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Bonfire had its Day

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On 10 Oct 2017 at 11:17pm Bert wrote:
I think public opinion has altered now about bonfire, people living in it route going away from the weekend, other complaining about their doorways used as toilets, the rowdiness and drunkenness worse than Christmas, New Years Eve and Brighton Pride rolled into one. Of course I'll expect the oiks to protest but what other comments do real locals have ?
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 3:54am Ernie wrote:
Fed up to the back teeth with it. It used to be good 50 years ago. But now there are too many fingers in the pie it is nothing more than a carnival
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 6:52am On the high street wrote:
I'm right on the high street and can observe the whole thing from the first or second floor window. I love it actually, particularly the feeling of anarchy and spectacle. I always have the urge to leave the house and get immersed in the crowd, not sure I'd be as keen if I didn't have a sanctuary to retreat to. The single worst thing about it is the tiny handful of members who let bangers off before the event, waking up residents and kids like my 7 year old lad, and scaring pets, other than that I admire everyone's hard work in making it superb each year.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 6:55am On the high street wrote:
ps lived in Lewes for 13 years, grew up in Rottingdean since age 2.. so almost a real local!
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 6:56am Francis Tresham wrote:
Why do you think they are trying to restrict visitor numbers? Itís the large crowds in a small town that creates problems, not only for local residents, but for the societyís as well. Unfortunately, Lewes Bonfire is a victim of its own success. The event as it is in Lewes, is unique in this country an i for one love it. But over publicising and transport saturation have turned a local event into a national attraction. Ultimately if this situation continues, health and safety WILL turn Lewes Bonfire into a carnival.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 8:23am Banger wrote:
It's boring. The same old people wearing the same old fancy dress parading down the same old streets with the same old bands playing the same old tunes followed by the same old bonfires at the same old sites and the same old fireworks. Well past its sell by date and it's sad to see how some people's lives revolve around it.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 8:42am Sussex Jim wrote:
The answer to the overcrowding has to be a ticket system; to allow people from other parts of Sussex to attend, but discourage those from further afield that turn up with little knowledge of the proceedings. I have attended with friends and family many times over the years, but now access seems almost impossible. I would like to have the opportunity to book in advance, say, four or five passes to the town centre. The scheme could be funded with a nominal charge.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 9:17am Slarty wrote:
Is it the choice of the onlookers or the choice of the participants (who do it for far more and deeper reasons that showing off a "fancy dress costume") to decide if bonfire has had its day?
I think bonfire will carry on all the time there are true bonfire boys and girls. If the crowds would kindly stay away, the only people moaning will be the charities that money is collected for and the societies' treasurers who will see less income. I think the true bonfire people would actually prefer it and, after all, it is the spectators that cause the vast majority of the rowdiness and drunkenness.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 9:31am Rubbish wrote:
November 5th is the one night in the whole year where everybody wants to be in Lewes, there is no equal. It is so sad to hear all you old, boring, dried up, morons disparaging it. It's fantastic, everyone has a great time, get over it you fools. Certainly not dying out, quite the opposite. And yeah it's always the same of course, idiot, except for the different effigies each society does every year relating to current events. Tableaus last year were national news, clearly still relevant. Please put your hand up on the 5th if you hate it, I'll be only too happy make some noise near you
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 9:38am Saul Tarvitz wrote:
For someone who is very old and apparently has lived round these parts his whole life, you show a remarkable lack of understanding as to how Bonfire works, Jim.

Who would sell the tickets? Who would get the money? Who would man barricades to stop anyone without a ticket coming into town and how would they enforce it?

Rather than complaining about Bonfire or offering up ill-informed opinions on how to make it better, why don't people get more involved themselves? If you struggle to get into town then join a society, you get to walk the length and bredth of town with nobody crushing you in anywhere plus get a much better view of the fireworks, also the fantastic ideas you have to make it all better can be raised with the committee or at the AGM.

