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Bonfire night 2011

On 5 Nov 2011 at 9:59pm lewes resident wrote:
Far to many bangers being thrown near the crowds this year bonfire in lewes is a family event..I saw kids and adults hit in the face by exploding bangers. ..I wad told the bottle neck is safest place to stand it was a nightmare....what an unpleasant evening..Rookies should be banned for safety
On 5 Nov 2011 at 10:20pm idahnuf wrote:
There's possibly a clue in the name "bottle neck" that this may not be the best place to stand on the 5th.
My bizarre experience - watching people setup camp chairs along the side of the high street.
Oh and thanks to whoever sold the p*ssed kids green lasers. You're a wise person...
On 6 Nov 2011 at 12:31am mr happy wrote:
The funniest thing I saw tonight was a couple with 2 small children on bikes trying to get through crowds at the bottle neck!
On 6 Nov 2011 at 10:52am Tea wrote:
i had banngers thrown at me walking into town by kids, i also saw different kids throwing them at a old lady!! that is what gives bonfire a bad name.
On 6 Nov 2011 at 11:33am Oh dear wrote:
Well respect is dead....... Burnt in the bonfire flames.. Broken car wing mirrors, people urinating on properties... I love the parade, i love the tradition.. I hate the drunk tossers, the people who come to our town act like animals. . .
On 6 Nov 2011 at 11:45am Guy wrote:
170 injured. 22 in hospital. 2 serious.
Unnecessary and indefensible.
On 6 Nov 2011 at 12:46pm Yogi wrote:
Sinks lower and lower, and is appealing to the lowest common denominator now. Lost interest years ago, but for the first time think its time to stop it. Does anyone agree?
On 6 Nov 2011 at 1:03pm bastian wrote:
170 out of 60,000...anyone want to do the maths...you must admit that for such a dangerous event that is very low.
On 6 Nov 2011 at 1:05pm KENDO CASTER wrote:
And you will probaly find that the injured were all non bonfire people, drunks pratting around,
On 6 Nov 2011 at 1:32pm cyclist wrote:
Lewes resident. Bonfire is not a 'family event' indeed parents are told that it is not suitable for young children. If you don't like rookies don't go simple. Try Neville Bonfire 2 weeks earlier much more suitable for children. As for the 'safetly police' most of the injuries were minor and were alcohol related. I am not sure what the figures are for the average Friday/Saturday night in Brighton but probably not too different. Whatever events are staged there are usually a few idiots around to spoil things. That does not mean the majority of sensible people should be banned from doing it.
For the people who every year quote the number of injuries and suggest that this is a reason to ban it, think about this.
Lots of serious injuries and fatalaties happen on the roads - lets ban roads
Lets ban football, rugby, skiing, horse riding etc.
Most accidents happen in the home - lets ban homes.
On 6 Nov 2011 at 4:40pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
Guy - the 22 in hospital were in fact attending A and E units. They are not still in hospital. I'm told by a nurse who worked last night that most of the 'injuries' were sustained by drunkenness - students visiting the town. The two more serious head injuries occurred through falls - I heard that it was from St Annes church wall - but not sure if that is accurate. Most marchers in the smugglers ranks get hit once or twice by rookies and many wear protective goggles and gloves.
To the lewes resident I would say heed the warnings next time. It was always anticipated that last night would be very very crowded in town, and it is not recommended for young children.
Bonfire in Lewes is a family event - look at the children matching within the societies ranks. Personally I think it's more dangerous and frightening to be a spectator in the crowds than processing on the street.
On 6 Nov 2011 at 4:50pm Not a happy bunny! wrote:
There were still drunken,loud morons in the Court Road area at 2am!! Some were even using the grass area below peoples windows (that had bottles etc in) to urinate!Bangers still going off. How do I know this? Dog was taken for a walk and it was witnessed! Perhaps a few marshals or police could be allocated to that area?
On 6 Nov 2011 at 6:45pm Guy wrote:
Brixtonbelle: It doesn't matter. It was 22 unnecessary extra patients for the already overstretched A & E department to deal with.
I get the impression that everyone, apart from the hardcore, has had enough of it all and there will be radical changes next year.
On 6 Nov 2011 at 7:58pm fawk off wrote:
