Bonfire boys’ hot awards

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Bonfire chairman Francis Warren with some of those to receive £200 cheques: from the left (back row), representing: Firemen’s Benevolent Fund, Rother Responders, Rye Community Centre, Rye Scouts; (front row) The Mariners (Canterbury Oast Trust), Memorial Hall Peasmarsh and ARRCC

You’re most likely to have seen the Rye Bonfire Boys en masse on bonfire night, dressed in black, marching and dragging carts of blazing torches round our streets, threatening all sorts of mayhem if we don’t chuck money into their collecting buckets. Bonfire night is one of the biggest social events in Rye’s calendar and they do know how to put on a fiery show, what with the parade, the fire-breathing dragon, the bonfire and the firework display.

Wednesday night was a little different. It was time for the Rye & District Bonfire Society to help other local “good causes”. As well as collecting for the expense of bonfire night itself, the society gives money to local groups and December is the time for dishing it out. Recipients had been suggested back in the summer; 10 were approved and seven were – with bonfire society members – squeezed (literally) into the back room at The Queens Head, Landgate, to receive their cheques.

Chairman of the society Francis Warren donned his familiar hat to mark the official nature of the occasion and handed out the cheques, each for £200. No time was wasted on unnecessary speeches or lengthy expressions of gratitude. Cheques were collected, the recipients posed for a group photo – and then there was the film of last month’s bonfire night, sandwiches and chips to enjoy . . .

They enjoyed themselves: see the slideshow below

Photos: Tony Nunn