If you don't like it then you should have done more research before moving to town, unless you don't like it and have lived here forever in which case you are welcome to be as curmudgeonly as you wish, although I feel sorry for you not being able to enjoy a truly unique spectacle. Maybe think about moving to Peacehaven? I hear it's really boring there and nothing exciting ever happens that might upset you.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 9:44am Hot Lips wrote:
Lewes without bonfire......bit like a roast without the stuffing, bread sauce and gravy. Rather dull.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 10:03am Banger wrote:
What are these deep reasons for bonfire Slarty? I doubt if any of the morons throwing fireworks as they go along the streets have deep reasons in mind. Organised thuggery more like.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 10:21am @Banger wrote:
Are you for real, or are you really a moron? You are complaining that a traditional event is the same every year? Of course it is, it follows traditions. What do you expect to see on Bonfire night, if not bonfires and firework displays?
Perhaps you should complain to the Queen about trooping the colour being the same every year, or maybe get upset that you get the same boring old chocolate eggs at Easter? As for those pain in the ar5e Christmas dinners, you must get apoplectic over them!
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 10:29am Hot Troll wrote:
Banger is just a troll stuck in a crappy office job. It sends us all a bit mental
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 1:03pm Deep Reason wrote:
Freedom of speech
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 1:29pm Earl of Lewess wrote:
I love it but I've had enough of the crowds and the bloomin' tourists blocking my view, as they take one selfie after another, so I just go to the Nevill and enjoy the spectacle without the bother.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 2:03pm MG wrote:
Bonfire is when we remember our own dead in our own way, and express our opinion of any external threat or tyranny, also in our own way. Entertaining the public is not a priority for the traditional societies.
Samhain/Halloween was the tradional time when the community remembered its dead, and when the calendar changed to Gregorian, old Halloween became November 11, which by an extraordinary and poignant coincidence is also Armistice Day. November 5th is the exact midpoint between the two.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 2:40pm lamdan wrote:
If "Bonfire had its day" is a question the answer would appear to be no as the biggest gripe seems to be about the size of the crowd thronging the streets of Lewes each year. If it had, had its day so many people would not attend.
The nature of Bonfire night has changed, it appears to be better organised, there are more bands (the fad for drumming bands) and the number of people in the procession seems to have grown in recent times. This year will be the 50 something time I have attended Lewes bonfire and to me in all those years it never appears to have had its day.
Crowds are bigger but the fire site are less raucous, when Cliffe BS had their fire site up on Malling Hill it was pretty anarchic and not a place where I would have taken my children when they were younger, things down at the Railway Land site a far calmer (even though in my teens and early twenties the excitement and in some part danger of the Cliffe fire site was one of the highlights of the night).
It has always had its critics but continues to prosper.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 2:41pm Ernie wrote:
Sanitised beyond recognition. Too many police and too many health and safety experts all making sure they leave their mark by screwing it all down a little more each year. The hardy few who try to keep it going will either get too old or just give up in face of the mounting opposition. A few more years and it will be like a children's party.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 3:08pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I think the extended timing of the road closures and the trains not stopping has annoyed a fair few people.
I heard someone moaning the other day that they'd had to take a day of their annual leave on the Saturday because they have no way of getting back from work at the end of their shift. Neighbours who used to go out for the evening because their dog hates the bangs now have to go away for the night, because they can't get back home till 2 am or whatever time they open the roads.
I wonder if they'll do the same with the trains next year, when it's on a week night?
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 3:40pm @Ernie wrote:
"Sanitised beyond recognition. Too many police and too many health and safety experts all making sure they leave their mark by screwing it all down a little more each year. The hardy few who try to keep it going will either get too old or just give up in face of the mounting opposition. A few more years and it will be like a children's party."
Obviously you would prefer for people to have limbs blown off by reckless improper use of explosives....
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 4:19pm Striped smuggler wrote:
@ @Ernie
"Limbs blown off by reckless improper use of explosives"
Yes there have been a few accidents, including a few serious ones among those processing or setting off the fireworks etc (who, if a member of a reputable Bonfire Society have signed a disclaimer to say they understand and accept the risk, and also to say thatchy understand that misuse of fireworks in a public place is not condoned), but I do not recall any limbs being blown off @Ernie...?
Yes the ever earlier, ever wider road closures imposed by the authorities are a major inconvenience, and now the lack of trains after midday is another inconvenience for local residents, but those factors are surely proof that the event draws in large crowds (for good or ill), and thus has not 'had its' day'?

