Hastings Bonfire: This is what you need to know about Saturday’s big event
Hastings seafront and the streets of the Old Town will be a river of fire on Saturday (October 16) as Hastings celebrates the return of bonfire.
Bonfire Societies and drumming groups will converge on the town to take part in the spectacle, which includes a massive bonfire on the beach and a stunning firework display.
The procession will form up at 7.15pm at White Rock, between Robertson Street and the White Rock Hotel.
There will be a ceremony at the America Ground (the corner of Claremont and Robertson Street), before the procession moves through the town centre, along the seafront, and on to the Old Town.
The procession will pause at the Swan Memorial Gardens, in the Old Town, to remember those who lost their lives when the Swan hotel was bombed in World War 2, and to celebrate the Hastings lifeboat Cyril and Lilian Bishop saving lives at Dunkirk.
The bonfire and fireworks will then be lit at approximately 9pm at the Pelham Place car park.
Hastings Borough Bonfire Society is keen to promote the Covid safety message for the event.
Chairman Heather Leech said: “The Society asks that the public take the necessary Covid precautions, including social distancing, wearing face masks, regularly cleaning hands and taking a lateral flow test before attending the event.
“Spectators are also reminded that the event can be smoky and those with pre-existing medical conditions should be mindful of this. If you have symptoms or have been asked to self-isolate, please stay at home.”
Heather added: “This event can be loud – please do not bring pets or anyone of a nervous disposition. Do not pick up discarded torches and keep your distance from the procession
“Download the What3Words app – this could help the emergency services locate you in an emergency
“Do not bring fireworks – it is illegal to discharge fireworks in a public place Keep on the safe side of the barriers, they are there for your safety. Listen to marshals.
“You can look up road closures in advance at www.hbbs.info or www.hastings.gov.uk
“Do not join or cut up the procession – you will be removed. Wear suitable and non-flammable clothing
“When exiting the event, if you are returning to the town centre, please use the seafront and Havelock Road. Do not try to exit through the underpass on Castle Street by Argos
“Please bring any spare change you have to make a donation to our charities and to buy a programme.”
Families are invited to take part in a free Guy Making Competition, between 10am-2pm at the Stade Hall. Materials and help are provided and the competition is open to anyone under 16 (under 12’s must be accompanied by an adult). The Mayor will be judging at 1pm and there are fun prizes to be won, and you can see your Guy burn on the bonfire in the evening.
As a precursor to the full firework display, the pyrotechnic s team will be setting off a number of white fireworks in memory of local people and loved ones who passed away due to the pandemic.
Hastings Borough Bonfire Society would like to thank all its sponsors for helping to make the event possible.
Full event information is available at www.hbbs.info or by purchasing a programme, available in the various venues in Hastings Old Town for a suggested donation of £1.
The Society says that if everyone attending donated just £1 its future would be secure. Money collected on the night during the procession goes to local charities and good causes.
Picture by Brain Bailey.