So Bonfire night has been and gone with nothing to show for it other than scorched grass, discarded spent sparklers and the occasional rocket stick.
We went to Lindfield Bonfire which always celebrates on the 5th just as Lewes Bonfire societies do. There are some key differences between the two events however a friend summed it up well on Twitter saying, ‘Lindfield is like Lewes except there are more families and Barbour coats’ – too true.
I was staggered to hear that there had been so many injuries at Lewes and with 60,000 people it sounds as full on as it has always been. When I went I never found it enjoyable having to defend your spot on the pavement and ensure that some 15-year-old doesn’t burn you with their fag or spill their Diamond White down your trousers. I appreciate I was 15 once, but I am sure I was more respectful and less inclined to drink overtly.
(Above: why I don’t attend Lewes)
Just to be clear; I love fireworks and during my stupid years I came close to losing fingers playing inappropriately with them and got up to all sorts. The joys of blowing up bottles, dead fish and the like was brilliant, but 20 years later the draw of a wee dram and a hot dog (as well as ensuring the comfort and protect of my family) now means; I just cannot be arsed. Apparently they call it maturity…
Another friend walked up a hill near Plumpton with a few friends and enjoyed the views from all around as the various bonfire societies in the villages and small towns had their respective firework displays. A simple tarp set up with some hot chocolate and cookies is all you need. The smell and sounds of young teenagers (fag smoke combined with what must be a whole can of Lynx and bad language) is not something you have to put up with. Ideal.
I think Lindfield may have had its casulties, perhaps some damaged their pride (trying to light the wrong end of a sparkler), possibly a minor fall, and at worse someone may have suffered a bruise from balancing on a walking stick/seat combo (you know the ones!). I enjoy watching St John’s Ambulance staff taking their role incredibly seriously, keen to be on hand for anything that may require a plaster. In all seriousness without those volunteers such events would be unable to be staged, so big respect to those people who give up their time.
No doubt next year I will be back at Lindfield with my kids again buying overpriced glowing bracelets and eating hot dogs at my friend’s house opposite the common. You know what you’re going to get at Lindfield, and they never fail to deliver.