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Which bonfire society to choose

On 12 Oct 2016 at 10:27pm New to lewes wrote:
Hi , am very new to lewes and have a young family , have heard lots about the celebrations on 5th Nov , and want some friendly advice
Have been told the best ones are borough and Cliffe but the people are possibly biast !!!
Any helpful advice would be appreciated
Thank you in advance
On 12 Oct 2016 at 10:29pm BonfireBoy wrote:
It's not for kids.
Societies choose you these days, not the other way round.
On 12 Oct 2016 at 10:35pm New to lewes wrote:
Bonfire boy , ok thankyou I had heard it's safe for children, but as am new and don't know I will take advice
On 13 Oct 2016 at 6:48am Family friendly wrote:
When my kids were younger we went to Borough - great display and plenty of space. Last time I looked there were lots of kids involved in Bonfire, including those in the parades....I've been away for a while so maybe things have changed.
On 13 Oct 2016 at 6:57am Up em wrote:
New to lewes don't listen to bonfire boy he hadn't got a clue. I've been in bonfire for nearly 40 years starting when I was a month old. And have been actively involved my whole life. As have my kids. Nieces and newphews. Godchildren. Friends kids. Bonfire is for all ages. If your looking then maybe ssbs or wbs as these are family societies. ??
On 13 Oct 2016 at 7:22am New to lewes wrote:
Thank you I have been looking on websites etc thank you for your advice everyone really helpful , still not decided lol lots of choices
On 13 Oct 2016 at 7:34am Cuban Raft Rider wrote:
I am an outsider and not in a society
I agree, the 5th is not for little kids especialliy when it falls on a Fri//Sat
Every other village has a society with fayres, BBQs & events through the year that are aimed at families.
I also agree, a society choses you. Go hangout with your friends at their society and see if you want to be part of it
On 13 Oct 2016 at 8:17am inthegutter wrote:
I somewhat disagree that "the 5th is not for kids" and that all bonfire societies "choose you".
The societies are all different with some certainly been more family / newcomer friendly than others. Some societies (certainly South Street) do include children in the events. Indeed, South Street has an early children's procession including a piece that the children have largely made themselves. You will also see members marching with their children (even small babies in slings) through many of the processions.
HOWEVER, if the weather is inclement or it is very busy (as it will likely be this year as the 5th falls on a Saturday) is will quickly become inappropriate for children marching with the later processions given how busy it gets and how drunk the crowd gets. While the Marshals are very good it only takes one idiot.
Bonfire isn't just about the 5th though, there is an almost year long build up of events and preparation. One thing I'm sure all societies hate are people who pay up and only march on the night (i.e. not helping with torching making, bonfire building etc.).
Unless you feel you can make a rapid commitment over the next few weeks (with torch making etc.) I would suggest holding off on joining this year. I would however suggest coming to watch South Street's children's procession (buy a programme for the details) and other processions. South Street itself should be "relatively" quiet compared to other bits of town. If you're still interested in joining then come along to one of the coffee mornings or other events (e.g. christmas fair, sports day) and just introduce yourself to a few people. There is also now a public South Street FaceBook page where I'm sure any members would be willing to answer questions.
Unlike many society members I'm firmly of the opinion that bonfire is for everyone who has made Lewes (or nearby surroundings) their home and not just those who are born and bred here*. The most important thing though is to contribute.
* Of course I would say that as an immigrant from Yorkshire.
On 13 Oct 2016 at 9:44am The Greek wrote:
Ignore all the trolls Newtolewes, posting about bonfire on here invites them!
Are you talking about watching or joining? As inthegutter says Bonfire is a year-round thing involving lots of fundraising and preparation, I strongly recommend you join a society to find out what is involved! Some societies, like Cliffe, are closed to membership. Others will accept membership at their badge nights on the 4th, Borough being one that does.
In terms of displays, Waterloo is the only one not ticketed now. Cliffe and Southover I believe you need tickets in advance. I've been to Cliffe's, Waterloo's, Borough's and Commercial's fires over the years and I must say Cliffe always put on a damn good show. Borough unfortunately was scuppered by high winds at their site last year.