Guy: - I get the feeling that you are attempting to present your views as being shared by a large number of people without presenting any evidence for this.
AFAIK there is no campaign to end bonfire, the idea that your incoherent rantings as representative of anyone other than yourself is weird and a bit creepy.
The St Johns Ambulance volunteers will often instruct people to go to A&E when its not really needed, they have to do this to cover their own backs as they do not have the medical qualifications to provide anything other than very basic first aid. The number of people admitted to hospital is remarkably low compared to similar events where there are not any fireworks. (for example music festivals where there are also large numbers of people drinking to excess)
There will not be radical changes next year, nor the year after. There may be subtle changes over decades but you won't even notice them. (after all you couldn't tell the difference between a home made squib, a white rookie, Spanish 4, egg, red rookie or blue rookie even if i set them off outside your window at 2 in the morning)
Nobody is going to ban bonfire, and if they did we wouldn't stop anyway. You might think you'd like to see a ban, but I seriously doubt you'd find the resulting riots to be less intrusive.
On 6 Nov 2011 at 8:27pm captain wrote:
(after all you couldn't tell the difference between a home made squib, a white rookie, Spanish 4, egg, red rookie or blue rookie even if i set them off outside your window at 2 in the morning)
fawk off - such mature comments - obviously you don't care about bonfire, tradition, lewes and its residents....
On 7 Nov 2011 at 2:13am 17Xs wrote:
Firstly one of the worse places to be (if not THE worse) is the bottle neck as mentioned above. Have a look at a bottle and have a think why it is named that! Ahhh... has the penny dropped? It gets narrow doesnt it! In fact it is one of the 3 pinch points in the town that is not helped by the crowd making it even more narrow still by insisting on coming on to the road! Why do they do that anyway?? It is our night! For the record the other 2 are the Memorial and St. Annes Church.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 10:31am Cliffite wrote:
I think it falling on a Saturday always meant more drunken idiots around, mostly teenagers although there seemed to be fewer people in Cliffe this year for the main procession and fewer crowd control people in the processions; constantly seeing teenagers diving across gaps in the procession with very few attempts to stop them. Not sure what happened this year, usually it's pretty orderly and everyone stays at the side and waits to cross, or just stays where they are. The only irresponsible adult I saw all evening was some d!ckhead throwing bangers out of the flat window above the white-fronted, old ladies fashion shop (Dreary's or something like that) on Cliffe High St into the crowd, who then reasonably started throwing things back
On 7 Nov 2011 at 10:48am Cliffite wrote:
although in hindsight, running the farmer's market on Saturday daytime whilst the shops around are trying to board up windows, prepare Cliffe for Bonfire Night & increase milling crowd numebrs probably wasn't the wisest idea and it should have been moved to next weekend instead on this occasion.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 11:49am Another Lewes resident wrote:
Rookies need to be controlled so they're only used in safe areas, not in the middle of town with thousands in the crowd. Trying to justify them injuring people on the basis that these people should have been aware of the danger is absurd. They're dangerous and add nothing but annoyance and injury to the evening. My friends son got hit in the eye from a rookie, ended up being taken off in an ambulance to Brighton eye hospital. Rookies are a bloody nuisance, especially when in the hands of drunks or people who think they've some god given right to lob explosives at vulnerable people.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 12:44pm Feline wrote:
Perhaps it's time to ban the sale of fireworks except to organised and licensed displays - and I'd include Bonfire as one of these - but I think it is time to tighten up on the casual use of any firework and there IS alot of such behaviour around Bonfire.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 1:18pm T wrote:
What? Ban those homely family fireworks displays where the kids make the guy, the neighbours roast potatoes in the fire and dad manages the display.. all because the Lewes bonfire societies continue to lead the use of fireworks in the streets? That would be very sad.

