Final badge night 2023

Our wonderful Barrels team work so hard at Bonfire and it’s much appreciated. Photo copyright of Ian Cumming. Photos can be purchased from website. Any problems or questions, please contact

Deadline for members!

Our final Badge Night is this Friday (Nov 3) from 6pm-8pm at our HQ The Swan. That will be the last opportunity to get your Membership Card updated with this year’s sticker and pick up your 2023 Badge if you want to participate in the big night. Please bring your Membership Card with you. If you can’t find it, then you will need to pay for a replacement and get a temp card. In either case, you will also have had to renew your membership online in advance of Badge Night by following this link:

You need both your 2023 updated Membership Card and 2023 Badge with you in order to process on Bonfire Night. 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 firesite and fireworks. Any queries, please contact

Plus, even if you are all sorted, our final Badge Night is a great event. We’ve restocked our merchandise and clothing stalls so all those last-minute purchases can be made. Once our Badge Night has shut up shop, there is also the opportunity to join your fellow Bonfire buddies at The King’s Head from 8.30pm for some more banter etc. There won’t be any membership renewals, merch or clothing stalls available at The King’s Head.


Get your 2022 firesite tickets and programmes

Our 2022 bumper Bonfire-bursting bedtime read – the SBS Bonfire Programme – is out and hot off the pyro press at just £3 per copy. On sale at Lewes Tourist Information Centre, The Swan Inn and St Pancras Stores – plus door to door thanks to our lovely SBS volunteer sellers. You can also pick up our limited edition firesite tickets at the same venues at £10 each. If you are a paid up member of SBS, you get free access to the firesite on the night as long as you have your up to date Membership Card and 2022 Badge with you. But, if you have friends and family who aren’t members, you need to buy your tickets quickly as there is a limited supply!


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. STOP PRESS: We have made all our torches for 2022 so you can now have a lie-in!


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.

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If you’d like to find out more about the Battle of Lewes, check out

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


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.

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 Cumming; JM – James McCauley; NP – Nigel Powell; WP – Wilf Power; WR – 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 with further details and a copy of the image (s) concerned.

Photo copyright Emma Howard

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!


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). It’s also for Hedge Fund – local rumour is that most SBS-ers work in finance. Well, if we did, we wouldn’t have to run so many fabulous fund raising events!

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 3,500 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 merchandise – lots of lovely stock with all sorts of goodies and managed superbly by our Captain of Merch Shireen. Also for those naughty 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 to all the SBS-ers who turn up on Sundays to join 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!


2nd Badge Night and hell of a way to spend the evening

Be afraid, our 2nd Badge Night is on Halloween, this Sunday (October 31), 6pm-8pm, at our HQ The King’s Head, coinciding spooktacularly with some other festival.

So why not do both? So all you Southover Bonfire Society members, go out on your trick or treating, then pop on down for some Bonfire Banter, to pick up your Badge, buy some lovely merchandise from Shireen (new fleeces, masks and lots more) and upgrade your costume. If anyone still wants to clothes swap, donate or sell, please contact Fiona on 07775 654744. It’s cash only for merch and costume.

(PS: calling all SBS captains, lieutenants, marshals, you are meeting at The King’s Head from 4.30pm-5.30pm with our Commander in Chief).

We would also seriously suggest you do a lateral flow test before you turn up and definitely don’t come along if you’ve got Covid or anything cold-like.

Don’t forget you do need to have renewed your membership online in advance of Badge Nights. To renew your membership, follow this link:

Please also remember to bring your red plastic SBS Membership Card(s) with you to Badge Nights as we need to update them all with a 2021 sticker.

You need both your 2021 updated Membership Card and 2021 Badge with you in order to process on November 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 firesite and fireworks. Any queries, please contact