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.

Smugglers Night Dec 5th 2015 – Update

12241697_1025351834153432_2056887557455755672_nWe are expecting unusually high winds and rain on Saturday and therefore in the interests of public safety we have made the decision to cancel some elements of our Smugglers Night activities.

We are continuing with our activities at the Village Hall and High Street. The Hall will have a Father Christmas grotto, Smugglers Stall, Face Painting and Nail Bar along with hot and cold beverages.

Coupled with this, many eateries and pubs will be offering good food and sustenance throughout the village.

The High Street itself is closed to vehicles from 3pm and will have entertainment including drumming bands and Woody the one man Band. We hope to have a children’s procession from the Village Hall to Neville Road and activities from the Village Green will take place at Neville Road.

Stalls will be dotted around the High Street.

The Firework display, torch procession and Bonfire will not take place. We are sure you will share our disappointment at these necessary changes but like us look forward to next year being back on track.

Rottingdean Smugglers.

Race Night at Ye Olde Black Horse

Come along and enjoy a fun night at Ye Olde Black Horse on November 19th from 7.30. Enjoy a Night at the Races in a team of four or five. Tickets will be available for 5 pounds each at the Black’s Smugglers Bar shortly.

Please help support this evening as funds for our major event December 5th – Winter Smugglers are very tight. A lot of City support either directly or indirectly has been withdrawn and we are working on raising a thousand pounds at our RACE NIGHT. Now gallop along and get your tickets!

Smugglers Night Saturday 5th December

We have our annual Smugglers Night Saturday 5th December starting at 6pm – Childrens procession with Marching Bands, followed by Torch procession from Lower High Street at 7pm to the Village Green.

After a short Service at the Green the procession will return to to the Beach to enjoy a Bonfire and Firework display.

There is a special area at the Terraces being set aside for Parents with children and disabled people to enjoy unrestricted view of the proceedings.

Now is the time for members to renew their annual membership(s) – we are looking forward to you joining – and bring a friend.

For online membership payment use the form below, please include all names,
(a small charge has been added to cover our transaction processing fees):

Membership options
Additional names
Additional names 2

Smugglers Ball 2015

summer_ballDear Ladies, Gentlemen, Pirates & Smugglers…..

As many of you know Smugglers has now LEGENDARY status for Rottingdean Village, attracting over 5,000 visit each year to the village. With Stalls, live bands, food stalls, BBQ’s, shop traders and the culmination with The Torch Lit Parade, Bonfire & Fireworks…

This year for the remarkable event to continue we need YOUR HELP!!!! much more than in previous years…

Our much needed funding which we received annually from Brighton Council has been withdrawn, therefore an action group has been formed to raise more funding.

Therefore we are producing our 1st Annual Smugglers Ball. An evening of Live entertainment auctions and raffles.

This will be held on Saturday 5th September 2015 at The Hilton Metropole in Brighton. For a small fee of £65pp

  • A Sumptuous 4 Course Dinner
  • A plethora of live acts
  • Disco till the early hours
  • Discount room rates
  • Auction & Raffle

Your attendance is greatly needed at this auspicious occasion, tickets are selling fast!!!

To ensure your table (preferably 10 per table although smaller parties will be sat together)

Please call 01273 300491 this is Ye Olde Black Horse who along with the Smugglers Committee are producing the event.

Purchasing the tickets can be done by visiting Ye Olde Black Horse, 65 High Street, Rottingdean BN2 7HE

Alternatively call the box office number where payment and emailed receipt can be taken over the phone.

For those whom have already requested tables and no payment has been made please contact the box office to secure your table.

May we also take this opportunity to ask businesses and he general public if you would like to contribute further to the ball we are looking for Auction & Raffle prizes in return we will be eternally grateful.

May we all stand together and be as resourceful and proud for our amazing village and the events we put together. May we thank you in advance for helping raising money for this event AND MacMillan Nurses.

The Smugglers Committee