With the 5th November fast approaching, we chose 'Bonfire Night' as our theme for this week's virtual 'CST Friendship Group' session.
We asked members to come along with stories of their best ever Bonfire Night. We also asked them to wear their favourite hat and scarf, for a short time at least.
Next we asked, 'Who likes fireworks and Bonfire Night'? Who hates the noise and shuts the curtains? What are the things people like and dislike about the occasion? Next, we thought about things that remind us of Bonfire Night, these being: - Fireworks - Sparklers - Bonfire building and burning (and checking for hedgehogs!) - Bobble hats, gloves and scarves - Wellington boots - Hot dogs (frankfurters), with fried onions, tomato sauce and mustard - Roast chestnuts (game of conkers) - Chilli con carne and rice - Chilli chocolate - Toffee apples - Baked potatoes (cooked in the bonfire) - Toasted marshmallows - Garden displays - rockets in milk bottles - Organised displays - Rain (usually) - Frightened dogs (Classic FM now has a 'Pet Sounds' show to soothe nervous cats, dogs and other furry friends.) - Penny for the guy - Torches - Noise - Smell of caudite and fire smoke - Fire engines and ambulances (unfortunately!). We then thought about other occasions where fires and fireworks are part of celebrations: - New Year's Eve fireworks on the Thames, and major cities around the world - Chinese New Year - Diwali - Birthdays - Weddings - Anniversaries - 4th of July - Thanksgiving - French Bastille Day - Sporting events - Pop concerts.
EIGHT SIZZLING FACTS ABOUT FIREWORKS We read this factsheet from BBC Radio 4, by way of introduction to our session proper. "It’s that time of year when the nights draw in and the skies light up, with firework displays occurring across the country. But where and when did the pyrotechnic phenomenon begin, who buys more fireworks than anyone else in the world, and what are "dragon's eggs"? Wrap up warm, buckle up and enjoy these explosive facts to mark fireworks season. (Don’t forget to warn the cat.) 1. Fireworks originated in China around 2000 years ago The birth of fireworks can be traced back to 7th century China. But there is further evidence that primitive Chinese firecrackers date back as far as 200BC. It is thought that a Chinese cook accidentally invented gunpowder by mixing three common kitchen ingredients! Today, it is estimated that China produces around 90% of the world’s fireworks. 2. They were first used in England at a royal wedding Although fireworks were probably used in the UK from the late 13th century onwards, they didn’t become popular until at least 200 years later. The first documented use of fireworks in the UK is at the wedding of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, in 1486. The marriage marked the union of the long-sparring Yorkist and Lancastrian families, bringing peace after years of dynastic war. A suitable occasion for a pyrotechnic party! 3. There used to be a Fire Master of England It wasn’t until the reign of Queen Elizabeth I that fireworks really took off (excuse the pun) across the nation. The queen found them so thrilling that she created the position of “Fire Master of England”. As the best and most respected fireworks-maker in England, he took charge of all royal displays. 4. The bard loved a banger Shakespeare refers to fireworks in a number of his plays, suggesting that they were widely used by his lifetime. In 'Love’s Labour’s Lost' one character states, “The king would have me present the princess, sweet chuck, with some delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or antique, or firework.” 5. It’s all about flower power A shell that emits stars in a perfect circle, with the brightness growing as the circle gets bigger, is called a “chrysanthemum”. A firework that has stars that fly outward, then start to descend, is called a “peony”. And multiple breaks of small chrysanthemums is called a “bouquet”. Other exotic firework names include the “butterfly”, the “coconut palm” and “dragon's eggs” – characteristically a gold or silver breaking effect that ends in crackles or strobes. 6. A firework is behind the expression “damp squib” These days, we use the expression “damp squib” to describe a disappointing event that is not as exciting or impressive as expected. But a squib is literally a miniature explosive device, or form of firework, usually cylindrical in shape and with a paper fuse at one end, which fails to ignite if it gets wet. (The phrase is commonly misquoted as “damp squid”, but of course we all know cephalopods are big fans of water.) 7. The largest ever firework display consisted of 810,904 fireworks According to 'Guinness World Records' the biggest ever fireworks display was achieved by Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in the Philippines, who welcomed 2016 in with a record-breaking bang. The display lasted for 1 hour, 1 minute and 32.35 seconds and, sadly, it poured with rain the whole way through. 8. Disney is the largest consumer of fireworks in the world The Walt Disney Company is said to be the largest consumer of fireworks in the world. It is estimated that they spend around $50 million a year on their displays. That’s no Mickey Mouse operation!
IDIOMS ABOUT FIRE AND FIREWORKS
Next we completed the following phrases together ...
