As with most bonfire societies we have our distinctive stripes and our fancy dress costumes.  We also have EBS T-shirts.

The smugglers costume consists of:

  • Cream/navy and red stripe knitted wool jumpers.
  • White trousers.

We also have a choice of headgear which is:

  • Black tricorn hat
  • Knitted stripe woolly hat
  • Straw boaters with ribbons in our Eastbourne Bonfire Society colours (cream/navy and red).

Eastbourne Bonfire Society h
Tankards may be worn with a strong belt and the face may be painted with half blue & half cream with a red stripe through the middle.

Our pirate costume consists of:

  • Red, royal blue or black long jacket trimmed with gold braid.
  • Black trousers. White or cream shirt with frilly/lacy cuffs.
  • Red or Royal blue waistcoat. Black tricorn hat and black long boots.
  • Either or all; Tankard, diagonal belt, sword.


Female (or male if they wish!)

  • Red or Royal blue one or two piece ankle length dress with trimmings.
  • Black tricorn hat.
  • Either or all; Tankard, diagonal belt, sword.EBS Bonfire 2015 JB007
  • Black boots or shoes.

Optional; short black tailed style jacket trimmed with gold braid.

Small versions of the above.

EBS T-shirts are black with our Eastbourne logo on the front in white.

The jumpers are made more or less to measure by one of our members.  (We have a few large bodies that don’t fit the standard!)

Making fancy dress caneasthoathly01-1024x682 take up considerable time to get them looking as good as they do, car boot and charity shops are brilliant places to look for clothes that can be adapted but there still has to be a lot of time invested in this and the process of adapting!  The money for the outfits and jumpers come solely from the individual member.

We avoid using nylon fabrics or similar because it melts in heat or fire but all costumes are or need to be treated with a flame retardant fabric spray, which is available from places like C&H fabrics or other similar stores and of course need to be redone after washing garments.

Well I think that is just about it on the costume front. I believe the tradition of wearing fancy dress or stripes comes from the smugglers who worked! (Is that the correct word?) along the Sussex coast, and certainly there were infamous gangs from Hastings and Eastbourne that we know of.  Apparently they used to black their faces and wear all manner of different clothes to try to confuse the revenue officers; wonder if that would work today!