Rye has a special feel in November, like a great many East Sussex towns and villages it has a thriving Bonfire Society whose hardworking members stage a flaming torch lit procession around the town, with a magnificent firework display and huge bonfire down on The Salts-this year’s date is Saturday 11th.
The whole day has a special excitement with the scent of smoke & darkness and members of other Bonfire Societies marching around the town most of the day in full costume. Rye’s tradition goes way back beyond Guy Fawkes to medieval days when our local fishermen and their opposite numbers across the Channel in France were continuously raiding each other and setting fire to the fishing boats. There is always a “ Burning boat” bringing up the rear of the procession to this day, though its more mundane task now is to collect the burnt out torches. Grown-up children who have long moved away from Rye make a point of trying to be back for Bonfire Night.