2022 Badge Nights at The Swan

Southover Bonfire Society Badge Nights are back this year and are all taking place at The Swan on Sunday October 16 2022 and Sunday October 30 2022 from 7pm – 9pm; and Friday November 4 2022 from 6pm – 8pm. There will be merchandise and pre loved costume on sale as well as plenty of Bonfire banter. On October 16 and November 4 we will also have our Society photographers on hand to ‘pap’ our SBS members so do turn up in your finery.

Please make sure you have renewed your membership online in advance of Badge Nights. If you are coming to Badge Nights, please remember to bring your red plastic SBS Membership Card(s) with you as we need to update them all with a 2022 sticker. 

If you are not sure where they are, please look for them now. If you’ve lost them, replacement cards can be ordered before midday Friday October 7, for £3 each for collection at remaining Badge Nights.

Please email membership@southoverbs.com with “Replacement Card Order” in the subject field; a Mojo payment request will then be sent for completion. New member cards and previously ordered replacement cards can be collected at any Badge Night.         

You need both your 2022 Membership Card and Badge with you in order to process on November 5. Marshals are checking and you will be asked to leave the procession. You will also be denied access to the firesite and fireworks if you don’t have these with you.

For any membership issues, please contact membership@southoverbs.com

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Torchmaking on Sundays

Wilson, our doggedly determined prize torch-maker and author of the Ruff Guide to Bonfire is primed and ready for our first Sunday torchmaking session for SBS members on Sunday (Sept 4) and every Sunday until we’re done making 3,500 of them we need for Bonfire Night. Torchmaking (with training) is taking place at our HQ The Swan Inn, 9.30am til 11.30am.

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Southover Open Gardens is back

Southover Open Gardens is back and blooming again for 2022 with a trail of secret gardens to explore in Lewes on Sunday June 12 from 2pm – 5pm.

Entry is by ticket only at £5 per person, kids go free. The event is hosted by us, Southover Bonfire Society, and is raising funds to buy some of the fireworks Lewes is famous for. There are a wide range of gardens to see, including several new ones: from large traditional English spaces to those that are smaller, or with a more contemporary feel.

STOP PRESS: As of Friday June 10 we have sold out of our online tickets but you can buy paper tickets from the following Lewes outlets – please note opening times for Sunday:

Tickets can be purchased from The Swan Pub, 30 Southover High Street, Lewes, BN7 1HU; Lewes Tourist Information, 187 High Street, Lewes, BN7 2DE (open all week but only 10am-2pm on Sundays); St Pancras Stores, Barber Court, St Pancras Road, Lewes, BN7 1JQ (open all week but only from 7.30am until 1.30pm on Sundays).

You can also buy them from our stall setting up at the bottom of Keere Street, Lewes, from 1.45pm on the actual day (June 12). Tickets have the map printed on them too.

Please make sure you have your tickets printed out and with you or, if you bought them online, available on your phone so you can show them at each garden on entry.

If you are on Facebook, please follow us at https://www.facebook.com/opengardensofsouthover/

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May Fayre magic returns!

Medieval magic is back in all its glory at our fantastic Feast of St Pancras May Fayre which returns to Lewes Priory Park on Saturday and Sunday May 14 & 15 2022.

It’s Southover Bonfire Society’s 11th year of fun for all the family and this year we have some fabulous new attractions joining our favourites including bonkers games to test your skills such as smashing crockery, rolling swedes, splatting rats and very moist wet stocks to pop your nearest and dearest in.

Plus there’s crafts people, a treasure island, fab tombola, a brilliant plant and garden stall, and plenty of opportunities to win some great prizes. We’ve also got an ale and hearty bar, wood fired pizzas and stalls with other delicious and hard-to-resist culinary delights.

What’s more it’s also going to be a biggie this year with hundreds of re-enactors  recreating the Battle of Lewes on the streets of our town so there’s plenty of action of the armour-suited variety taking place over the two days. Can you hear the chainmail and swords clanking people?

Feel free to dress up in medieval garb for this brilliant family event.

Entry is absolutely free and the fun takes place from 12noon to 5pm both days. Entry via Cockshut Road, Southover, Lewes, BN7 1HP. Close to Lewes railway station too.

Follow us on social media: 

https://www.facebook.com/LewesMayFayre

https://www.instagram.com/southoverbonfiresociety/ https://twitter.com/SouthoverLewes

Website: http://www.southoverbs.com/

If you’d like to find out more about the Battle of Lewes, check out http://www.battleoflewes.com/

Watch out for more info and gird yer medieval loins people!! Advance!!

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Picture perfect

It was a smokin’ hot event and there are some absolutely brilliant photos you can buy to remind yourself of our brilliant Big Night.

Our online photo gallery is chocka with stunning images of Bonfire from our crew of photographers.

Use this link: Photos – Southover Bonfire Society (southoverbs.com) and click on the words ‘photo site’ and you can see images snapped at this year’s Southover Bonfire Society Badge Night and the SBS November 5 celebrations as well as those from previous years.

Definitely worth buying as a percentage of the purchase price goes to Society funds (helps raise funds for next year) and the gallery is growing every time. A big shout out goes to all our photographic wizards (you can see who took each shot by their initials on each photo or copyright across the image).

