They saying is, if you remember the 60s, you weren`t there, So it`s probably lucky that
the papers had things written down for us.
Battle Bonfire`s Annual August Fete was taking place still on the Recreation Ground, and included, as well as
sideshows and stall, Children`s Races and other fun events. Between 1,500 and 2,000 People attended in 1960,
raising well over £150! The Photo shows us the Thread-the-Needle race.
Carrying on the Annual August Fete, 1962 was a bit of a let down, in a way. A record 2 and a half inches
of rain fell on the Monday bank holiday, when the Fete was held. Sussex was seen as the worse hit district
and the Fete was postponed.
While the Bonfire Celebrations were chalking up over 4,000 visitors, in 1965, it was not as good a year
as only 2,500 turned up. This was chalked up to Battle Clashing with Rye. Chairman, Fred Doyle, reported;
"We had a very good and successful evening but it was quieter than usual. This was due for a start to the fireworks.
They have gone right down due to Home Office orders and now they do not make such a big bang.". A visitor was overheard
to say that without the Battle Rousers, which had been banned, the Battle Celebrations would die on their feet. While
some people believed this, it has been clearly shown NOT to be the case.
Bonfire came early in 1966, In fact, it was held on the 29th of October! Why? The Queen was due to visit the day before
and 1066 Celebrations were being held, as it was 900 years. Due to this, it was decided to hold Bonfire a week
earlier then normal. The Fancy Dress contest ran as normal and about £75 was raised in collections, which was higher
than normal for the time. On top of the fancy costumes in the procession and contest, some of the collectors joined in on the
fun, with the most popular being the girl`s dressed as `Harem Girls`, in scanty bikinis and flimsy veils. The 30ft bonfire
was then lit as normal by the President Mrs Evelyn Webster (Formerly Mrs Harboard), dressed in her traditional Black outfit.
The Guy that was burnt (as opposed to the Bonfire`s not for burning Guy) was created by the chairman, Mr. Fred Doyle, himself.
Nothing much of real note happened for the 1968 Bonfire. The Bonfire was made, Five tableaux
were entered (displays on trucks, like a carnival) which had been the staple of Battle for a number of years,
the Fancy Dress contest was held, the procession was formed and went on too, however a couple of points
are worth noting. the Judges for the Fancy dress included the Rev. Frank Hawthorne, an American minster who had
been visiting for a year on an exchange program and halfway through the evening, the Battle firemen were called out.
just outside of the Abbey Antiques Galleries in Lower lake, there was a small gas leak from a stop-cock pit
which had caught fire. The Police had already put out the fire by the time the firemen arrived and Gas Board officials
were called out to seal the leak.