Thousands enjoy spectacular bonfire celebrations

Hastings Week: Hastings Bonfire. Photo by Frank Copper. SUS-161016-140231001

Hastings Week: Hastings Bonfire. Photo by Frank Copper. SUS-161016-140231001

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Rain and high winds failed to dampen the enthusiasm as thousands of people turned out to watch the biggest bonfire celebrations the town has seen.

A record number of bonfire societies and drumming groups marched in the procession as the seafront and streets of the Old Town became a sea of flaming torches.

The celebrations had extra significance this year as they formed a key part of the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Fittingly, the effigy was of a Norman long-ship similar to those used in the invasion of 1066.

The evening came to a close with the lighting of an enormous bonfire on the beach and a breath-taking firework display.

The event was a culmination of a year of hard work by Bonfire Society members and raised a substantial sum for local charities and good causes on the night.

Bonfire Society chairman Nick Lynas, who was awarded the Order of 1066 over the weekend, said: “The traditional torch lit Sussex bonfire procession was the largest yet in the 22 years of Hastings Borough Bonfire Society and the bonfire was a warm welcome to all who had yet again enjoyed a good soaking thanks to the weather.

“However the effigy and fireworks, whilst affected by the weather still gave a fitting and spectacular end to the day for the many thousands who had also been rained on and buffeted by high winds.”

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