The people who set up and run the firesite, like all the other members of Bonfire, are unpaid volunteers who take time away from their normal day to day jobs in order to help put this event on for the people of Hastings, St Leonards and surrounding areas.
The Firesite is the area cordoned off on the beach and includes the firework display area and the bonfire itself. This is setup between the crazy golf course and the Carlilse Pub on Hastings seafront, and from the low water mark up to and including the Pelham Place Car Park.
Although there is a lot of planning that goes on throughout the year, the real work starts on the Thursday evening prior to the event and carries on through the weekend until the final clear up is completed on Sunday afternoon.
Thursday evening we move 200 barriers from our store to the beach.
Early Friday morning another 200 barriers arrive that we hire in for the event, we start putting all the barriers out on the beach to secure the bonfire building area. Once the bonfire area is secured then the bonfire crew can start their role, and we move on to securing the firework display area, and finally placing barriers in readiness of taking control of half of the car park on Saturday morning.
Saturday we check the security of the firework display area prior to the pyrotechnic crew fusing and setting up. This is a very dangerous time for the people working in this area and it is part of our role to stop people entering the area by accident, (I.e. walking along the seashore.) as it is possible for radio magnetic devices to interfere with, or prematurely set off commercial fireworks.
Saturday afternoon we have to move the barriers again, taking over the rest of the car park. This is their final position in readiness for the evening’s event.
Saturday evening we oversee the 1000+ people that come onto the firesite from the parade and the VIP area, working to ensure the safety of all those enjoying the event within the firesite.
Sunday we help to clean the beach, check for and safely remove firework debris and generally leave the site as clean if not cleaner than we found it. We replace all our barriers back into the store and stack the hired barriers ready for collection.