OFF WITH A BANG
It was so wet that even the mermaid had to have an umbrella, but pouring rain throughout the whole of the Bonfire Society’s 1966 Rye Fawkes Celebrations did not dampen the spirits of the thousands who had come to watch the annual spectacle.
The organisers and the boys and girls on the colourful floats carried on despite the elements and the full programme was carried out on time.
At seven o’clock the parade set out from the Tilling Green Estate, led by Parade Chief Marshal, Bobby Edwards. The band of the Chatham Royal Marine Cadet Corps set the pace, they were followed by the Kent Majorettes, appearing in a Rye Fawkes Pageant for the first time, polythene macs did nothing to detract from the glamour of this attractive group.
Outstanding tableaux, out of the many excellent entries were :-
Class “A” Topical—’Hacking The Freeze’ by the Oast Boys. This entry was also judged the best overall and was awarded the Clark Shield. This is the third year running that the Oast Boys have won the Topical Section.
Rye’s Own entry “Far and Near” failed to gain an award in this class.
Class “B” Picturesque—’Royal Visit, 1573’ by the Rye Women’s Institute, a clever reproduction of Elizabeth I’s visit to Rye. This tableau was awarded the ‘Stutely Shield’ for the second best overall entry.
Class “C” Humorous—’The Mirage’ by the Camber Hi-Lights, another group who are often successful at this annual event.
The Pedestrian Tableau (six persons of more) was won by the 1st Rye Guides with “By The Zuider Zee.”
The “Rye’s Own Shield” awarded annually to the person achieving the highest colection, was this year won by Fireman Peter Fletcher with £6.4.02. Miss Ann Edwards was the top lady collector with £3-16-0. The overall total, to be donated to charity, was over £100.
Heavy rain continued throughout the hour long firework display and by the time this spectacle was over the ground around the bonfire had been turned into a sea of mud.
Hero of the evening was Pik-Sen Lim, the 1966 Rye Fawkes, better known to T.V. fans as Nurse Kwei of Emergency Ward 10. Chaired by members of the Rye Fire Brigade arid escorted by prominent members of the Bonfire Society, she was brought down Hider’s Cliff on the famous sedan chair that has carried so many personalities in the past.
At the bonfire Pik-Sen Lim was lowered to the ground and given a blazing torch with which to ‘Do the deed.’ A great cheer arose when she emerged safely from the great pyre and turned to watch her handiwork. Soon the fire was roaring in the night sky and as the rain as last eased off hundreds of people crowded around the burning faggots to dry out
From “Rye’s Own” December 1966
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