History in Kent => Life Writing => Topic started by: Mickleburgh on October 28, 2016, 16:58:59

Title: Fireworks
Post by: Mickleburgh on October 28, 2016, 16:58:59
The `Guy Fawkes` season again and the evenings will be punctuated with bangs and whooshes as parties are held. Despite it being much more restricted to buy fireworks these days I see that complaints of `unsociable behaviour` related thereto are on the increase. In my day it was much easier to acquire a few `bangers` and play pranks therewith, although nothing likely to cause any real harm.

An enduring memory was one night when a small gang of us were around town with a few fireworks to use up. Having been, as they say, `taken short` I had dived into the public convenience for a minute when my mates dreamed up a jolly jap. Dashing in they had lighted a `Jumping Jack` and tossed it under a closed toilet door! Unfortunately for them my problem had turned out to be no more than trapped wind and I was in fact around the corner using the urinal. From behind that closet door came the most incredible stream of expletives any of us had ever heard, punctuated by loud `cracks`, almost certainly an ex-naval man it was later concluded. We fled!

Title: Re: Fireworks
Post by: conan on October 28, 2016, 23:17:11
I remember going 'penny for the guy' with the guy made from an old pair of dads trousers, a shirt and a small pillow case for a head all stuffed with newspaper and a Guy Fawkes papier mache mask purchased from the local shop for sixpence. Made enough money to keep the neighbourhood on its toes for a couple of days. Bangers were a penny each and,  if memory serves, a jumping jack was threepence.
  Then on November 5th a bonfire would be lit in our large back garden, neighbours invited, the guy would be plonked on the fire, parental fireworks would be lit (what to me then seemed a bit boring, catherine wheels and roman candles), rockets would be fired from milk bottles and the best bit of all, spuds baked in the fire.
Title: Re: Fireworks
Post by: StuarttheGrant on October 29, 2016, 22:57:19
In the 1950s all us "Elms Vale kids" used to go up the hills and drag back to our communal bonfire all the wood we could either chop down, find or scrounge. I recall one year one of us kids lost a finger during an attempt to chop a branch of an Ash tree. David was his name we took him down to our house, where my mother wrapped a pillow case over his hand. The ambulance took him to the Victoria Hospital, and we youngsters returned to the gathering of wood. Post war Dover was a great place for children to grow up. :)