Happy Bonfire Night …. if that’s what you say. Today is the 5th November, more commonly known as Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night. It’s the day that we “celebrate” or mark the occasion when Guido Fawkes (13th April 1570 – 31st January 1606), who was born in York a few miles away, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I in 1605. At that time the Protestants ruled the country and Guido belonged to a Catholic group who planned the Gunpowder Plot. The plan was foiled and later Guido was hung, drawn and quartered. So the day is marked by bonfires being lit all over the country, with an effigy of Guy Fawkes on top, which is then accompanied with fireworks.
In Ripon we have always had a big bonfire to mark the occasion which is organised by the hard working Ripon Gunpowder Plot. It is normally held on a ticket basis with people paying on the gate or getting advanced tickets to attend the bonfire. Earlier on in the year it was decided that people may not have the funds spare to be able to come to the bonfire, and also the committee thought the businesses who would normally sponsor part of the event had enough money issues, to be spending more money for it all to go up in smoke. But when it was announced that the bonfire may have to be called off the business community came together.
It was decided that the event should be FREE to the public, and that the funding would come from sponsorship from local companies. Bronco has in previous years sponsored the Bonfire Night, so were back again to help with an increased donation. The Bonfire Night is going ahead tomorrow evening thanks to the generousity of the local businesses and it should be a great night (if the weather holds up). There will be collection buckets all around the big site for people to donate some spare money which will all go to local charities.
The event has been marred though by the harmless decision that the Guy on the bonfire was going to be Gordon Brown – not to be political as such but he is the head of Government, the same as James I was all those years ago, and in some way Gordon is responsible for the state of the UK economy. But typically a few people from Ripon have taken it upon themselves to be all “politically correct” and write letters of compliant to the organising committee. It tends to be the sort of people who are quite happy to criticise something from their armchair rather than offering support to a good cause or even helping to organise the event. So anyway, to avoid any further criticism the Committee have decided to change the Guy. At the end of the day its only some clothes stuffed with newspaper and a paper mache head so I’m not sure what all the fuss is about.
As sponsors, we get car passes and tickets to get into the Sponsors Area for some food and drink, as well as a good view of the bonfire. Most of the guys from Bronco are coming, as well as the kids, so it should be a good night. To help the committee we also designed the leaflet that is being handed out on the gate which looks great and we have the latest news and views on our Ripon Internet site.