The world’s oldest bonfire society
In 1646, St Mary’s Church allocated 2 shillings and 6 pence in funds for gunpowder treason rejoicing. Since then there have been annual celebrations in the town of Battle.
Since 1646 when 2 Shillings and 6 Pence were given for bonfire treason rejoicing we have overcome many challenges to keep bonfire going in Battle. However, there have been several times during this period when a bonfire hasn't appeared on the Abbey Green at the start of November. Notable dates include 1906 due to a countywide ban on bonfires near the highway and more recently during World War 2.
Unfortunately, 2020 will now be added to this list.
This year sees us and the entire world fighting a new challenge and this is one we can't overcome.
It is with a heavy heart that we formally announce the cancellation of our celebrations which were due to take place on November 7th 2020.
We have worked increasingly hard to find a way to put on some sort of normal celebration with meetings being held with the relevant authorities right up until July 31st. It would be right to note that we are incredibly grateful to the members of the Safety Advisory Group, chaired by Rother District Council, for working with us during this time. They assisted in providing both new ideas and guidance but in the end, it is just not practical to hold an event.
Regardless of the legal status relating to gatherings, the moral responsibility we hold to our members and the wider community has to come first. We couldn't guarantee an event in which social distancing would be possible and we would have put additional pressure on our incredible key workers. This is not something we are prepared to do.
Thank you to all our members who have continued to pay their membership even when they knew our event was at risk. Thank you to those who have provided advice, guidance and at times a shoulder to cry on.
We will be back. We will rejoice with church bells ringing and fireworks banging. A fire will again burn brightly in front of the Abbey Gatehouse and we will process down the high street with the Oldest Guy In The World leading the way.
But until that time, up yours Corona.