There’s loads to spook the kids on a Rye bonfire night: painted faces from a dark world, sonic firecrackers booming, noisy adults. Spooky or not, there was one member of the parade that towered over the kids, thrilling them with every move of its monster head: Scorcher the Green Dragon.
Scorcher is a triumph of inventive minds. It breathes fire and smoke as it trundles along, pulled through the streets by a tractor. Its upgrade this year is thanks to Brian, Tom and Don Fellows. The flame is provided by two weed-control flame guns. And the flames switch off, automatically, as the head is lowered to glower at the crowds of delighted onlookers clutching their mobile phone cameras.
Ian Foster, secretary and treasurer of Rye Bonfire Society, is well pleased with this less than tame looking metallic reptile.
“We used to use acetylene but that wasn’t popular with the fire services so we’ve switched to propane. That’s the secret of our reborn Scorcher.” It is two years since the dragon last breathed fire. For those of a nervous disposition, Scorcher and the burning boat are out entertaining because both have gas safe certificates.
See also Fawkes, flames and fireworks
Photos: Tony Nunn