Apart from temporarily tingling tootsies, no serious damage was done and she still enjoys big firework displays, albeit from a safe distance.
I’ve found most Guy Fawkes Night celebrations in friends’ back gardens tend to be a bit of a damp squib these days. Most people prefer to go to a professionally organised public event where they’ll get more bangs, sizzles and flashes for their bucks – and without the risk of self immolation.
The traditional November 5th commemorations have their origins in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when a group of English Catholics, led by the infamous Guy Fawkes, was foiled in its attempt to blow up Parliament. An Act was passed which decreed that church thanksgiving services should be held on each anniversary.
They seem to have fizzled out, but the celebratory burn-ups blaze on and nowhere more so than in Lewes. This normally peaceful historic East Sussex town still has seven bonfire societies, some dating back to the 1850s. They hold carnival-style torchlit processions along the streets before each igniting their own massive bonfires.
There are races where flaming tar barrels are pulled along the street, while 17 burning crosses are carried through the town in memory of Protestant martyrs. Not always in the best possible taste, effigies of nationally reviled figures are tossed on the fires.
Sounds a tad too lively? Then consider one of the other major displays taking place around the country.
For example, the Three Counties Showground in Malvern is staging its annual Guy Fawkes event on November 2. Highlights are a Superheroes-themed fancy dress competition, a funfair and 20-minute ‘pyro musical spectacular’. If you’re looking for accommodation, Colwall Park Hotel is a few minutes’ drive away.
Among country house hotels hosting their own parties is Gibbon Bridge in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland, which has a special £100 B&B rate for the night (for two people). On November 5 the hotel will be providing the bonfire and whizz-bangs, along with mulled wine and hot chocolate. After the display, Lancashire Hotpot, parkin cake and bonfire toffee will be served.« View all blog articles.