Lawlessly Yours: Raw deal for poor old Guido Fawkes!

Bill Lawless
Bill Lawless

Bangs really ain’t what they used to be.

And it won’t be long now before the last rip will have rapped and poor old Guido Fawkes will have his arse burned to a crisp for the umpteenth time since 1605.

I have always thought that the man had a raw deal.

His plan to blow up the House of Commons and all within was perfectly understandable, indeed admirable and it was the swine who shopped him who should have been hung, drawn and slaughtered. Meanwhile, the dread hand of ‘elf and bleedin’ safety has strangled much of the fun out of the occasion.

No longer can kids run down back alleys and drop penny bangers in all the dustbins and fire sixpenny rockets towards the enemy –that is anyone in big detached houses. We had class warfare as well.

These days official bonfire celebrations are likely to be run by officials wearing flameproof gloves, goggles and ex-army body armour. They’d be quite safe on patrol in Helman Province with all that kit on, never mind the council rec.

Kids of my generation in what is now Greater Manchester had to wait until November, 1945, to celebrate.

Meanwhile, there were many war-driven pyrotechnics and explosions to keep us boiling with excitement.

I will never forget creeping out of our bomb shelter one night to have a pee and saw a bomber illuminated by searchlights blow-up in a huge explosion over central Manchester. That sight produced an involuntary pee in my jim-jams.

We were veterans of bangs in the early 1940s. And I mean really noisy bangs as produced by anti-aircraft batteries and 1,000lb German bombs that took down an entire terrace of back-to-backs, never mind a couple of Little Demons blowing the lid off a dustbin.

There was usually a race the morning after a raid to find lumps of shrapnel which had completely outclassed marbles and conkers as the currency of commerce at the junior end of the swappsie market. My dear old grandma hated Roman Candles as being some sort of Catholic propaganda and would have nothing to do with them.

Then someone once told her they were symbolic of saints and martyrs burning at the stake and thereafter she was an infallible source of two-bob bits to buy ‘em.

Anyway, please take care tonight and at the weekend. Have as much fun as you are allowed and do treat fireworks with respect. They’re fun, but handle ‘em with care.