"Condi" effigy burned at Lewes Bonfire night
Sunday, November 5, 2006
The traditions ofpeculiar to the Sussex area were once again observed in on November 4.
As per tradition and local fame, effigies were carried through the town and burned on huge fires. These include The Pope,and other unpopular figures. One of this year's unfortunate guest appearances was also rendered as a hugely grotesque likeness of the U.S. Secretary of State . The unflattering effigy clutched a tattered flag in one hand, and a miniature in the other. Crowds shouted "Burn it!".
Smaller scale effigies, and so called 'enemies of bonfire', were also represented. This year's enemies included, whose attitude and handling of Bonfire night is an issue of local contention. Transport police were quietly represented by a pig head wearing a police helmet.
The event was not without incident. Six arrests occurred in respect of criminal damage and public order offences, but the event was less rowdy than in previous years and eras in the history of the Bonfire.
Superintendent Cliff Parrot of thesaid, "The event passed safely and was a resounding success with fewer arrests than last year, People were well behaved and acted responsibly, which in turn allowed everyone else to enjoy the celebrations."
The steep streets of the small town, located one hour south of, were filled during the chilly winter evening with crowds carrying burning torches, with police, and with alcohol consumption accompanied by loud deafening bangs. The air was thick with woodsmoke.
In addition to effigies, flaming crosses were carried in recognition of the town's 17 Protestant Martyrs. These preceded elaborate costumed parades where participants dressed as Vikings, Antique firemen, Mongol warriors, and Zulus (including for the first time at Lewes, a female chieftain). Arthurian Knights and pirates were also featured. The pirates towed a cannon which they fired and shocked the crowds.
The traditional striped jerseys worn by various Bonfire Society members were also in evidence.