Those who enjoy a jaunt in the stunning Sussex countryside may want to saddle up the horse and cart to join in some special Bonfire celebrations in Cuckfield - just like they did back in 1800’s.
The annual Bonfire and Firework display will celebrate 30 years this November 5, but Gem Lee, Chairman of the Cuckfield Bonfire Committee says the original event goes back much further. “The awareness that it is 30 years since the first event (in its current form) is something very special indeed,” he said. “It may not be the oldest of bonfire celebrations, but many committee members were there at the beginning - enabling them to reflect on the rise in its popularity.”
“The event now hosts upwards of 6,000 people at its beautiful Cuckfield Park location, courtesy of the Mayou family, and is one of the few local bonfire events to choreograph its fireworks to music, and raises tens of thousands of pounds for charity each year.”
Gem says evidence unearthed by Cuckfield resident and historian Andy Revell indicate that bonfire celebrations on a grand scale have been hosted in Cuckfield since the 19th Century. On November 11, 1876 (140 years ago) The Hastings and St Leonards Observer was the first publication to report on a Cuckfield bonfire event, stating:
‘CUCKFIELD. The Fifth of November was celebrated here on Monday by the Bonfire Club, the town being crowded with visitors from all parts, it being calculated that not less than 2000 persons were present. The main procession started from the Rose and Crown, the Bonfire Boys’ head quarters, soon after 8 pm. There was a capital display of fireworks during the evening, and the proceedings were conducted with strict propriety and decorum, the members of the club, which is well supported, acting as special constables to keep order, and everything passed off quietly.’
Gem says this November 5, will be great fun. “The sensational fireworks tffo music have been designed by PYRO 1, and will fill the sky spectacular colours, bangs, fizzes and whistles in time to music. A whole host of charity food and drink stalls combine to make the Cuckfield Bonfire and Fireworks celebration a wonderful evening for the whole family.”
Gates open at 5.30pm. Further details at: www.cuckfieldbonfire.co.uk