I agree, it has become ever more of a "spectacle" and is at risk of losing its true purpose, but personally I would march even if there were no spectators, as I am sure would many Bonfire Boyes and Belles - those who understand Bonfire know it is NOT about providing a fancy 'carnival' for onlookers, but about marking the freedom of speech/expression and thought that the Martyrs were denied, and that modern society seems to want to crush under the boot of "political correctness".
Indeed, the modern risk averse health and safety brigade, and emergency services would be happy to see it wiped off the calendar, though I suspect their statistics would show that the vast majority of injuries in Lewes on the night are NOT among those taking part in the processions, who (should) know how to behave (and who should be being marshalled in an appropriate manner buy their Society), but are among those watching, who tend to behave in an unsafe manner - anyone with common sense knows that alcohol, crowds and fireworks are not a sensible mix.
Bonfire is like Marmite - locals seem to either love it or hate it, as the posts on here continually prove.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 4:37pm Boom wrote:
There as only been one recorded fatality on.the 5th that was a torch runner drowned in.the horse water thing at the bottom.of new road after he caught fire and was over exhuberantly doused in it
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 4:44pm Sussex Jim wrote:
@Saul Tarvitz- I have been visiting the Lewes bonfire celebrations almost every year ,for about the last 50 years; so I am very conversant with the proceedings. We used to come in from several miles away, and either park on the outskirts or come by train.
I have not been recently, ever since stewards were preventing later arrivals from entering the central area after 5pm. a few years ago. Therefore, my suggestion of a bookable quota system is up for discussion- isn't that what this Forum is for?
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 5:06pm ClarifiedButler wrote:
They need to do more to discourage non-Lewesians from attending Bonfire. Cancelling the trains is a good step but needs to happen as a matter of course rather than just on Saturdays. They should ban the big lemon buses and any other transport. We need a negative PR campaign aimed at Londoners and Brightonians. This is the only way bonfire can surivive without becoming another sanitised and soulless 'firework show'. If it scares some of the DFLs out of the town too then even better!!
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 6:48pm Guy wrote:
If it was stopped altogether then no one would come and there would be no problems. No injuries either. Simple.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 9:05pm Dfl wrote:
@ClarifiedButler tw@t
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 10:10pm Mavis wrote:
I would make a great difference if the language schools and university students were stopped, and help the drunkenness.
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 10:11pm Gorgeous George wrote:
You never let me come - but you'll end up with a "Festival of Colour Costume and Sound" whether you like it or not. LOL
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On 11 Oct 2017 at 10:30pm Gerty wrote:
Stop the "bike train" and other ways people come in and make it for Lewes again and the Societies will be thrilled. The biggest challenge bonfire faces is the number of new people in Lewes who know nothing and respect less about why it happens and why it matters, and the lack of under 30s who can afford to live in Lewes having been raised here in the traditions.
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On 12 Oct 2017 at 7:00am Lewes resident wrote:
Unfortunately it has not had its day. But it is boring and annoying,and actually there are many residents in Lewes who hate the inconvenience of the road closures, and areas being cordoned off for a week ,Southver Bonfire an example taking over the Stanley Turner for a week.Best plan is to go away from Lewes for the weekend.
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On 12 Oct 2017 at 9:55am Ernie wrote:
The cracks are showing and getting wider every year. Which society will be the first to pack it in?
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On 12 Oct 2017 at 10:00am Solomon Demeter wrote:
It's lucky Southover aren't using the Stanley Turner this year then...

I'm amazed there is anyone in Lewes who doesn't already book the day off from work months in advance, I know I always do (And the day after). Bonfire is part of Lewes and by living here you accept that. Yes, it's inconvenient if you're not involved in it but it's not like it's a surprise every year, you know when it is os plan ahead. Better yet, get involved and actually enjoy the day.

Yes, it's a lot tighter controlled and safer than it used to be and this is because of all the tourists. I remember people firing rockets down the street when I was a kid and fun though it was, times change and the societies have to make some concessions to enable the event to continue.

The biggest threat to bonfire is not just the hordes of drunken students (Who will mostly be put off by there being no trains) but people like Sussex Jim who contribute nothing but see it as their God-given right to come and spectate in the easiest way they can. It's not a tourist spectacle and if getting into Lewes is too hard for you then go to a bonfire near you, there's no shortage of them.

If all the people coming into town who aren't involved, be they students or grumpy old willagers can be kept away then in future years there won't be a need for stopping trains and closing all the roads in Sussex and people with nervous dogs will once again be able to leave and come back on the same evening.

People in societies are often portrayed as hostile to outsiders and we are for good reason, people not contributing directly are the reason it's such a faff for everyone else. Stay away please.
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On 12 Oct 2017 at 10:16am The Greek wrote:
Bonfire is the best night of the year and far better than Christmas. There is nothing else like it. Once it's in your blood it never leaves. Why would we want to lose a tradition that is quite unlike anywhere else. A tradition that pushes the boundaries and sticks two fingers up to authority, yet co-operates with it. This is the very reason bonfire kept on in Lewes but died in the likes of Guildford. Bonfire is true people power and shows that we don't need to cow-tow to the sanitised version of society that we are told to believe in. Why would we want to lose something that prevents Lewes being any other market town?
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On 12 Oct 2017 at 3:00pm Astrid wrote:
Bonfire is here to stay!! People who don't like it GET A GRIP it's one night a year. Just stay inside and be miserable. The problem comes when drunk crowds walk in the road, try picking up the discarded torches and throw fireworks that is usu ally why people get hurt. Because our bangers are only ever thrown by the feet of each other never ever at the crowd. The plastic can bounce off into that direction. You come to bonfire are the your own risk. Don't like it don't come
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On 12 Oct 2017 at 3:54pm Bonfire Boy wrote:
The grockles should just stay away if they disapprove so much.
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On 12 Oct 2017 at 6:11pm Who's Gorgeous George wrote:
Was he banned or something ?


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