Please to remember
The fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason
Why gunpowder season
Should ever be forgot
Guy Fawkes - now he and his friends had a plan. Thoroughly disillusioned with their current rulers, who weren't at all friendly towards Catholics, they planned to blow up parliament with gunpowder and start again; some people might think that this plan could work well with today's politicians. In those days, the reigning sovereign attended parliament so when this plot was foiled on November 5th 1603, bonfires were lit in towns and villages to celebrate the safety of the king and became a firm tradition.
The pictures above show how it used to work; kids would build a 'guy' out of old clothes, stuffing it with newspaper, straw or suchlike and usually stand in the street pleading for 'a penny for the guy'. The pennies collected were then used to buy fireworks, which were freely available in newsagents, general stores, etc. The big bonfires were built by the children, usually, on any convenient piece of waste ground. Smaller fires would be found in someone's back garden, if big enough, or, sometimes, even in the street. There was usually keen competition to see which gang could build the biggest fire and it was not unknown for the whole thing to be stolen on November 4th.
Of course, this was in the days before 'Health and Safety' and paranoia took over; these days fireworks are hard to get and expensive so the alternative is to attend organised events which are hard to get to and expensive. And when you get there, if you live in Ilfracombe in Devon, the bonfire will be on a giant TV screen.
Britannia is to disappear from Britain's coinage. Used since the 17th century as a symbol of democracy and patriotism, it is to go and another piece of our history is swept aside.
And finally: apparently the Sweater Girl is coming back! Dig out all of those circular stitched bras from the back of the drawer, girls (or boys, if you're that way inclined). We're all going to be walking around with two dangerous missiles leading the way, sharp enough to stab a block of ice. As shoulder pads are also making a comeback, a very strange fashion picture is being conjured up by my brain ;o)