In the photo on the left a 'soldier' is seen holding the "tar
is thrown ablaze into the River Ouse from Cliffe Bridge during
the second procession. It is carried using the pole which the 'crusader'
in the photo is holding.
This action signifies the "Society's
determination to maintain the true traditions of Bonfire" -
so the programme says.
It is a ceremonial act of law-breaking. In the nineteenth century
the Bonfire Boys were often in trouble with the authorities over
their behaviour, such as lighting their bonfires too close to
property and endangering safety. Even in recent times there has
been tension between the police and bonfire societies over arrangements
for the night and the chief constable has been declared an 'Enemy
of the Bonfire' and had his effigy paraded.
Originally a barrel covered
in tar was set alight; today it is an elaborate firework, which
first goes off before the whole barrel goes up in flames.