'Remember, Remember the 5th of November....'

The United Kingdom has a long tradition of celebrating with fireworks and bonfires going back to pagan times and the druids. 

Whilst in recent years the trends have been towards more public displays as a way of celebrating Guy Fawkes's failed attempt to eliminate the British parliament. Certainly for many the memories of growing up were a selection box in the back garden or 'penny for the guy' assaults on the local population. Let us know your memories in the comments section below.  


Up and down the land there are warm memories of fireworks nights gone by courtesy of our Springchicken Facebook followers;

 I liked bonfire night as a child but it was very different. We had sparklers with gloves on. Dad lit each firework while we stood well back. They were not as loud more visual. Catherine wheels and a rocket launched from a milk bottle. A huge bonfire in the field behind us for everyone. Baked potatoes!


'Penny for the guy' has all but disappeared nowadays but for lots of children in the 20th century it was an annual money spinner alongwith the enjoyment and pantomime of dressing up and creating something just that little bit frightening. The 5th of November was a much more popular celebration on these isles in the mid 20th century than Halloween.

One Springchicken Facebooker recounts their story which is the same for many;  

   We used to make one and sit outside our local shop with it in an old pushchair to get money off the local shoppers. We would then spend the money on sweets to eat whilst we watched our guy burn on our bonfire whilst my Dad set the fireworks off.

Many towns and villages across the UK still have Bonfire nights traditions like Ottery St Mary's crazy tar barrel tradition, Edenbridge's effigy burning and Lewes Bonfire night celebrations;


and let's not forget Rye's 1947 Bonfire Celebrations 

 What are your memories of bonfires, fireworks and baked potatoes don't forget to let us know in the comments section below , we'd love to hear from you! 


Header Image

Children from Bontnewydd, Caernarfon By Geoff Charles - Children from Bontnewydd, Caernarfon, collecting for the “Guy”, CC0, WikiCommons

Guy Fawkes Night in Caerphilly courtesy of CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
Public Domain Dedication WikiCommons

Guy Fawkes' night in Caernarfon CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
Public Domain Dedication WikiCommons


1950s1960sBonfire nightChildhood memoriesFireworks nightGuy fawkes nightMemory laneNostalgia

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