Littlehampton Bonfire 2015 – Guide to the day’s events

Littlehampton Bonfire Society stages its Traditional Bonfire Night on Saturday 31st October, in celebration of the 410th Anniversary of the overthrow of the attempt by Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators to blow up the King and Parliament.

Events kick off with two Dignity Charity Fair Organs playing in the town centre during the day. Following their fancy dress competitions, the society’s children take part in their own procession accompanied by the T S Implacable Nautical Training Corps Band and the Arundel and Littlehampton District Scout Band. The society’s traditional poppy wreath will later be laid at the war memorial during a short service lead by the Reverend Norman Croft.

The Grand Torchlight Procession will feature nearly fifty entries from all over the southeast. The illuminated floats will include an entry from 2014 winners Littlehampton Churches Together hoping to repeat the success of their outstanding Noah’s Ark creation last year and visitors from across The Solent, with the Ventnor Carnival Association making the trip with their elaborate float. Several first time entrants who answered the society’s appeal earlier in the year to help boost the number of illuminated float entries include the Wick Village Traders’ Association and the Bognor Regis Carnival Association. Leading the popular contingent of steam engines will be Doug Williamson’s 1925 Foden steam tractor, which won the award for best presented steam engine in 2014. Littlehampton Bonfire Society, lead by its North American Indian pioneers and supported by members depicting the Tudor era and in other costumes, will head up the torchlight section of the parade. The host society will be followed by visiting bonfire and carnival societies in their traditional costumes and bearing flaming torches. These will include the members of Phoenix who will be attempting to retain the title of best-dressed visiting society, together with the coveted Butlin Silver Challenge Trophy, which their spectacular costumes won the group in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Seven marching bands will provide the music – ranging from brass and bagpipe to jazz and samba. The Oatlands Park Pipe Band has the honour of leading the torchlight part of the procession while the Portsmouth City Band will once again lead the illuminated floats and walking groups. Helping to liven up the proceedings will be the samba rhythms of Beach Bateria and Celebration Samba and bringing up the rear will be the ever popular Expedient Jazz Band. Miss Bonfire, 13-year-old Bridie Killick will ride on her specially constructed float and making a very welcome return after many years will be members of Sompting Village Morris. The lighting of the mammoth bonfire by the society’s Commander in Chief, John Burchfield, will be followed by the grand aerial firework display. William Cole’s family funfair will be open on the Promenade from 2.00p.m.

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