Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Remember, Remember

The BBC have a 3 part drama starting tonight called Gunpowder.I thought I had better do a post I had planned today rather than later.

I mentioned Guy Fawkes night or Bonfire night when I wrote my October Days post and Jenn from Coffee on the porch for me  in Canada said she had always thought Guy-Fawkes was October 31st. I said I'd write about the 5th November for readers from foreign parts.

  I seem to think that every year at primary school we would write out this poem and then decorate our page with pictures of colourful fireworks.

Remember, Remember
The Fifth of November
Gunpowder,Treason and Plot
I see no reason 
Why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.


One of the Enterprise Car Hire ads featuring Brad (Tall Fictional US sales guy) and Dave (short  fictional British salesman) explains the difficulty in understanding  traditions from one side of the Atlantic to the other.

If this works you should see the ad, if not put THIS into google  
Enterprise Rent-A-Car - Brad & Dave - No Matter What TV Advert (40)  

So there they were, King James 1st and his mainly Protestant government in 1605, preparing for the state opening of Parliament. But a plot was being hatched to blow them all up so that Catholics would be able to get back their rights by having a "puppet" monarch.
On the night of 4th/5th  November, Guy Fawkes the explosives expert was waiting with the barrels in the cellars. BUT a warning had been sent to a Catholic peer not to attend and this had aroused suspicion. Guards were sent  to check the building. Guy Fawkes was arrested and tortured so that he named all the rest of the gang and then he was hung as were all the others.
James 1st decreed that all his subjects should light bonfires on 5th November to celebrate the foiled plot.
It took another 200 years before Catholics were able to lead a normal life with the same rights as Protestants.

So what we have in this country today started with bonfires in 1605, later people would make a guy shaped figure out of straw and old clothes and burn him on the fire. By the time we get to the 1960s  we were having a bonfire, with a guy to burn in the back garden and a few fireworks on the 5th November. My mum would save up all year to be able to buy some rockets, sparklers and a Catherine wheel which never spun properly. Next door neighbours were invited round to watch and then it would be hot dogs indoors afterwards.
 By the time our lot were old enough to appreciate the bangs and flashes, firework nights were often organised events down on the school playing field, raising money for local charities. Hotdogs and burgers for sale with coffee. Fireworks in the back garden were discouraged because there were so many accidents every year and fireworks got difficult and expensive for individuals to buy.
Now events  have got bigger and bigger and more expensive to get into but fireworks are easier to buy again as they are available in supermarkets all through October.  So it's quite common for people to have some at home and go to a big event as well. Guy Fawkes night has become Fireworks nights-spread-over-two-weeks......... it's £30 for a car full of people at a big event near us this year......we won't be going.
Although I wouldn't mind a few sparklers in the back garden.

Thank you to everyone for comments about "Private Drainage". We are well used to sorting out problems after all the years at the smallholding and the campsite, just another sort of self-reliance. When we were trying to sell the smallholding some people were put off by the idea of not being on mains sewer but it's quite usual in the countryside.

Back Monday
Sue

27 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to that series. I teach my students about James I and the gunpowder plot as part of the context for Macbeth. The year after the plot was foiled Shakespeare wrote a play about a plot to kill a king... but the moral of the tale is very much that it will never turn out well, so leave the king alone!!

    We tend to do some autumn pruning and use the garden incinerator for our bonfire! Sparklers are a must, and a cheap box of ground fireworks, the big rocket types are way too expensive and you can watch everyone else's for free through the window! Local pub does a good display too and all the kids mates are there, real community event, also free (apart from the bar, of course!)

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  2. Around here children used to make up their Guy and shout penny for the Guy...don't see that any more! x

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  3. Very interesting history and tradition you shared. A few years ago I visited Coughton Court where I believe this plot was planned back in 1605. I found it fascinating to walk through this National Trust property and think about the past. Pat

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  4. We used to write out that poem too.

    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  5. This stirs up childhood memories. There are hardly any bonfires around here now and firework displays are few and far between. I think it will be sticky ginger cake and sparklers for us this year. X

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  6. We have fireworks already going off in the evenings, we have a couple of large houses who have firework parties, so we sit and watch them from inside our warm house. My two cats always get used to the sounds, but stay inside with us.

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  7. Nice post Sue, you bought back a few memories there. My first firework night ended up with the fire brigade being called. We lived in a small cottage on the Duke of Rutland's hunting lodge, one of the lodge cottages and it was on a main road. Dad had let my fireworks off and a passer by had seen all the smoke and thought the cottage was on fire so rang the fire brigade. We lived in the middle of nowhere. Mum and Dad had just gone to bed when the fire brigade arrived. Fortunately Dad knew one of the firemen, but he never did tell him it was my fireworks that had caused the problem! We used to make a guy and build bonfires in the garden too and have the neighbours around. We also used to take the guys into the street and ask for pennies for the guy to go towards fireworks. Its funny how time has changed everything. Am looking forward to the programme tonight though. Take care. Pattypanxx

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  8. My parents also saved for the street communal one we went to every year. Great excitement! It was on a bit of spare land at the bottom of the street. For about a week before Bonfire Night all us children in the street would go Progging, which was collecting wood for the bonfire. We obviously never collected enough to build the size of bonfire there was, but it kept us busy and out of mischief.
    The bonfire was huge with the guy placed at or near the top, always dressed in someones old clothes. There weren't any accidents that I can recall even though there wasn't a barrier around the bonfire. I remember one year a rip-rap, once lit, seemed to follow me when I ran away.
    There was a feast too of pie and mushy peas, Yorkshire parkin and there was always plot toffee for the children and those with a sweet tooth.
    If Bonfire Night fell on a Sunday we would have it the following night. Everyone observed Sundays in those days. Happy days!

