HAPPY NOVEMBER FIFTH
HOPE YOU HAVE A SAFE AND CELEBRATORY TIME..!
When we were young we went to the street bonfire. The weeks preceding the night we had scoured the local park and neighbourhood for wood for the bonfire. Some of the more notorious streets made late night raids – stealing from the various collections. Someone was always getting rid of old furniture – a sofa here, three legged table there. The older young men and boys would start to build the bonfire as soon as school was finished. They and parents supervised the whole night. If you were lucky enough to have had a box of fireworks given to you, then you handed it over these people and they would set them off. The effigy of guy fawkes would be hoisted to the top and the bonfire was lit. In this day and age it is probably as well that I can nt remember the odd song that was sung while he "burnt." This one I do recollect:
Please to remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot…
Where was this bonfire? In the middle of the street of course – where we lived no one had a car. The only vehicles we ever saw, belonged to the milkman,breadman and coalman and the dustmen, (sorry, waste disposal operators’). Potatoes were laid in the hot embers on the edge of the inferno. Mothers’ had been busy most of the day making treacle toffee, toffee apples, (the fruit "disposed of" by the greengrocer on the corner). My favourite was my own Mothers Parkin cake. I still have the receipe, although it is a while since I set to and made it! Some foodstuffs and sweets were still rationed, a decade after we had won a war! That spirit of community is now regretably dead.
As are the friends, neighbours and parents who made OUR childhood a window on life. Not always happy – but safe.