The societies ought to grow up and stop encouraging and condoning the use of fireworks in the street. They should publicly condemn these acts and ban their members from doing them. Then the police could patrol the streets around the 5th and prosecute anyone who is caught in these illegal acts.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 3:38pm jrsussex wrote:
For the first time in 3yrs I went and have to say that in my opinion, the first thing that needs to be looked at is the amount of people that attend. Most public events these days are controlled by law as to crowd numbers. The amount of people in Lewes on Saturday in itself created dangerous situations, my wife and I were at one time unable to move in any direction which is just one step away from the crowd becoming alarmed and then panic may set in with the likelihood of serious injury accurring.
One other point, it matters little how dedicated you are to Lewes's night of fame the thowing of rookies is utterly stupid. Many years ago a young boy in Hockley, Essex wearing wellingtons, had a thrown banger go into the wellington, he has walked with a limp ever since. He is a friend of mine and a moment of stupidity has left him with a disability since he was 14yrs old.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 3:47pm Ed Can Do wrote:
I'm not sure where people are seeing bonfire members throwing rookies as every society makes it very clear to their members that the only thing they're allowed to do with rookies is drop them in the middle of the road. Anyone who drops them near the crowd or throws them gets swiftly called to task and often immediately ejected from the procession.

As such, I'm not sure how jrs's story about a kid in Essex several years ago is in any way relevant to what happens in Lewes. It's also a shame that there is this vocal minority who seem to think that the solution to anything they don't like is to ban it. You say that bangers are dangerous and might injure a member of the crowd but surely then ti would be better to ban the crowd, rather than the fireworks? That way you'd please both the health and safety worriers and the society members and everyone ends up happy.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 3:53pm Clifford wrote:
Ed Can Do wrote: 'You say that bangers are dangerous and might injure a member of the crowd but surely then ti would be better to ban the crowd, rather than the fireworks?'

Yes, always a good idea to blame (and ban) the victim. You may not have noticed that the argument is about the kind of idiot who throws fireworks towards the crowd, not about fireworks themselves.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 5:17pm T wrote:
I think it's about the encouragement of throwing fireworks full stop. Even dropping rookies (and calling a spade a spade, these are not fireworks they are explosives, bird scarers for use in fields) makes it seem OK to hold, light and discard a firework in a public space... dropping it that bit further away, throwing it... minor advancements over the important act of letting fireworks off in the street.

Anyway. We are not just talking about the fifth. Society members use rookies in the Lewes streets well before this date, even to mark such small occasions as... leaving the pub.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 5:25pm Jack Thrush wrote:
Crowds and drunk idiots with explosives... welcome to Lewes bonfire.

I bet the kid in the eye hospital is not listed in the 170 odd casualties. Neither is the guy currently lying in a darkened room off Cliffe high street unable to open one eye. 170 is not close to the real number of injuries sustained at Lewes bonfire celebrations.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 6:08pm commander wrote:
all you hipercrits where blind to all the bangers being thrown in from the crowd then? I even saw them being thrown out of the front door of a house in the bottleneck! I'm not sticking up for the excessive use of bangers but they are a part of bonfire and I'm afraid that people are too quick to judge the societies when the public are ruining what they put a lot of time and effort in to just to get a bad name for. just saw a YouTube video of someone from the crowd throwing a torch at csbs tab, hitting it and falling into the crowd on the other side of the road, that's reckless! get rid of the uninvited crowd get rid of the problem.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 6:09pm Spartacus wrote:
Jack Thrush - Why would they not be included? what possible reason would they have for not including such a serious injury? Care to back that up with any form of proof? You sound like you've got you're finger on the pulse, what would you? recon the real number of injuries were?
On 7 Nov 2011 at 6:47pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I've been cynical about the injury figures ever since a senior St John's person told me that the cases they saw included someone with toothache, someone with a cut on their hand that was a few days old and had gone septic and someone with a blister on their foot. All of these, apparently, had to be counted as "injuries treated at bonfire" and included in the stats.
Almost all the rest he'd been involved with that year were sprains or grazes from trips and falls.
While the urinating in gardens is pretty vile, urinating in public places is inevitable where you have large numbers of people gathering out of doors until well after midnight and all public toilets locked up by 11 pm. The council go to the trouble of hiring portable bogs for the Phoenix Causeway car park, but they're always locked by the time the Cliffe get back from the firesite. Where the hell are people supposed to pee, ffs?
On 7 Nov 2011 at 7:26pm jack Thrust wrote:
Spartacus. Because I know they are not.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 7:34pm Yogi wrote:
Ive told you before Spartacus, I'm Spartacus!
On 7 Nov 2011 at 8:05pm Flighty wrote:
People pee through out letterbox in Station Street. We screwed it up this year. I wanted to electrify it. Much more fun.
On 7 Nov 2011 at 8:47pm Trust Jack wrote:
No you don't, because I know you are talking cr*p
On 7 Nov 2011 at 9:06pm Jack Thrush wrote:
Spartacus. They went to the doctors/hospital after the figures were produced. Is that simple enough for you? I've no idea what the real number is. How could I? It's just obvious it's considerably larger than the figure published. Many people don't go the places where the figures are counted (doctors in Brighton for instance).
On 7 Nov 2011 at 9:39pm Burnt Badge Berrol wrote:
@commander, could you post a link to the torch throwing incident?
On 7 Nov 2011 at 9:45pm Burnt Badge Berrol wrote:
No need. 1 minute 20 seconds, you just can't legislate for nobheads.

