Wednesday, November 05, 2014


the 5th of November
Gunpowder Treason and Plot
Although Jules is probably the only one of my readers who will know what I am talking about as this is English History.
Guido or Guy Fawkes was born in 1570, his father was a Protestant but his Mother a Catholic. 
He really is remembered for his part in The Gunpowder Plot.   This was a group of men who plotted to assassinate King James I, a Protestant.  By blowing up Parliament.
Guy was assigned the job of guarding the gunpowder hidden under the House of Lords.
The group plotted to assassinate King James I, a Protestant, and bring a Catholic back to the throne. This group kept a store of gunpowder underneath the House of Lords, and when the police showed up to investigate they found Fawkes guarding said gunpowder.  He was tortured confessing and giving the names of the other men in the group,
When I was young ...... on the 5th November there would be bonfires and fireworks.  These were not the marvellous affairs seen to celebrate the New Year.    But we marvelled and oooed and arrrred   at Catherine Wheels, Sparklers, Bangers and a few more I cant remember the names of.

Another chant we kids had was
Guy Fawkes Guy
Hit him in the eye
Hang him on the lamppost and
there let him die.
Like most popular villains and martyrs through the telling and years they take on magical myths,   But for me the 5th November has many many happy memories.   But then I didn't live in 1605.


Anonymous said...

Indeed! Happy parties ( an excuse which came into its own after WW2 - and 1 ) Very little money to spend on fireworks so a carefully built bonfire from anything collected by local lads, whilst parents provided truly out worn clothing items or straw for a Guy to put on the top. A 'good' Guy would be paraded around in an old borrowed pram, with children knocking on doors for a 'Penny for the Guy.' If lucky, a penny would be found to go towards a firework - or a sweet for the party whilst the scarecrow type image was burning! Sparklers could be held in a gloved hand and waved about, - away from faces! Fathers took charge of the fire and larger fireworks. Mothers produced hot potatoes - sometimes cooked in the embers of the fire - but always still in their skins or 'jackets' - even butter with them if we were really lucky. Hot soup in a mug too. Very welcome on a bitterly cold evening. Now those old traditions are just memories. Some organise parties or have a few fireworks in their back gardens but fireworks now are all the year round - disturbing wildlife and domestic animals, which lead to grumbles of discontent. For those of us old enough to - Remember, remember, the 5th of November just after the war, it was a fun time for children and community.
A combined Fangs and Fireworks party, now seem to be the trend.

Jules xxxx

Vireya said...

I remember, too! When we were kids here in Australia we celebrated Guy Fawkes Day as well with fireworks. We often called it just "cracker night" or "bonfire night". We didn't have a "guy" the way we read about in English novels, though. And once fireworks were banned for general sale and use, Guy Fawkes was forgotten.