November 5th - Bonfire Night.

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Guy Fawkes

   November 5th is known as "Guy Fawkes Night", and all over Britain people fire off fireworks, light bonfires to mark the day of the "Gunpowder Plot".

About Guy Fawkes..

        Guy Fawkes was an Englishman who, in popular legend, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament with barrels of gunpowder. He was caught, tortured, imprisoned, and finally executed. Guy Fawkes was a co-conspirator in the "Gunpowder Plot" of 1605 in England. He and his followers decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, and succeeded in smuggling several barrels of gunpowder into the basement. The plot was foiled at the eleventh hour; some of the plotters escaped, some turned King's Evidence and reported on the rest.


     The men bought a house next door to the parliament. The house had a cellar which went under the parliament building. They planned to put gunpowder under the house and blow up the parliament with king James I and the King's leaders in it .

    The king and his leaders were to meet on November 5, so that gave then just what they wanted (all under one roof )..

    Guy Fawkes was given the job to keep watch over the barrels of gunpowder and to light the fuse, but he was discovered before he could blow up the Parliament. Guy Fawkes was put in prison and tortured until he told them the names of all the people involved in the Gunpowder Plot.. and thats the story in brief about the Gunpowder plot .




Safety tips for Bonfire Night..
   If you're not going to an ORGANISED FIREWORKS DISPLAY this year be sure to follow these important safety tips and have a great time: Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
. Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
. Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
.Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
. Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.
. Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or a fire.
. Never smoke or have a naked flames near unlit fireworks.
. Always keep fireworks in a safe and dry place.. Eg; Tin, Home, Shed etc.

    Fireworks should be used only with extreme caution. Children should not be allowed to play with fireworks.


Bonfire Night Recipes
Baked Potatoes

No Bonfire Night party is complete without these! It is important that the potatoes are cooked right through. For fillings, try experimenting with different butters, such as garlic, herb, chive or ketchup butter. Alternatively, split open the cooked potatoes and add some grated cheese or chopped onion. Serves 12.

INGREDIENTS: Potatoes - large, Sea salt. 

1. Scrub the potatoes and make a zigzag split down one side. While they are still wet dip each cut side in sea salt. Wrap potato in foil, making sure that the join is over the cut side.
2. Cook the potatoes in a pre-heated oven for half an hour at 220C / 425F / Gas 7, and then place them in the hot coals at the base of the fire to finish cooking for about 1 hour.
3.When completely cooked, open the foil and gently squeeze the potato until it opens up. Serve
with butter.


2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup sugar (optional)
1 cup oats
1 cup milk
1/3 cup margarine
1 cup Golden syrup

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and ginger as well as sugar if desired. Soak oats in milk for 1/2 hour. Melt margarine and add syrup. Combine wet ingredients and add to dry. Pour into a 9" x 11" pan and bake on 325F for 45 minutes or until the sides start leaving the sides.

Hot Spicy Cider

2 pint (1.2L) medium dry cider
4oz (110g) soft brown sugar
12 whole cloves
4 sticks of cinnamon
8 whole allspice
1 apple, thinly sliced
6 dried apricots, thinly sliced

1. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Strain the cider into tumblers and serve.


Date and Malt Flapjacks

Serves 4


5oz / 150g margarine

4oz / 100g malt

8oz / 225g oats

30z / 75g dates, finely chopped

pinch of salt




Melt the margarine and malt in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the oats dates and salt.

Grease a 7inch square baking tin, press the mixture evenly into the tin and bake at 190`C/370`F/gas mark 5.

Cut into small squares while warm but leave until cool before removing from tin.

Toffee Apples

6 apples
6 wooden sticks (lolly sticks)
225g/8oz granulated sugar
110ml or 4fl oz water
30g/1oz butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
Optional...4 tbsp mixed nuts, finely chopped


1. Push the wooden sticks halfway into the apples at the stalk end.
2. Put the sugar and water in a thick-bottomed pan and dissolve the sugar over a gentle heat.
3. Add the butter and syrup and bring to the boil. Boil without stirring until the toffee reaches the soft-crack stage or 290C - measure this on the sugar thermometer.
4. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the nuts.
5. Dip each apple into the toffee, one by one. Make sure each apple is well coated and leave to harden on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Treacle toffee

450g (1lb) Soft Brown Sugar
225g (8oz) Black Treacle
110g (4oz) Unsalted Butter
2 tbsp Water
1 tbsp White Vinegar

   Place the butter, water and vinegar into a heavy bottomed saucepan; heat gently until the butter has melted. Add the sugar and black treacle, allow to fully dissolve, this takes about 20 minutes. Boil the mixture to a temperature of 138C (280F). Remove from the heat, allow the bubble to decrease. Pour the mixture into a well-oiled 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tin. When the mixture has cooled a little mark the surface into squares with a knife. When cold break into squares, wrap in cellophane and store in an airtight container.




    Preparations for Bonfire Night celebrations include children making a dummy of Guy Fawkes, which is called "the Guy". Some children even keep up an old tradition by walking in the streets and carrying "the Guy" they’ve just made, begging to passers by for a penny for the Guy. The children use the money to buy fireworks for the evening festivities.

   On the night itself, a guy is placed on the top of the bonfire, which is then set alight; and fireworks displays fill the sky.

   The extent of the celebrations and the size of the bonfires vary from one community to the next. Lewes, in the South East of England, is famous for its Bonfire Night festivities and consistently attracts thousands of people each year to participate.

   Bonfire Night is not only celebrated in Britain. The tradition crossed the oceans and established itself in the British colonies during the centuries. It was actively celebrated in New England as "Pope Day" as late as the 18th century.



   The Chinese began experimenting with the gunpowder filled tubes. At some point, they attached bamboo tubes to arrows and launched them with bows. Soon they discovered that these gunpowder tubes could launch themselves just by the power produced from the escaping gas. The true rocket was born.

    The date reporting the first use of true rockets was in 1232. At this time, the Chinese and the Mongols were at war with each other. During the battle of Kai-Keng, the Chinese repelled the Mongol invaders by a barrage of "arrows of flying fire." These fire-arrows were a simple form of a solid-propellant rocket. A tube, capped at one end, contained gunpowder. The other end was left open and the tube was attached to a long stick. When the powder was ignited, the rapid burning of the powder produced fire, smoke, and gas that escaped out the open end and produced a thrust. The stick acted as a simple guidance system that kept the rocket headed in one general direction as it flew through the air.


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