Lewes bonfire night, England

Photo © Dominic Alves

Gordon Brown. Osama Bin Laden. Anne Robinson. James Hewitt. Nelson. The Pope. What do all these household names have in common?

They’ve all been burnt to ashes in a fit of frenzied pyromania, as part of the bonfire night festivities in Lewes, East Sussex.

This town has one of the nation’s most extreme takes on an already strange national anniversary, which marks the near destruction of the houses of parliament over 400 years ago. But for residents of Lewes, the night is also a commemoration of the death of 17 protestant martyrs here in 1555.

The townsfolk celebrate by crafting effigies of public figures, parading them around town with burning crosses and the odd flaming barrel, and then setting them alight in an explosion of fireworks.

Written by - Photo by Dominic Alves

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