A lifetime of being stupid with flammable and/or explosive things, an affinity with pubs and love of the Sussex countryside and its villages – if that’s not a recipe for the making of a Bonfire boy, I don’t know what is! Throw in a predilection for dressing up like a pillock, and the heady cocktail is complete – even if it does smell of kerosene and have a pig’s head on a stick instead of a little paper parasol…And so, I find myself as the Captain of Firesite for our Glorious Ensemble – a decision borne more out of ‘let’s give him a job to shut him up’ rather than any common sense or the diligent application of stringent selection criteria.
The ability to pile things up (twice, when required) and then set light to them seems to be the prime directive for the role, for which I would appear to have some sort of inate talent…
Having previously interfered with Mayfield BBB, then South Street and then Rye, I am now a member of CPBS, obviously, and Firle (and Buxted too, albeit on a temporary basis); three decades of bonfire-related tomfoolery, none of which have in any way diminished my enthusiasm for things which is probably (still) best summed up as ‘witless, childish glee’.
2023 is – of course – hugely exciting, given our new firesite, the anticipation of a fully-fledged event and the continuation of our limitless supply of pallets courtesy of the very fine folk at Challenge Packaging. If you’ve ever seen the bonfire at Rye, you’ll have some idea of what you might be able to expect at Peke’s in November (though possibly with something other than a fishing boat sat on top…)
More gratifying still is has been the adoption of our new 2023 pioneers’ costume – the retinue of Richard III. This was conceived over an earnest, studious and highly academic brainstorming session at The Six Bells in cahoots with our Captain of Torches, and remains an isolated beacon of splendour amidst all the other cretinous ideas we’ve come up with (though we’re still somewhat miffed that the utterly fantastic Wicker Man homage never got the thumbs up – shame on you all). Clearly there are very few ways in which the bonfire experience can be greatly improved, but the addition of armour, felted boar badges and sharp-bladed slashing weapons would seem to be undeniably fine enhancements to proceedings!