Apologies photo’s aren’t as good as the two Darren’s but I tried x fabulous to see everyone, well done to the Association for organising and Father John for bringing Star Wars and Bonfire together x ...
Tis the day for the Bonfire Carol Service at Holy Cross Church (3pm should you wish to join us) Watch out for a merry bunch from many bonfire societies come up the high street braving this blasted weather... would be nice if it was snow so we could look fabulous and not rain... the Capt is deciding if he’s bringing the Pearl! He has checked the weather forecast for us and thinks we have a window of no rain between 2 and 3pm! 😱 ...
Rick and I have just been to the Festival of Christmas Trees at Holy Cross Church, Uckfield. Our wonderful Lynda has been busy making more of us to hang on the Christmas Tree along with wonderful cover to go around the base of the tree and Martlets! Lynda, you are amazing x x x x x x If you have time I fully recommend a visit, it’s truly stunning with 99 trees all decorated by different groups and businesses! Open Sunday 3rd December 11.30am-4pm with the festival of trees closing service at 4.30pm. ...
A massive thank you goes to the Coopers Farm team for laying on the BBQ at late night shopping for us to aid fund raising last night. To all UBCS members that were helping with the BBQ (Anna, Linda, Simon, Michael, Chris, Shay) love you guys. To Lynne, Paul, Chloe, Sue, Will, Chris that were spread out across town with one of your many “other” hats on well done my lovelies you were awesome. So Uckfield and our surrounding community’s, presentation of the moneys you helped us to raise is given out in February and we have already started planning for next year. Here’s to you all, to Sussex our county, to Bonfire a tradition we need to keep going... “We Wunt be Druv! ...
Sussex Association of Bonfire & Carnival Societies Annual Carol Service
December 10, 2017, 2:30pm
Procession leaves Harcourt Road at 2.30pm.
Carol Service in Church 3pm.
At 4.15 procession leaves Church to High Street in to Civic Approach.
Bonfire Societies from around Sussex will be attending. Heathfield Silver Band and Uckfield Performance Ensemble will be playing.
The History of Bonfire Societies
Every November all across Great Britain people mark Guy Fawkes Night with elaborate firework displays and grand bonfires. Sussex however, does things a little differently!
During September to November, towns and villages across Sussex light up the night sky with parades and processions of burning torches. The Sussex Bonfire Societies have firmly established themselves across the region, with this annual tradition now spanning over a century and remaining one of the biggest highlights of the year for both the locals and, more increasingly, visitors drawn in from outside the County.
For the Sussex Bonfire Societies, these commemorations are not just about Guy Fawkes, in fact they stem back much earlier than that night at Parliament. Go back to Tudor England and Henry VIII, most notable
for his 6 wives! After Catherine of Aragon, his first wife, failed to produce him a son, Henry wished to divorce her and marry his next chosen wife - Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting, Anne Boleyn. However, Henry was a Roman Catholic and governed by the Pope in Rome. Divorce was not even a consideration amongst the Catholic faith, so Henry was placed in a difficult situation. Determined as he was to marry Anne, Henry broke away from the church and the rulings of the Pope - he married Anne in secret and was then excommunicated by the Pope. The reformation had begun - a series of acts of Parliament brought this to fruition and in 1534 Henry was announced as 'Supreme Head on Earth of the Church of England'.
When Henry's daughter with Catherine of Aragon, Mary, became Queen in 1553 she renounced this title as she was a devout Catholic. She restored relations between the Church and Rome, but this was met with anger and opposition from Protestants. Mary's answer was to punish those who questioned Catholicism and anyone caught was charged with heresy - with large numbers burnt at the stake or dying in prison.
A large number of Protestant Martyrs were killed in Sussex, and Rotherfield did not escape the persecution of Mary. Alexander Hosman, a prominent figure in the area, followed the Protestant faith. Despite his knowledge of the deaths of Martyrs in nearby Mayfield and Lewes, he held strong to his beliefs. However he was labelled a heretic and was sentenced to death. At the same time, Anne Ashdown (Aston) was also arrested and burnt at the stake alongside Alexander, with John Ashdown also killed under the charge of heresy in the same period.
Memorials to the Protestant Martyrs stand in sites across Sussex as a reminder to all those locally who lost their lives for their beliefs. The burning crosses in the yearly torchlight processions will be that eternal reminder to us of those who fought for their beliefs and tragically lost their lives.
You may also notice a number of those in the processions with their faces blackened out - there is a reason for this too! When the Bonfire Processions started out they were a time of revelry, with pubs being frequented along the route and those taking part daring to knock on houses asking for alcohol and food. In order to avoid being recognised, the participants would have their faces painted and would dress up so that they could carry on their shenanigans in disguise.
We will not forget however that each year we also commemorate Guy Fawkes in our own special way with the stunning fireworks display that brings our carnival to its finale, always making it a night to remember - until the next time!
This is a tradition that we want to continue and your support is invaluable. Let's not let the Bonfire Society burn out - keep the carnival alive and keep this a yearly event that just keeps on getting better!