Bonfire night celebrations

Fireworks night celebrations

Fireworks night celebrations

Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot…

This blog post was originally written in 2012. Here’s a delightful picture to add to the general Guy Fawkes’ loveliness.

This reliquary is on show in the British Museum and is said to contain the eyeball of a Jesuit Priest who was executed as a traitor for his alleged role in the Gunpowder Plot. He was hanged, drawn and quartered and his body parts were boiled before being put on display. The eye was obtained illegally and kept as a relic.

This reliquary is on show in the British Museum and is said to contain the eyeball of a Jesuit Priest who was executed as a traitor for his alleged role in the Gunpowder Plot. He was hanged, drawn and quartered and his body parts were boiled before being put on display. The eye was obtained illegally and kept as a relic.

  • Sedburgh: Saturday, November 2, 2013
  • Hawkshead: Saturday, November 2, 2013
  • Carlisle Fireshow 2013: Saturday, November 2, 2013
  • Kirkby Lonsdale: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
  • Kendal Castle: Tuesday, November 5, 2013

More than 400 years after the failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords, the legacy of the Gunpowder plotters still resonates with us in the form of bonfire night celebrations and fireworks. In fact, Guy Fawkes has experienced a resurgence in recent years, with the Occupy Movement using a depiction of his face – drawn from the dystopian thriller V for Vendetta – on masks during protests at Wall Street and other locations around the world.

Some people may be uncomfortable with the notion of burning human effigies in the 21st Century, while others jokingly profess sympathetic leanings towards the whole notion of blowing up Parliament. But whatever the root of the centuries-old Bonfire Night celebrations, the fifth of November is still firmly entrenched in our cultural calendar as a night of fireworks, bonfires, hot drinks and hearty autumnal food.

Perhaps it is simply because we all love a good party? Or maybe it is because lighting up the sky for one night is a good way to keep the prospect of darker evenings and the cold winter months at bay, however fleetingly…

November 5 falls on a Monday night this year, so most celebrations take place on the preceding weekend. Here’s a few of the best – some may be a bit of a drive away, but are still worth the visit.

Fireworks 2012

There’s a large choice of firework displays near Waitby School

In County Durham on Friday, November 2, the Barnard Castle fireworks take place at upper Demesnes from 18:30. Or for something different on the following night, you could look at the Wensleydale Railway, which runs one of the longest operational heritage lines in the UK. On Saturday, November 3, it is running the Bonfire Express, to Bedale Bonfire and back. It is a bit of a way to get to the stations of Redmire or Leyburn to catch the train, but once on board, there’s a buffet serving tea, along with two draught ales from County Town Brewery and mulled wine.

Slightly closer to home, Sedbergh is also holding its annual bonfire and fireworks display on November 3. The gate opens at 18:00, the bonfire is lit at 19:00 and the fireworks start at 19:30. There will be games, food, a pumpkin and turnip lantern competition and drinks. Adults cost £3, children under 16 are free.

If you want to head to the Lakes on the Saturday, Hawkshead is holding its traditional community Guy Fawkes Night on the village’s recreation ground from 18:00. The organisers say: “There’ll be snacks and entertainment, and a good night out for all the family is guaranteed.”

But probably the biggest event in the area on Saturday night is the Carlisle Fireshow 2012. Dubbed the Great British Bonfire, organisers say it has been listed by The Times as one of the top ten bonfires and fireworks display in the country. This event can attract up to 35,000 people to see the themed bonfire and spectacular hour-long pyrotechnic display.

The Fireshow takes place at Bitts Park, Carlisle and admission is free, though donations for local charities are collected. Entertainment starts at 18:30 and the bonfire is lit at 19:00.

Finally, we have two events on Guy Fawkes Night itself. Kendal Castle is the venue for the annual Round Table Fireworks Display, which starts at 19:30 on the Castle Grove side of the castle. There is no admission charge, but collectors will be passing round a bucket for donations to fund next year’s event.

And last, but not least, Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council is organising a bonfire at Kirby Lonsdale Rugby Club on November 5. The bonfire will be lit at 19:00 and the fireworks start at 19:30. Hot food will be available and admission costs are £4 for adults, £2 for under 10s.

Dress up warm!

 

 

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