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East Hoathly bonfire - commemorating the villagers lost in two world wars

PUBLISHED: 07:33 01 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:06 20 February 2013

East Hoathly bonfire - commemorating the villagers lost in two world wars

East Hoathly bonfire - commemorating the villagers lost in two world wars

Burning poppies will be carried through the centre of East Hoathly this year to commemorate each of the 31 villagers lost in the world wars

Villagers in East Hoathly are not just commemorating the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot but also remember their fallen on what they call Carnival Night, this year on November 13.
On Armistice Day 1918, the village was celebrating. Houses and shops were flung open and brightly decorated with flags and bunting; residents gathered and lit a bonfire as they danced, celebrated and remembered.
A few days later a fancy dress ball was held in the Kings Head pub and rounded off with a procession and more dancing through the village streets. It was from these celebrations that the East Hoathly & Halland Carnival Society was formed.
The carnival today is a more elaborate affair. Many of the preparations are a closely guarded secret, and the themes for the bonfire sculptures and fire banners arent revealed until the last minute.
Months of work are required to make the 6,000 paraffin-soaked torches needed by the walkers, as they are known, to be carried in the torch lit processions. Each fire banner is made from wooden boards cut into hundreds of intricate shapes that when complete and hung on their finished structures need three or four people to carry them as they illuminate the crowds en-route to the bonfire site. The finale is a huge firework display wowing the crowd who admire the bonfire sculpture.

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