Newsletter

We have a busy month of activities for the whole family so do come along and meet us in June. More details of these events are available on our website www.mayfieldbonfire.co.uk/events. 

On the afternoon of Sunday 2nd June it's our first Open Gardens. Our generous gardeners are kindly opening their private gardens for an exclusive opportunity to explore six gardens and enjoy home made teas in The Warren and East Street. Bring the family for an afternoon stroll, tickets £6 available online and on the gate, free for under 16s, and dogs are welcome on leads.

We would also like to thank the Warren residents, and in particular Val and Rene, for raffling a giant 3kg chocolate bunny to help raise funds for the Carnival. 

Next, we are taking part in the 80th anniversary D-Day commemorations on the evening of Thursday 6th June with 1940s-themed music and entertainment on Court Meadow, starting with church bells from 6:30pm and culminating in lighting a beacon to celebrate the ‘light of peace’ that emerged out of the darkness of war. Come and enjoy a summers evening in Court Meadow with a licensed bar, songs and music of the era, a display of military vehicles, and the commemorative beacon lit at 9.15pm to coincide with the national act of remembrance. Free to attend. Dress up in period or come as you are. Bring a chair to relax, or get up and dance to the music. Hopefully it will be a lovely summer evening, but the Scout Hall is available if the weather is inclement.

Do join us on Thursday 20th June for our regular social drink and catch up at the Rose and Crown from 8-10pm.

Finally, on 29th June we will be at the Mayfield Primary School Fair, where you can have fun making our new design of children's torches. These will be replica torches, lit by fairy lights, which can be individually decorated.  Grown ups and teens can also have a go making one of the 5,000 torches we will burn in the Carnival procession.

And all month we will be drilling the 30,000 holes in torch sticks and board to prepare the materials for torch making in July and August.

Catherine Hawley 

bonfire@gawain.online 

We have a busy month this May with preparations for the Carnival underway as well as a couple of events where you can come and meet us and find out more about your Bonfire Society. 

The planning and organising for the Carnival Procession on Saturday 21st September is going well, we have booked the various locations, fireworks, food stalls and first aid and recently had our road closure application approved. We are hoping the wet weather is over as we are unfortunately behind schedule on cutting and preparing the 5,000 torches we will need to assemble this summer for the procession. A small team of volunteers and members are working most Saturday and Sunday mornings to cut and drill the sticks, if you can spare a few hours to help please do get in touch. 

On Saturday 11th May we will have a stall at the May Fare where you can meet other members and find out more about everything that goes on behind the scenes to put on the spectacular Carnival Procession. You can also join the 59 Club, see our new range of merchandise and get tickets for our events coming up in June - the Open Gardens on Sunday 2nd and the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday 22nd June.

On Thursday 16th May we will be holding our Annual Meeting in the Rose and Crown at 7:30pm, before our regular monthly social get together at 8pm. The annual meeting will be brief, members are invited to join us to elect our directors and approve the accounts, then we will revert to the bar for drinks and a catch up with friends and members on everything happening in the society. 

Do come along and get involved with your friendly bonfire society.

Carnival on 24th September is less than six months away and we are busy raising the £10,000 we need to run the event for our village. Last July we introduced a new '59 Club', based on the National Lottery bonus ball, as a fun way to help support us and raise money. The concept of the 59 Club is that Members, Friends and Patrons of the Society “buy” a particular number(s) between 1 and 59, corresponding to the numbers on the weekly Saturday National Lottery draw. Each Saturday the National Lottery draws a Bonus Ball – and if this is the same number as your own, you win! It’s as simple at that.
 
So far, nearly half of all members of the 59 Club have won a prize, three people have already won twice, and one lucky person won the rollover of £64! A very nice bonus ball for them, whilst helping us raise hundreds of pounds towards the Carnival. There are still 38 numbers available, so plenty of chances to win, and the more members there are of the 59 Club, the higher the weekly prize pot. You can also own more than one number to increase your chance of winning.
 
