Death or Glory. Tradition by #HAB360
The history of bonfire celebrations on 5 November throughout the United Kingdom have their origins with the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, where a group of English Catholics, including the now infamous Guy Fawkes, were foiled in their plot to blow up the House of Lords.
To mark the demise of the 17 Lewes Martyrs, 17 burning crosses are carried through the town, and a wreath-laying ceremony occurs at the War Memorial in the centre of town. Ladies’ and men’s races take place, pulling flaming tar barrels in a "barrel run", which takes place along Cliffe High Street at the start of the evening. A flaming tar barrel is then thrown into the River Ouse; this is said to symbolise the throwing of the magistrates into the river after they read the Riot Act to the bonfire boys in 1847. The festivities culminate in five separate bonfire displays.
Lewes Borough is the joint oldest society with Cliffe, formed in 1853. Until 1859 they were known as the ‘Lewes Bonfire Society’ and have been marching the streets of the town for over 150 years. Borough is the ‘home’ of the Zulu which is their First Pioneer Group and the Tudor which is the Society’s Second Pioneer Group. Their jumpers are blue and white. In 1863 the famous Monster Iron Key of the Ancient Borough of Lewes weighing nearly a quarter hundredweight,(over 12 kilos) was carried in the procession for the first time. The same key is still carried today in the Borough’s processions and is a symbol that on 5th November the ‘Borough Boys’ are given the freedom of the streets of Lewes. Representing the western half of Lewes and located on Western Road, their headquarters is St. Mary's Social Club, which unlike the others, is not a pub. The local church is St. Anne's.
Lewes Borough Bonfire Society est 1853
Original video upload vimeo.com/hab360/tradition
Text from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewes_Bonfire
A special thank you to Lewes Borough Bonfire Society lewesbonfire.com/
Music "In the House, In a Heartbeat" by John Murphy
Filmed in Lewes, Sussex Saturday 5th November 2016.