Bonfire night comes early for the coastal town Hastings

Published on by Emily Huelin (author)

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Thousands of people head down to the East Sussex coast to mark the favoured Hastings fireworks and bonfire festival. The event is always held in the week before the 1066 Battle of Hastings anniversary, with charities and the community coming together to create the family-fun celebration.



The county of Sussex is well known for its bonfire societies which hold festivities and activities in towns and villages throughout the autumn to celebrate the area’s history. The various societies hold large gala events with fires, parades and festivals, using the events to collect money for local charities.


The well-known annual procession, bonfire and fireworks are held by the Hastings Bonfire Society. The local community is run entirely by a set of volunteers who work all year-round to fundraise and prepare for the popular event.


Chloe Dyas, Captain of Firecarts and Vice Press Officer, said: “The society meets every second Tuesday of the month at the White Rock Hotel in Hastings. All members come together to share their ideas and vote on important issues at the meetings which are held by the chairman of the Society.


Some key roles start early in the year, such as, preparing and making the torches for the procession, the planning and building of the effigy.”


Each year, HBBS donate the money collected at the Hastings event to several local charities, as voted for by the members of the association. In 2016 the society raised £3787.33 and supported a variety of local-based charities.


Chloe Dyas continues: “HBBS is a great way to do something for the community, as well as meet new people. The society is always looking for new members, it’s not easy putting on such a large-scale event. It’s great watching the event successfully unfold and hearing such positive feedback from the community.”


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