Every year, the Rye Bonfire Society celebrates bonfire night by holding a procession through the town centre of Rye in East Sussex, followed by traditional bonfire celebrations.
This year, the celebrations and bonfire will take place next Saturday, 13 November. In the interests of public safety, Southern Rail will close Rye station from 3 pm on the day.
Southern would usually run extra trains to help the event run smoothly. Unfortunately, the ongoing effects of the pandemic mean that there aren’t enough drivers to run the extra trains.
In such cases, buses would normally provide alternative services. However, a shortage of bus drivers means that isn’t possible, as the buses are being used to keep passengers moving where engineering work is taking place elsewhere on the network.
As with many other bonfire activities, people are urged to attend their local events rather than travelling further afield.
Customer Services Director, Chris Fowler, said: “We know how important the Rye Bonfire event is to the wider community and have looked at every alternative. However, in the interests of public safety we unfortunately can’t keep Rye station open this year as we usually would.”
Francis Warren, Chair of Rye Bonfire Society, said: “Rye Bonfire Society supports and welcomes the station closure; it will help curb any potential for antisocial behaviour in the town making the event safer and easier to run.”
Rye has a long history in Guy Fawkes’ celebrations., but Rye’s tradition goes back further than the time of Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. The tradition possibly dates back to when Rye townsfolk burnt their boats rather than risk them being captured by the French.