The bonfire celebrations on Saturday (November 8) proved to be another dramatic event in the town’s calendar and drew a crowd of an estimated 10,000 visitors and locals, who lined the streets to watch the marching groups wend their way along the procession route.
Starting off at Tilling Green the flame-carrying marchers paraded along Cinque Ports Street, through the Landgate and down the High Street before heading to the magnificent bonfire on the Salts. The pavements were packed with people cheering and taking in the spectacle. There was a huge roar when a light shower threatened to soak the crowds and an even bigger one when the squall moved away.
Bonfire societies garbed in dramatic pirate, zombie and smuggler outfits were joined by bowler-hatted mummers, a band of ghostly drummers and a phalanx of Roman centurions.
Once the procession had finished the audience was treated to a dazzling display of fireworks that drew much admiration and lit up the sky above the blazing fire.
This year’s Rye Fawkes, the guest who lights the bonfire, was Jimper Sutton, president of the Rye and District Bonfire Society.
There was one controversial note: a formal complaint by the president of the Rye and District Royal British Legion over a display of three large poppies and a “we remember” banner on the bonfire. But after discussions at Rye Police Station the display stayed and the society issued a statement in which it apologised for any offence that it might have caused. For details, see Sacrifice goes up in smoke.
Below is a selection of photographs that capture the atmosphere and fun from Saturday’s celebrations which raised £4,500 in street collections.
Main photo: Tony McLaughlin / slideshow photos: Tony and Jane Nunn