Lewes Forum thread

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The future -Credibility or carnival?

On 7 Nov 2012 at 8:46pm northern bigot wrote:
Up until the 1960s the make up of the bonfire societies was overwhelmingly Lewes born, patriotic working class. The best known bonfire boy being Councillor Banana Bill Penfold, old school , he burned guy fawkes and the Pope, nobody called him Paul V then. People were not against individual Roman Catholics, but against the historical power and authority of the Vatican. The societies then were often known by the pub name , Cliffe were the Dorset mob, South Street the Thatched House mob etc. Importantly the powers that be were wary of the bonfire societies then. Also virtually the whole council were bonfire Society members. Fast forward to today. Would you say the authorities were wary? Or do they think they have a significant degree of control? Also todays membership has many non lewes born middle class lefties. Naturally they want nothing to do with some of the old traditions. They get more excited by "Guess the wait of our pumpkin?" And offering Vice President posts up for £25! Even some bonfire programmes now feel the need to politically correct deny what within living memory their own society upheld. South Streets programme says "Dont worry our Archbishop is not sectarian" "The old anti Catholic connotations of Lewes bonfire are long gone" Thats some sweeping statement. Obviously they dont attend the type of firesite where the destruction of the papal effigy brings whoops of delight, and the cries of burn the Pope. Cliffe , Commercial and Southover have kept their credibility, by keeping the full prayers , effigies traditions etc. And have given as few concessions as possible, the rest are carnival societies!
On 7 Nov 2012 at 8:54pm SouthernBigot wrote:
I tell you what, it's political correctness gone mad.
I tell, you in my day you could hang a black man on the nearest tree, make sure no catholics got any decent jobs, stick some s**t through the letterbox of an Asian or Chinese family, sweep the sexual proclivities of a local dignitary under the carpet, and beat up a few gays.
On 7 Nov 2012 at 10:14pm SomeoneElse wrote:
To be honest NB, that description of Lewes sounds horrendous, like a nazi dictatorship run by freemasons. I can only be glad that those days are over.
On 7 Nov 2012 at 11:01pm Northern Bigot wrote:
Southern Bigot, what a silly reaction, just for pointing out the obvious, that Lewes was once a strongly Protestant town. It was you who chose to bring in other communities. Youve overdosed on the guardian again!
Padster, i wondered where you were? I dont hate you, were you in tears like Rod Stewert? Someoneelse "a nazi dictatorship run by freemasons" The nazis pesecuted Freemasons? Who voted in that Tory pro bonfire traditional council in the 1960s? The people of Lewes!
On 7 Nov 2012 at 11:08pm SouthernBigot wrote:
Lewes was a town of many different religious factions. Many town dwellers were noncomformist Chapel goers who were opposed to the traditions of bonfire (and voted Liberal). Try reading 'Burn Holy Fire' which is available in the Castle bookshop.
Protestantism at its heart is about allowing people to choose their own route to heaven, their own route to salvation, their own relationship with god. Ultimately it is about intellectual freedom. Catholicism was about conforming to what was set down by the church and the priesthood (this is a simplification, I know).
So, Northern Bigot, do you want people to follow your defined line of what bonfire should be about, and how it should be celebrated - effectively a Catholic view - or should people take a more free-thinking, Protestant stance and be allowed to celebrate bonfire in their own way, and decide what it means to them individually without any interference from others?
On 8 Nov 2012 at 4:12am padster wrote:
Tears of joy ......tears of joy .
On 8 Nov 2012 at 7:46am Sceptic wrote:
Being an Atheist, you religious lot make me laugh with your bickering. Where is love your neighbour or turn the other cheek. It's about time you realised that there is no God looking down on you so come on Cliffe keep burning the Pope it's great entertainment.
On 8 Nov 2012 at 8:18am Zebedee wrote:
Indeed. No god looking after any of us either either... that is plain to see. It's up to us to sort this life out... leaving it up to a god is sheer cop out.
On 8 Nov 2012 at 10:48am Nixon Scraypes wrote:
Atheist-believer,catholic-protestant,left wing-right wing,divide and conquer,job done
On 8 Nov 2012 at 1:21pm brixtonbelle wrote:
By the way, the new Archbishop of Canterbury is an old Etonian. What we need to worry about is the establishment of this country increasingly coming from one class of people - the public school classes. And frankly they don't care what you are - black, gay, freemason, catholic, as long as you have loads of money and become 'one of us'....
Would we accept this non diversity in any other arena of life ? No.
On 8 Nov 2012 at 3:53pm Northern Bigot wrote:
SB, I have read Jeremy Gorings book,it is very much a nonconformist religious view. I did not wish to upset anybody, I just wanted to say that up until the 1960s, the majority of the Town, its bonfire societies and local councillors did hold a traditional Protestant outlook. Thats all i was pointing out, as the newspaper articles, Council results and bonfire programmes of that time show. Lewes has changed, but if you decide as some societies do, to forget the Protestant traditions of Lewes bonfire, how long before it becomes as meaningless as bonfire in Leeds or Lewisham?
On 8 Nov 2012 at 11:17pm SouthernBigot wrote:
NB, I love bonfire, I love the anarchy, the tradtions - although I tend to relate it back to the fact that Sussex was the last place in England to cling on to anglo-saxon paganism, and was always a place for outlaws and free-thinkers, but each to their own.
I am sure you are right about Lewes being the way you describe it in the 1950s/1960s. However I would quibble with your "up to the 1960s". If you read local history a lot, as I do, you realise that Lewes has been through several incarnations. In much of history it was an island of non-conformism in a sea of anglicanism, or an island of liberal voters in sea of tories. The early twentieth century was probably a bit of an exception in terms of overall Lewes history, yet you seem to treat it as if it was a historical norm that has only been disturbed by "middle-class lefties" of late. When of course there have been many such types in Lewes over the years, Tom Paine not least.
On 9 Nov 2012 at 11:23am Northern Bigot wrote:
Lewes is fortunate to have people like Jim Etherington, Andy Thomas and Bill Young etc, whose publications have documented well both bonfire and the towns History. Arthur Becketts, "The Spirit of the Downs" being my all time favourite!

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Just noticed. TP started "Quote of the Moment", although it's hard to understand what it's for. more
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
Thomas Paine