Don’t you Remember,
The Fifth of November,
‘Twas Gunpowder Treason Day,
I let off my gun,
And made’em all run.
And Stole all their Bonfire away. (1742 English Folk Verse).
After the craziness of Halloween, we have one more event before the Christmas shopping can begin (even though we know a few 0f you have already started to buy your presents!), yes its Bonfire Night! The 5th of November, also known as; Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night is when communities come together to watch magical displays across the skies and get cosy near the fire.
Where did Bonfire Night come from?
Over 400 years ago on the 5th November 1605, a plot was put into action to cause mayhem to the government. 36 barrels of gunpowder were placed in one of the cellars of the Houses of Parliament. The plot was discovered after a Catholic Lord received a warning letter which he then passed onto the Protestant Kings Chief Minister. Guy Fawkes was arrested guarding the explosives and thus became famous as he was the first to be captured, the other conspirators were caught two days later. The target was King James I, and in celebration that he survived the attempt, people lit bonfires around London. An observance of 5th November Act was enforced to create an annual public day of thanksgiving for the failure of the plot. A few decades later the day was known as Gunpowder Treason Day, which carried a strong protestant religious overtone and became a focus for anti-catholic sentiment.
Who was Guy Fawkes?
Guy Fawkes was not the ringleader of the plot, there were actually 13 conspirators, with Robert Catesby leading the way. Catesby had a reputation for speaking out against the Crown and is actually a distant relative to Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington. Fawkes gained notoriety because he had the duty of sneaking into the cellar beneath the House of Lords and igniting the explosives. The plot was to cause disaster to the Protestant establishment but Fawkes was actually born a Protestant, but when his mother was widowed she married a Catholic. This led him converting to the faith in his teens.
Guy Fawkes was used as inspiration for the comic strip V for Vendetta (later made into a blockbuster movie) ‘ The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny… an icon of popular culture being used this way’ comments graphic novelists, Alan Moore and David Lloyd.
Why was it going to happen?
In the 16th and 17th Century religion was central to a person’s identity. It was a major source of conflict, as Protestantism became the official state religion replacing Cathlocism. This division pushed the gunpowder plotters into extreme action. The ultimate goal was to trigger a popular uprising.
‘A Penny for the Guy’
One of the most infamous phrases from this British tradition is a ‘penny for the guy’. It was told that children would beg with effigies of Guy Fawkes, and the 5th of November gradually became known as Guy Fawkes Day. Now the day is known as Fireworks or Bonfire night and has been branded this way by the firework manufacturers from as early as 1910 to cash in on the act. Halfway into the 20th Century fireworks nights merged with Guy Fawkes Day and is now an established family event that happens across the UK. To this day Parliament is still searched once a year to make sure there are no conspirators. This is more of a tradition then a serious precaution and even the cellar used in the plot is no more. It was destroyed in a fire in 1834 that devastated the medieval house of parliament.
We hope you have a safe and fun celebration and don’t forget your penny for the guy!
Where to go for Fireworks?
Across the UK;
Legoland Fireworks Spectacular.
2nd November 2018.
Prices. Day admission ticket to Legoland.
Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular, Kent.
3rd – 4th November 2018.
Prices £23 Adult. Child £15.
Kenilworth Castle Fireworks Gala.
3rd November 2018
Adult £10. Senior/Child £5.00 (Tickets not sold at the gate).
Battersea Park Fireworks
3rd November 2018.
Prices £10 for Adults. Children under 10 go free but still require a ticket.
Heaton Park Bonfire and Fireworks Display.
5th November 2018
Prices: Free but donations welcome.
See more at;
If you’re local to our area in the North East there are plenty to choose from;
Saturday, November 3rd. Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park.
Fireworks and Funfair Family Race Night. Fireworks will begin an hour after the first race.
Race Day costs from £15 for adults in advance (£20 on the gate) and children £5. Five and under are admitted free and family admission tickets available in advance at £25.
Monday 5th November.
Bonfire and Fireworks Display. Novos RFC, Sutherland Park Benton, Newcastle NE7 7SY
7 pm, Adults £5 Children (under 16s) £3.
Saturday, November 3rd. Gateshead Firework display – Saltwell Park, East Park Road, Gateshead. The event will start at 7.30pm. £3 per wristband/ticket purchased in advance, available from Blue customer service lounge in the Metrocentre opposite Wilko. Greys Quarter customer desk in Eldon Square next to Georges Kitchen. Or use this link https://www.cashforkidsgive.co.uk/donate/one-off/saltwell-park-fireworks/ includes a 25p charity donation.
See more at; https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/newcastle-bonfire-night-fireworks-displays-10244167