Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society was formed in the Summer of 2012 when long time resident Robin Palmer thought it was about time the village had a bonfire and firework celebration again. The 1970’s was the last time that the village had seen such tradition. The village was already on the map for the Hawkhurst gang who were smugglers from the 1700’s who were ruthful criminals smuggling anything and everything along the Kent, Sussex coasts and as far down the coast line to Poole in Dorset. The bonfire society thought they would use there name, so rather then use it for smuggling, robbing and murder they would make new history and start the Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society.
The original society from back in the 1970 and before was run by villager John Pemble, who ran a parents committee that raised money for the local boys club, with this in mind the bonfire society of today we have same values and raise money on the night to support the following years events but also we have collection buckets out and the money which is raised from them go to local good causes. We have been able to support the local scouts and Brownies and pay for a defibrillator which is located near the Royal Oak Pub.
Back when the original bonfire society was about the bonfire society would hold there event on the Circus Field which is next to the old Methodist Church on Highgate Hill and would buy there fireworks in the summer from a supplier in Sandwich and store them in in someones bedroom. The elf and safety would go mad if that was the case to day. Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society thought would be good to use the circus field again and we were allowed to until last year 2015 when planning permission was given for 62 houses so we have had to find a new home.