Saturday, 6 November 2010

Bonfire Night 5th November

The Scout Hut and grounds,  a few hundred yards from my house where our local Guy Fawkes celebrations happen on November 5th every year.

Quite a large crowd gathered to watch Guy Fawkes's effigy burn.

A policeman keeps order.

In England we celebrate Guy Fawkes night on November 5th every year.We have been doing this for four hundred years. Guy Fawkes was a Roman Catholic terrorist who, in 1605, tried to blow up The Houses of Parliament and the Protestant, King James Ist and all the lords and nobles of the time.Guy Fawkes, whose real name was Guido Fawkes, was born in York within a short distance of York Minster. For such a large undertaking as killing the King and the whole government,he could not possibly have been alone in his endeavours. In fact, although he is the most famous of the group, he was far from the most important. He was merely a hired soldier who knew about explosives and how to use them effectively to blow things up. There was a whole cabal of plotters who eventually were caught and paid for their treachery with their lives. They were hung, drawn and quartered. A brutal and vicious way to die.

You might say that plotting and terrorist acts have been going on throughout history, and so they have. So why is there so much significance placed on this particular, failed plot? It was the scale and audacity of their undertaking that shook the establishment. The plotters were brutally executed as a sign to deter others. King James wanted others, who might think of plotting against him, to realise that this sort of undertaking was not a good idea. He made villages and towns throughout the country remember the plot each year. They had to burn a bonfire and also burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes, to show what might happen to anybody who tried it again.

The celebration was so strictly observed it actually became a tradition.Eventually it was an occasion of fun and enjoyment. It was a happy gathering in the darkening, damp, cold, autumn days. Nowadays we eat burgers and hot dogs and wave glow sticks about while we watch fireworks go off and see the effigy of Guy Fawkes burn. Oh yes, we still burn him, after all this time.

Here is a link that provides more information about Guy Fawkes:


  1. FABULOUS! Love the images and this post.

  2. That's quite a celebration! I can just imagine what it would be like if England won the Wold Cup!

  3. Tony, Wish I were there, fireworks in the summer on July 4th., just are not the same without the bonfires, baked potatoes and real grilled sausages ... mushy peas etc. are real ethnic curiosities on this side of the pond, like Marmite!

  4. World Cup, Mary, what is that???????????(Ha!ha!ha!)

    Michael, Marmite; now you are talking. I had Marmite on toast this very morning for my breakfast.Well, Michael, you are very welcome to attend our Bonfire Night next year. My eldest,Sam, will be travelling the globe and my second eldest, Alice, is at the University of Wales, (Newport) for the next three years. We'll have a spare room available.