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From: "Paul Richardson" <>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 1999 17:07:01 +0100
Several of my American 'cousins' have asked for more details about 'Bonfire
night' or as others call it 'Guy Fawkes' night.

It was in 1604 that several conspirators got together to blow up the Houses
of Parliament in London (both the House of Commons and Lords) - obviously
dissatisfied with the price of beer, the low social security payments of
the time and the toilet facilities at 'West Ham' football club. The
'Gunpowder plot' was hatched by Guy Fawkes and several other co
conspirators. Apparently several meetings took place including one at York
where Fawkes lived. AND, believe it or not, at Bourne in Lincolnshire my
home town - 10 miles from where I live now. The Bourne representative was a
man called Catesby (hope I've spelt that right) who held meetings at Red
Hall in Bourne.

The upshot was that on November 4th 1605, Fawkes was caught red handed
sitting uncomfortably on about 40 barrels of gunpowder in the cellars under
the Parliament houses with a large box of 'swan vesta' matches in his hand
( he was probably wondering if he'd cut the fuses long enough). He was
arrested, tortured and later hanged.    

Ever since, on November 5th, the night skies of England burn bright with
bonfires and firework displays to commemorate the gunpowder plot, some are
huge organized affairs and others small home parties like mine. Aren't we
English quaint? The trouble is a high percentage of our thatched houses are
now slated due to stray rockets landing on roofs or sparks from fires on
bonfire night. Perhaps Guy Fawkes is still alive and well !!


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