Hastings Bonfire

19th October 2019

Torchlit Procession with Fireworks along the route, Drumming, Bonfire, Effigy and Grand Finale Firework Display on the beach. This is a 'no ticket' event put on by the hard work and determination of HBBS volunteers.

Welcome to Hastings Borough Bonfire Society

This year we are looking forward to an very special year. 2019 is our 25th anniversary Bonfire of the current reforming of HBBS. In the past there used to be many Bonfire Societies in Hastings and St Leonards but they all died out in the early twentieth century and particularly after the two world wars. In 1995 Hastings Borough was reformed and has grown into the thriving society we see today. Hastings Bonfire Celebrations are famous for having single longest Bonfire procession in the county- and therefore the world! We have been busy planning some extra pizzazz for our 25th Bonfire Celebration- 19th October. Look out for
- The 25 gun salute, taking place on the harbour arm during the day.
- Wonder at the fireworks- these will be heard all through the day.
- Attractions in the town centre- especially the America Ground.
- Buy a souvenir 25th anniversary programme which will have all the details in.
- Buy themed goodies from our merchandise stall.
- Enjoy our famous procession AND big bonfire AND amazing fireworks.

Click here to see our 2018 event Flickr Gallery

Hastings Bonfire 2018

We would like to thank the town for its support, the family friendly crowd in front of the fire-site area were most good natured. They cheered all night and put money in the collecting buckets. The collection goes towards charity.
We would particularly like to thank the emergency services, local businesses for their continued support and the residents on the procession route for their understanding with the road closures. Most especially we would like to thank our volunteer marshals and Hastings Borough Council who give untold guidance and help in so many areas.
The fireworks, which included the effigy, were amazingly good this year to celebrate various 100th anniversary events that have taken place in 2018 - the WW1 armistice, the RAF being established and in the grand finale the final large explosions were in the colours of the suffragettes- violet, white and green. Also on the effigy were the red arrows as a final tribute and farewell.
HBBS is run by volunteers and always welcome new members to make our town proud as each year we host the largest single Sussex Bonfire procession in Sussex and therefore the world. Next year 2019 is an especially exciting year for HBBS as it's our 25th Bonfire.


Collecting for Charity

A big thank you to the 6 charities that came and collected at this years Hastings Bonfire. Two Towers Trust £214.41, Surviving Christmas£238.10, St Michaels Hospice £182.57, Hastings and Rother Voluntary Association for The Blind £1174.31, Demelza £198.22 and Jakes splash of Delight £266.90 and HBT: £1093.85. Just under £4000 was collected which was a great amount. Every charity that collects keeps most of their total amount raised. We are always looking for new local charities to come along and collect during the procession and have lots of fun along the way. If your charity would be interested in collecting on 19th October please contact Michelle Brown Captain of Collectors on collections@hbbs.info Thank you.


Hastings Borough Bonfire Society makes an effigy of something that is in the news, usually locally. Our effigy is either a celebration or something for current debate. We do not have an opinion when we burn the effigy and blow it up with fireworks. The idea is to make people think about and discuss that topic.
See our effigies from 1995 to 2018. Which are celebrations? Which are to promote debate?

Who are we?

We are a group of volunteers who make Hastings Bonfire the largest single Bonfire celebration in Sussex! This fantastic event is put on through the dedication and sheer hard work of the members and volunteers. It is financed by: Fundraising of HBBS Members,     Renegadge Pyrotechnics,     Our Sponsors,  a grant from the Foreshore Trust, additional services provided by Hastings Borough Council e.g. road sweeping, public toilets and the use of Pelham Place Carpark.

We always welcome new members and volunteers. See Support or Membership for more information. 

Bonfire in Sussex is unparalleled!

There are many different Bonfire Societies each holding their own event and attending each others. Celebrations last from the start of September to almost the end of November! See Sussex Bonfire Dates. Bonfire celebrates and remembers the overthrow of 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up The Houses of Parliament. Its origins begun in the The Observance of 5th November Act or "Thanksgiving Act" - Act of the Parliament of England passed in 1606. The law was repealed on 25 March 1859 by Anniversary Days Observance Act as religious tolerance became more widespread. Today, there is no religious context to our event. We remember the historical events, and give thanks for freedom, democracy and tolerance. Our burning crosses remind us of all martyrs who have died for the rights of religious freedom, and the poppies commemorate those who have died for our democracy and freedom. See History of Bonfire or Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night for Children for more information.

Beacon of Remembrance from Reel Connection Films on Vimeo.




For full details of the event please see the EVENT INFORMATION page click here

Important SAFETY information, the route, parking, road closures and more....

Guy competition


Chairman's Thoughts

Aug 2018

Our exciting event is not just a procession; it presents one of many enormous Sussex Bonfires that take place at this time throughout the county and even into Kent. Though Bonfire Celebrations are hugely supported by the people of Sussex, they are little known outside the county and so are constantly under threat from wider legislation and commercialism. Make no mistake Sussex Bonfire Celebrations are important for remembering an infamous occasion in history when the democracy of the country was under attack. They are as relevant today as they were in the past as a statement against oppression and for democracy. From the infamous Gunpowder Plot came the national celebration we know as Bonfire Night held, appropriately on 5th November. Today the Bonfire boyes and grrls must march first to show that the will of the people is strong and that democracy is a sign of people power. The Bonfire and fireworks are a sign of celebration and the effigy- well, we wait to see on the day what the effigy might be. Sometimes an effigy is blown up in mockery and sometimes in thanks and as a mark of respect. Work out which you think it is for 2018. Hastings Bonfire takes place because of the few loyal and hardworking volunteer members that work tirelessly through the year; they have made it happen. This is a community event run by people from within the community who have been participating in smaller fund-raising activities in order to present a rousing and successful Hastings Bonfire for everyone to enjoy for free. Please support in whatever way you can- buy a programme, a badge, dontate on our website or at the firesite. Please put money in the charity buckets, keep safely back from the fire -both the lit torches in the procession and the bonfire itself and especially keep clear of the firework area. Look out for each of the visiting Bonfire Societies clearly identified by the banner they carry in front, their “stripes” and their chosen costumes. Hastings Borough Bonfire Society leads the whole procession, wearing the red, gold and blue of the Cinque Port colours. Look for the giant Guy Fawkes pulled along the route, the mayor and visiting dignitaries, the town criers and the drummers. This is great evening which showcases Hastings and its people. Enjoy and an exciting evening and maybe you might even join us. New members are always welcome.