Hailsham Bonfire Society history

As with most towns and villages in Sussex, at some point in time they are more than likely to have had a “Bonfire” or “Carnival” society of sorts and Hailsham is of no exception! Hailsham bonfires past can be traced back to the early 1800’s with written entries in town ledgers and also photographic evidence  taken in the mid-late 19th century.

With an understandable silence between 1914-1918 and again  in 1939-1945 Hailsham maintained an annual celebration marking the failure of the Gunpowder plot. Sadly the celebrations started to downsize during the 1980’s and so for the last few years became merely a “Grand Torchlit Procession” the final one before disbanding taking place on the 19th October 1991.

After a 14 year gap the current Hailsham Bonfire Society you see today was formed, and on the 400th Anniversary of the failure of the Gunpowder plot, 1605 – 2005, Hailsham Bonfire Society triumphantly rose from the ashes.

We reformed in the new year of 2005 and with a lot of hard work we managed to have a short torchlit procession and a grand firework finale on Saturday 5th November.

We have successfully continued with our celebrations each year since, and the event has been well supported by both the general public and visiting societies.

The procession and firework display for 2017, held on Saturday 21st October, were, despite “Storm Brian” still a great success and greatly enjoyed by both the general public and the visiting societies. We thank all those that braved the weather to support us, here’s hoping for kinder conditions this year!!!!

To date a sum in excess of £10,000.00 has been raised from our charity street collections and distributed to our nominated charities over the past 10 years.

We would like to thank all those that support the event and kindly make donations as well as all the visiting bonfire and carnival societies for joining us.