WHAT: BONFIRE SOCIETIES FIREWORK CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019
WHY: FIREWORK COMPETITION
WHERE: WISTON PARK, STEYNING, WEST SUSSEX (GROUNDS OF WISTON HOUSE)
WHEN: SATURDAY 10TH AUGUST 2019
COST: SEE WEBSITE
Over the last few years, here in the UK, we have been fortunate enough to be a party to some of the most beautiful fireworks in the World and last year, one of the longest established groups created a new event – The Bonfire Societies Firework Championships. During this event, 3 Bonfire Societies compete to be crowned champion.
Last year, the Battle Bonfire Boyes Bonfire Society lifted the trophy after battling it out against Neville Juvenile Bonfire Society and Lewes Borough Bonfire Society.
As well as watching the performances you can also take part and do your bit by entering the
Audience vote and texting your preferred winner of the three. The 3 teams are judged not only by the audience but a panel of professional judges. They are marked on:
- use of material (10%)
- the rhythm of the display (10%)
- use of colour and effects (10%)
- overall artistic impression (10%)
- compliance with the rules (10%)
Tickets for the show will be available to buy on the night but to avoid disappointment you are better booking them in advance. The doors open at 4pm with the fireworks beginning at sundown (around 9pm) all the shows will be completed by 10:30 and then the judging and winner announced shortly after.
Cliffe Bonfire Society
Hastings Borough Bonfire Society
Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society
**The firing order of the teams is drawn nearer to the time and announced on the day of the event.**
The crowds will be entertained by a fourth show of the evening as the professional firing team from Phoenix fireworks take to the stage and put on a display whilst the judging commences. There is another pyro delight with a Maltese wheel demonstration, and along with this plenty of family entertainment, a funfair and food and drink stalls on site. Why not make it a full family evening out, bring along a picnic blanket or chairs grab a spot early and watch the sunset and join in the fun before the show begins relighting the skies above the beautiful grounds of Wiston Park.
Last year’s winners were Battel Bonfire Society with 71.05% of the vote. Check out their video to see what this year competitors are up against.
Some of the Bonfire Societies, and currently there are around 30 which are still fully active, have been operational since before the Gunpowder Plot. The winners of last year’s event; The Battle Bonfire Boyes is said to be one of the longest established of those remaining which has documentation about the Battle Boyes organisation dating back to 1646.
The Bonfire Societies were initially established in defiance of the actions of Mary Tudor who had systematically tried to eradicate the Protestant faith which had been established by her father Henry VIII. He established the Church of England in defiance of the Catholic Church as they would not grant him a divorce from Anne Boleyn. He then demanded that everyone change to his way of thinking and turn their backs on Rome. Unfortunately, it was an especially difficult time as the support of the church changed from protestant to catholic depending on which royal was on the throne.
Get along and show your support and keep the history alive. The funds from these shows all go to the upkeep of the societies and local charity.