5.30pm 500 year anniversary service outside The Olde Black Horse Inn
Speeches, hessian torches lit and flares, culminating in 5 barrels of chinese crackers (one for each hundred years) for a noisy start to the evening.
6.00pm Drumming around Rottingdean village by Section 5 from Hastings, Skulldrummery from Lewes and Maracatu Cruzeiro do Sul from Brighton plus street fireworks
6.30pm Start to form up 1st Smuggler procession from the lower High Street.
6.50pm. 10 minute warning maroon (large aerial rocket, all noise no colour).
Completion of procession form up, handing out of torches, positioning of bands, marshals and fire carts.
7.00pm Rocket shell to mark start of procession.
Start of Buccaneer March, (commemoration of Rottingdean Smugglers past) 300 torches, smugglers, bands, boom box, smoke barrel, giant black horse and fire carts. Procession proceeds to War Memorial. Marshaled by South Heighton Bonfire Society
7.30pm Arrive at war memorial. Speeches, prayers, minute silence, guest singer Chloe Jackson, drum salute, mass flare rank, street fireworks.
7.40pm Drum band outside The Plough Inn to enable procession to turn around and reform. To include 200 torches, 100 crosses, bands, smugglers, tab and fire carts.
8.00pm French Raiders March back to the coast. Commemoration of the dead from the Battle of Rottingdean.
Destruction of Tab on the beach. This year a Black Horse as part of the pub’s 500 year anniversary. Beach Ground fireworks
8.30pm Grand aerial display provided by Nevill Bonfire Society.
Drum off on High Street at The Olde Black Horse.
Rottingdean Smugglers Daytime Activities:
Village Hall 2.30pm-5pm Samesky Lantern Making Workshops
3pm – Windmill WI Refreshments.
4pm-6pm Santa’s Grotto
4pm-6pm Smugglers Stall
4pm-5.30pm Salvation Army Band (outside village hall)
High Street – 4pm Fairground Organ plus sideshow in West Street,
4pm-5.30pm Chucklefoot One Man Band outside Co-op.
Nevill Road – 4pm-5.30pm Captain’s Beard Sea Shanties outside Sorting Office.
4pm onwards St Margaret’s BBQ.
The Grange – Art Exhibition upstairs, dolls house, puppets and gifts,
3pm-6pm In the Library: Will-o-Wisp Pirate telescope making workshops, face painting and dressing up.
4pm onwards refreshments.
St Margaret’s Church – Punch and Judy 4.15pm, 5.15pm & 6.15pm.
Commemorating 500 years of the The Olde Black Horse Inn
Built in the reign of Henry VIII, Ye Olde Black Horse is the oldest entire building in Rottingdean, dating back to 1513 in a style typical of tudor england. Once known as the ‘Black Hole’ you get an indication of the atmosphere of a village tavern from Tudor times, sawdust on the floors, dark and rough, filled with the noise of farm workers and fisherman enjoying their beer after toiling on local farms or just back from the sea. Throw into this mix the noise and smells from a blacksmith forge that was sited in what is now the dining area and you can easily imagine a very different environment from what exists today.
By the 18th century “the Black” would certainly have been a meeting place for smugglers. Many villagers were involved in portering tea, spirits, tobacco and lace through the secret network of tunnels below village streets. Access underneath what is now the snug, linked the Olde Black Horse to main tunnels and the lucrative smuggling trade.
Smuggling and secret tunnels may have faded into history but the Black remains, a potent symbol of Rottingdean’s colourful past.