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During the most of the 80s, the Battel Bonfire Boyes were lead by long time Chairman, Mr. Don Sargent, with Local nobility, Mrs. Evelyn Webster as the President. Both of these had held the titles for long periods of time but in 1988 when Mrs Evelyn Webster stood down as President and became Patron for a year, before passing away and Ill health caused Don Sargent to step down from Chairman and become President for the rest of the 80s. As replacement for him as Chairman, Mrs. Ivy Castle took over the role, which she held for some time. There were also many other changes in the committee with a number of people coming and going. Monthly Meetings took place at the Priory House Hotel.


What, No free programmes!!
below is a transcription of a 1981 short article by an unknown person for the 1981 BBB Programme.

What, No free programmes!!
The ever increasing costs of producing programmes have forced the committee to review its policy of providing thousands of free programmes. For the first time this year we have decided to try making a nominal charge to help defray the costs.

The price isn`t recorded but by 1984, it was 20p.

1982
While we are currently unsure which `1066 Country display` in 1982 this is from, we know it is from 1982 and thanks to the newspapers lettering, we know the people pictured, Mr. John Goldsmith (Vice-Chairman 1984-1985), Mr. Bob Wait, Mr. Paul `Badger` Edmunds and Mr. Mike Bulter (Assistance Secretary 1984-1986, Secretary 1988-1994) in full Saxon by the abbey green.


Burning for Record Cash
below is a transcription of a 1982 newspaper article by Georgette Thurston for a unknown paper.

BATTLE bonfire night on Saturday raised a record sum for charity from the street collections.

Organisers Battel Bonfire Boyes were delighted with the £700 collected -- easily topping last years`s figure of £566. And although no one took a head count the huge crowds that thronged the streets would indicate a record attendance figure, too.

The money collected will be donated to a dozen charities in the East Sussex area.

The pubs that opened the evening were packed with revellers and secretary of the society, Mr Robert Emeleus, said few rookies were let off under the feet of the crowds. and by early Sunday morning the torches and other debris had been cleaned from the streets and Abbey grounds.

One person was taken to hospital and four people were arrested. A police spokesman said it was quite a busy night for Battle. Four people were arrested and later charged with assault causing actual bodily harm and beach of the peace. They came from Battle, hastings and Lewes.

Saturday 12th July 1986
As you can see in the image, this is a copy of an old Poster, done in an older style for a fundraising dance known as `Graund Stavetorch Daunce` (Grand Torchlight Dance) which was held on the site of the Battle Recoration ground with music by the local band `sunburst`. The name `stavetorch` comes from the fact the torches were posted into the ground with `staves`. It was an all age summer dance from 8:00pm to 11:45pm with Beer and light snacks and only £1.50 to enter.


July 1987
One event that kept seeming to go wrong was the Battel Bonfire Barbecue. While these were often highly enjoyable, they were rarely successful, partly due to British weather. In 1987, The third Large barbecue was held, this time on the Battle Recreation Ground. The then Membership Secretary, Ivy Castle, said "It was rained off last year, but this year it looks as if we shall make at least £200 profit. It was warm work but certainly well worthwhile." People pictured (from left to right): Mr Stephen Cook and Mr Andy Longley


Boyes` night out!
below is a transcription of a 1988 newspaper article by Sally Marden for the Sussex Express printed Friday, November 11, 1988

THE biggest crowd anyone can remember was out in Battle on Saturday night for the annual bonfire and fireworks Specatcular.

All evening the Abbey Green was filled to bursting with thousands of people out to enjoy the fun and excitement of a uniquely sussex ritual.

The huge bonfire took its usual place on the bullring, and a gentle reminder of the chaos caused by the postal strike was placed not 100 yards away from the post office -- a large effigy of an airmail letter, addressed to Guido Fawkes, Parliament, SW 1, was this year`s stunning setpiece from Max Blackman.

The fun began with the fancy dress judging in the guide hut, while the bands of the TS Brilliant sea cadet corps and Eastbourne Scouts gave a warm-up display on the Green.

No one was disappointed when the magnificent, though somewhat depleted (minus visiting Lewes societies) procession made its majestic fiery way down the packed High Street.

