MEET OUR TEAM

JOHN LEWIS
President

I joined the Boyes and Belles in 1950, took over as Chairman in the 1980s and spent 25 years in that role. Under my Chairmanship, we brought back the fireworks and wreath laying, which had been dropped several years before, and introduced the Burning Crosses. Membership dropped in the 1980s to around 15 compared to over 40 in the 1950s. In 1986 it was just Norman Bell and I who cut all the torch sticks from May to September. Long live The Boyes and Belles!

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JO ANDREWS
Social Secretary
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SHAILJA BIHARI
Committee Member
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IAN BRUCE
Commander-in-Chief

I moved to Mayfield in 1965, although my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents all lived in Mayfield at various times. I first got involved in the Carnival at a very young age participating on the W.I.’s float, that was built on the farm where we lived, later progressing to organising the lighting and sound systems on it. When older I was a barrier marshal for many years, and then ran the event for a number of years, devising the Event Management Plan and on the night as “Event control” liaising with the Police, Council and Fire Brigade to ensure the event ran smoothly and safely. I have been an active walking member, committee member, Secretary, Treasurer, and Director, and continue to take an active part in the organisation of the event.

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KATE BURGESS
Committee Member
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RAY EDMONDS
Committee Member
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ROB FOSTER
Director and Treasurer

Rob, who has lived in Mayfield for about 40 years, is MBS Treasurer and a Director. After retiring early from employment as a chartered engineer in the paper industry I went rock climbing a lot and worked as village handyman. Also I helped run various village societies eg History Soc. and now enjoy cycling, long walks and collies.

After watching Carnival for many years, in 2017 I joined MBS and have walked at several events, and been a barrier marshal here, then joined the committee last year.

“I love the Sussex Bonfire tradition, with its off the wall atmosphere of noise, torches, mayhem and beer! Taking part is special, visiting other villages. I encourage everyone to get involved with Carnival, the biggest annual event that Mayfield has to offer. This year has been difficult, but MBS will survive!”

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DAVID HATHAWAY
Company Secretary

Having retired from work in 2019 David moved to Mayfield from Essex in late 2020 knowing absolutely nothing about the tradition of Sussex Bonfire societies. However, once he learnt about the nature and scale of the annual torchlit procession through the village he felt that he had to become involved in a community event that bore no comparison to anything that he had experienced before. Subsequently, he discovered that belonging to the Mayfield Bonfire Boyes and Belles is a great way to integrate into the life of the village.

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CATHERINE HAWLEY
Director

Catherine moved to Mayfield in 2015 and was so taken by her first experience of carnival that she was walking and carrying a torch in the procession the following year and soon joined the committee to help out. “It was a great way to make new friends in the village and be part of this wonderful tradition; dressing up and going to other village processions is good fun and the highlight for me is the senior citizens Christmas lunch.”

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KEVIN LEEVES
Committee Member
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BEN MARTIN
Committee Member
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SALLY WILLIAMS
Membership Secretary

We were amazed when, just over three years ago and newly moved to the village, the Mayfield Bonfire Carnival parade came right past our front door in September 2017. What a spectacle! Flames, noise, drums, music! We followed the procession of hundreds of blazing torches up to the High Street amid crowds of local people and visitors all enjoying the superb event organised by MBBB.  We had lived in Tunbridge Wells for years and knew a little about the annual Lewes bonfire but didn’t quite appreciate the  size and reach of Sussex Bonfire, nor its long history. The significance of such a tradition in Mayfield really struck home so having retired from my job as a school secretary, I took on the role of Membership Secretary of the Mayfield Bonfire Society. I have yet to walk in any of the carnival parades in which MBBB participate, preferring to help out ‘behind the scenes’, ensuring memberships are organised, as well as helping with other fund raisers and events throughout the year. My contribution is small but the rewards of being involved in something so significant in the history of this lovely village are enormous