Bonfire event information

Hastings Borough Bonfire Society’s Torchlit Procession and Fireworks is on Saturday 15th October 2022

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. Please support us where you can. For having a good time on the night, please see the information below...

Summary details for Sat 15 Oct 2022 (if you can't get a programme - they are likely to sell out this year!) Typical timings are: -

  • 9:30am - children's Guy making competition at Stade Hall - under 16s. Judging at 2pm for the winner to take price of place on the bonfire

  • 5pm approx - Junior Member's procession from the Stade westward along the promenade and being met by a Pyrotechnic salute on reaching the fire site at about 5:30pm

  • 6:30pm - bonfire societies, drummers and dance bands form out on the promenade by the White Rock Hotel. Watch out for the lamppost lettering to find where your society should form up. Loos and beers available in the White Rock Hotel

  • 7pm - Beacon Lit. Hastings runs bring lit torches to the assembly point.

  • 7:10pm - The America Ground Ceremony.

  • 7.20pm Bonfire procession commences when the runners bring lit torches from the burning beacon on East Hill. Torches lit by HBBS Assembly Crew, at the approach to the entrance to Robertson Street, hopefully with a firecracker point to set the ball rolling, maybe more along the route, and a loud mascléta from the beach near Pelham Crescent car park to welcome the procession back towards the fire site

  • 9pm-ish (when all the procession and the fire carts are inside the fire site) bonfire prayers are shouted before the bonfire is lit by the dignitary and the torches are thrown in.

  • 9:15-ish - fireworks and effigy display

  • 9:50pm - We aim to have completed the fireworks and effigy by 9:50pm to allow visitors to make the last train. However please be aware that on 15/10/22 there is expected to be rail disruption with engineering works - see notice on the home page

  • 11pm - road closures end


The event is likely to be crowded and noisy, with loud bangs. Naked flames and fireworks can be dangerous. The very young, elderly and people of a nervous disposition are advised to keep well back, both during the procession and during the firework display. There will be smoke and flames so wear sensible non-flammable clothing and bring your inhaler if you suffer with asthma. Hastings Borough Bonfire Society cannot accept responsibility for any personal injury or loss or damage of personal items. Please act sensibly; anyone attending the event does so entirely at their own risk. In the event of bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances, certain details of the event may alter without prior notice.

  • Please be aware that during the event, it is likely to include loud bangs from the firework display. You may wish to wear ear plugs or defenders during this part of the event.

  • The torch lit procession is formed of rows of 3 abreast carrying a lit torch, please be aware and do not try to join the procession. Our members are briefed on the safe carrying of torches and will be aware of the close proximity at certain points. Play your part by keeping a safe distance from the procession as it goes by.

Stay safe and help to keep everyone else safe and above all enjoy the day.


  • Pick up any discarded torches – they will be collected by the firecarts.

  • Cross or climb any safety barriers – they are there for your safety. There may be unspent fireworks on the beach after the display.

  • Try to join the procession or gain entry to the firesite – the event is organised and managed by the Bonfire Society and only invited societies, groups and guests are permitted in the procession and firesite.

  • Bring, light or throw your own fireworks – this is dangerous and against the law.

  • Bring pets to the event – they are bound to be frightened.

  • Wear flammable or precious clothing, or accessories. Avoid use of hairspray or other combustible sprays. There are likely to be sparks and embers that could pose a fire risk and /or singe clothing or accessories.


  • Obey any instructions from the Police or Marshals

  • Wear old clothes and sensible footwear

  • Consider wearing safety glasses and ear protection

  • Stand well back and allow the procession room to pass safely

  • Keep pets away; they don't like fireworks and sudden noise

  • Allow plenty of time to travel to and from the event - be aware of likely train disruptions on 15 October 2022

  • Consider ear-defenders. Please be aware that during the event, it is likely to include loud bangs from the firework display. You may wish to wear ear plugs or defenders during this part of the event, or plan them for your children or those in your party with hearing issues. Or simply stand further away from the procession, fire-cracker points, the mascleta and the fireworks

  • But please do have a great evening and please do put money in the collecting buckets – all collection monies go to local charities.

