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Amarie
10-28-2009, 03:54 AM
I've read people gather in parks to watch fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night, but was wondering if the city itself is crowded with people out and about, even if they aren't at a particular event. Anyone been in London on that night in recent years?

BigWords
10-28-2009, 05:43 AM
Not in recent years, but I remember the streets being packed with idiots throwing bangers at people back in 2004. Fireworks going off in the middle of the freakin' day, scaring the shit out of people who thought it was gunfire. I heard a few stories of fireworks being put through letterboxes as well... I hate fireworks.

Belle_91
10-28-2009, 06:21 AM
I read in a book about King Charles II that on Guy Fawkes night that they lit effiges (sorry if I misspelled) of the pope on fire. Do they still do that? I know it was originally an anti-Catholic holiday

BigWords
10-28-2009, 06:37 AM
I've not heard of effigies of the pope being set on fire around where I live. Maybe in Glasgow... It's mostly ol' Guido that gets set alight atop a pile of wood, which is where the 'penny for the guy' thing comes from (as if I would give the little brats money so they can buy petrol).

Amarie
10-28-2009, 06:58 AM
Not in recent years, but I remember the streets being packed with idiots throwing bangers at people back in 2004. Fireworks going off in the middle of the freakin' day, scaring the shit out of people who thought it was gunfire. I heard a few stories of fireworks being put through letterboxes as well... I hate fireworks.


Sorry people have to put up with that, but luckily for me, it's exactly what I need for my story. Thanks!

pdr
10-28-2009, 09:35 AM
most local communities have a communal bonfire and fireworks. In London my friends have a 'street' party, barbecues instead of fires, but good fireworks let off by the Dads. They make their Guys to use as scarecrows!

Polenth
10-28-2009, 09:59 AM
I read in a book about King Charles II that on Guy Fawkes night that they lit effiges (sorry if I misspelled) of the pope on fire. Do they still do that? I know it was originally an anti-Catholic holiday

Guys can look like anyone... politicians, celebrities, anyone who might have generated a bit of hate. Many of them are just generic though.

Shakesbear
10-28-2009, 11:18 AM
I moved out of London just over ten years ago so my memories are somewhat ancient. The field outside the block of flats we lived in as used to hold a huge bonfire that was built up for weeks before the event. Kids used to throw all sorts of rubbish on the ever growing pile. There was always a lot of people round the bonfire and it was lit just after the sun went down. There were some fireworks, but not many. I can also remember kids with home made go carts - a wooden box on a couple of planks of wood and wheels from an old pram - with a guy in it. Kids would ask for 'a penny for the Guy'. The money they collected was supposed, by tradition, to be spent on fireworks but I think, in the lean post-war years, it might well have been used to help but food. Sometimes the local greengrocer would give a sack of potatoes to be cooked in the bonfire - they had a strange taste!

Fireworks were put through letter boxes and if you did not close your windows then you could get a rocket in your room. Depending on where you were in London the smell of the fireworks and bonfires were around for a day or two. I think that the large displays do attract a lot of people and the only walking around they would do would be from the tube station or bus stop to the viewing areas. The Lord Mayor of London (not BoJo! who is mayor of Greater London) has a show each year with fireworks see here:
http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/lord-mayors-show-fireworks-display.aspx

waylander
10-28-2009, 11:38 AM
Depends on where in London, its a big place. A lot of residential areas will have council/community organised firework shows in parks or playing fields on the Saturday nearest to Nov 5.

RobinGBrown
10-28-2009, 04:17 PM
I lived in Clapham for the last five years or so. Every year on a Saturday night nearest to Nov 5th they have a fireworks display at 8PM for about 30 mins on Clapham Common.

http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/clapham-fireworks-display.aspx

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Clapham+Common,&sll=51.460893,-0.1472&sspn=0.007754,0.022638&ie=UTF8&radius=0.49&rq=1&ev=zo&hq=Clapham+Common,&hnear=&ll=51.458901,-0.147178&spn=0.007754,0.022638&z=16

The common itself is very crowded as it's a highly populated area, people will walk from all the surrounding areas within 5-15 minutes of the park, some will catch buses to get there from further away.

So in the lead up to the event and afterwards the streets are very crowded with people coming and going. London is very busy _every_ Saturday night so it's not unusually crowded beyond the norm. Londoners are used to heavy traffic.

Most of the other councils within the city run similar events. There's also fireworks on New Year's Eve.

Bonfires used to be traditional but are usually done on a smaller scale and not organised by the council (probably for various insurance reasons). There are a few large community bonfires in some villages but only in outlying areas of London.

If you PM me I can send you a couple of crowd photos as examples, although it may take a while to hunt them down.

Amarie
10-28-2009, 04:52 PM
Thanks all! This is the sort of information I couldn't find by googling it, and will be very useful. Too bad I can't just pop over to London to see it for myself.

RobinGBrown
10-28-2009, 06:53 PM
Forgot to say, it is _always_ cold by Nov 5th so everyone is in their winter coats for bonfire night. It can be pleasnt during the day if sunny but by the time the fireworks start it feels really cold.

