The annual Lewes Bonfire celebrations claimed me last night. In case you don’t know about November 5th in Britain, it is a bonfire and firework commemoration of a foiled plot to blow up Parliament and the then king, James I, by using barrels of gunpowder hidden in cellars beneath the building. My home town of Lewes holds the biggest of these celebrations anywhere in the World and the whole town closes down for the night, traffic is banned and the streets become a massive parade with flaming flaming torches, topical effigies to be burnt on massive bonfires. It is an amazing event which I don’t need to seek out, it comes right to my front door…..
I am well protected though by a squad of vigilant boys in blue….
….and I get a good view just standing on my doorstep……
…I love the anarchy, the fires and the bangers which transform the streets of Lewes into scenes of controlled rebellion…….
..and the sky into a work of art…..
…..I thought it was mean burning Barrack Obama, the poor guy has had a bad enough week already….
..but I just loved the effigy of British prime minister David Cameron with his puppet, coalition partner Nick Clegg – perfect candidates for the bonfire……
…and then it finished with the bizarrely traditional mock sermon from the “archbishop”……this time, sadly, in heavy rain. The rain didn’t deter me because there were all those parties too….They were on my doorstep too.
The police estimated around 40,000 people in town last night, with 14 hospital casualties and 23 arrests for either drunkenness or use of class C drugs. All in all, it was a rowdy success story.
Oh yes, I nearly forgot to tell you, Oakleys, the respected Lewes estate agents didn’t take down that Fof sale sign as they promised…..I suppose I knew they wouldn’t. Lewes closed down yesterday.