Does anyone remember the old Penny for the Guy tradition?

Guy Competition SUS-151020-102536001
Guy Competition SUS-151020-102536001

Hastings Borough Bonfire Society has managed to revive the old Penny for the Guy tradition by holding a children’s Guy competition.

The Society organises a parade of Guys made by local children, which took place at Priory Meadow earlier this month.

For some it evoked memories of when children made their own Guy’s from old clothes stuffed with straw and wheeled them onto street corners in carts to shout out “Penny for the Guy”.

Money collected was usually used to fund back-yard firework displays.

Tony Kerner, from the Bonfire Society, said: Hastings Borough Bonfire Society is hoping to rejuvenate the art of guy making among youngsters by launching the new annual event to bring the old tradition into the 21st century.

“The idea was to have fun and encourage children to know about the tradition of Guy Fawkes and Sussex Bonfire.”

Children entered their creation into a number of categories, which included sections for schools, individuals and societies with seven different categories, from toddlers up to 18 year olds.

The Guys were paraded at Priory meadow shopping centre on Saturday October 10.

Judging for each category was carried out by Hastings Mayor Cllr Bruce Dowling.

The winning Guy in each category had its own Hastings Borough Bonfire Society “Penny for the Guy” bucket and the people of Hastings voted for the overall winner by putting in coins.

The bonfire society set environmentally friendly rules for the Guy building, stressing that on naturally flammable materials should be used and banning plastic, rubber and polystyrene.

The bonfire society’s website gave details and tips on how to construct a Guy from traditional materials such as straw, bamboo, old newspapers and papiere mache

Children entering the competition had to be accompanied by an adult.

The winning guy from each category faced the traditional and honourable fate of being placed on the Hastings Bonfire at the culmination of this year’s parade and fireworks display, which took place on Saturday October 17.

Hastings Borough Bonfire Society would welcome new members and family membership is available.

Chairman Nick Lynas said: “The event costs £16,000 to put on, If you enjoyed our event please become a member and support us.

“ Even if you are not able to make a time commitment to helping your membership will support the work we do.”

For membership information

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