Posts tagged 'bonfire'

Fire in the hole!

Posted by on November 10th 2011 in Celebrations, In the garden

Saturday night's bonfire party here was the best yet. Over 40 guests, one magnificent "Bob" (one of Guy's relations, according to his makers), hundreds of fireworks, lashings of food and drink, and enough wood to keep the fire blazing well into the small hours and smouldering for a couple of days after. This time I had a few breaks from ignition-duties and managed to wield the camera a bit:


Bob and his Minders.



Bob's throne and dais.

The guests start to arrive.

The incineration begins.



Shaky yet colourful guests.

Sparkly things.

Sparks and flames.

Purple and blue.

Red and green.

Red and gold.

Red, white and blue.

White and gold.

You give them food, drink, shelter, seats, warmth and entertainment, and this is how they repay you.

Who wants to be a Fireman when he grows up?



Note to Self: use a wider lens next time

Posted by on November 9th 2009 in Pics, Rambling on...

For the first time in ten years we didn't invite all and sundry to our place for our traditional Pyromania in the Garden Party. We decided to have a break from the two days of food prep, the weeks of bonfire-building and the operation to clean the mud out of the house after the fun.

Instead, last night we went to the bonfire, fireworks display and carnival held at the village park. Sadly, the fee-paying public were kept at least 100 yards from the bonfire, which was a paltry affair of pallets and air compared to the vast pyre of tree-trunks that we usually have. I mean, the attraction of the bonfire is the opportunity to stand near enough to it to keep warm, isn't it? The massed launch of Chinese Lanterns was a flop, with most of them failing to reach the boundary of the display area. The fire-eaters were much to far away from the crowd, and the funfair was a minor distraction rather than the major attraction that it was billed to be. The fireworks were good, though, and the fact that the profits go to support the Royal British Legion is admirable. After much deliberation, I gave the event a rating of 5/10.

Back at base we discussed the evening and all agreed that we do a better party at home. OK, it's a lot of effort, but it's worth it.

I'll start collecting the firewood next week.


Don't forget to click the pics for much bigness.

If you're from foreign parts and haven't a clue why we Brits torch all manner of stuff at this time of year, have a look here.

Special Forces #2

Posted by on October 23rd 2008 in A bit of a rant
Tags: ,

Every year we have a bonfire party which is well-attended by family and friends. We provide lashings of food and drink (no alcohol), there's shelter with seating and background music, all we ask in return is that folk bring a few fireworks, behave safely and sensibly, and have themselves a good time. It's our only chance to entertain such large groups of people - it's a "big garden, small house" thing.

Of course, the focal point is the bonfire itself. In years past we've had substantial piles of wood to burn, mainly due to the bits that either fall from or are pruned from our large Salix babylonica. Neighbours also contribute their unwanted bits of wood, so there's usually a sufficient supply of fuel to keep the fire blazing for a few hours.

This year, it's a bit different. The party format's the same, but the bonfire could be a biggy. The reason for this is simple - we've had the tree reduced considerably (cheers, Mick, I owe you one), quite a few main branches have been lopped and all of the dead wood has been removed. Consequently, the pyre is now 12ft in diameter and 15 ft high, with another two huge piles of wood and sticks waiting in the wings for their chance to be returned to the atmosphere from whence they came. This is what the scene looks like at the moment:



Now safety is paramount - the danger area is fenced off, there are always at least three adults on duty looking after the kids, another one dispensing fireworks from a safe steel box, and two others letting them off at a safe distance. We take all reasonable precautions to minimise the risks of damage to property and injury to people, and we're as prepared as possible should any accidents happen, but we were concerned about the size and siting of the bonfire so I decided to ask for the opinion of the experts. I called the County Fire and Rescue Service. The conversation was interesting, it went something like this:

Hello, this is the Fire and Rescue Service. Can I help you?

Hello. I'd like to talk to somebody about bonfires at domestic fireworks parties, please.

I can probably help you with that, what do you want to know?

Oh, just the basic things, such as: are there any size restrictions, and are there any recommended minimum distances from outbuildings, sheds, fences, trees, hedges, boundaries and the like. We're a bit concerned that the fire that we're building might be too big.

Ah. I'll just put you through to a colleague who may be able to help.

Through I went...

Hello, I understand that you want advice about bonfires.

Yes, please. Size, positioning etc.

We don't have any guidelines for domestic bonfires. We do publish documents about firework safety, but they don't cover bonfires.

OK. I'd probably have to get somebody to come have a look then. Please could you let me have the phone number for our local Fire Safety or Fire Prevention Officer? We're only five minutes from the local fire station, hopefully the Officer can nip over here at a time to suit himself and have a quick look, it won't take more than a quarter of an hour. I'll even put the kettle on for him.

No, he won't. They don't provide a service for domestic premises.

Say again?

They won't come to your home.

But this is fire prevention and safety. Part of the job remit, I would have thought.

(awkward silence at the other end)

But they will come around when the shed's on fire, or when the neighbour's house is alight, won't they?

Oh yes.

But then it'll be too late. I'm trying to prevent that.

(awkward pause at the other end)

Sorry. Is there anything else that I can help with?

Anything else? You can't exactly help with this matter, let alone anything else. Goodbye.

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