Archive for the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ Category
As this year the fab fifth falls on a Monday it’s difficult to predict when our busiest time will be, last year the Fifth of November fell on a Saturday, just about everybody had their fun on the correct day.
Looking around the web, it seems most bonfire celebrations will be taking part as usual on the day the plot was foiled, but many of the bigger and well known functions will be setting off the pyrotechnics the Saturday after on the 10th some opting to go a few days earlier on the 3rd of November. This is the case for one of the biggest, London who selected the former and will kick off on the 10th.
Boris Johnson will be starting the 30 minute display between Waterloo and Black Friar’s bridge, the fun starting off at 5 pm, with the Lord Mayors Parade the day before on the Friday.
Lewes Bonfire society will keep it traditional, their committee planning the annual spectacular on the Monday with the fantastic parades kicking off at 2pm, no wonder they are the most well-known and biggest celebration of all things connected to bonfire night.
Bonfire night in the UK is not down as a public holiday as Good Friday is, possibly the most obvious reason for this is that the fireworks look better after dark and traditionally most workers would have been able to enjoy the spectacle after work in the days before the big supermarket chains and American style shopping malls.
As the general pace of life becomes faster and supermarkets are now able to stay open for 24 hours, the retail malls around us, Meadowhall in Sheffield, White Rose in Leeds to mention just a couple, are now open until 10 pm most days some staying open even longer at the weekends, even the very local McDonalds just round the corner being a 24 hour outlet these days to cope with the demand, being ideally placed as we are just off Junction 36 off the M1, these obviously have to be staffed and we estimate 2-300 staff at Meadowhall alone would potentially miss out on seeing fireworks if the displays went ahead only on the fifth only, so a little leniency is a good thing, especially as it drops on this year that we will be able to attend at least two organised displays as well as our little thing we do, in the past almost shutting down the sleepy village of Batley, where we used to be based, regularly getting hundreds of impromptu spectators joining in our fun.
You can of course let fireworks off in the UK any day of the year between 7am and 11pm, the British possibly the most understanding Europeans when it comes to revellers wanting to let everybody know something special is happening.
Whenever you decide to do your stuff, one thing is certain we will be here all through the period with top quality pyro available all year round, as our regular customers know we only close Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day (and the odd occasion such as this week’s nuptial celebrations, more news on that to follow).
We will of course be letting you all know shortly about our extended opening hours as we get ever closer to our busy season.
The City that called itself home to Guy Fawkes in his formative years is set to officially celebrate Bonfire Night for the first time in 7-years. Guy Fawkes was born in the city in 1570 and was educated at St Peter’s School which hosted the last official display.
The show, which will take place on November 5th, is said to be the biggest in the City’s history.
The organisers for the show are Rat Race Adventure Sports, which runs events and activities is getting set to host a fireworks festival alongside a 5km run on the Knavesmire. For many years, Knavesmire was the site of public hangings in York. The gallows were erected in 1379, a few miles outside the city on the main southern approach road (now known as the A1036 Tadcaster Road). Probably the most famous people to be executed there were Rhys ap Maredudd, a Welsh nobleman and rebel, hanged in 1292, and Dick Turpin, who was hanged in 1739. The area is subject to flooding due to its low lying location.
The City last held a display in 2005 keeping the location a secret until the last minute resulting in chaos in the City as crowds complained that they were unable to see the festivities. In the past, Knavesmire has been used as the venue but was dropped due to costs.
The full details of the display remain a closely guarded secret – lets hope that its kept under wraps better than the original Gunpowder Plot.
As Bonfire Night is fast approaching, thoughts turn to what you are going to do this Year.
If you are looking to have a display for your family and friends or are organising a substantial display with a number of spectators and want to keep a tight reign on the purse strings, look no further. With all our products at half price or less, we have some majestic DIY display kits available. They come with the fireworks, the safety equipment and set up plans, portfires to light the fireworks, firing order and rocket launch tubes. Our experienced staff will be happy to discuss any concerns that you have and make recommendations where required to add that little more to your display.
We are open 7-days a week, throughout the Year (apart of course from Christmas, Boxing and New Years Days) and can be contacted by telephone, email or come along to see us at our magnificent bespoke showroom on the outskirts of North Sheffield.