No smoke without - FIRE
Flash in the - PAN
Bang out of - ORDER
Fire in your - BELLY
Candle in the - WIND
Sky at - NIGHT
It's not rocket - SCIENCE
Light the blue touch - PAPER
Burn the candle at both - ENDS
Baptism of - FIRE
My ears are - BURNING
Fire and - BRIMSTONE
Put that in your pipe and - SMOKE IT
Out of the frying pan and into the - FIRE
All smoke and - MIRRORS
Have money burn a hole in - YOUR POCKET
Go up in - SMOKE/FLAMES
Set the world on - FIRE
Smoke like a - CHIMNEY
Pocket - ROCKET
Blaze a - TRAIL
Play with - FIRE
We continued the discussion by reading the 'Gunpowder Plot' nursery rhyme together, which is introduced early into the young minds of children throughout the United Kingdom. Remember, remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot. We see no reason Why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot! Guy Fawkes, guy, t'was his intent To blow up king and parliament. Three score barrels were laid below To prove old England's overthrow. By god's mercy he was catch'd With a darkened lantern and burning match. So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring. Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king. And what shall we do with him? Burn him!
FIREWORK SAFETY CODE We asked what ROSPA stands for? THE ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF ACCIDENTS We then filled in the gaps in the ten point Code below (see the CAPITALS for the words left out). "Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used (and remember, ALCOHOL and fireworks don't mix!). Children and young people should be supervised, and watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance. Follow these top 10 tips for a safer fireworks party:
1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes BEFORE 11PM. 2. Only buy fireworks which carry the CE (EU health and safety) mark, keep them in a CLOSED BOX and use them one at a time. 3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a TORCH if necessary. 4. Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand WELL BACK. 5. Keep naked flames, including CIGARETTES, away from fireworks. 6. Never return to a firework once it has been LIT. 7. Don't put fireworks in POCKETS and never throw them. 8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from SPECTATORS. 9. Never use paraffin or PETROL on a bonfire. 10. Make sure that the fire is OUT and surroundings are made safe before leaving.
MUSIC & PICTURE QUIZ Next we completed a 'Bonfire Night Quiz' music and picture quiz.
ROUND 1. General
1. Complete the first line of the rhyme - "Remember, remember the fifth of November..."
2. What do children ask for on Bonfire Night?
3. Which king was Guido Fawkes trying to overthrow in 'The Gunpowder Plot' in 1605?
(FACTOID: Guido Fawkes was from York.)
4. What were the gunpowder plotters trying to achieve? (FACTOID: There were 36 barrels of gunpowder!)
5. Since 1605 what is done ceremonially on each 'State Opening of The Houses of Parliament' by the 'Yeomen Of The Guard'?
6. Before lighting a bonfire, what should you check for?
7. In which country did fireworks originate 2000 years ago?
8. Which company is the biggest purchaser of fireworks in the world?
9. SONG. 'When You Wish Upon A Star', Cliff Edwards, Disney Studio Chorus - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2zzXBg3FcI
Which Disney film featured this song and which character sang it?
ROUND 2. TV & Film
10. Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub were the firemen in which town?
11. What type of mythical creature was Dumbledore's pet named Fawkes in the Harry Potter books?
12. In 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring', which character is famous for his fireworks?
13. London Fire Brigade has asked that Fireman Sam's name be changed to what and why?
14. 'London's Burning' ITV show focused on which one of four shifts?
15. Which children's author also wrote the TV mystery series 'Tales Of The Unexpected'?
16. Which 1940 movie starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine saw 'Manderley' burned to the ground by Mrs Danvers at the end?
17. Which two actors pictured here starred in the 1974 movie 'The Towering Inferno'?
18. Who starred as Ethan Hunt in the 'Mission Impossible' film series, based on the early TV show, in which recorded messages self destruct after being played?
19. Who starred in the 1965 movie 'She', which was about an immortal woman who stays young by bathing in a blue flame?
SONG. 'Eternal Flame', The Bangles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSoOFn3wQV4&list=RDuWqP7WWU62U&index=13
20. What did the 'Platters' hit 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' advertise in the 1970s? (Clue. The advert tagline started with "Boom, boom, boom, boom ...")
SONG. 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes', The Platters - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57tK6aQS_H0
ROUND 3. History
21. Which 'Maid Of Orleans' was burned at the stake in 1431?
22. Where and when did the Great Fire of London start? (FACTOID: Only six people died!)
23. Who composed the 'Music For The Royal Fireworks in 1749?
24. Which two 'unusual' (not really) musical instruments give 'The 1812 Overture' by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky extra dramatic impact? (Listen carefully, from about 11.24 of this track - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BbT0E990IQ )
(This classical piece is always played on 'The Last Night Of The Proms'.)
25. In the 1957 hit single 'Great Balls Of Fire' by Jerry Lee Lewis, what does too much love do to a man? ...
(FACTOID... Apparently 'Great Balls Of Fire' is a Southern American expression of surprise. Scarlett O'Hara says, "Great Balls of Fire! It's Rhett!" in the 1939 film 'Gone With The Wind'. However, it is thought it was included in this song for lewd reasons. Ahem!)
