Name: Steve Watts
Bonfire Society: Southover
Position: Chair
Years in society: Two. This is only our second year of activity. Southover has existed in various forms over the years, but not since the eighties.
What’s Bonfire Night in Lewes all about? Freedom of expression. Community. Remembrance.
What’s your itinerary on the fourth? We meet at 8am to dip torches (in paraffin). Then it’s off to the Farmers Market to sell programmes, badges and wristbands. At about 4pm we’re meeting the various bands who are marching with us. The first local procession is at 5pm. This year we’ve got proper recognition for the first time, so we’ll be joining the Grand United procession at 8ish. Then we’re marching back to the Kings Head. We have no fire-site yet, so members are allowed to go to other ones, but we’re regrouping around 10.30pm for our final local procession.
How many hours have you spent preparing this year? Countless. Hundreds. It doesn’t stop. It’s a 52-week-a-year thing.
Highlight of Bonfire Night so far? The number of people who turned up last year in the procession and on the streets to see us. After all the effort of organising everything it was amazing to see the turnout. The best moment was seeing the kids carrying the 17 burning crosses commemorating the martyrs. That was an emotional moment.

There’s a new gang in town: and Steve Watts is the Chairman