Resident Bonfire Society for Eastbourne. We celebrate bonfire night all over Sussex by hosting and visiting other societies' bonfire celebrations.
These kick off at the beginning of September and carry on throughout September, October and November. We host a free community event which includes a torch-lit procession along Eastbourne seafront, a bonfire on the beach and a huge free firework display on the first Saturday in October annually.
Eastbourne Bonfire Procession and Fireworks, which attracts thousands of people, is paid for by Eastbourne Bonfire Society. The cost to the society being around £10,000 a year. Every single penny is raised by members giving their time for free, through our Crockery Smash, Tombola and Merchandise stall and Eastbourne Steampunk Festival which is organised by the societies members. At our Bonfire event, we collect for our chosen charities which you can see details on our website.
A Brief History Of Our Bonfire Societies
The 19th century Sussex Bonfire Societies trace their origins back to the 16th-century martyrs & the 17th-century “Gunpowder Plot” Hence the Bonfire Prayer “Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November ... “
Eastbourne Bonfire Society was formed in 1855 and was joined by the Old Town & Upperton District Bonfire Society in 1881. Other societies followed, namely the East Ward Bonfire Society, St Mary’s Ward Bonfire Society, Old Town Bonfire Society, and in 1892, the Butcher Boys Bonfire Society. In 1893 the former Eastbourne Bonfire Society changed its name to the Original Bonfire Boys and celebrated on Nov. 9th to coincide with the Lord Mayor’s Day. This left them to go to Lewes on 5th and for the Lewes Societies to come to Eastbourne on 9th. The West Ward BS was formed in 1894 giving a total of Seven societies. However, a few years later only two of these were still operational and the celebrations ceased to be celebrated on such a grand scale early in the 20th century.
The Old Town BS rekindled in the 1950's and changed their name to Eastbourne Bonfire Society in 1964, only to dissolve in 1966 when the treasurer ran off with their funds! We rekindled Eastbourne Bonfire Society in 2001.