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Name: Margaret Pethick
Bonfire Society: Commercial Square
Position: I’m a rank and file member.
Years in society: I was originally with Cliffe, but I married into Commercial Square. I’ve been a member of one or the other since the mid nineties.
What’s Bonfire Night in Lewes all about? Restating the fact that we live in Lewes and we’re carrying on a tradition that goes back a long time (or a year, depending how you look at it). It engenders great camaraderie, too: you meet people you wouldn’t normally meet.
What’s your itinerary on the fourth? Last year I helped introduce the coffin cart. The society had a Victorian carriage cart and we got new wheels made. We also got a free coffin - an MDA job you wouldn’t want to see your best friend buried in. This year we’ve been sanding it down and painting it up. We were donated some handles and fittings by a very sympathetic woman at Coopers. So I’ll be one of the two ‘undertakers’ next to that in the procession. It’s not exactly a captaincy, more of a pool of darkness in the middle of the procession. We’re next to the clergy and the Guy and the Grim Reaper, aptly enough.
How many hours have you spent preparing this year? Not as many as some, but I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks on the coffin and doing up costumes for myself and my family.
Highlight of Bonfire Night so far? Actually it’s always getting home when it’s all finished. If all has gone well and you’ve had a good night with people you like. You can relax. Then the next day when there are the post-mortems and you’re still on that adrenalin high.

Friends in High Places 2 - Margaret Pethick marches alongside
The Grim Reaper