Archive for the ‘Guy Fawkes’ Category
I remember back in the 60s, all the kids of a certain age would compete to get the best looking Guy Fawkes. This wasn’t anything to do with the competitive spirit, but something much more important. Back then, from a small pit village in Barnsley, it was all about which street had the biggest bonfire and of course, the best fireworks. Organisation of the event being left to us kids for collecting the wood and funds for our festivities. Back in an age before the health and safety executive kindly looked after our health for us, and us “kids” were able to buy our own fireworks without any questions asked, our driving force was the money we could get for bonfire night.
The better looking guys would bring in the most money, so it was in our interest, to rake in as much as possible, sometimes walking into the local town some five miles away pushing a wheelbarrow with our effigy proudly resplendent. The best spots for ‘guying’ would be taken up early and you really didn’t want to get into a turf war over this so far from home. Betting shops seemed to be an ideal place to “tout for business” hoping for a lucky win on the gee-gees to come our way – or a few pence of it anyway.
In 1960 the average take home wage was around £7 a week and a firework fountain would cost as much as 4d for a good one. This was a lot of money to a young lad of 8, pocket-money for me and my brother back then being a tanner or 6 pence. 4d (there were 240 pennies in a pound back then) nowadays equates to 36p, 6 pence of which is VAT (which was introduced to the UK in 1973), which means that when you consider that our magic fountains are £1.80 for 5 our fireworks are better value now than they were 40 years ago.
And much safer these days thanks to our good friends the H.S.E.
Hello! When people talk about “family” fireworks, they might think of small selection boxes, a few sparklers in the back garden, and a few wizz pop rockets. Indeed, I don’t challenge that- small back garden fireworks can be great fun. But equally, I have found that families love a nice big Cat 3 display! Just because someone has children, or indeed because someone is young, does not mean that they can’t enjoy the big fireworks with the rest of us. Fireworks are designed to be watched by persons of all ages, and used by persons over 18. They can be a wonderful form of entertainment. Some of my biggest displays and indeed most successful displays have been to a family audience. The potential issue is that some younger children may be a little nervous and intimidated. This can be overcome, leaving everyone happy. I’ll give a few hints and tips from my experience to make it go well.
1. Start early. Families go to bed- children have early bed times, and tend to get tired. Aim to fire around “tea time”. That way people won’t be tired and children (and parents) won’t be moody.
2. Brevity is your friend. It is not necessary or appreciated to run a long display. About 10 minutes, at the most, is fine. I have found that it is quality that is remembered, not duration. Children and indeed many adults have attention spans that naturally “peak” quite quickly – the last thing you want is for people to be getting restless.
3. Distance is more important than ever. For safety and best effect you should always use your Cat 3 at least 30 clear metres away from the audience – I’d suggest allowing for much more for younger children. For those who may be a little nervous, distance provides a natural barrier from the fireworks. Fireworks are safe, but none the less some people may still feel uncomfortable. A nice distance can be the difference between enjoyment and nervousness.
4. Along the same lines, if at all possible, allow your fireworks to be watchable from inside as well. This is great for slightly nervous children who will still want to watch the action – again, a natural (psychological) barrier. Be sure people feel safe (even if you know they ARE safe, its important they feel it too).
5. Provide food! As always, its appreciated – but having something people can be chomping away on whilst watching is another great way of controlling nerves, and adding a comfort factor. Here are a load of tips and ideas - http://epicfireworks.com/blog/category/bonfire-night/bonfire-night-recipes/
6. Be sure each child is being looked after by an adult. In most circumstances this is obviously the parent or guardian, but I have known instances where groups of older boys (and its boys – sorry but true) have been liable to cause a minor nuisance Essentially, have someone you know just keep an eye on everyone. I’d suggest that you request parents are at the display too if at all possible – moreover, they can also enjoy the fireworks.
And that pretty much is that!
Article by Moonlight Shadow
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.