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Happy Guy Fawkes Night! Don’t burn anybody I wouldn’t burn…


I mentioned a while back that Sussex makes a Very Big Deal out of Bonfire Night, holding parades and fireworks and bonfires in one village or another most weekends between late September and late November.

Well, tonight — November 5 — is the real Guy Fawkes Night. By Sussex tradition, Lewes holds this one, the biggest one. That’s because Mary Tudor burned 17 Protestants in Lewes High Street while she was on the throne, so they kind of earned the right to a party. Yeah. It’s a whole sectarian thing.

Lewes has been trying to put people off recently. It’s getting big and out of hand, with Londoners coming down and all. So instead we went to one in the ancient tiny village of Icklesham tonight.

And a damn fine firework display they put on, too. They charge £3 a head and put it all toward next year’s fireworks. And they roast a pig (a heartbroken Uncle B was put off by the queue) and serve booze and dance about in ancient costumes and bang drums and burn a honking great huge pile of wood pallets with a Guy on.

You know, the nannies have been trying to shut this thing down for years. The fires and the crowds are both very big and very dangerous. Some bonfire societies drag their explosives through town carrying torches(!). Some Guys are rigged with dynamite(!). Some of the fireworks are homemade(!).

There was a sign saying “no sparklers — they will be confiscated!” under which a group of drunk people were happily waving sparklers. There’s lots of booze involved. This afternoon, we bought a whole big box of fireworks (for our own personal bonfire night) in the grocery store.

I wouldn’t count these people out just yet.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 5, 2009, 7:34 pm

Icklesham just burns a plain old Guy Fawkes, but many of the villages burn a different effigy every year, the identity of which is a closely guarded secret until the night. The ones from Lewes are great.

This year: fatcat bankers.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 5, 2009, 7:38 pm

Just for a reference, that lovely ol’ bonfire is about 20′ tall. The angle I took the pic at makes it look a lot smaller.

Went up a treat, it did 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 5, 2009, 7:50 pm

A couple bigger and in color: the guy and the remains of the fire.

Comment from BuckNutty
Time: November 5, 2009, 7:51 pm

Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Burning

Comment from Nicole
Time: November 5, 2009, 8:14 pm

The remains of the fire picture is really cool. Very creepy.

Comment from Allen
Time: November 5, 2009, 9:00 pm

I make my own fireworks, well sort of. They’re actually small rockets (3″ dia.) with large payloads so they don’t go so high. We head out to Cuddeback Dry Lake and woosh! Boom! Yeah!

Want the propellant recipe?

Ammonium Perchlorate
Flaked Aluminum

Best not say much else though they might think I’m a Guy or somethin’.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: November 5, 2009, 10:32 pm

Excuse me sir! Your ass is on fire!!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 6, 2009, 10:16 am


Just sayin’.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: November 6, 2009, 12:02 pm

Linda Chavez says this is his My Pet Goat moment. Of course, in a rational world it would be, but the MSM carries so much water for him it will be down the memory hole by now. All we can hope for is that a little bit of the sense of how inept and tin-eared he is seeps out, and adds to the general impression of him as an intellectually-challenged, thin-skinned, preening narcissist.

Comment from iamfelix
Time: November 6, 2009, 2:38 pm

Just sayin’.

Disgusting. As usual.

Comment from James
Time: November 6, 2009, 5:12 pm

Eldest Daughter, having uncovered some leftover fireworks from the 4th, decided (quite rightly) that any celebration that involved letting off fireworks was an appropriate one for Americans(*). A small Guy was duly annihilated by cone fountains and flashers last night.

(*)From _1066 and All That_: “James was always repeating ‘No Bishop, No King’, to himself, and one day a certain loyal citizen called Sir Guyfawkes, a very active and conscientious man, overheard him, and thought it was the new slogan of James’s new policy. So he decided to carry it out at once and made a very loyal plan to blow up the King and the bishops and everybody else in Parliament assembled, with gunpowder. Although the plan failed, attempts are made every year on St. Guyfawkes’ Day to remind the Parliament that it would have been a Good Thing.”

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