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Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

Yup, it’s that time of the year again….Bonfire night!  aka ‘Guy Fawkes’ night.   Guy Fawkes; infamous for attempting to assassinate King James I. All round about the UK this event (or non event) is celebrated/commemorated with Fireworks,

fireworks for November 5th

burning effigies,

effigies

and lovely brightly flaming bonfires!!

bonfire night

the sound and smell of autumn and the commemoration of an event that happened (or didn’t) 405 years ago!!  talk about keeping yourself in the news!! Even Katie Price has nothing on this guy! excuse the pun! 🙂

Guy Fawkes - still in the news even after 405 years!

Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606),born in 1570 in Stonegate, York, the second of four children born to Edward Fawkes, and his wife, Edith.

aka Guido Fawkes, the name he adopted while fighting for the Spanish in the Low Countries
Guy Fawkes belonged to a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605
Fawkes was born and educated in York.    His father died when Fawkes was eight years old
His mother then married a recusant Catholic and Fawkes later converted to Catholicism
Left for the continent; fought in the Eighty Years’ War on the side of Catholic Spain against Protestant Dutch reformators
Travelled to Spain to seek support for a Catholic rebellion in England; unsuccessful.   Later met Thomas Wintour, with whom he returned to England
Wintour introduced Fawkes to Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne
The plotters secured the lease to an undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of the gunpowder they stockpiled there
Prompted by the receipt of an anonymous letter, the authorities searched Westminster Palace during the early hours of 5 November, and found Fawkes guarding the explosives
Incarcerated in the Tower of London,

Tower of London - Traitors Gate

 over the next few days, he was questioned and tortured, and eventually broke

implements of toture at the Tower - the rack and manacles

Immediately before his execution on 31 January, Fawkes jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, thus avoiding the agony of the drawing and quartering that followed
Fawkes became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, which has been commemorated in England since 5 November 1605
His effigy is burned on a bonfire, often accompanied by a firework display.

And with the fun and fireworks comes the dangers associated with fire.  Of course this year the Fire Brigade have chosen this weekend to air their grievances with a strike that starts on Friday 5th thru to Sunday 7th November.

Here is some advice to keep you safe:

use a taper to light fireworks and stand well back

once fireworks are lit, dont go back!

if you are building a bonfire, keep it clear of buildings, fences, barns, garden sheds, foliage and flammable liquids

never ever use flammable liquids to light the fire!! they are explosive and can cause massive injuries, even death

be sure to keep your bonfire under control and never leave it alone and untended

keep children at a safe distance and dont leave them unattended.

keep a bucket of water handy to douse any escaping flames or sparklers and use said water to douse the embers once the bonfire has burned down.

Bonfire night is a wonderful excuse to don those winter coats, scarves and hats and head off to the professional events that are held country wide! have a great time and be fire-wise!!! Here is a site with Bonfire Safety Advice…take a look, it’s worth the time spent.

wish you all a great time and enjoy the firework displays if you get to go!!

thanks to: edinburgh-inspiringcapital.com; chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com and telegraph.co.uk for the pic off google images

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What do you get when you mix Tradition, Pomp and Ceremony, a Queen, Princes, Princesses, Royal Artilleries, Horses, crowds of cheering people, and Red Arrows?

Trooping the Colour!

Troops marching by in Colour

The Sovereign’s official birthday is marked with a colourful mix of military bands,

Military Bands

precision marching, some 20,000 well-wishers, top hats and tails, flags and planes and a 41-gun salute, to create an exciting day of Pomp and Pagentry marking a tradition that goes back more than 4 centuries.

The event is an enactment of the traditional preparations for battle when the “colours”, or flags were “trooped” down the ranks so they would be recognised by the soldiers.   This year’s celebration, marking her Majesty’s 84th birthday, saw the colour being paraded by the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

This was the 58th ceremony at which the Queen has presided.    Looking radiant and dressed prettily in lilac with a flambouyant matching hat, sitting in Queen Victoria’s 1842 ivory-mounted phaeton drawn by a pair of horses, with Prince Philip at her side, she rode daintily down The Mall.

one of the carriages being driven to the Palace before the event

Queen Victoria's 1842 paheton drawn by two greys, on their way to the Palace to collect Queen Elizabeth II

Preceded by first Prince William and The Duchess of Cornwall in a carriage, then Prince Andrew with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie in a second carriage, she was accompanied by the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Kent and the Princess Royal on horseback.

The Royal Standard flew colourfully and cheerfully above the Palace, while below, the streets were cleared of traffic and detritus in preparation for the Queen’s appearance.

The Royal Standard flapping jauntily above Buckingham Palace

The day began at 10am with slightly overcast skies and proceeded with Military precision till the fly-past at 1.30pm.   The British Military are renowned for their detail and each carefully choreographed display never missed a beat.

The enthusiasm of the crowds in front of Buckingham Palace, along The Mall and inside the Whitehall parade grounds was visibly palpable.  A ripple of excitement swept through the crowds that had gathered, standing 10 deep, when the first of the Regiments made their appearance. 

standing 10 deep

The Military Bands; 400 musicians, splendid in their colours of either red and black or black and gold, accessorised with enough bling to put any self-respecting Pop Star to shame, played a medley of military tunes and of course “God Save our Queen”.

all the Queen's horses and all the Queen's men...covered in bling!

The Troops; the different Regiments marked by their own particular colours and uniforms, marched past in snaking lines of Red, Black and Gold, boots shining, arms swinging jauntily in tandem as they made their way past the Palace to Horse Guards Parade.

snaking line of marching troops

The crowds watched in awe as the field guns, drawn by matching teams of horses rode past,

gun-carriages drawn by carefully matched horses

and in admiration as wave after wave of colour swept along The Mall.

Once the Colour was trooped, the Guards in their poppy red tunics and well-brushed bearskin hats filled the arena with a display of precision marching, after which the Royal family then returned to the Palace, stepping out en-mass onto the balcony to welcome back the Queen and Prince Philip.

After riding out along the route of cheering citizens come from all corners of the earth,

they come from all corners of the earth

the Queen returned to the Palace

Queen Elizabeth looking radiant returning to the Palace

and within minutes stepped onto the balcony to an enthusiastic wave of clapping, cheering and vigorous flag-waving! 

waving flags and cheering crowds greet Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip as they step onto the balcony

We were then treated to a Royal Air Force fly past, featuring the old stalwarts of World War II – the Spitfire II and Hurricane, as well as  fighter-jets and the Red Arrows which left a stream of blue, red and white plumes across the sky in their wake.

The Red Arrows - a plume of red, white and blue behind them

On the balcony the Queen waved enthusiastically, encouraged by the cheers of the crowd below.

And then….it was all over.  The crowds milled about, not sure what to do with themselves after all the preceeding excitment, and slowly but surely they slipped away to spend the rest of the day enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of London.

milling about after the excitement

I strolled into Green Park for a bit of rest and relaxation and to have a squizz at some of the delightful little elephants, part of the Elephant Parade, that are dotted about the city for the next few weeks.

Baarsfant

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