Midnight Lady

7 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    I think most (all that ever did?) places still do local bonfires – I also try to get to East Hoathly – nearest to where I grew up, where the bonfire is combined with a kind of memorial service for Armistice day (a burning cross for each villager killed in the 2 world wars is carried through the village – easily misunderstood by those so imbued with US culture that the burning cross only means KKK!). But as you say everyone is in Lewes on the 5th. The ‘official’ Lewes bonfire website tends to list all the dates in all the places I recall (that’s the website that tells you not to bother going if you expect a tourist event!).

    As you say, Smuggler outfit (and pint of Harvey’s) is the order of the day.

    Incidentally, checked the list of 13 special pubs. Perry’s addition of Flamouth’s Seven Stars is a good call – I’ve actually been in that one. I think the additional Derbyshire one (“Chris Garrand’s Appendix … The Three Stags Head, Wardelow Myres, Derbyshire”) I think is in a place that should be correctly spelt Wardlow Mires – at least according to Ordnance Survey (on A623 north of Bakewell – in striking distance of me so I will have to check it out if I can recruit a driver).

    Checking the locations of the 13, on my travels over the years I have been frustratingly close to most of them and never knew they existed – so thanks for publishing the list!

  2. Ian Marchant says:

    Hello again Dan. Lowdham was fun…
    I know it’s shameful that I’d never been to Lewes on the 5th November before. But it used to be the case that all the towns around had their own Bonfires, so we all used to go to Newhaven Bonfire; though of course we could have gone to Lewes as well, since Lewes is pretty much the only place in Sussex to have a proper Bonfire night; because, after all, who would want to be anywhere else other than Lewes on Bonfire Night? I hope never to miss it again; and feel that until I dress up as a smuggler and march throygh Lewes by torchlight, my life has been wasted.

  3. Dan says:

    Ian – I can’t beleive that – you grew up in Newhaven and only went to Lewes for the first time last year! When I lived near Lewes (Berwick) I was attending the event from at least an age old enough to swig cider from a bottle! I try my best to go back most years when I can. I moved away to go to University – so it was not until I was 19 that I found out that other places don’t celebrate bonfire that way! I jollied along to the bonfire night in my big university city – thinking – big city – must do big fireworks etc – ha ha – how wrong I was to see the pathetic excuse for a display a city of 300,000 people put on!

    Incidentally, I should (re) introduce myself as the chap who accosted you after your reading at the Lowdham (near Nottigham) book festival last summer – you may remember me telling you about my first job working at Brighton Station Travellers fare back in the mid / late 80s (or alternatively you may have voided the whole event from your memory).

    Ashamed to say I’ve only recently started reading my copy of The Longest Crawl – but enjoying every page – superb stuff. I’m off to check the list of 13 now, but a colleague who goes to Hay regularly reckons the character has been lost at the 3 Tuns since the post fire re-build – so I presume the list is already down to 12 at least?

    I’d look forward to reading a Lewes write up – although I think it possibly defies description (just as it defies photography). I tried to persuade a friend to join me for it one year – but after my description a look of horror filled her eyes and she said words to the effect of ‘I’m not going anywhere near one of those Wicker Man type places…’

  4. Ian Marchant says:

    It was one of our Tom Rolt moments, as it goes.
    And thanks for the anti-climactic New Year story.
    You’re quite right about people from Lewes doing the fireworks. I went last November, for the first time, as it goes. Bonkers. I’ll write my visit up.

  5. Dan says:

    Bit of the Tom Rolt’s about the ice bound (or ice breaking) eascapade by canal me thinks.
    Mind you I was in Brighton millenium new year – wandering the streets in large crowds to get to the beach front in time for the fireworks – only for the front to be covered by a sea mist! the fireworks simply added to this smog so that the effect was one of standing in a thick mist that changed colour regularly – it was rubbish. In fact it was so rubbish that my partner sent an irate e-mail to Brighton Council soon after – I think they just thought she was a nutter – but it was badly organised and not much good – never mind the mist – they should have got some people in from Lewes who have demonstrated very well that they can organise a proper firework display!!

  6. Perry Venus says:

    I searched in vain for a suitable picture of the venerable Midnight Lady; no luck. However I thought you might like to admire these photographs made FROM Midnight Lady in Autumn 2001. Somewhere in Staffordshire I think?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP Facebook Like Send & Open Graph Meta powered by TutsKid.com.