The 5th November has been synonymous with fireworks for many years but it all started with one man’s political agenda and has continued to grow for hundreds of years. Here are some fascinating facts about Guido Fawkes.
- Guy Fawkes was born 13th April 1570.
- He converted to Catholicism at 16 years of age at a time when priests and practising Catholics were being punished for their beliefs.
- He became known as Guido from fighting in the Netherlands for the then Spanish Empire in support of Catholicism.
- 36 barrels of gunpowder is equivalent to 2500kg of explosives. Working on the assumption that gunpowder has the same power as TNT, the blast would have covered a 490m radius and the resultant explosion is likely to have taken out the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Hall and windows would have broken up to half a mile away. There is even some consensus of opinion that damage would have been massive as far away as Whitehall.
- Educated in York.
- The first meeting of the main 5 Conspirators took place in the Duck and Drake in The Strand, London.
- Robert Catesby laid down the original plans for the assassination of James 1st of England to restore a Catholic Monarch to the throne.
- The Gunpowder Plot was agreed by the conspirators and they swore an oath to carry out the deed which was then sanctified by the Jesuit Priest John Gerard who gave the group Communion.
- Guy Fawkes was the one detailed as the most closely associated with the Gunpowder Plot as he was the one who was to light the match.
- The Plot was foiled as a result of an anonymous letter being sent to Lord Monteagle warning him to stay away from the State Opening of Parliament. It is thought that there was a lot of concern amongst Guy’s co-conspirators that associates and fellow Catholic’s may be killed in the proposed explosion.
- When he was interviewed by the authorities he gave the name John Johnson.
- Guy was found in the undercroft beneath the Houses of Lords shortly after midnight on 5th November 2012.
- Guy Fawkes trial, AKA the Gunpowder Plot or the Jesuit Treason was listed as a failed assassination attempt in court transcripts.
- The interrogations of the Plotters Party took place over around 10-weeks.
- There were only 2 confessions that were printed in full, one was of course Guy Fawkes and the other was Thomas Wintour. These are still in existence and can be seen at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.
- Guy Fawkes was taken to the Tower of London to be tortured to give up the names of his friends and co-conspirators with the instruction that he should be tortured lightly at first with the use of manacles and then onto the rack. The King composed a list of questions about his speaking French, who was ‘John Johnson?’ as no amount of investigation was revealing anything about him. Whilst Guy Fawkes continued to take the punishment dealt out to him, regrettably, he began to give away information after 2 solid days of torture but took another 24 hours of punishment before he gave any information about his friends. Although it has never been determined if he was indeed subjected to the rack, his signature on his Confession is really shaky and bears witness to the suffering he had endured.
- The trial of the plotters began on 27th January 1606 and the outcome was of course a foregone conclusion. Guilty of High Treason they were all to be put to death.
- The Attorney General Sir Edward Coke told the court that they were ‘to be put to death halfway between heaven and earth as they were unworthy of both’. Their genitalia was to be removed and burned before their eyes and their bowels and hearts removed. They would then be decapitated and the dismembered parts of their bodies displayed so that they might become prey for the ‘fowls of the air’.
- On 31st January 1606, the Plotters Party, including Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Ambrose Rookwood and Thomas Wintour were dragged (referred to as drawn) from the Tower on ‘wattled hurdles’ to the old Palace Yard at Westminster. The first three took their place on the scaffold and they were Hung and then quartered but when it came to Guy Fawkes, although he was said to be clearly weakened, having to be assisted to climb the ladder to the gallows, once their he prayed, crossed himself and before he could be hanged, he jumped off, breaking his neck in the fall. His body, like the others was quartered and his and his friend’s body parts were despatched to the four corners of the kingdom.
- From 5th November 1605 the people ofLondon were encouraged to celebrate the Kings escape by lighting Bonfires and marked this day as a joyful deliverance and a day of thanksgiving was allocated which continued to be observed until 1869.
As detailed above, some of the documentation from the trial still remains at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.
Although as time has passed the political ramifications of the actions of this group has somehow been weakened, as a result of the change in religious view and the ever changing face of Britain, there is still a confusion as to why nowadays we continue to celebrate the attempts to kill any number of politicians in such a loud, bright way but long may it continue.