Hastings Borough Bonfire Society Advocates safe drinking


We need you to be Covid safe:

    • Many of the restrictions have now been lifted, and been replaced with guidance, putting the emphasis on making your own judgements.

    • Please follow the latest Government and Medical guidance relating to your own medical condition, when deciding whether to attend the event. Particularly if you suffer from a respiratory condition. We maintain a safe distance between the bonfire and the public area, however smoke from the bonfire and procession torches may affect your condition. .

    • It is recommended that you have received the vaccinations to attend crowd events

    • Respect everyone’s personal space, where social distancing is not possible, please stand side by side rather than facing each other. Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air.

Outdoor events seem less risky, so we hope you will enjoy our event and stay safe.


  • All timings are approximate. Weather or unforeseen circumstances may mean we have to change or cancel any part of the event. Timings could be earlier or later.

    • Procession begins at 7.15pm at the seafront end of Robertson Street

    • Fireworks 9-9:15pm approximately.

    • We expect the evening will be over before 11pm

    • Paid-up members may then settle around the bonfire to de-brief.

Disabled facilities

  • The closest disabled parking to the fire site is in Wellington Square, Castle Hill Road and Priory Meadow Shopping Centre. Please note that Pelham Place car park is closed, and all other car parks become incredibly busy and only have a few disabled bays, so we recommend arriving early to ensure suitable parking. See parking map below.

  • The disabled viewing area is located by the Pelham Place toilets

  • There is a disabled toilet at Pelham Place toilets. Attendant provides access.

Procession route

White Rock > Robertson Street > Havelock Road > Harold Place > Denmark Place > Pelham Place > Marine Parade > East Parade > East Beach Street > Rock-a-Nore Road > All Saints Street > High Street > East Parade > Marine Parade > Pelham Place. Bonfire and Fireworks are on the beach in front of Pelham Place car park.

Road closures

Road closures take effect 6PM (approx.) Roads re-open 10.30PM – 11.00PM (approx.) Closure and opening timings may vary. They are dependent on safety and made in consultation with the local police.

Transport and parking

Parking on roads and in car parks is limited by road closures – see maps. Car parks can fill up quickly. Buses and trains can be crowded. It can take extra time to walk due to the crowds.

Typical order of procession

Grand Procession to Celebrate the Discovery of The Gunpowder Plot
The Hastings Borough Bonfire Society Banners and Maces
The America Ground Banner Giant Effigy of Guy Fawkes
Hastings Borough Bonfire Society

With the following invited guests and societies in normal order
Section 5 Drummers
South Street Bonfire Society
Rye and District Bonfire Society
Ryebellion Drummers
Ewehurst and Staplecross Bonfire Society
Robertsbridge Bonfire Society
Battel Bonfire Society
Lindfield Bonfire Society
Chailey Bonfire Society
Fishbone Ash
Rotherfield and Mark Cross Bonfire Society
Ninfield Bonfire Society
Raven Drummers
Northiam Bonfire Society
Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society
Pentancle Drummers
Robin Hood Bonfire Society
Cliffe Bonfire Society
Barcombe Bonfire Society
Phoenix (Lewes)
Lewes Scout Band
Uckfield Bonfire Society
Waterloo Bonfire Society
Stix Drummers
Eastbourne Bonfire Society
Burgess Hill Bonfire Society
Firle Bonfire Society
Newick Bonfire Society
Celebration Samba
Mayfield Bonfire Society
Saxon re-enactors
Dende Nation Drummers
Other visiting Societies
HBBS Blazing Firecarts

The following will also take part in the procession
The Mayor Of Hastings
The Member of Parliament For Hastings & Rye
Members Of The Ancient Borough Of Hastings & The Cinque Ports
Honourable Guests From The Order Of 1066
The Hastings Week Committee

This year's latest procession order can be found here on the Visiting Societies page...

Updated procession map