Watch the video »
On 7 Nov 2011 at 10:56pm Spartacus wrote:
Well while you've no idea what the real figure are, after all "how could you" and "Because I know they are not" is not really empirical evidence, I'll stick with the figures produced by South East Coast Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance. But as only 22 of the 170 that were treated went to casualty I doubt may more went home and then turned up at A&E with anything serious. How about we say 200 treated for injuries out of 60000.
Btw the poor kid in the eye hosp was prob treated by St. Johns or the Ambulance Service before going to hosp so would be included in the figures. Its one kid too many and I wish him a speedy recovery, I also wish you wouldn't just make stuff up.
On 8 Nov 2011 at 12:11am The Greek wrote:
I thought this year was quiet for rookies! My society were invited by Waterloo and their marshals placed many more limits on when we could let rip. Used to just be not by the War Memorial, then not in the Bottleneck too (so whoever said someone let them off there, it wasn't from a society) and then this year not from St. Anne's church and up either! Bottleneck and St. Anne's are universally accepted no-rookie zones for safety.
The Bottleneck was always the best place.... But anyway, in one of these restricted zones, we had a rookie thrown at us out of a window from a house near the Pelham Arms, I also had one thrown at me from the crowd. To which I proceeded to tell the guy to join a society if he wants to let off rookies! Society members are proud of their society and are responsible with their rookies, it's the crowd that don't give a toss!
Also, the design of the "magnum" rookies that most people purchase features a clay plug which causes the "injuries".. I was sprayed by many on the 5th and it is a light sting and maybe leave a tiny red mark and in extreme circumstances, slight blood, but not if let off responsibly! My legs have a few bruises on them, but it wouldn't be bonfire without! We had crowds baying for rookies in some of the no-rookie zones.. it's all part of it and it's here to stay.
Personally, I'd like to see the police doing their job and keeping the crowds from walking in and standing in the road: thereby blocking the procession, causing congestion and more safety implications if fireworks are discharged.
Long live bonfire!
On 8 Nov 2011 at 1:18am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Interesting interpretation of the figures there, Spartacus.
I'd have thought that if only 22 of the 170 treated went to A&E, the other 148 probably had injuries of a minor nature that were adequately treated with first aid.
Even the most hardened bonfire boy will go to hospital if an injury needs hospital treatment.
On 8 Nov 2011 at 8:57am Spartacus wrote:
ACT- That would be my interpretation too. Sorry if I didn't explain my self, my thoughts were really directed at Jack Thrust who I was just trying to encourage to come to some realistic conclusion about the real numbers treated for injuries, rather than spout off about considerably larger numbers injured without anything other than a "because I said so" argument to back it up.
On 8 Nov 2011 at 2:52pm Lord General wrote:
I was a member of one of the visiting societies last Saturday. A lot of the reactions above seem to go from one extreme to the other. Bonfire is fun and is a family/community event - long may it continue. Unfortunately there is an element who want to defy what they see as a predominant health and safety culture. One of our members was hit by a beloved rookie dropped by a group in front and may be lucky to keep their sight in one eye. There are other stories as well. Sorry but in all my years of using black powder firearms it is just irresponsible to throw these things around. Yes, OK health and safety is a pain and there are so many rules and regulations affecting re-enactors which have to be abided by. Why is it too much to ask for people th throw these things responsibly rather just shrug and say 'Ahh thats bonfire'. What utter rubbish.
On 8 Nov 2011 at 4:24pm Jack Thrush wrote:
That's two who nearly lost an eye this year then... in this obscure thread alone.
On 8 Nov 2011 at 5:41pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I think one of the problems is that so many of the modern rookies have a plug of plastic that behaves like a bullet when they go off. The old ones, that were just cardboard and powder (and fuse!) had no such ballistic qualities.
I got hit in the boob by one those plastic bits a few years ago. It hurt so much I thought I'd been shot, and the bruise took weeks to go away.

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Lewes at night 57:132
Lewes at night

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