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Trump and May 'star' in Lewes Bonfire as thousands throng streets

It's the country's most famous Guy Fawkes celebration and flaming torches once again filled the streets of Lewes on Saturday night.

Bonfire societies in their traditional costumes were joined by spectacular effigies poking fun at politicians and world leaders - but with travel restrictions in place, did the visitors stay away?

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Ch Const Giles York, Mick Symes of Lewes Borough Bonfire Society, and Thandanani of Gumede Zulu Tradition.


Lewes Bonfire night: 'racist' costumes to be altered

  • Watch John Ryall's full report below
Participants parade through the town of Lewes during the annual event Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

One of the societies taking part in this year's Lewes Bonfire night has agreed to alter its costumes after being accused of racism.

A social media campaign was launched to try to stop members of the Lewes Borough Bonfire Society from dressing up as Zulus and painting their faces black, as they have in previous events.

The group have continued to keep in touch with a Zulu ethnic group and have reviewed their approach, telling ITV Meridian they want to honour the Zulu warriors and be even more authentic.

They'll be using less black paint on their faces and fewer adornments on their costumes.

Organiser Mick Symes said "We'll be walking into the parade with our heads held high."

John spoke to Ch Supt Neil Honnor, Sussex Police, Nigel Cusack, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, Brighton Kemptown, Lab.

Safety concerns ahead of Lewes Bonfire celebrations

Thousands attend the event every year Credit: ITV Meridian

Sussex Police is advising people, who do not live locally, against travelling to Lewes Bonfire tomorrow over concerns for public safety.

50,000 people are expected to pack the streets for the celebrations.

Concerns have been raised about dangerous over-crowding at the event.

Credit: ITV Meridian

A number of roads will be closed and some train services will be cancelled on the night to dissuade people from attending.

The emergency services and Southern Railway, who are responsible for the closures, say public safety is their priority and they haven't made the decisions lightly.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP Brighton Kemptown, Lab

  1. Tom Savvides

Donald Trump takes centre stage at Lewes bonfire celebrations

Around forty thousand people have celebrated bonfire night in Lewes. Sussex Police say spectator numbers were down on previous years because of a strike on Southern Rail. But the event still attracted huge crowds with American presidential candidate Donald Trump making not one but three appearances, as Tom Savvides explains.

Crowds celebrate bonfire night in Lewes despite rail strike

Crowds have celebrated the traditional bonfire night celebrations in Lewes, in spite of a strike on Southern Rail. This is what some of the spectators had to say.


Lewes Bonfire night procession - were you there?

Around 40,000 people were in Lewes last night for the annual bonfire night celebrations. The procession weaved through the town's streets ahead of the main event.

Up to 40,000 people attend Lewes bonfire event

Sussex Police said between 30,000 and 40,000 people attended the Lewes Bonfire celebrations.

Crowds were believed to be small for a Saturday. Numbers are usually counted through the train station, however the strike meant there were no trains into Lewes after midday.

Chief Superintendent Neil Honnor said: "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 spectators.

"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.”

South East Coast Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance treated around 81 people for injuries, most relatively minor.

By 1.30am police had made a total of two arrests for possession of a knife and affray. A number of people given tickets for throwing fireworks.