Many of the locals turn out to celebrate on Smugglers Night. Rottingdean is the place where smuggling was once rife, when nearly everyone in the village was involved, including the clergy. It is said that tunnels led from various buildings in the village to the beach.
Rottingdean was a dangerous place at that time by all accounts, boats were lured off course for their cargo, murder, money and mayhem.
Rudyard Kipling at one time a local resident in Rottingdean wrote his poem ‘The Smugglers Song’ about the dire happenings, partly as a warning to the innocent.
‘The Smuggers Night’ celebrations involve all the local shops, bands play, side shows are busy, children make lanterns, men and women dress up as smugglers to support their favoured pub. Later a torchlight procession takes place to the village green, where after a few words from the local vicar, everyone moves to the seafront where an effigy of the customs man is burned and a huge firework display takes place on the beach
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