For Fantasy Bob 5 November was always Guy Fawkes and he never knew it as Bonfire Night - largely because his family never bothered with the bonfire, they just got straight to the good sparkly whizzy part of the evening. Fantasy Bob well remembers lighting Roman Candles or Mount Vesuvius and scampering across the wet grass of the back garden to a place of refuge. He was entrusted with the solemn duty of letting off the selection box of Standard squibs from the age of 2 onwards. For Standard Fireworks dominated the market at that time and their products were Yorkshire made. Now there is no UK production, and while Standard is still a significant name in the market it no more than a brand name for the Chinese Black Cat company.
|Fawkes being arrested -|
There is no indication that Fawkes played cricket - it would have been remarkable if he had, given that he died 5 years before the first record of the game being played as an adult sport. But he is described as tall and powerfully built and being a Yorkshire man (like Standard fireworks) he might well have had something to offer the game, perhaps in the Sidebottom mould. But it was not to be - he travelled to Spain and fought on their side in the 80 Years War against the Dutch Republic. He returned to England fell among conspirators and got up to no good. Cricket could have saved him - but then we wouldn't have had fireworks.
|The original Penny Banger - |
must not be held in the hand
For the UK is very safety conscious on the firework front. Things are a bit different abroad. You might think that Austria is a conservative land, famous for mountains, neatness, mountains, order mellifluous music and more mountains. You might expect that such a land would exercise some discipline in the firework department. You would be wrong. Bigtime. FB has spent many New Years on the ski slopes there and the Austrians go mad with fireworks. Everyone lets them off at the same time. In the street, in the fields, from balconies. Whoosh bang whizz (in German). Rockets are held at arm's length - who needs a milk bottle? FB has seen jolly Austrians roaming the street with a blowtorch in one hand and a bag of Black Cat's best in the other. And they never had Guy Fawkes. FB is putting himself in danger again this year - but he will be packing his flak suit along with the ski gear.
|World famous Edinburgh displays|
Take care fireworks are dangerous. If you are letting any off tonight make sure pets, animals and cricketers are kept safely indoors.