A Mob With Flaming Torches

Every year the ancient town of Rye is lit up by a mob with burning torches. They parade through the town dressed as smugglers, monks and skeletons. And then burn a massive pyre. If only they could march on X Factor.
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Every year the ancient town of Rye is lit up by a mob with burning torches. They parade through the town dressed as smugglers, monks and skeletons. And then burn a massive pyre. If only they could march on X Factor.

Every autumn the East Sussex Bonfire Societies hold weekly torchlight processions through their towns. The season stretches from the end of summer to the beginning of winter. If Lewes is the most famous, Rye looks the most medieval. If you've ever wondered what it must be like to be in that castle at the end of a Hammer Horror when the townsfolk have surrounded it and are about to burn it down this will give you a flavour. Weird costumes, ear cracking bangers, a huge firework display, a massive bonfire and torches, masses of them. Matthew Sankey took his camera along.

The Rye torchlight parade takes place this Saturday 9th November.