Bonfire goes off with a bang . . . or a thousand bangs!
Finally, after all the preparations, the 5th arrives, with a bang! At 6 am, a huge Maroon is set off from the castle – this is a massive explosion, which shakes the town and signifies the start of bonfire. It is followed by the early-riser bonfire boys setting off rookies and firecrackers.
The atmosphere build-up goes on through the day – people arriving, shops being boarded up, and the non-stop rookies being ignited around the town.
Day turns into night and what a fantastic night! The weather held up too: bright, crisp, dry and even the wind was blowing the best way to take the smoke away to the south.
South Street processions start with the children's one and the igniting of the kids’ street piece, which needlessly to say, also went with a bang. Following these, there were several adult (and kids) processions, which are always well-organised and professional. The kids looked great – we have the best costumes and the nicest smugglers! The night culminates in the final procession where anything goes – rookies, huge firecrackers and lots of flares.
Our visiting German Mayor and entourage thoroughly enjoyed themselves, especially the guided tour by our Chairman Steve Newman of the firesite during the day. They were then based at the Town Hall for the evening. I trigged a flare for them, as promised, outside the Town Hall front door, which I think went down well.
Eventually, to our firesite for the bonfire and the burning and blowing up of our tableaux. The Pope went with a huge bang! After that, there were fantastic fireworks!
Eventually, getting home relatively early for us at 1:30am, we were tired, a little deaf and smelling of smoke but elated. A fab night and I can't wait till next year.