Can You Hear Those Distant Drums Getting Louder?

Picture by Roz Bassford-South

Picture by Roz Bassford-South

Can you hear those distant drums getting louder? Have you heard loud bangs coming from the beach at night? Worry not, your ears do not deceive you…. As Autumn approaches, Rottingdean Smugglers are on the march. We can’t wait for the nights to draw in, the weather to cool and the drumming to start.

This year, on 3rd December, Rottingdean celebrates once again its iconic Smugglers Night, which combines all kinds of fire, noise, light and devilry in a unique coastal setting. Our Smugglers Night marks our proud piratical history, whilst also giving us an excuse to throw a pre-Christmas party that our rabble-rousing ancestors would have been proud of. Everyone is invited, from the little to the mighty, because back in them ol’ smuggling days, even the clergy were at it.

As anticipation builds in the afternoon, children can do face-painting, create sculptures to carry in the procession, meet Father Christmas or watch a puppet show from 2pm. Adults can get in the spirit in one of our 5 historic pubs, all serving incredible food to fuel you for marching and merry-making. During the festival atmosphere, with stalls and shops offering snacks, drinks and goodies, you can watch the incredible Blind Veterans walking across fire at the Terraces from 4.30pm.

At 7pm we gather hundreds of like-minded pirates and smugglers together to march with flaming torches through the village streets, gathering on the Green to remember Rudyard Kipling to the backing track of hypnotic drumming from the talented bands of Sussex. On the beacon by the ancient windmill, the bangers will begin, marking the beginning of the march back to the beach.

From the floodlit Terraces (ideal for wheelchairs and buggies) you can watch the giant pirate ship get set on fire as the crowds gather and anticipation rises for the fireworks.

The incredible finale at 8.30pm comes as fireworks more awe-inspiring than ever before bang, swoop and blow up the night sky, reflected in the inky sea where so many past misdemeanors have taken place.

Of course, thousands of pirates and smugglers cannot organise themselves. Volunteers most welcome: a great time is guaranteed with a smuggler’s handshake. If you can help, please contact email

Charity Smugglers Race Night Fundraiser

Fancy a flutter? Come and join our Race Night on 4th August, 7.30pm in the Black Horse, Rottingdean.

We’ll be taking bets on horse racing as well as holding an auction on the night. Join us in the historic pub the Black Horse for this fundraiser for our iconic Rottingdean Smugglers’ Night.

Thursday 4th August @ 7:30pm


Little Smugglers 2016 – June 25th

little_smugglers_2016_A3_pdf__1_page_Put the date in your calendar – Little Smugglers 2016 – June 25th 12pm – 5pm at the Rottingdean Terraces


The timetable for the day is as follows:

12:30 PM – MELISSA & REECE – singing duo.
1 PM – BRIGHTON SCHOOL OF SINGING – Young People’s Showcase
1:30 PM – STEREO SHOK – European champions;Young People’s Street Dance Troupe
2 PM – ELSA – with songs from Frozen
2:45 PM – BRIGHTON SCHOOL OF SINGING – Juniors aged 8
4 PM – CHILDREN’S PARADE – singing songs from Frozen
4:30 PM – BEST DRESSED PIRATE …and best decorated barrel
5 PM – The balloon release scheduled for the end of Little Smugglers has been cancelled. Children will still have the opportunity to collect a balloon and take it home. The balloons will have a ribbon tether attached.

You can download the full flyer here and sign up to the Facebook event here

Ahoy there – you scurvy dogs.

‘Tis time for them Rottingdean folk to stand up and support those Scallywags known as Rottingdean Smugglers. As you know the team that help organise Smuggler events – Smugglers Night (winter December 3rd) and Little Smugglers (summer June 25th Rottingdean Terraces) is a small number of local individuals.

We have need to improve our structure and more importantly the role of individuals and in this endeavour you could help us.

We need to have a strong base of key individuals who will fulfil the following roles:

Chairman – In essence the overall co-ordinator of the events and management of the relationship with Local Business, City Council, Parish Council, Local Schools and other Fund Raising groups. Focus the team on delivering the strategic plans.

Secretary – Schedule of regular meetings, note taking, administration and compliance. Booking of event participants.

Accountant – Management of the books of account-ensuring compliance and regular updates to the scheduled meetings.

Treasurer- Management of Bank Accounts, funding forecasting and collection.

Fund Raiser(s) – Organise and deliver activities to include Stalls at Local Fairs, Local Events such as Race Nights.

Main Event Organiser(s) – completion of the documentation required enabling Smugglers to conduct its two/three main activities. Work with The Event Solutions team ensuring that we comply with all Health and Safety requirements and in a timely manner.

IT Management- development of website and uploads of key data, Facebook and any electronic media.

Publicity –development and distribution of all flyers, posters and paper based documents. Input to electronic Media.

Friends of Smugglers – help on the day at all activities whether they are fund raising or working a stall. Ideally, a number of people would form the core of supporters to whom we could call upon.

With all the above positions we already have some people working all or some of the above. However, our Treasurer role, which currently includes the Accounting role will be stepping down and we wish to split the roles. Perhaps you could do one of these jobs or indeed any of the others.  Let me know by contacting me at You can also look at our website for more information.

We will be holding our Annual General Meeting on May 18th at the Village Hall 7.30pm at which time we will reflect on our past year and discuss the coming year. The election of officers will be on the Agenda. So if you have some of the skills listed above and wish to join us nominees are invited.

Light refreshments and nibbles will be there to tempt you to come along.

Look forward to seeing some of you there.

Chris White – Chair.