    Joan (Devon)

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  9. Baked potatoes and sausages were the tradition here around the bonfire and the fireworks sparklers and bangers and Catherine wheels and two or three rockets and fountains of colour. Nothing like the fireworks of today that seem to have to sound like a bomb to be rated a success.

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  10. I watched the Enterprise ad. Funny. I did understand the hat (Ascot, right?). Now I have a second question: What is a Catherine wheel and why is it called that?? Here in Canada we have fireworks on the May 24th weekend (which doesn't always work out to be exactly May 24, but as close as you can get) which is Victoria day (a throw-back to our connection with the U.K., and July 1st which is Canada Day. A traditional type of firework was called a burning schoolhouse, shaped and decorated like a little brick one room school house. No bonfires, though. -Jenn

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    1. A Catherine wheel is a firework that was pinned to something then the end lit and it span round and round with sparkly bits flying out as it burned. It's named after Saint Catherine who (tradition says) was martyred and tortured on a spiked wheel in around the 3rd century.
      New Years Eve is the other big firework time of year and some are so LOUD now. Last year living in town the Fireworks started at about 6pm and went on until 1am!

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  11. Sparklers in the back garden for us and kiddies. We will wait until the RAF Brize Norton display starts and look up and enjoy for free. No room for a bonfire really so I will light the chiminea for effect. I will do hot dogs, and warm apple muffins. Family traditions don’t need to cost much. :)

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  12. I haven't seen any fireworks for sale yet, though some people around here have got their mitts on some. There was quite the display earlier this week.

    We aren't going to the display in Christchurch park this year. I'm more a fan of the 5th November than Halloween it has to be said. So we might get a box or two and scoff hot dogs outside on the night!

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    1. ASda and Aldi I think is where I saw them. It will be a quieter Nov 5th here at the end of the lane than it was in Preston Drive last year!

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  13. Thanks Sue for that very informative post. I knew sort of what it meant, but not the nitty-gritty.
    Here in our part of Southern CA only safe and sane fireworks are allowed for the 4th of July. It doesn't deter people from going to Mexico and states that allow fireworks, bringing in mortars and large bursts that deafen you are they are launched. We always say it sounds and looks like a war zone when the illegal rockets go up.
    The police don't enforce the ban, but when whole neighborhoods light up, it's hard to spread the cars.
    Enjoy your holiday.

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  14. I watched the series on Netflix a little while ago. If it is the same one, it is very interesting and I though well done. Enjoy.

    God bless.

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    1. I looked it up and think the netflix one is something that was on TV in 2004. This is new drama starring Kit Harrington

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    2. Ooo, then perhaps I will have to take a look and see if I can pick it up on my android box.

      God bless.

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  15. Not sure why she would think it was October 31st - that's Halloween! Maybe it was the bonfires & fireworks - I've always known it was November 5th as we were taught it in history class.
    I have a feeling that the Netflix series was one produced a few years ago - I believe this is a brand new production isn' it? I've seen some mentions in the British papers as I believe it stars Kit Harrington. Hope you enjoy it.

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    1. Yes it is new with Kit Harrinton. First part was good but gruesome.

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  16. I had to stop watching Gunpowder it was a bit gory for me but Mark enjoyed it.

    You've reminded me when I was at school we'd crayon lots of different colours onto card then crayon over these colours with black then scrape firework shapes into the wax ending up with lots of different colours.

    It was always a bonfire and fireworks in the back garden for us when we were little and the same for ours now - although we use a fire pit. I've only been to one display when Amy was little and I swore never again. It was the most dangerous thing I've ever attended. xx

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  17. I remember ( this was back in the late 1940's) kids going round with a dummy requesting money for the Guy. Bonfires were lit at night on the fifth...Don't know what else happened since I was small and would have been in bed by dark...lol


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  18. I loved having a bonfire and would collect wood and twigs and bags of leaves for ages. I m reading the Mary Wesley book Part of the Furniture after seeing it on you blog - goodness its good.

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  19. I've been listening to the ads on BBC radio Suffolk (I listen to it on my computer) but sadly will have to wait to see the show when it comes out here. It sounds really good.

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  21. Great, I love this! By the way, I'd love to get a home improvement done soon, the house looks fairly outdated now. I might even get wet rooms aberdeen done in my bathroom!

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