I’d always wanted to know when that would be..when the ‘fun starts’? Not just today on an evening when lots of people had chosen to have their Guy Fawkes night celebrations but just in life generally. It’s a question that has flummoxed me intermittently for many years, but enough of my flippancy. To explain, a friend had informed me that our chosen destination for the night, The Black Lion pub at Radcliffe on Trent, Nottinghamshire. was to have its annual fireworks display and bonfire night this very night and that she had been reliably informed that ‘the fun starts at eight o’clock’.
It was quite a mad night actually. We got there at 7.50 and the huge bonfire was raging in the back yard. The annual rite of trying to burn down the kiddie’s plastic camel unhappily situated adjacent the bonfire was in full swing. A constant hosing of water preserved the dromedary for yet another twelve months.It was 8.25pm before the first rocket was fired in anger. A push in and out of the public bar and a pint of cider in my hand, I was well prepared or so I thought. I soon found myself diving for extra provisions from the supermarket just down the road after a time though – four cans of Stella. The reason is this. Let me tell you this was the longest firework display in history – fully one and a half hours long! People were falling asleep; children were crying for home, we didn’t know what month it was. I’d a clean shave before I went out and by the time the fireworks were coming to an end had a ‘full set’ resembling W. G Grace. My neck ached and ached from looking upwards, my hands were numb from holding my friend ‘Stella’, I just wanted it all to end – preferably sometime this year.
We finally gave in and went in the pub as the crowds cleared slowly but surely deterred by yet another Roman Candle – the 158th of the night. That was when the real fireworks started. Whilst we were in the bar, somebody allegedly collected a bottle over the head in a fracas and the police and ambulance services were called. Very young children were being brought into the pub absolutely distraught and crying. One might suggest they should have not been there at such an hour. I heard tell that later on after I left there was another horrendous scrap outside the pub to which Nottinghamshire’s finest had to be recalled. Maybe it was the length of the firework display and the frustration of it all? Well we were all out there for some considerable time…
See you, Guy Fawkes? I thought your intentions were laudable but look what you started? Never again…until next year obviously.