Its already the start of April and preparations for Smugglers Night 2013 need to be well underway.
Memories of last year may be fading, along with our hangovers, but its time to really start work creating some new memories and another fantastic Smugglers Night for 2013.
Anyone who would like to help in anyway is welcome to come along to our first General Open Meeting which will be at the White Horse on 24th of April at 19.30.
After the last event some interesting points were made by the Police, Brighton & Hove City Council, B&H Bus Company and our Security team NGP in January’s debrief meeting and on the whole were very favorable.
Police and Security estimates for the crowd size were up from 1500 in 2011 to near 3000 in 2012. This while very flattering in that spectators are turning up in their thousands to see Rottingdean Smugglers Night also means that additional measures have to be taken to ensure a safe and pleasant evening for all.
For our night in 2013 Saturday 7th December we will be limiting the number of Rottingdean Smuggler members to 300 (yes just like the film but dressed as pirates, although if you are well buff and want to turn up in your underpants hats off to you!) .This is to ensure that the size of the procession does not get too large. We only get to shut down the A259 for a limited amount of time. The logistics of getting 300 plus pirates with burning torches, 3 drum bands and a visiting bonfire Society across the road in the time allowed is a bit of a challenge. The route we march is quite short and these factors mean the event has to be kept quite small in terms of numbers. Although on a recent meeting in Valencia I realized we had more members than one of Lewes’s oldest Bonfire Societies! Keeping the procession small also means we can focus on the Rottingdean Smugglers members who actually pay to take part. By this we mean things like the special member areas and enclosures at the War Memorial and on the Beach for the Drum Salute and Fireworks. Membership this year will be kept at £4 and £10 for a family ticket, this is tremendous value and the price is only kept so low because of the continuous fund raising activities in the village.
Please note as membership is limited, current members have the advantage now to renew their membership (so they can march on our evening) before membership is reopened to the general public.
The number of people needed to organize Smugglers Night has obviously increased. We are looking for a team of people to help with fund-raising and another to help organize the day time events before Smugglers Night. Everyone in the village is asked to help in some small way to make Rottingdean Smugglers Night a truly local festival that belongs to the village. Fund-raising last year was very successful. A number of our local pubs were very enthusiastic in their support. The Plough was top and was awarded the Best Fund Raiser Cup with a total of nearly £1500. The Black Horse also did fantastically well with a total of £1000, especially good as they only started fund raising for our cause later in the year. The White Horse raised funds and provided free music venues and provided accommodation for our visiting band the East Town Pirates. The Queen Vic was also very supportive and organized our very own Smugglers Ale available throughout the village pubs.
Local businesss made significant contributions. A very sizable amount of £1000 coming from KSD Group.
Another fundraiser was our very own Pirate Stall that was seen at Summer Smugglers and the Village Fete. Lots of t-shirts and flags etc. were sold and it was fantastic to see so many pirate flags bedecking the village on our night. We have a number of slogans for our t shirts now. “ask no questions, tell no lies”, “its easier to apologize than ask for permission” and finally “Guns and Swords” which has sort of become the Smugglers motto.
Dress Sense! What a great turnout by Smugglers who turned up in some amazing costumes- what a great effort. If you watch the videos posted on our web site and view Facebook pages you can see that well over ninety percent of members are in costume. We would like to make that one hundred percent this year and complete the spectacle of the village being totally invaded by pirates for the evening! We would also like to add a Witches Section and a Red Coats Section details to follow. Remember you can’t help being ugly but at least you can dress well.
The One Hundred Burning Crosses that celebrated the Battle of Rottingdean went down very well and thanks to all those who organized and participated in the event. Hopefully, we will be able to repeat it again this year. The giant rolls of Chinese crackers at the Memorial and the Lower High Street were also very popular. We liked them so much we want more this year! Stand well back!
Special things we would like to do this year include celebrating the 500th year of the Black Horse which has been an important feature in Rottingdeans smuggling past. We plan to hold a special ceremony on Smugglers Night style outside the pub that will be truly noisy!
We are also hopefully going to have a large black horse to tow through the street as our tab this year.
Anyone who would like to help in anyway is welcome to come along to our first General Open Meeting, which will be at the White Horse on 24th of April at 19.30
Thinking caps – Does anyone know someone in the Navy who can get a warship off the coast on our Night? Or any type of ship, tall ship etc. bit of an ask!
All the torches need to be dipped/soaked the night before the event and it needs to be in Rottingdean. The area needs to be secure and preferably on a slope and away from built up housing. We used a location outside of Newhaven this year but this creates logistical problems for us at a time when we are already very busy.
We also need storage space like a garage to store wooden sticks, hessian fire carts, barrels, fencing etc. Again this is currently stored in Newhaven.
And theres more! We need a decent PA system to use at the War Memorial and would like access to search light type lighting. Oh and a giant confetti cannon.
We need volunteers with trucks or vans to move fencing, torches, road signs etc. prior to the event.
Fund raising goes on throughout the year please support it. If you have an idea or would like to plan an event to raise funds let us know. Large corporate sponsors are also needed, it could be a company you work for or own or do business with. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Rottingdean Smugglers 2013 Its going to big, its going to be loud
Yours! Guns and Swords
Summer Smugglers 21st of July: 14.30 Same Sky (The Swimmer Puppet Show)