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My memories are of all the local children dragging fallen tree branches from
the woods to build a big communal bonfire each year. Dads competing to
fetch the most spectacular fireworks and all the Mums making huge batches
of parkin and treacle toffee. Baked potatoes, roast chestnuts, hot chocolate and
yes we always had a guy, but like Dove and Chicky, I think in these enlightened
days, that bit is best consigned to the history books! Does anyone else recall
having sparks down their wellies? I always seemed to end up with holes in
my socks because of this!
In the village where I lived with my children, there is a memorial to John Noyes who was burnt at the stake for 'heresy'. Some 500 years later there are still local families bearing the names of the people involved. No one in that village seems to want to burn a guy on their bonfires.
The historical documents are interesting http://www.exclassics.com/foxe/foxe371.htm
Oh Dove I agree burning of look alike bodies no longer a good thing, but in my childhood we didn't have or know about actual horrors. We were blessed.
Chilli would suit me. Good to start your own traditions.
Can I have some garlic bread with mine please?
I know KEF - it didn't bother me as a child either - I think we were more detached from reality somehow - the age of innocence and all that.
For my children it was part of the village history that they all knew about - they went past the memorial every day and learnt about it at school.
All these memories brought back so many for me, too. We used to save up our fireworks, going down to the local newsagent each week when we got our pocket money, and buy some more fireworks to add to our stash. These were kept in an old biscuit tin under the bed! OMG. what would Elf'n'safetymake of that???
Dad would always get the Standard half-a-crown box ("Light up the sky with Standard Fireworks" - that was the ad, I think) and when he was a bit flush, a couple of extra rockets and Catherine wheels. Of course, the wheels usually came to nothing - they whizzed like mad and didn't revolve, or they whizzed too much and came off the nail into the garden, to our shrieks and consternation!
And what about the Jumping Jacks? Now they really were an accident waiting to happen as they hopped and fizzed randomly. And my brother (a research chemist in later years) would take the bangers and split them for the gunpowder to make "super bangers" which, fizzing and stuffed into the dustbins, would explode with huge force and blow the lids high into the air. No wonder safety measures were introduced (and it's amazing that he still has all ten fingers and no scars in spite of his stupidity!).
Hot jacket spuds were a must, and mother used to make what she called "Hunters' Cake", I can't remember what it actually tasted like, but it was always standard fare for us.
Family members would join us, and the menfolk were in charge of the bonfire and the fireworks; women were consigned to more culinary endeavours!
And, yes - sparklers to write your name in the cold air; rockets launched from milk bottles and guys made from cast-off shirts and trousers.
Halloween isn't a patch on it!
Thats it violet, I knew there was some sort of 'ad song' couldn't remember how it went!
I agree with you, firework night was nuch more fun than todays halloween. What lovely happy memories