I always look back on this time of the year with a wry smile and fondness to time spent as a child getting very excited for both Halloween and Bonfire Night. But mainly for Bonfire Night. A group of us with ages ranging from 8, 9 10 up to 19 and 20 would don willies and big coats, bobble hats were optional, and we'd each grab our parents wheelbarrows. This was vital for the trawl around the estate several weeks before November 5th to gather as much garden rubbish as we could, often going door to door, to build the biggest fire in the local field. Wood, trees, bushes, cardboard, the occasional old car tyre, if it was game it was on the fire. Then on the night itself many of the parents would turn up, with mums doing the food and dads lighting the fire and the fireworks. Just fantastic memories that haven't faded. And you've shared your stories too on Tuesday's Drivetime with us;
Sarah Jones told us "we had a big bonfire in the mart field behind our house in Gowerton. All the neighbours turned out and all the dads lit the fireworks while the mums provided the hot food. It was such a lovely atmosphere". Nicky Williams remembers doing Penny for the guy outside the local pub and Nicky's brother Dean would dress him up as the guy! Adrian remembers watching the fire the night before just to make sure nobody burnt it down. Glad we didn't encounter any bonfire wars!
Louise got in touch and said "Our bonfire was in the back garden, consisting of old Chairs, wood, trees, supported by planks and all erected by my Dad. He'd get excited and always bought a large box of fireworks. Mum always cooked Jacket Spuds. Gareth's dad always brought the fireworks on the day after work. They'd have a bonfire going while Gareth's mum made hotdogs, chips and millionaire shortbread. As Gareth said, it was one of the highlights of the year
"As kids growing up in Swansea we would be eager to make money for fireworks" said Derek Davies. "Very often we would do penny for the guy. We couldn’t be bothered to make a guy so we dressed the smallest one of us which was my good friend Keith as a guy and he laid there still on the Kingsway while we pulled in the money! Happy days and yes we also used tyres on the bonfire with lots of great black smoke"!! Finally, Paul told us about growing up in Portmead in the 70s. Him and his mates would collect for their bonfire but also roam the streets to steal bonfire materials from rival gangs. They even had to put out guards to stop the bonfire from being stolen!
Some great stories, some terrific memories too. I hope your Bonfire Night is an enjoyable one but more importantly a safe one. And you don't need me to say to please please keep your pets safe and sound indoors. Our two furry ones will undoubtedly spend the night twitching waiting for the fireworks to end. Turning the box up nice and loud will go some way to keeping their minds off them.