If you would like to join the 59 Club you can find out more information on our website, www.mayfieldbonfire.co.uk/59club or contact 59club@mayfieldbonfire.co.uk.
 
We also have a couple of new fundraising events coming up in the spring, so hold the dates in your diary. On Sunday 2nd June we will have an exclusive Open Gardens in The Warren and East Street, where a group of our generous supporters are opening up their private gardens for an afternoon for you to explore and enjoy afternoon teas and cakes. On Saturday 22nd June we are showing a karaoke version of the cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, at Five Ashes Village Hall. The perfect excuse to dress up and sing-along. Tickets for both events will be available in May.
September 21st may seem a long way off, but we are already getting ready for Carnival 2024. The Fireworks are booked, as well as the first aid, and the road closure order applied for. On the few dry days last month we have been out tidying up the storage shed and field as well as looking for sources of hazel to cut for torch sticks. This month we will be starting the marathon job of drilling torches and prepping them for assembly.
 
Normality we would hold a spring fundraising quiz, with several quizzes taking place recently for the village, we will be holding ours later on. Instead, our friends at the Rose and Crown have kindly offered to host a wine & cheese tasting to help raise funds for us on Thursday 21st March. Harveys will be running the tasting, with a wide selection of wines and local cheeses. Space is limited to just 30 people and tickets sell out fast for this popular tasting. Tickets are available from the Rose and Crown for £25 which includes 6 glasses of wine and matched cheeses. 
 
The wine & cheese tasting will replace our regular monthly social and we will be back at the Rose and Crown on April 18th for a drink and catch up.
Mayfield Bonfire Society 
 
We are grateful to Colkins Mill Church who kindly agreed to host our traditional Christmas Party for Senior Citizens, where 50 people enjoyed a festive tea and carol singing. The Mayfieldians decorated the church beautifully and the Scouts made the cutest table decorations, with Fi Mason on the piano and some MayZing members singing, the party was even better than Tea at the Ritz. We were delighted to be able to hand out cheques at the party of £500 each to Mayfield Youth Band, Mayfield Pre-school and the Scouts, sharing the village's generous donations between the youngest and oldest members of our community.
 
We have a great turn out for our Quiz at Five Ashes Hall with our regular supporters joined by some new teams of quizzers. Our friends from Chiddingly Bonfire Society won first prize of 6 bottles of wine and we raised over £1,300 towards the carnival 2024. Next year we will be continuing with our quiz and also introducing two new fundraising events, a Cheese and Wine tasting at the Rose and Crown in March and Open Gardens in the Warren in June. 
 
Wishing Mayfield peace and joy this festive season.

Thank you to all our kind supporters who came along to our November Quiz to help raise funds for Carnival 2024. On December 2nd we will be hosting our last event of the year, our annual senior citizens Christmas party at Colkins Mill. As well as enjoying a festive afternoon tea and carols, we will be handing out donation cheques to our three charities:The Scouts, Mayfield Band and Mayfield Pre-school. We wish all our helpers, supporters and patrons a peaceful festive season and joyous new year.

In October we had some great nights out in support of our local bonfire societies at Rotherfield, Heathfield and Isfield, then in November will be walking at Lewes, East Hoathley, Barcombe and Chiddingly.

There are three other dates for your diaries. As well as our usual monthly social drinks at the Rose and Crown 8-10pm on Thursday 16th November, we will be returning to Five Ashes Village Hall on Friday 17th November for another of our popular Quiz Nights. Doors open at 7:00pm for the bar, with the quiz running from 7:30 to 10pm, and we will be serving Martin’s delicious pizzas at the interval. Tickets are available from Burnetts and Sew Inspired, as well as online on our website at www.mayfieldbonfire.co.uk.

Then on Saturday 2nd December we will be hosting our annual Christmas Party, which is free to all  senior citizens from Mayfield and Five Ashes. With the closure of the Memorial Hall, we will be holding the party in Colkins Mill Church this year and serving a Christmas-themed afternoon tea, accompanied by festive music and carol singing. Doors open at 1pm and we can arrange transport for anyone needing assistance. Places are offered on a first come basis, if you would like to come, please let Nicola from Sew Inspired know, she is kindly keeping the list of attendees.

