These are members of the Commercial Square Bonfire Society. Lewes has several bonfire societies.
I'd love to go and see the Lewes celebrations, and so I had a look at the Advice for Potential Visitors on the Lewes Bonfire Council website.
'This will be a long evening and may be cold or even wet...wear old clothes and protection goggles...very loud bangs occur throughout and ear plugs/mufflers are strongly advised...Do not expect pubs to be open; some close entirely and some admit regulars only and have bouncers on the doors. The existing Lewes Street Drinking Prohibition will be enforced...the proceedings are often delayed...there are no parking facilities...public transport...is very crowded...queue for long periods before entering Lewes. The journey home could be even more horrendous. This can be an unpleasant experience, particularly when it is cold or raining - which is likely in November...Bonfire Night...is particularly unsuitable for younger children who are unlikely to get a view of the celebrations and who may find the event confusing and frightening...the noise and density of the crowds make the evening entirely unsuitable for pets...All persons should carefully note that attendance...will constitute volenti non fit injuria, that is to say you will be deemed to have accepted any risk of injury or damage whatsoever, and no claim in respect thereof will lie against the organisers.'
Hmm...you know how people say that no publicity is bad publicity?
Well I think the Lewes Bonfire Council might just have proved them wrong.
Thing To Consider Today: publicity. This word arrived in England in the 1700s from France, and before that it came from the Latin pūblicitās, from populus, people.
*Bonfire Night is a celebration of the failure of a terrorist plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The most famous of the terrorists was Guy Fawkes.