Monday, 7 November 2011
Remember Remember The 5th of November
I do however have fond memories of my childhood day’s and bonfire nights and of many good displays since. We were definitely not a wealthy family growing up in the fifties, we didn’t often splash out through out the year and BBQ’s were still very much a thing of the future. But there was one night in the year we would get very excited about and that was Bonfire night. My brother and I would spend a couple of days before hand making up the Guy, (cant ever remember taking it out on the street though like some would and go round asking for a penny for the guy). We would find an old pair of trousers and an old shirt and pack them with newspaper then on the day it would be placed on top of the bonfire. Father would buy a box of Standard Fireworks for around 30 shillings and then buy a couple of rockets separately. The fireworks were nothing like the size of the ones you see today, they consisted of a ‘Flowerpot’ (usually just a green flame that lasted a few seconds) a ‘Volcano’ (same as the Flowerpot but the flame was red), a ‘Catherin Wheel’ (which you pinned to a post before lighting, it would often just spin a couple of times before getting stuck) the best of the lot was a Roman Candle which would shoot balls of coloured fire into the air at intervals). Father would insist in lighting all of the fireworks but we each had a couple of sparklers we could hold. After the Fireworks it was time to light the bonfire. We had extensive land at the back of our house which formed a small three house terrace block, so the neighbours often got involved with the celebrations. Before the fire was lit potatoes still in there skin were placed at the foot of the fire and then we waited for them to be cooked, once we could see that the skin was blackened an adult with a stick would move in a raked them out of the fire. The potatoes were red hot and so we would hold them in our handkerchief, open up the skin with a knife and then tuck in, boy did those taters taste good. We often had a bag of black treacle bonfire toffee to enjoy afterwards and would stand and watch the fire until it died down.
I can’t remember any displays going on down our way when we were growing up but bonfire nights were always happy times.
I’ve enjoyed many good displays whilst we had our Caravan in Skegness, I seem to recall going down to the beach where a display was put on with a bonfire on the beach and stalls all around selling hot dogs and such but that seems a long time ago. I wonder if anyone remembers how long ago that was.
Even though I don’t participate in the festivities any longer I’m not one of those who would like to see it banned, I still enjoy a good display and I think we need festivities like bonfire night to help get us through the dark days of winter until the Christmas lights are turned on. The reason why we celebrate bonfire night as long been forgotten but I include this poem to remind us all
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
the Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent to blow up King and Parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below to prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s mercy he was catch’d with a dark lantern and lighted match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!