Everything we all need to know, where to be what to do and who to ask
Our event, the biggest single Bonfire in Sussex, goes “live” on Thursday night 12th October. Please see the schedule, below, showing the type of work, place and times at which we are all needed. Please also note the captain to report to for the plan/ instructions.
· 2 weeks beforehand advance warning road signs
· 2 weeks beforehand, Car leafletting and car parking meters - see Jeanette
· 1 week before hand “this Saturday” signs go up round car park area
· From Thursday “this Saturday” signs go up around the fire-site
· Barriers and road signs out- logistics/security
· Get the WHAT3WORDS app on your phone. From 2023 we will formally use this app. for identification of key areas.
· For fire-site access, entrances and exits, no go area (pyro-side) and disability area see map below.
People from other societies or performance groups might well ask you where they need to go in order to line up, get a beer, loos etc. People start gathering at the White Rock Hotel any time after 5pm and enjoy the atmosphere as it builds up.
Obviously Hastings, as in HBBS, is at the front of the procession and at the front of that are some particular named people- banners, maces and enemies of bonfire carriers.
Hessian torches are carried upright away from the body. Keep an arm’s length PLUS your torch length behind the person in front. Be watchful of your lines beside you and in front so our formation stays sharp and impressive. People in stripy jumpers (stripes) process behind the banner.
The first couple of rows behind the banner must be able to support the banner carriers. These rows carry spare torches for the banners.
Tap your torch on the ground if it is burning low to loosen the hessian and reinvigorate it.
· We start at the White Rock, the Hastings banner is lit first by the torch from the Hastings runners back from the beacon. After this other torches may be lit as you move into Robertson Street. The procession moves into Robertson Street for the America Ground observance, where there is a pause, before making its way onto the seafront, into the Old Town and back to the fire-site.
· The 2022 route change is now a fixed feature to allow the procession to see itself at the bottom of High Street while the front turns to the fire-site
· We walk in strict rows of 3 people across the width of the road with the person on each side walking close to the kerb / crowd for full effect.
· Keep hold of your torch. Members of public may not have your torch. Hastings torches are built to last.
· Expect 4 Cracker-points.
· Walk around the Bonfire when we arrive at the fire-site and wait for the chant before throwing your torch on the bonfire. This may take a little while as we wait for the back of the procession to reach the fire-site.
· Keef, Heather and Albert are at the front pacing the speed for the banner carriers. If you’re unsure during the procession, find Jeanette. Strictly stripes at the front with the banners and enemy heads. All other costumes at the back (e.g. excise men/Halton Boyes/naval/ black top hats /sundry). Remember NO nylon, blue jeans.
· The procession has 4 stops: for the reading of the Declaration of Independence in the America ground; to re-torch the banners at the Stade; to acknowledge the life-saving work of the Cyril and Lilian Bishop (gather in a wide arc around the lifeboat NO torches near the lifeboat); Swan Garden (raising hats for those who lost their lives in the wars).
· Remember to wear your 2023 procession badge
Stay on the bonfire-side of the fire-site. No one may enter the pyro side (pyrotechnic i.e. firework) except the named (and trained) pyrotechnic crew. This includes after the display as there will be fireworks that have not gone off in both the main display and/or the effigy. No rookies.
Reg is on the beach announcing, you will walk past him as you enter. Senior members of the society, wearing arm-bands and possibly a customs & excise costume are on hand at all points if you need help/advice/instructions.
At the end of the fireworks, allow visiting Societies to exit first for a quick exit and to maintain a clear presence so that we are able to prevent members of the public entering the fire-site.
In the unlikely case of an emergency evacuation of members of the public onto bonfire-side, all members of the society move to the pyro barrier to prevent access onto pyro-side.
The schedule below helps indicate what jobs are required on the Sunday morning before we gather at the White Rock Hotel from 1pm-ish.
Overview for crew requirements.
Some captains have the crew they need already (e.g. pyro, fire-carts) other captains have sole responsibility and some captains oversee a more general crew for which many hands make light work. Procession safety and the fire-site are our joint responsibility. The schedule below gives an indication only, not a definitive or by any means exhaustive list of the job roles that need to be covered over the weekend which is only a few weeks away and counting.