LEWES BONFIRE COUNCIL

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Commercial Square Bonfire Society

Founded: 1855

 Bonfire Prayers at Commercial Square, showing some of their Second Pioneers.  Photograph by permission of Peter Schueler.  No unauthorised copying or reproduction.
Bonfire Prayers at Commercial Square, showing some of the Second Pioneers.

Motto: "For Independence"
Headquarters: Elephant & Castle P.H.
E-mail: csbs@bonco.org.uk
Official web site: None so far
Pioneer front: North American Indians
Second pioneer front: American Civil War

Smuggler colours: Black and gold jumper, red cap  Commercial Square's smuggler colours
Area of town represented: The Wallands, St Johns and Landport areas of Lewes
Firesite location: Landport Recreation Ground
What makes us different from the others:
Commercial Square's pioneer front and society emblem were born out of protest, rather like the Bonfire tradition itself. During the late 1800s a handful of society members went to America to find their fortune helping to construct the ever-expanding railways. During their time there, they observed the dreadful treatment of the Native American population. Upset by what they saw, upon their return to Lewes, they decided to wear North American Indian costumes to raise the profile of the Native Americans' plight. This costume was so popular that it did not take long before the Indian motif became the society's leading costume and our emblem.

 Commercial Square Bonfire Society's Indians in 1936. Photograph reproduced by permission of Peter Schueler. No unauthorised copying or reproduction.   Commercial Square Bonfire Society's Indians more recently. Photograph reproduced by permission of Peter Schueler. No unauthorised copying or reproduction.

       Some of Commercial Square's First Pioneers in 1936, and now


 Commercial Square Bonfire Society's badge