Amarie
10-28-2009, 07:02 PM
Forgot to say, it is _always_ cold by Nov 5th so everyone is in their winter coats for bonfire night. It can be pleasnt during the day if sunny but by the time the fireworks start it feels really cold.


Good point! My husband and I went to London for our honeymoon in early June many years ago, and we weren't prepared for how cold it was then

waylander
10-28-2009, 07:11 PM
Never, of course, neglecting the possibility of rain

StephanieFox
10-29-2009, 04:53 AM
Not in recent years, but I remember the streets being packed with idiots throwing bangers at people back in 2004. I hate fireworks.

Bangers? Sausages?

BigWords
10-29-2009, 04:58 AM
Bangers are little firecracker-type things. I don't know what they're called elsewhere, but they are loud. And annoying.

ETA: These weapons (http://www.fireworkmuseum.co.uk/cherry_bombs/DSCN3496.html) of mass irritation.

RobinGBrown
10-29-2009, 12:42 PM
Bangers? Sausages?

The word bangers is used to mean sausages, small fireworks that go bang, and old neglected cars. Context is king!

'I was sitting in my old banger eating a plate of bangers and chips when some loon threw a banger at me'

Thump
10-29-2009, 01:24 PM
I live in Oxford and last year we had a gigantic Spartan Guy :D It was pretty impressive. Then it started to rain and they had a hard time lighting him up >:) Had some lovely homemade doughnuts while I waited for the pyre. Num num. I'm going again on the 7th (because the 5th is a week day).

Shakesbear
10-29-2009, 01:28 PM
The word bangers is used to mean sausages, small fireworks that go bang, and old neglected cars. Context is king!

'I was sitting in my old banger eating a plate of bangers and chips when some loon threw a banger at me'


Is is my understanding that sausages were called 'bangers' because they used to explode! During World War II sausages had extra water in them to make them seem larger. During cooking the water expanded and the sausage went 'BANG!' Which is why sausages used to, and possible still do, get pranged with a sharp instrument prior to being cooked.

girlyswot
10-29-2009, 02:41 PM
In Lewes, they still burn the pope on Bonfire Night (http://www.bonfirenight.info/lewesbonfirenight.php), but in most places not.

stuckupmyownera
10-29-2009, 10:34 PM
I live in a small city about 25 miles outside of London, but it's not just in London that the streets get filled with loons. Most communities will have some sort of fireworks event, and a lot of individuals have parties too, so everyone seems to be out and about on Guy Fawkes night.

Couple of years ago some idiots filled the phonebox 20 yards from my house with fireworks... I thought the world was ending! Some of the fireworks got blown out of the box and went all over the street, bouncing off the buildings and stuff. Broken glass everywhere.

HoafeGaG73
10-30-2009, 07:30 PM
Sorry I cant spell

And fine Ill chance my name back, But Tim thought it would be a bad idea to put our real names down

Amarie
10-30-2009, 08:39 PM
In Lewes, they still burn the pope on Bonfire Night (http://www.bonfirenight.info/lewesbonfirenight.php), but in most places not.

Thanks for the link. It's fascinating that there are actually bonfire societies.

waylander
11-06-2009, 12:06 AM
8pm Nov 5th and I can see the fireworks from 3 different displays from my place.
Bear in mind it is midweek and a lot of the bigger displays are held on the weekend.

JimmyB27
11-06-2009, 04:48 PM
The word bangers is used to mean sausages, small fireworks that go bang, and old neglected cars. Context is king!

'I was sitting in my old banger eating a plate of bangers and chips when some loon threw a banger at me'
And then my girlfriend came over, and I had to bang 'er.

;)

dirtsider
11-06-2009, 06:08 PM
I went to a Guy Fawkes event here in the US some years back (probably around 10 years ago now). It was sponsored by a British style pub/restaurant that I used to go to a lot. No fireworks but it did have a bonfire and an effigy. Then we all went back to the brewpub and had our meals/drinks.

waylander
11-06-2009, 06:17 PM
And then my girlfriend came over, and I had to bang 'er.

;)

And just to confuse things further; a banger in boxing parlance is a fighter who relies on heavy punching to win his fights.

Context is all

BigWords
11-08-2009, 12:30 AM
There is a story on the news about a woman being burned to death in her home after somebody apparently put a firework through her letterbox. No idea where it happened (I switched over to something less frivolous than the evening news), but the fire occured yesterday.

Apparently there is a lot of stuff happening over at Facebook, with locals putting up names of those who may have been involved.

waylander
11-08-2009, 01:35 AM
Happened in Cornwall
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/8348325.stm

Shamisen
11-11-2009, 06:17 PM
Also bear in mind that most people refer to it as Bonfire Night, although Guy Fawkes night is still commonly used.

In Plymouth, not London, we'd have fireworks being set off by numpties a couple of months in advance of the night itself - basically as soon as they were being sold. Mid September ish. So bloomin annoying!