Last night was Bonfire Night; also known as Guy Fawkes Night.
Traditionally, in this part of England, bonfires are lit and huge firework displays light the night sky. November 5th has always been a VERY BIG affair.
When I was a child, in my native Surrey village of Lingfield, it was the biggest event of the year; even eclipsing Christmas. At night the whole village came out, dressed in peculiar costumes, and paraded around the village with blazing torches, accompanied by groups from surrounding villages. The whole caboodle would end around a huge bonfire, burning a traditional 'Guy', that was always made by our gardener, Fuller.
On November 6th, preparations would begin for the following year's parade.
In these days of Political Correctness and elf-n-safety, fires are frowned upon, and fireworks are almost non-existent. Looking out from our front bedroom window last night I didn't see a single firework, or even hear the sound of speeding fire engines. I did hear a very feint distant sound of 'bangs' (Lewes maybe?), but nothing from Brighton. What a change from a couple of decades ago.
However, Cro is not to be thwarted. In a great rush I made a small bonfire, topped it with an unrecognisable image of Angela Rayner (a Socialist politician), and along with a couple of guests, we Oooohed and Aaaahed as it was consumed by flame.
Tradition was upheld, another of my miniature bonfires was burned, and in the ways of Sussex an unpopular figure was 'burned at the stake'.
Size isn't everything!
A miniature bonfire! I love it. Couldn't happen here though, November is a high fire danger month, so close to the calendar beginning of summer, and most days ALL fires are banned. Last summer a huge bushfire got out of control and was set off by a single spark from an angle grinder being used in a shed doorway.ReplyDelete
It seems that we hear of your terrible Bush Fires almost every year. The same happens in the South of France, but they are usually malicious.Delete
Dear Cro. I live approximately one mile from your favourite pub. We have heard fireworks for at least 4 nights this week. Last night started at 4.30pm and there were some still going strong around 10pm. I was getting a bit peeved to be honest and I actually enjoy a good display. As to Health and Safety, fireworks are much bigger, last longer, go further etc than in my youth. They're not the same as a half crown box of Standard fireworks you could light in the back garden! Enjoy Brighton.ReplyDelete
I'm very surprised, as we heard nothing here. Usually looking East towards Kemp Town the sky was filled with fireworks; non-stop. Last night nothing at all. My mini-bonfire was as exciting as it got!Delete
I remember huge bonfires, holding fireworks, watching Catherine wheels dance around. Everyone in the neighbourhood had their own fire. I think we even made a guy to burn.ReplyDelete
I'm sure it's all different in NZ now.
Good on you for finding a way to enjoy this so English tradition. You couldn't miss out the 5th Nov on your first time home after so many years
It used to be such an important date in the calendar; now it's almost overlooked. Certain towns still go overboard; nearby Lewes still has a big do.Delete
I heard not one firework last night. I believe Halloween has overtaken Guy Fawkes Day. Ms Rayner has apologised as she now sees the contribution she made to this terrible world we live in and is remorseful.ReplyDelete
Too late, she's been burned at the stake amongst great rejoicing.Delete
Lucky you, the fireworks this year were very loud and started at just after 6 and was still going after midnight, I think the family houses timed their home displays to run one after the other.ReplyDelete
I would liked to have seen a few spectacular rockets in the sky. I missed them.Delete
Plenty of fireworks here, but domestic rather than an organised display. I kept the cat near me the whole evening, with either Radio 3 or the TV on loud, and she was fine.ReplyDelete
Billy's OK with loud noise; he seems to be oblivious to it.Delete
No fireworks? Where I live Billy would have been either barking like mad to blend out the sound or cowering underneath a duvet, anything soundproof. Could have been New Years Eve (the day that I associate with a fireworks bonanza in the motherland). I think fireworks great (particularly if you aren't trying to soothe a baby to sleep).ReplyDelete
Let's leave your effigy aside - not because I have any allegiance to the woman but because I find wishing death upon someone you dislike - even if only tongue in cheek - distasteful; make that abhorrent. Creeps me out. However, your little so artful ad hoc bonfire made me smile. So sweet.
Absolutely NO-ONE wishes her dead. This is simply a tradition about showing dis-pleasure for certain people. I believe at Lewes they burned Biden, Boris, and others.Delete
There was a big firework display here in town last night but, as we are avoiding large crowds for the time being, we didn't venture out. Too darn cold out there anyway!ReplyDelete
It was warm around our mini-bonfire.Delete
It is interesting that every nation has the holiday where they light a fire and burn various figures. Here it is in May.ReplyDelete
I suppose everyone likes a fire; maybe not burning figures on them, but it all adds to the fun.Delete
It was a big event when I was a child and I still enjoy seeing fireworks. Now, I also think of the horrific way Guy Fawkes was executed, and I can't celebrate something that includes that.ReplyDelete
Yes, people were very unpleasant in those days; nothing was painful enough for a good public execution.Delete
Loads of fireworks going off here last night but then, we hear them throughout the year !!!! I always LOVED firework night as a child …… such an exciting time and, my sister and I still love fireworks. We went to Lewes one year with my sister ….. it was amazing. XXXXReplyDelete
When I last spent time in Brighton there were fireworks every weekend, and often during the week too. Weddings, birthdays, or just for the hell of it; they were wonderful.Delete
I've no idea whose effigy you torched.ReplyDelete
I don't remember when fireworks were banned here. I used to love bonfire night. The heat and the facial glow from the monster fire. We fritzed our father's car cigarette lighter as we used it for a long time to light wicks.
However, children were injured. Cats and dogs tortured.
Bonfire night was great, but I am pleased it is no more here.
Fire and fireworks will always be dangerous to some extent, but hopefully it's kept to a minimum. I still like the whole event.Delete
Good fun with a mini-bonfire and you've upheld a great tradition. Here, here to Guy Fawkes Night.ReplyDelete
It burned out quite quickly, but maybe that was a good thing.Delete
Haven#t heard a single firework yet but believe there is an organised bonfire tonight.ReplyDelete
My son has suggested that everyone has been saving themselves for tonight (6th Nov). I hope he's right; I can't imagine a bonfire weekend without fireworks.Delete
I wish somebody had burnt the odious blaggard Johnson at the stake last night. Not an effigy but the real fellow. I have a feeling he would smell like pork.ReplyDelete
He's in his own hot water at the moment.Delete
As will the pudding be if anyone shops him for hate speech. I suggest he thinks again and gets a new computer before the plod seize this one. Be a shame if they found anything funny on his current machine.Delete
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