We love this picture, created a few years ago by SBS-er Arthur Hughes.

Please take a good long look at it, then please read this from Captain of Smugglers Lucie Stericker: 

The proud uniforms of all the Bonfire Societies’ Smugglers have been around for more than 150 years. The Bonfire Boys and Belles of old would wear a striped guernsey, white trousers, black boots and a mask of charcoal blacked around their eyes. They were trying to avoid identification by the authorities who were attempting to stop the Lewes celebrations on the Fifth.

Nowadays, Southover smugglers wear a uniform:

  • Red and black knitted guernsey, absolutely no cotton tops, thin striped jumpers or rugby shirts
  • White trousers
  • Black boots (no trainers)
  • Red and white neckerchief
  • Red cap or beanie hat (no tricorns, bowlers or top hats, etc…these can only be worn by officials. If someone turns up expecting to process in an inappropriate hat, they will be asked to remove it and leave it somewhere safe). 

You must also be wearing this year’s Membership Badge and carry your up to date Membership Card too.

Marshals are checking both at each procession and failure to adhere to these very simple rules will mean you can’t process or attend the firesite.

If you need more information or have a question about the uniform, please email

Guernseys are like gold dust

You can Download the pattern here (pdf) to make a guernsey, or find someone to make one for you. It’s also worth asking other members if you can borrow a guernsey until you can get your own and some of our members also make them from time to time.  Try asking on our members-only Facebook page. Alternatively, you can contact Eileen Pelham on 01273 478056 who has been known to knit guernseys for various Lewes Bonfire Societies.