Notable effigies from Lewes's Bonfire Nights

  • 6 November 2014
Effigy of Alex Salmond

Bonfire Night in Lewes means effigies. Here are some of the most notable examples over the years.

Lewes in East Sussex has a tradition for close to the knuckle Bonfire Night celebrations, featuring effigies of well known figures who are marched through the town before being burnt. This year two effigies of the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond were created.

But after angry comments on social media, organisers withdrew the models of Salmond, although one was blown up despite assurances. Sussex Police had said they were investigating: "Whilst we accept there is a long tradition of creating effigies of high-profile individuals in politics, sport, the media, etc, a complaint has nevertheless been received and will be investigated."

President Vladimir Putin was present this year, following Russia's annexation of Crimea and conflict with Ukraine.

Image caption Vladimir Putin in 2014

As well as the traditional guy, a model of Pope Paul V - pope at the time of the Gunpowder Plot - is burned every year. The custom seems to have started as an act of remembrance for the town's 17 Protestant martyrs who were burned at the stake during the 16th Century. Here's the 2005 pope effigy.

Image caption The Pope in 2005

Last year Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was included holding a gun and yellow poison gas canisters. It followed reports from September 2013 suggesting that Assad's forces had used chemical weapons, killing hundreds of civilians.

Image caption President Assad in 2013

Assad was kept company by a toddler-like Kim Jong Un, who earlier in 2013 had overseen North Korea's third nuclear test.

Image caption Kim Jong-un in 2013

The Lewes event is famously politically incorrect. In 2012 Angela Merkel was shown making a Hitler salute and crushing the Parthenon. Merkel had become a hate figure for many Greeks who blamed her for inflicting painful austerity measures on the Greek government.

Image caption Angela Merkel in 2012

In 2011 Libya's ex-leader Col Muammar Gaddafi had a starring role. He had been killed in October, following an uprising that ended his 40 year-rule.

Image caption Muammar Gaddafi in 2011

In May 2010 the coalition government was elected. Six months later Lewes featured a diabolical looking David Cameron operating a puppet-like Nick Clegg.

Image caption David Cameron and Nick Clegg in 2010

An effigy of US President George W Bush graced the 2006 event. Clad in the traditional attire of Uncle Sam, he had one hand on Tony Blair - portrayed as his poodle. Earlier that year an unguarded conversation between Bush and Blair at a G8 conference in Russia had been recorded and made public. It became famous for Bush's apparent "Yo Blair" greeting.

Image caption George W Bush and Tony Blair in 2006

In 2005, Home Secretary Charles Clarke was the butt of the bonfire organisers' satire. In May that year he had unveiled plans for compulsory identity cards.

Image caption Charles Clarke in 2005

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