"Remember, remember, the 5th of November". Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night in the UK, is a night dedicated to lighting fireworks and great bonfires, in remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot. The failed attempt to blow-up the British parliament and the king James the I in 1605. Guy Fawkes became the most famous of the conspirators, as it was he who was supposed to light the fuse that would blow-up the king. In the UK there has been a long tradition of children building an effigy of Guy Fawkes, before Bonfire Night, and touting the streets asking passers-by for a "Penny for the Guy!" The Guy they built would then be burned a bonfire on the night of the 5th.
The tradition has almost totally died out now. Partly due to the side-lining of Bonfire Night for the Americanised Halloween tradition of Trick or Treating, and partly due to health and safety issues of children being involved with and closely associated with fire. Local authorities clamping down on communities building their own bonfires, to be replaced by sanitized municipal versions that have lost the thrill of seeing our cities in flames many of us old enough to remember hark for still. So we have seen the sad decline of scruffy little street urchins pushing an effigy of Guy in a baby's pram, made from their dad's only clothes, stuffed with their mum's laddered stockings and newspaper. Begging anyone who would listen for a "penny" that they could later spent of fireworks and bags of sweets. Connecting with their pagan roots and questioning authority, in a reminder of a key event in Britain's political history. A lost element of our cultural landscape and a sadly missed traditional example of outsider art.