Monday 4 November 2019


Gunpowder treason and plot!

 Jenny responding to a loud knock at the front looks out!

 "Whose there? " she calls , then turning her head shouts back inside " can someone put the outside light on please? "

A light fills the porch.

" Penny for the Guy , Miss ? " says Toby
" Who you calling miss ! " Jenny replies " You know my name and what guy? "

 " This Guy " says Toby nodding his head towards the cart behind him "  Mr Guy Fawkes ! He needs money for his fence  !"
" Defence " whispers Zak
" That's what I said " argues Toby " the fence !"

" I'm sure you'd like to help him save his fence Jenny!"

Sighing Jenny asks " Do you know who Guy Fawkes is?  have you heard of the plot to blow up Parliment back in 1605 and that Guy Fawkes was one of the men who plotted to blow the place up and all those inside? "
 Toby looking baffled but unwilling to go down without a fight " Obviously ! But that doesn't mean Guy Fawkes cannot have a new fence , does it ? "
"Defence ..Defence " moans Zak
"Are you going to give us a penny or not? "

 "That would be no " says Jenny turning back to the house.
Grumbling Toby tells Zak to pull the cart " We'll try next door , I bet their not MEAN!" he raises his voice so the retreating Jenny can hear.

 Suddenly the light goes out!  " Charming! " growls Toby " I don't remember Mum saying she had this trouble when she and her sisters went and took their guy over to the bus stops and the people getting off the buses would give the money ! A penny for the Guy!"

" Well that was in the olden days " sighs Zak struggling to pull the cart " are you going to help ? "

Ignoring Zak's question Toby continues " How are we supposed to get fireworks if we don't have any money? "
"We'll need more than a penny for fireworks " states Zak puffing " and anyway mum says you may as well just set you money alight ! "

" You cannot burn pennies! " huffs Toby " anyone knows that! Come on Zak, if we get a move on we could do the whole road before Mum comes looking for us "

Toby rushes off while Zak struggles to pull the cart over the cobbles wondering why he didn't just say no when Toby asked if he wanted to go out and play!


Years ago Guy Fawkes Night , November the fifth was a big thing in the English calender. Children would get old clothes and stuff them with paper or straw , making a head on which a hat was placed and a face was drawn or maybe a musk was placed, then they had their Guy.

Then the Guy would be placed on an old pram or home made go cart and pulling round the street, the children knocking on the doors asking for a penny for the guy.

Raising money to buy fireworks to let off on the 5th of November , people would get together and build large bonfires and the guy would have the place of honour at the top. Then Fireworks would be let off with everyone enjoying the spectacle.

Alas Bonfire night ,as it is also known, is no longer what it once was, fireworks are expensive and  extremely noisy and dangerous and people now buy them and let them off whenever they like. There are some big displays which people can pay to go to but these are few and far between. So another tradition fades and a piece of history slips from peoples awareness and some innocent fun is no longer.


  1. Loved this. Brought back some most memorable childhood memories!
    I was only allowed to buy pretty 'silent' fireworks (Traffic Lights, Silver Rain, Snowflakes and Sparklers) when my daughter was young.

    1. Those innocent days ! Yes it was the height of excitement to be given a sparkler and wave it about !

  2. As an ex nurse I have seen first hand what fireworks can do when handled irresponsibly so it is one of those traditions that I think should fall by the wayside....although I do think that Guy Fawkes would be handy at the moment to sort out the current Brexit fiasco :)

    1. I totally agree that fireworks, especially these days, should only be used by professionals in local displays and not by all and sundry around their gardens and roads.
      They'll be letting them off over the coming months , for birthdays and Christmas and New Year. I can never understand why you'd want to just set light to £100 plus and the noise these days from the bombs , terriable !

    2. Hehee you are funny Ronny but I have to say that I agree.... ;)

  3. I remember celebrating Guy Fawkes when I was a kid, but we were never allowed to handle the fireworks, Dad always lit them. It's a shame that traditions fall by the wayside, however, once these things get in the hands of children they become dangerous. A boy put one in my friends pocket when he was young and it burnt his leq so bad he's been left with a big scar in his thigh.

    I did enjoy your story though Dee, it was delightful. :)
    Big hugs,

    1. Same with us, my Dad did the lighting and Paul when our girls were young although we didn't buy many.
      Alas that is the problem there is always some idiot who thinks putting what is a dangerous item into someones pocket or throwing them at people, which is why they should only now be used in local displays.

      Glad you liked my Guy Fawkes tale :) x

  4. No Guy Fawkes here in the US, but on July 4th, Independence day when I was a kid it wa a big deal to wave sparklers (or 'spooklers' as I called them). Only the naughty kids played with those noisy firecrackers. I have a feeling that any pennies that Toby and Zak manage to collect will be spent on candy!

    1. It was a big deal to wave those sparklers around :)
      You know those boys too well ! By the time Toby's chosen what sweets (Candy) he wants there won't be enough left over for a sparkle never mind a sparkler!

  5. I think Zak and Toby will need about 500 pennies each just to get into a public display and probably another 1000 pennies to get Mrs. Mum - or perhaps Mr Dad - in with them.

    1. Yes it's an expensive business if you are only on 10p pocket money a week ! And with so many children it would cost a kings ransom to take them all.

  6. Love the story Dee but I'm not so keen on fireworks these days although I loved them as a child. They are just so noisy and they frighten the lives out of my dogs. Here in Spain they are let off at weddings and other fiestas and the church lets them off during Lent and they do so during the day which quite honestly I cannot see the point of, they're just bangs with nothing pretty to see.
    I agree that fireworks should only be available at organised firework displays, that's hopefully safer and a one off so you don't have them going off for weeks on end.

    1. Thank goodness we don't have the churches and festivals joining in! The public are bad enough although I think it's graduly starting to not be so much these days. but I think they should be banned at all other times unless an orgainsed Public display.xx