for the firework and bonfire display, and all money collected over the night went to local charities.
The bonfire society procession started at Hastings pier and followed a route throughout town after the East hill beacon had been lit, which is the annual ritual. Another tradition, which caused excitement, was the explosive finale featuring this year’s seagull effigies. The birds, two of which were named “Nick Chips” and “Percy Pooper”, symbolised the nuisance that Hastings infamous seagulls create.
The success of Saturday night has left Sussex residents anticipating the next firework night. Over the next month more than 20 towns will host their own celebrations, but the highlight will be the annual Lewes bonfire night. Lewes is famous for hosting the nations biggest firework and bonfire display, attracting up to 80,000 people to the town. Unlike Hastings, there are seven bonfire societies in Lewes and each has their own procession, the local bonfire council also helps towards the night.
The next bonfire nights are on October 24th in Firle and Fletching.