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27th October 2014
You can almost smell it in the air – the sulphurous whiff of fireworks mingling with the unmistakeable aroma of sticky toffee apples.
The clocks have gone back, the evenings are drawing in and all over the Forest fireworks are being piled up ready for the displays.
This year November 5 is a Wednesday, which means that for the truly keen it will be possible to see three, or possibly even four different firework displays. Some are choosing the Saturday before, some will be on the night and some are opting for the Saturday after. Take your pick.
As always the displays will be busy – most of us much prefer the excitement, and relative safety, of a big display to going it alone in the back garden with a couple of rockets and a jam jar.
An extraordinary 409 years after the gunpowder plot that sparked (I know) the whole thing off, Bonfire Night is as popular as ever. So what did actually happen on that fateful night? We all know about Guy Fawkes, the hapless plotter who wanted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and who got caught in the crypt beneath Westminster and met a grisly end on the scaffold. But how many of us know that he was just one among 13 Catholic plotters determined to kill the Protestant king James 1 in 1605, and far from being the leader of the gang, he joined well after the plot was devised. He just had the misfortune to be in charge of the gunpowder and to be the first to get caught.
The plot did not succeed, but it was so audacious, and the potential damage to the nation so huge, that every year we still celebrate the night it was foiled.
So build up the bonfires, roll out the guys and enjoy those stunning displays – remembering to stay safe, of course, and to keep small children and pets out of harm’s way.