Rottingdean Smugglers. Is the final event of the Sussex Bonfire Societies.
The town of Rottingdean has had a long history directly connected with both the Bonfire Societies, established in the mid-1500’s and smuggling harking back hundreds of years.
This year, the members of the Rottingdean Smugglers Bonfire Society are calling on people who live in the local area to join their ‘club’ so that they can take part in the torch-lit procession of pirates and smugglers. Membership of this fabulous Bonfire Society is only £4.00 and you will then become part of this gathering of self-confessed pyromaniacs.
Looking back in history between the mid 17th and 19th centuries, smugglers ran contraband ashore from local landing sites. The ‘booty’ included tea, coffee, gin, spices and brandy along with other non-consumables like lace and materials. The goodies were taken ashore and hidden in caves which had been dug into the cliffs. Even the local vicar, Dr Thomas Hooker, was said to have got in on the act when he used to stand lookout for the smugglers. Now whether this is all hearsay or not will of course never be proven but it makes for an interesting tale nonetheless.
This year’s event is to take place on Saturday 7th December 2013 and the schedule of events is as follows:
• 5:30 – Anniversary service outside the Black Horse
• 6:00 – Drumming around the village with support from other bonfire societies including section 5 from Hastings, Skuldrummery from Lewes and Maracatu Cruzeiro do Sul from Brighton
• 7:00 – Buccaneer March – 300 torches, smugglers parade, bands, smoke barrel and fire carts
• 7:30 – Cenotaph memorial service with a drum salute and fireworks
• 8:00 – The French Raiders parade back to the coast followed by ground fireworks on the Beach
• 8:30 – Ground Fireworks display
So, if you live in the area and have a love of all things pyro, get along and show your support making new friends along the way.