SONG link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_FAqr6rP4w
26. Who had the 1968 hit 'Fire' that starts with the line "I am the God of Hellfire, and I bring you Fire"?
SONG link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en1uwIzI3SE
27. In the strikes of the 1970s, which vehicles were recommissioned to serve as stand in fire engines?
28. Who was the fitness expert with the same name on GMTV?
29. SONG. 'Boom Bang A Bang', Lulu - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ew43u2gS0Y In which year did this song win the Eurovision Song Contest?
(FACTOID: Lulu's real name is Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie.)
ROUND 4. General
30. What cake is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night?
31. According to 'The Fireworks Safety Code', what time should all fireworks stop?
32. Complete the names of these vintage fireworks:
- *** Rocket - Catherine ***** - Roman ****** - Traffic ***** - Cone ******** - Jack In *** *** - Chinese ******** - Fire *******
33. In terms of accident statistics, which is the most dangerous of all common fireworks? (They burn at an extremely high heat: 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit!)
34. What do the letters 'R.O.S.P.A.' stand for (the organisation that wrote 'The Fireworks Safety Code')?
35. What is the technical name for the art of making or displaying fireworks called?
Also, which landmark is pictured here?
36. True or False. The phrase 'A Damp Squib' refers to a failed firework?
37. SONG. 'Rocket Man', Elton John - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtVBCG6ThDk
Which world leader did US President Donald Trump recently refer to as 'Little Rocket Man'?
38. SONG. 'Relight My Fire', Dan Hartman - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzB6CbM1U2g
Which boy band had a hit in the 1990s with a remake of this song?
39. 'Light My Fire', The Doors - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMCl9eOBlsY Who was the lead singer of The Doors?
40. 'Ashes To Ashes', David Bowie - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyMm4rJemtI In this song, who is a junkie?
41. SONG. 'Disco Inferno', The Tramps - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_sY2rjxq6M
Which 1977 disco dancing movie starring John Travolta did this song feature in?
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY We then tried to sing together 'London's Burning'. This song is traditionally sung in a 'Round'. One verse starts, then on the next line another group starts the same verse... And so on! London's burning, London's burning. Fetch the engines, fetch the engines. Fire fire, Fire Fire! Pour on water, pour on water. London's burning, London's burning. Fetch the engines, fetch the engines. Fire fire, Fire Fire! Pour on water, pour on water. London's burning, London's burning. Fetch the engines, fetch the engines. Fire fire, Fire Fire! Pour on water, pour on water. Pour on water, pour on water. Pour on water, pour on water. This children's nursery rhyme is also about a fire... Ladybird, ladybird fly away home, Your house is on fire and your children are gone, All except one, And her name is Ann, And she hid under the baking pan. We asked if anyone still smokes, who had given up in earlier life, did anyone vape? We asked if anyone collected cigarette coupons, or anything else for that matter (e.g. beer mats, football cards, stamps etc). We asked if anyone had collected Green Shield Stamps? And asked people to guess at which store Greenshield Stamps had transformed into? ARGOS We asked if anyone uses candles at home, during a power cut, to scent the room or provide a relaxing ambience? We asked people to state what occasions you might see candles lit? BIRTHDAYS, EASTER, CHRISTMAS (ADVENT CANDLE), HALLOWEEN (INSIDE A HOLLOWED OUT PUMPKIN) We asked, 'Which flamboyant musician always played his piano with a candelabra on top of it? LIBERACE
PRACTICAL ACTIVITY This was followed by a game of 'Sound Bingo'. We prepared ten or so different cards each with 4x5 lines of words/sounds which were played from the SOUND EFFECTS app by TMSoft. Details here: https://www.tmsoft.com/soundeffects/ Members ticked off sounds as they played, and there was a prize in store for the first person to call 'HOUSE'.
We ended our session with hot dogs, fried onions and sauces and other refreshments.
1. "... Gunpowder treason and plot."
2. "Penny For The Guy!"
3. King James 1st
4. They wanted a Catholic King on the throne
5. They search the cellars of the Houses Of Parliament for explosives
6. Hedgehogs and other animals seeking shelter
9. 'Pinocchio' / Jiminy Cricket
13. 'Firefighter Sam', in recognition of female firefighters' equal contribution
14. 'Blue Watch'
15. Roald Dahl
17. Steve McQueen and Paul Newman
18. Tom Cruise
19. Ursula Andress
20. Esso Blue
21. Joan Of Arc
22. Pudding Lane (In a bakery) on 2nd September 1666 (It lasted four days)
24. Cannons and church bells
25. "Drives a man insane"
26. 'The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown'
27. 'Green Goddess'
28. Diana Moran
32. SKY Rocket Catherine WHEEL Roman CANDLE Traffic LIGHTS Cone FOUNTAIN Jack In THE BOX Chinese LANTERN Fire CRACKERS
34. Royal Society For The Prevention Of Accidents
36. True. A squib was an early firework
37. Kim Jong Un, North Korea Dictator
38. 'Take That' (With Lulu)
39. Jim Morrison
40. Major Tom
41. 'Saturday Night Fever'