So, Bonfire Night is over for another year. The pictures are of our village bonfire, held on farmland away from property and away from the road. In two of the pictures the tape keeping the spectators many yards away from the fire is visible. The firework display was spectacular and properly organised. An entrance ticket, food and drink could be purchased and, in case of accidents, the event was insured. I am sure that in all respects the arrangements conformed with the 18 recommendations of the Government’s Health and Safety Executive directive.
But, for me, these occasions are tinged with a degree of regret. I fear that in the rush to ensure safety we are denying youngsters the opportunity to be directly involved and enjoy the excitement of participation – to collect the material for the fire, to make a Guy Fawkes and tout it round the street to raise the pennies to buy fireworks, to experience the taste of burnt jacket potatoes or roast chestnuts. It has now become a spectator event at which young and old pay to watch and have no feeling of ownership and achievement.