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Don't you be frought of knuckers

Lewes Bonfire Boys and Girls

Image and words from the photography exhibition Black/White:Read, August 2019

Don’t you be frought of knuckers or any beast. True enough, Sussex is riddled. Water monsters in their bottomless knuckerholes, stinking gurt serpents in the woods, abuseful giants on the hill. And the farisees, the fairy folk, they’re everywhere and they’re the worst. If you’re having all sorts of bad luck, you may’ve offended them - expect your unexpected death. But there's no cause to lay awake at night. The Bonfire Boys and Girls will keep you safe.

They’re experts. If a knucker gets out of its hole and out of hand, they feed it too much pudding. That sorts out a knucker. Kill or cure. Serpents are contrairy beasts, but they’re afeard of rookies, that’s a banger to you, and Bonfire Boys and Girls know just how to use them. Shock and awe. The giants see them tableaux, with heads just their size, blown up every November 5th, and that’s enough to keep them timmersome. Different tactics for the farisees, of course. If they like you, they’re helpful, so long as you ignore them. Who do you reckon knits all those jumpers?

Listen to me nabbling on. Dursn’t you tell a soul. You know who’ll happen-along if you do, surelye.

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