Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Tens of thousands attend Lewes bonfire despite efforts to curb numbers

The event has been taking place for centuries Credit: ITV Meridian

Tens of thousands of people gathered for bonfire celebrations in the East Sussex town of Lewes, despite measures to lower the numbers attending.

Police had warned by people not to go unless they were from the town, which has a population of around 16,000.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Sussex Police estimated that around 60,000 attended the event, though there was no official count.

Roads were closed several hours before the start of event, and train services were suspended within a five-mile radius.

Sussex Police said about 80 people were treated for injuries, mostly minor. Officers made five arrests and issued three dispersal orders by 1.30am.

The arrests were for drink-driving, failing to comply with a dispersal order, possession of a knife and an assault.

A minute's silence was held as part of the commemorations

This event takes months of preparation, planning and working with our fellow emergency services and partners, as well as the bonfire societies.

"Our aim is always to provide a safe environment for both participants and spectator

"Lewes was busy as it always is for bonfire night and I am very grateful to all those who worked hard during the evening to ensure that everyone had a safe and enjoyable evening.”

– Chief Superintendent Neil Honnor
A troupe of Zulu dancers took part in the procession

Before the event, one of the bonfire groups involved agreed to tone down its costumes, after the leader of dance troupe Zulu Tradition, booked to perform at this year's event, said they were offensive.

Members of Lewes Borough Bonfire Society traditionally wear black face paint and extravagant accessories for the parade.

Some locals have backed the group, commenting the tradition of painting faces had been going on for years.

Some of the groups continued to paint their faces black, saying it's a tradition going back generations

Effigies of political figures featured in the parade, with Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un strapped to a rocket.

Theresa May was also portrayed as Britannia