Have you heard about our new fundraising initiative the 59 Club? One week a very lucky winner received a nice surprise of a triple rollover win of £64! The club is based on the National Lottery bonus ball and we still have numbers available if you would like to join and help support our fundraising for the Carnival in 2024. You can sign up for the 59 Club online on our website, or in person at the Quiz and Christmas Party

Wow, what a fabulous carnival! Your Bonfire Boyes and Belles were joined by 29 visiting societies and 5 bands, creating a spectacular procession of fire though the village stretching about a mile long. The crowds in the High street and along the procession routes were clearly having such fun and enjoying the spectacle. A group of outsiders looking for trouble were quickly dealt with by the police and the show went on to be another wonderful evening of processions and fireworks for our village.

The evening began with the Memorial Service and fiery poppy banners and this year the wreaths were laid by Mel Izzard, in memory of our late member Darren Izzard, and by Freya Huxtable representing our Ukrainian guests. Vines Cross Bonfire Society also carried a banner in memory of Darren Izzard.

It takes a village to raise a carnival, with a huge effort going on behind the scenes throughout the year to put on the event. We would like to thank the dozens of helpers who worked throughout the year to make it such a success. Including fundraising the £10,000 to run the event, cutting and assembling the 5,000 torches and constructing the banners; arranging the fireworks and building the bonfire; running the bar and catering; as well as the many behind the scenes roles of organising road closures and putting out the hundreds of cones and signs; manning the barriers; and then clearing up afterwards so the village looks like nothing had happened.

We would also like to thank those who shook collection buckets on the night, and you for the generosity of our lovely village, who donated £1,900 to local causes the Mayfield 1st Scouts, Mayfield Pre-school and Mayfield Band, as well as the senior citizens’ Christmas party. Thank you Mayfield!

The Boyes and Belles are delighted to announce our next annual Carnival Procession will be held on Saturday 16th September. We will continue with the the same route and timings as last year, with the first procession along the High Street leaving the Horse Trough at 7:15pm. The Map shows the routes and approximate timings and there is more detailed information about the route and road closures below. Look out for the new Bonfire banners in the High Street during September, made by our team of sewing Boyes and Belles.

As always, we will be collecting for local charities so please do remember to bring cash and give generously. This year we are collecting for Mayfield Pre-School and Mayfield Band, as well as the Scouts and Senior Citizens Christmas party. You can also donate online at the Bonfire Bar.

With the rising cost of living, we need to raise around £10,000 to put on the carnival procession and would like to thank our members, patrons and friends for their support. We would also like to thank Mayfield Parish Council for their grant and continuing support for the Bonfire Society. 

You can help us raise funds by using our Bonfire Bar, which will be in its usual place, in the High Street beside the cannon, serving Harvey's beers, plus cider, wines and soft drinks. There will also be various food stalls in the High Street and the Fun Fair on Court Meadow, together with fireworks at 9:45pm. There will not be a bonfire this year.

Thank you to all our many kind helpers who have made 5,000 torches in preparation for the torchlit processions, and to all those who work tirelessly over the weekend to put on the village’s largest event and then to clear up again afterwards.

ROAD CLOSURES

As usual, most roads in the village will be closed to all vehicles. Road Closures begin at 6pm and affect Tunbridge Wells Road, High Street, Fletching Street (down to Alexandra Terrace junction), East Street (to Sandy Lane junction), The Avenue, and Station Road (including the junction with Stone Cross and Love Lane). Some roads will be opened to traffic once the procession has passed, but the High Street and parts of Tunbridge Wells Road will remain closed until 11.30pm, or until it is safe to open them.

Please respect the Barrier Marshals as most of them are volunteers giving up their time for this fantastic community event, and they have direct communication to the Police control centre covering the event. This is an official Road Closure Order and if contravened may result in prosecution by the Police.

