Accompanied by the sound of damp squibs fizzling out in the Manchester mist, I’ve been sitting at the computer having a look around at some of the organised bonfires available this weekend for your park visiting pleasure. Of course, I can’t possibly bring you a comprehensive national guide, but I’ve collected together a few of the ones that caught my eye.
My absolute favourite is the bonfire extravaganza on SAT 7TH at Brockham Village Green in Surrey. Not ones to forget the origins of Bonfire Night, the residents will be parading through the village with an effigy of Guy Fawkes, which will then be dragged up the 50 foot bonfire by a Red Devil. And just in case you were worrying that it’s the actual devil, the website gently explains that this will, in fact, be a young girl in a red catsuit with an attached tail. There will also be fireworks, a pigroast and lots of joining and spectating from other local villages.
If you are in the East Midlands on SAT 7TH, you could give the bonfire at Abbey Park in Leicester a whirl. The festivities involve laser jugglers, flame acts and Professor Crump, a “hilarious 8 foot traditional clown.” Hilarious or terrifying, attend and find out! If that doesn’t sound like your thing, there will also be music form local bands and dancers and appearances from Fireman Sam. Sounds like a genuine attempt to provide something for everyone.
Over in the West Midlands is the place I would be if I could on SAT 7TH. I can’t wait for CJ to be old enough for me to take her to Himley Park bonfire, near Kingswinford. It’s close enough to my childhood home of Wall Heath that we used to walk there, about 1 1/2 miles each way, to avoid parking mayhem. The website gives details of special buses from various points, put on for the same purpose. I’d forgotten how the bonfire at Himley always has some kind of crazy theme, where they try to outdo the previous year. This time it’s Rockets and Moonlandings or something. No doubt it will be spectacular, but I don’t really remember any of that from my youth, I just remember a big bonfire, great firework displays and a big fair all in a lovely park. And quite often a lot of mud.
If you’re after a bonfire in the Manchester and Salford area – well, alot of them are actually taking place tonight, the 5th, rather than waiting for the weekend. However, there’ll be a bonfire at Princes Park in Irlam on FRIDAY 6TH.
Wherever you are, stay safe!