Hundreds of torches and brightly coloured flares lit the frost night air as Battel Bonfire Boyes led the parade through the town.

They were joined by the Ewhurst and Staplecross Bonfire Society; the Burgess Hill Bonfire Society, dressed in Stunning Red Indian dress; the weird and wonderful Graund Order of Guisers, complete with huge, creepy black dragon held aloft, convincing enough to give anyone nightmares; and the Whatlington Renegades.

The bands and dozens of fancy dressers added to the colour, and the gathering was completed by three taleaux from Battle Young Farmers, Battle Youth Club and Battle Baptist Church.

The latter float caused quite a stir, with its hundreds of orange and yellow balloons, countless posters extolling Jesus` way, and scores of Baptists marching behind singing songs and hymns.

Crowds were so dense on the green, that the procession had to alter its route to the bonfire when the procession was over, but soon everyone found their place and the Normus Gurt Bonfire was lit by Boyes` president Don Sargent after the traditional chant.

Then the stunning firework display began from the Abbey battlements, dominated by spectacular rocket showers and car-splitting whistles and screeches.

There was a brief hiccup when the main tableau refused to get going, but some minor adjustments from Bonfire Boyes soon had the crowd in no doubt that when it comes to pyrotechnics and bangers battle takes some beating.

The display culminated with some good old Battle Rousers which shook the Abbey and everyone there to the foundations -- they sounded and felt more like small bombs than large fireworks -- and enthusiastic applause from the crowds.


The Last Fete
One of the long running Annual fundraising events was the August Bank Holiday Fete. This was held on the Battle Recoraction ground and it could be guaranteed to raise hundreds for the bonfire event. However, for a couple of years it rained very badly and caused the event to be called on. In 1989, the Last Fete was held and raised a total of 75p due to the weather. An Emergency meeting was held in a back of a lorry at the end of the day, and it was decided not to carry the event on for the forseeable future.
Picture to the right is taken at the Emergency meeting. People pictured (from left to right): Mr (Unknown), Chairman Mrs Ivy Castle, Mr Andy Longely, Mr Mike Butler, Mr David Bartlet & Treasurer Mr Don Wait


A group of Saxons from 1980

Bonfire Building In the 80s

Finished Bonfire from the 80s
Notice the Lorry. This was not only used to unload faggots but carry the Guy duing the 80s

1987 Effigy with crew
From Left:- Mr. Anthony Rigby, Mr. Scott Reid, Mr. Max Blackman and Mr. Hamish Blackman.
Photo from the Rye, Battle & District News, November 12 1987

The Bonfire on the Green
Photo by Alan Jones for the Rye, Battle & District News, November 9 1988

A Torching/Faggot making group taking a break
In the Back:- Mr. Paul `Badger` Edmunds, Mr. David Early
In the Front:- Mr. Ronny Smith, (Unknown), Mr. (Unknown), Mr. (Unknown) and Mr. Anthony Rigby

Group shot from 1987

The only Float in the 87 procession was this one from the Battle Young Farmers, dressed as Tree Surgeons.
Photo by Alan Jones for the Rye, Battle & District News, November 12 1987

Another Group shot from 1987, this one of the Boyes Marching
Photo by Alan Jones for the Rye, Battle & District News, November 12 1987

The Graund Order of Guisers used to be regulars, mostly with their Black Dragon.
Photo by Alan Jones for the Rye, Battle & District News, November 9 1988

Another group that often turned out with a Float and support was the Battle Baptist Church
Photo by Alan Jones for the Rye, Battle & District News, November 9th 1988

An shot of 1989`s Firework display. Fireworks start of go off behind that years Effigy.
Photo By Angela Mascord

Another Shot of the 1989 Batman Effigy. This one shows the fireworks in it starting.
Photo By Angela Mascord

Before the Effigy ends the fireworks display, we have the fireworks display itself. Here, from 1989, we see one of the old Fountines that were often used but rarely worked to spec.
Photo By Angela Mascord

A Group of Bonfire Boyes gathering around duing the Procession
Photo By Angela Mascord

A couple of Catherine Wheels going off as part of the 1989 Display
Photo By Angela Mascord

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