For visitors, parking will be possible along one side of the Tunbridge Wells road, and this road will become one-way, heading away from the village, from 9pm.  

COMMEMORATION 6.45pm. There will be a service to remember the dead at the War Memorial, where a wreath will be laid accompanied by a short Eulogy, followed by a minute’s silence and lighting of the fiery Poppies. This year we will include a memorial to commemorate Ukraine's fallen.

PROCESSIONS and PARKING:

FIRST PROCESSION 7.15pm. Forms up along Station Road (Bands form up in the top of West Street), lights up at the Horse trough, then proceeds up the High Street, down Fletching Street, and stops at the Rose & Crown.

SECOND PROCESSION 8.15pm. Leaves the Rose and Crown, up Fletching Street, down the High Street, along Station Road to beyond Old Lane, and then turns on itself and returns up Station Road to stop just before the Horse trough. For this reason the full width of Station Road will be required to allow the procession to pass itself. Vehicles in the procession will continue to the junction with Love Lane and turn there. 

GRAND PROCESSION 9.15pm. Lights up at the Horse trough, proceeds up the High Street and around to the gates of Court Meadow where it de-torches.

We are asking residents and visitors to please observe the parking restrictions in order to allow an unobstructed procession and avoid damage to parked vehicles. Please do not park anywhere on the procession routes (see map). We cannot accept responsibility for any damage to vehicles or property left on the procession route.

FIREWORKS 9.45pm: The fireworks display will commence as soon as the end of the procession has cleared the Court Meadow gates, which we anticipate will be around 9.45pm. Please note no fireworks are permitted by members of the public at our event. 

We look forward to seeing you at another spectacular torchlit carnival.

Catherine Hawley

bonfire@gawain.online

It's only a few more weeks till we put on Mayfield's largest event with our torchlit Carnival Procession on Saturday 16th September. Preparations are well underway and torch assembly starts on 1st July at the Scout Hut. Can you spare an hour or so to help assemble the 5,000 torches we burn on the night? Come along and join us for a chat and a cuppa on most Saturday mornings throughout July and August from 10-1 at the Scout Hut. It's simple work, but a bit dusty, so wear old clothes and gloves. We will be at the barn in Five Ashes on Saturday 15th July and 5th August when the Scout Hut is not available.

 

Would you like the chance of winning up to £30 a week and supporting your Bonfire Society at the same time? With rising costs we will need to raise £10,000 to run the Carnival Procession this year and so have introduced a new initiative, called the 59 Club.  The concept of the 59 Club is that Members, Friends and Patrons of the Society buy a particular number(s) between 1 and 59, corresponding to the numbers on the weekly Saturday National Lottery draw.  Each Saturday the National Lottery draws a Bonus Ball  and if this is the same number as your own, you win!!!  Its as simple at that.

 

Entry costs £1 per number per week.  Particular numbers can be allocated on request, on a first come first served basis. Winnings will be half the value of the total weekly pot so, for example, if all numbers are bought the prize will be £30.  If only half the numbers are sold, the prize will be £15, and so on.

 

You can find out more and apply from our website www.mayfieldbonfire.co.uk/59club/

 

Catherine Hawley bonfire@gawain.online

Save the date of Saturday 16th September for our annual Bonfire Society torchlit procession and fireworks.  At a mile long, Mayfield's procession is the longest village procession outside Lewes and sure to be a spectacular sight. Save your cash too for the collection buckets, this year we will be raising money for the Mayfield Band and Pre-school in addition to the Scouts.
 

With a big thank you to our lovely helpers, we are making steady progress assembling the 5,000 torches we will burn on the night. If you can spare an hour or so to help, we will be at the Scout Hut on Saturday mornings on the 12th, 19th and 26th from 10-1, do join us for a cuppa and chat whilst we make the torches.

 
And do get in touch if you can spare a few hours over the weekend of 16th and 17th September to help set everything up and to clear away afterwards. It's a great way to meet people and get involved with what makes Mayfield special.
 

Catherine Hawley 

bonfire@gawain.online