Saturday, 7 November 2015

Watching the fireworks in the garden of Lausanne Road

We didn’t do fireworks in Lausanne Road.

By which I mean those spectacular noisy and awesome displays which light the night and create sounds which roll across the sky.

Ours were more modest consisting of that assortment in a box from the newsagents which included a couple of Catherine wheels, a Roman candle and three rockets.

Each was let off separately with an interval in between while dad arranged the firework, set the fuse and duly retired.

And then before or after came the sparklers.

It all lasted a brief time but was magic for all of that and I suspect this was the experience shared by most of us back in the mid 1950s.

I can’t remember we had that many and there was a time when I was content to watch the displays put on by others through our back kitchen window.

What you couldn’t escape was the smell from the fires which hung around until the morning along with that fuzziness which blurred the buildings across from the garden.

The walk to school the following morning offered up shed loads of rocket sticks which littered the streets.

Years later and hundreds of miles from Lausanne Road I repeated the exercise with my own kids but quickly accepted that our box of fireworks could never compete with the Corporation displays in the local park which had the added bonus of being free.

And that has reminded me of that yearly ritual of collecting pennies for the guy.

Now I never did it very well, partly because I lacked the discipline or skill to produce a decent looking guy and because we always seemed to spend the money on sweets.

Mother was never impressed with the activity judging it to be nothing more than “begging” which of course I suppose it was.

It seemed to linger on into the 1970s but sometime after that just disappeared and I have never really known why.

Perhaps it has something to do with Halloween which has taken over as the yearly event which involves kids or perhaps fireworks are just too expensive.

That said the trick or treat visits have themselves become a rarity superseded by parties.

So for the last two years no one has knocked the door and the pile of sweets have sat on the pew in the hall and eventually have just been eaten by the family.

All a long way from the back garden of Lausanne Road in early November

Pictures; fire display over the Horse and Jockey November 2015 courtesy of Dave Kennedy

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