Big thanks go to:EH – Emma Howard HW – Hugh Wilton IC – Ian CummingJM – James McCauleyNP – Nigel PowellWP – Wilf PowerWR – Willie Robb

Please do note that photos taken of SBS members and/or with their family at SBS events, may be stored on our gallery and used in our membership communications, and on our social media channels, including Twitter, Instagram and our website.

If you do not wish your photo(s) to be used in this manner, please contact me at communications@southoverbs.com with further details and a copy of the image (s) concerned.

Photo copyright Emma Howard
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Thank you and good night

Thanks to everyone who bought a firesite ticket; coughed up for our action-packed programme; and said a Bonfire prayer with us at the very end of the night.

Thanks to our members who make our Society so fantastic to be a part of.

Thanks to our countless volunteers who put it all together – and it does actually take 364 days to do it (and we always need more Society members to lend a hand).

We are now knackered. And that’s official.

Advance to 2022!

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Amen to this

Canines and cassocks do mix. Clergy from all the Lewes Bonfire Societies gathered to sip port and pontif-icate about the Fifth at the Priory Ruins before processing to The King’s Head for the Bishops’ Breakfast – hosted this year by our Archbishop, the lovely Matt.

Our Cluniac Monks took our Bell Cart out for the first time since 2019; and much avocado on toast was consumed; alongside this masterpiece of a cake, made specially for the occasion by our very own Ian Cumming and possibly without many people realising he is a Great British Bake-Off finalist, no less!!

Photos also by Ian.

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Final Badge Night 2021

Our final (and often very busy) Badge Night is on Thursday (Nov 4), 7pm-9pm, at our HQ The King’s Head. Even if you are all sorted, it’s a great event and the spirit of Bonfire (not to mention, a number of spirits of the alcoholic variety) abound.

We’ve restocked our merchandise and clothing stalls so all those last-minute purchases can be made (cash only) and this is your last chance to renew your membership online in advance by following this link. If you haven’t done so already, please bring your red plastic SBS Membership Card(s) with you to our final Badge Night as we need to update them all with a 2021 sticker.

All Southover Bonfire Society members need both your 2021 updated Membership Card and 2021 Badge with you in order to process on Friday (Nov 5). Marshals are checking and you will be asked to leave the procession if you don’t have both of these with you. You will also be denied access to the fire site and fireworks. Any queries, please contact membership@southoverbs.com

Having a cracking night out. Photo courtesy of Ian Cumming 2019
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Our A-Z of Bonfire

A is for Advance!! Southover’s clarion call.

B is for Bonfire! What else would it stand for? Oh, and Buccaneers, our 2nd Pioneers.

C is for cake (wot fireworks come from, innit).

D is for discipline – epitomised by the superb ranks of three in which our members process. (Well, we try!)

E is for excitement. It’s year round and not just reserved for the Fifth.

F is for fireworks; the Fifth List – which Emma cracks her whip to complete; and our Firesite Force led by Captain Jim.

G is for gorgeous, lovely, members of Southover Bonfire Society (now pay your subscriptions)

H is for hessian – our Waitrose-quality version is woven by elves and unicorns (amazing what they can do with their horns).

I is for ideas, and plenty of them, so that our Tab Team and our Small Builds Team can create amazing masterpieces. Which we then blow up on the night. (Doh)

J is for jaunts. We have a few of these in our Society. Some call them outmeetings and they’re a very special part of the Bonfire experience.

K is for kerosene – our Bonfire version of Chanel No 5 – in which we lovingly dip our 5,000 torches every year. Dip, dip hooray to Nick the Knife and his gang.

L is for love, the love we have for Bonfire. It’s a smokin’ hot way to get some exercise.

M is for monks – the Cluniac priory ones of Lewes and our 1st Pioneers.

N is for nuns – we’ve introduced Nun of the Above and Nun Such plus their sisters to bring holy disorder to our Cluniac ranks.

O is for ‘Oh I can’t believe you actually make your own torches and don’t rent them from East Sussex County Council for the night’. (Yes, someone did say that in 2011!)

P is for pyro mania – the energy fizzing through the crew bringing our aerial display spectacularly to life. Nuff said!

Q is for Quartermaster – our lovely Bill ‘don’t mess with my bits and bobs in the stores’ Barber.

R is for rum – elixir of the gods and a fab ingredient in the hip flasks of Lewes.

S is for smugglers – the stripey crew that every Bonfire Society has and loves. Truly loves. Truly…loves.

T is for torchmaking – but these aren’t just any torches, they’re SBS torches, notched and whipped up in hand cut hessian, with bespoke wire twisting, then dipped in magical kero so they burn, baby, burn. Thanks Paul and the Torchmaking Tornados.

U is for U, the public, who buy our Bonfire programme and fire site tickets and help us keep it all alight.

V is for volunteers – without whom we wouldn’t be able to thrive as a Society. It’s also for vajazelling – a wonderful technique used to overly decorate one’s costume. (Allegedly)

W is for Wilson, our Society mascot, a kero-loving, torch-throwing canine, whose ‘Ruff Guide to Bonfire’ is a sell-out on Amazon.

X is what marks the spot where we have our bonfire in the Convent Field.

Y is for ‘Y not?’ A good response to any new member who wonders if they should join one Pioneer group or all of them.

Z is for the ZZZZs we partake of. But only once the Fifth is over!

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