Lindfield Bonfire Night - plans and times

This year Lindfield Bonfire Society (LBS) will be holding the Bonfire Night celebration on Lindfield common on Wednesday 5th November.

The enormously popular annual event will start with a fancy dress competition at the King Edward Hall, followed by a torchlight procession around Lindfield. On the Common the reading of the Bonfire Prayer and lighting of the bonfire will take place, followed by the grand firework display which will finish around 9pm.

On the night the village will be greatly affected by the extra traffic that 6,000 people bring, in addition to the fact that the High Street and Black Hill will be closed completely between 6.30pm and 9.30pm. LBS ask that attendees avoid driving into Lindfield unless you need to. Parking is extremely limited and there are other temporary road closures during the procession. If you need disabled parking and viewing of the common, please contact Wendy Box (01444 482809) before the night.

The fancy dress competition will be held in the King Edward Hall starting at 6.30pm, which is free to enter and open to both the public and Bonfire Society members. The classes are: Children up to 6 years, Children 7-11 years, Children 12-15 years, Adults, Groups.

The procession will form up outside the King Edward Hall from 7pm for a move off at 7.30pm. It will then go via Black Hill, Hickmans Lane, the High Street and on to the Common. Only members of the Bonfire Society will be given lit torches.

The lighting of the bonfire and the traditional bonfire prayer will be at 8.15pm, with the fireworks display starting after 8.30pm.

LBS will regularly update their web site ( and Facebook page (Lindfield Bonfire Society), so check there for the latest news.

Here’s a few simple rules from LBS to help all have a great night:

1) Do not to bring sparklers, fireworks or bangers into the village or on to the Common as it is dangerous and against the law (yes, even the sparklers!).

2) LBS operate a strict no fireworks policy outside of our display. The discharging of rockets, bangers or other fireworks is not permitted before the procession, during it or in the public viewing area.

3) Please do not bring pets.

4) Please be considerate to local residents before, during and after our event.

For more information on how the night happens every year, see our feature on page 24.

In order to regularly contribute just £10 per year to LBS please complete the Standing Order form on page 26.

Lindfield in shock after annual fireworks cancelled

By David Tingley

It was with a very heavy heart that the committee of Lindfield Bonfire Society (LBS) made the decision to cancel last month’s 5th November celebrations on the common. One member described the meeting as “most bizarre and surreal; we were all standing up to our ankles in water on the Common!” 

“The decision had to be made on the Sunday,” said Phil Lucas, Bonfire Captain of the Society. “We were expecting the weather on Monday (5th) to be wet and windy again, like the previous day. However, as it turned out there wasn’t any more rain, so people can’t understand why we made the decision.”

As a volunteer-run group LBS can’t afford to reschedule the annual event because it takes too many man-hours to stage. Many volunteers take the week prior to Bonfire Night of their own annual leave from their day jobs. LBS have managed to negotiate with the fireworks supplier for them to store the fireworks already purchased for this year’s display until next year. “At least they will be safe and the money won’t have been wasted.” Phil continued. “We had some outgoings on the night, as some expenses weren’t able to be cancelled at such short notice, but it’s the charities we collect for on the night that will really notice unfortunately.” LBS fundraise for their costs throughout the year and the cash collection buckets go to local good causes. Indeed early indications show that this year’s collection raised less than 20% of the amount raised in 2011.

By the time the spectacular bonfire procession reached the High Street in the evening, it was clear that someone had heard the cry of villagers old and young. The good-spirited crowds that were gathered up and down the road were treated to a firework display from the gardens of a private house – much to their delight and cheers! Ben Russell, who lives on the High Street, was planning on doing a small display for family/friends anyway. “When I heard the news I decided to buy some more and make them bigger!” Ben said. “The fireworks were all electronic ignition. I suppose you could call me a bit of a hobbyist,” he said when I caught up with him the following day. Ben was very pleased to hear that so many were grateful for the last-minute display. He has lived in Lindfield for five years and is not currently a member of LBS but thinks he’d like to join! 

Lindfield Bonfire Society promises an amazing fireworks display for 2013.