London and Lights – Part II, The Guildford Torchlight Procession

With London quickly receding into the distance behind us, and the sun sinking below the horizon ahead, it would usually be safe to assume the day was coming to an end.  In fact, the main event was still to come, after a quick trip to Anderton’s of course.

An overly arty image of Seb outside Anderton’s

Having extracted Seb from Anderton’s, in part due to it closing, we headed off for Guildford high street ready for the torchlight procession. I’ve been to this once before, when I was studying for my masters at Surrey Uni, and had thoroughly enjoyed it then so now if I’m anywhere near Guildford come Bonfire Night this is my go-to event.

First things first, we needed some torches – not much a torchlight parade without those. Having obtained torches, and waited for the cue, we lit them and Guildford high street was suddenly bathed in a stunning glow.

Lighting the torches, Guildford Lions Torchlight Procession 2018
Torchlight starts to cast a heavy orange glow, 
Guildford Lions Torchlight Procession 2018
Torches lit, ready to proceed,
Guildford Lions Torchlight Procession 2018
To be fair to Seb, it is quite exciting having what amounts to a flaming sword, 
Guildford Lions Torchlight Procession 2018

The effect of having, somewhere in the region of, 1500 torches lit along a high street is something to behold. I would try and describe scenes that would conjure images of a smokey, angry orange glow anchored by the press of a sea of bodies but thankfully I don’t have to as I took lots of photos.

A sea of fire, 
Guildford Lions Torchlight Procession 2018
Certainly an event worth capturing, 
Guildford Lions Torchlight Procession 2018

Guildford Lions Torchlight Procession 2018
The smoke reflecting the light of the torches produced an incredible atmosphere, 
Guildford Lions Torchlight Procession 2018
Some of that atmosphere may not translate well to black and white but I’ll be damned if I was going to put up a blog post without a black and white image!, 
Guildford Lions Torchlight Procession 2018

The procession slowly made its way up the high street, past London Road station, and on to Stoke Park where the fun fair and fireworks awaited.

I did take some photos of the fireworks but without a tripod it’s a fairly optimistic exercise and I didn’t get anything worth sharing. For photos of fireworks I’ll point you in the direction of Bonfire Night 2017 where there was noticeably less processing taking place and more hanging around getting ready and eating burgers.

If you’re in the area next year I would certainly recommend a visit, hopefully I’ll be around Guildford then, in which case, I’ll see you there.

Doug

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