Guy Fawkes Day

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Ernest
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Guy Fawkes Day

Post by Ernest » Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:29 am

I have always thought that Guy Fawkes Day is a strange thing to celebrate in what is supposedly a modern country. Using Fire Works to replicate the alleged plot to blow up Parliament and to kill the King and Government.

The plotters were caught and executed, but a grisly memorial with simulated explosions has been held annually ever since. I find the whole thing distasteful and something that should be banned.

I have no objection to Firework Displays, if organized and well and safely run, but the indiscriminate sale of fire works to individuals (even if there are supposed to be age limits for such sales) is plain wrong

Vandals seem to use them, particularly the large ones called "bombs" indiscriminately, often in public places, and cause damage to property or the public realm. In recent years they've been placed in Phone Boxes or even attached to animals to injure or kill them.

In the meantime, animals and pets in particular are terrified by the use of fireworks and bangs and flashes for days at a time, and particularly at night. Last evening, we were hearing fire works in neighbouring gardens and the large public recreation ground behind our house from mid-afternoon until well after midnight. Sleep was virtually impossible until the early hours and our cats were hiding away in dark places - three in one wardrobe in our middle bedroom.

There were also fire engines going past our house with sirens going (the Station is at the top of our road) as they reacted to out of control bonfires in private dwellings.

I truly believe that it is time that strict regulation on the use of fire works is needed and only public displays should be licensed. The sale of fireworks to individuals should be banned totally. As so called "Harmless Fun" is anything but harmless

What do you think?
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Joyce
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Guy Fawkes Day

Post by Joyce » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:46 am

Fireworks, effigy-burning, guy-burning and seasonal bonfires were extant here and all over the world a long time before the Gunpowder Plotters or their intended victims were born, Ernest, as I'm sure you know. One of the terrorists had a very convenient name, so we name the celebration after him. Catesby night doesn't sound quite right. Some towns still burn The Pope instead of Guy Fawkes. The national event commemorated until Gunpowder Treason and Plot took over was the anniversary of the accession of Elizabeth the First. The bonfires were already being prepared and the fireworks stocked up.

There are more public displays and organised events these days than there were when I was a child when dads let off the fireworks in back gardens and we roasted potatoes in bonfires while mums handed round treacle toffee. Boys used to make guys and beg for pennies on street corners until Trick or Treat took their place. Anybody aged thirteen or over could buy fireworks from newsagents and toy shops. The very sensible safety movement away from such things was gaining ground until other celebrations arrived.

Now that fireworks are let off for Diwali, Chinese New Year and birthdays, you're not going to find any authority willing to ban them under this zeitgeist.
I hope the increasing use of CCTV will help catch vandals and hooligans.

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Caroline
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Guy Fawkes Day

Post by Caroline » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:01 am

The purpose of Guy Fawkes Night was actually to celebrate the failure of the plotters to blow up the King and Parliament, which does seem like a reasonable reason for celebration. It was initially 'an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure' (see Wikipedia ). The fireworks, I believe, show an entertaining use of the explosives that would otherwise have been used on Parliament - using weapons that had been intended to kill to make pretty lights and patterns and harm nobody.

I do agree that burning an effigy of anybody is pretty unpleasant, but I can't remember when I last saw a bonfire with a 'guy' on it. I hope that aspect is dying out.

We don't seem to have any problems with the misuse of fireworks here. We have an informal bonfire/firework display on the mountain close to us - a real community affair - and the farmer whose land adjoins one side of ours usually has a bonfire and some fireworks. We enjoy both of them, usually from our conservatory!

Neither of these displays would be legal if fireworks were only permitted at licensed displays. They would be a great loss.

According to the law fireworks can only be sold to over 18s, and can only be sold for private use in the run-up to Bonfire Night, New Year, Chinese New Year and Diwali. I think that maybe the law needs to be applied more stringently in some places.

[Cross-posted with Joyce.]
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Joyce
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Guy Fawkes Day

Post by Joyce » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:34 pm

Caroline is right ! All my life I've been taught that the survival of the royal family, parliamentarians and residents of the streets in that part of London, thanks to the foiling of the plot, was an accomplishment to be celebrated.
In this day and age when such things are still going on I think it's very important to continue to mark it. Intelligence is as important now as it was in 16th and 17th centuries..

Whenever there's a phone-in programme asking what day should be chosen if we have another bank holiday, I ring in and suggest Freedom From Tyranny Day on whichever Monday is nearest the fifth or eleventh of November.

An interesting point about the Gunpowder Plotters is that they were all caught. Absolutely nobody supported them. They were as deluded as many a terrorist organisation before and since : they thought they had a cause and believed others were behind them even as far as mass murder.

An irony is that they got their way eventually, without killing anybody. The branch of the royal family they were intending to put on the thrones is there to this day. Nine-year-old Princess Elizabeth Stuart fled when she heard about how they were intending to kidnap her and make her Queen after her parents and siblings died in the proposed explosion. It is her descendants who have been reigning now for just over three hundred years. God Save The Queen. Thank you for serving Her Majesty, Ernest, and protecting us from idiots.

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Ernest
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Guy Fawkes Day

Post by Ernest » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:48 pm

Perhaps I'm unfortunate to live in an Urban area, with more than our fair share of idiots who vandalise and use fire works to cause problems for other people, without any thought for their welfare.

More to the point, is the way that they affect animals, who spend days cowering and hiding from the noise. The Police and Armed Forces train their horses about loud noises and bangs which helps the horses to work through them.

I don't know how to help pets, particularly cats and dogs that suffer every time fireworks are used. They have much better hearing than us and even a bang half a mile away will send them running for their favorite hiding place.

You could say that we needn't keep animals? But the reality is that our cats are part of our life. We don't have children of our marriage, but have 5 (not adult) grandchildren from my first marriage. They all had pets and their pets suffered just as ours did and continue to do.

Perhaps I'm being a curmudgeon, but our experience seems to be shared by many of our friends, and particularly among the parishioners in our church, who all feel that the use of fireworks is too indiscriminate and needs more controls to be brought in. It might not be a high priority for a government at the moment, but it is for us and for many people we know.
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Joyce
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Guy Fawkes Day

Post by Joyce » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:37 am

Somebody somewhere ought by now to be able to invent silent fireworks. A levy on fireworks towards funding a prize or a university lab would be worthwhile. They did it with recording tapes for the PRS in order to make recording legal so it could be done very easily.

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Guy Fawkes Day

Post by Caroline » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:07 pm

I noticed last night that the fireworks on the mountain, which weren't very far from us at all, were really quite quiet. Much less noise than heavy rain, and not at all high-pitched. With the TV on we didn't notice them at first. I suspect a lot of the noise is deliberate rather than necessary.
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