Posted: 06/11/2013 at 19:57
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!