On 13 Oct 2016 at 10:50am Omg wrote:
The Greek. Waterloo is ticket only and has been for 3 years. Csbs is only free one left in the town.
On 13 Oct 2016 at 11:14am Mrs p wrote:
Well put in the gutter, welcome to lewes new to lewes :-)
On 13 Oct 2016 at 12:02pm The p wrote:
Pope, that is - Burn him.
On 13 Oct 2016 at 12:23pm Meic wrote:
If you have a young family the best thing is to join Neville Juvenile,who process about a fortnight before the 5th - this year on 22 Oct. They were formed spcifically to be child friendly. The other societies begin the evening with a procession intended to include kids, but later processions are really not suitable for the very young.
On 13 Oct 2016 at 1:17pm COMMERCIAL SQUARE wrote:
COMMERCIAL Square is the only free fire site, having been a member for 15 years since the age of 8 I can say with confidence that we have always been the biggest and best. Bonfire is completely safe for children and a fantastic unforgettable experience, unless you're letting them run around unsupervised to pick up burning torches, don't be put off by health and safety nazis who have been trying to temper the towns celebrations for years. Just get the kids a warm coat, pair of ear plugs and they'll absolutely love it. Commercial Square fireworks especially are second to none, and being the biggest society our marches through town are not to be missed.
On 13 Oct 2016 at 1:37pm Bellfour Skinner wrote:
There's an old Sussex saying
" Never trust a man who holdeth a square torch"
On 13 Oct 2016 at 1:59pm The Greek wrote:
Oops omg not been down that way for a few years!!
On 13 Oct 2016 at 3:41pm Mutton wrote:
Don't make any decisions this year. Wait until you've seen Bonfire and met people who are already in Bonfire. Support the events that the societies put on throughout the year. But be aware that this is a way of life. Not something that you dip into. Neither will Bonfire change to suit you. So unless you can commit yourselves to accepting the ways of Bonfire and helping whichever Society you join, stay as a spectator.
On 13 Oct 2016 at 6:39pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I agree with Meic - try Nevill, so the kids can learn how to do bonfire safely. A lot of adult Nevill members are also members of one of the other societies, so you'll get to know them and get a bit more of a feel for which one of the main societies might suit you best.
Nevill have their night Saturday week, I think, so you could come to their display and see what you think. You never know, the kids might hate it!
On 13 Oct 2016 at 9:35pm New to lewes wrote:
Thank you everyone for your comments ,obviously lots of difference in opinions on here , I think I shall leave it for this year and go from there ... those of you that process on the 5th I wish you all an enjoyable and safe evening and hopefully I can join some of you next year !
Thanks again
On 14 Oct 2016 at 2:46pm Rocket Science wrote:
@Commercial Square - during your 15 years experience in bonfire have you ever been to any other societies fireside, or marched in their processions? If
not, then how do you know which society is the best? You don't do you! All off the Societies are different and celebrate in their own different ways, but it is the very fact that we have so many societies all doing their own thing all over the town that makes Lewes so special. If there was only Commercial Square, or only Cliffe, or any one of the others, then Lewes would be a shadow of what it is now., and no different to to any other'one society' town. I would have thought that a bonfire boy of your immense experience would understand that.
On 14 Oct 2016 at 5:28pm oldtolewes wrote:
I felt inclined to go with my local, ie I live in malling and so waterloo was naturally what I felt most connection to, but it's totally up to you. You may have friends that are in other societies and want to join them. If you've moved here from london, I'd avoid telling people that in your application to avoid being branded a DFL! Good old lewes
On 14 Oct 2016 at 7:57pm Colonel mustard wrote:
Just to put minds at rest new to lewes, Ignore the dfl nonsense on this forum , lived here for many years and never come up in real life!!!!
On 1 Oct 2018 at 10:40am CSBS Kid wrote:
CSBS (Commercial Square Bonfire Society) is very child friendly. I should know (I am a kid!). Every year, I go to Neville Bonfire, which is the most child friendly bonfire. It doesn't end too late and instead of burning a political figure on the fire, the burn a kids character.

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