Nostalgia: fireworks

0
Have your say

IT is that time of year again. With every whizz, bang and explosion of colour in the night sky the smiles on the faces of youngsters say it all.

Petrified pets may run for cover as Bonfire Night hits the city, but for most people it is a time of great excitement, particularly in the run-up to the celebration when last-minute preparations are put in place.

Children are kept safe behind a chain link fence at an organised bonfire and firework show staged at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh in November 1968

Children are kept safe behind a chain link fence at an organised bonfire and firework show staged at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh in November 1968

Such was the case for city sisters Joan and Donna Pattie, pictured in 1967 armed with a huge box of fireworks ahead of their family’s November 5 display.

The light in the little girls’ eyes could likely rival the glow from any Guy Fawkes bonfire.

For many children over the years, the idea of watching a bonfire they have lovingly created in the preceding weeks go up in flames was one of delight.

One picture of youngsters in Dumbiedykes in 1956 would likely fill any modern-day health and safety enthusiast with horror. Watching their creation go on fire – just yards in front of them – would probably have been one of the highlights of the year in the community.

Bonfire watched by children in Dumbiedykes - Holyrood area Edinburgh, 1956.''Guy Fawkes night.

Bonfire watched by children in Dumbiedykes - Holyrood area Edinburgh, 1956.''Guy Fawkes night.

Pieces of unwanted timber poke out of the burning pile, undoubtedly sourced by the children who would have been thrilled to have made such a structure.

Some years later in 1968, onlooking children were kept behind a chain link fence at a bonfire and fireworks display at Redford Barracks. The spectacular event was laid on by the Scots Guards and Queen’s Own Highlanders for the wives and youngsters stationed there.

Four years before, in 1964, the South-Eastern Fire Brigade announced its busiest Bonfire Night since the war. The team attended incidents at 40 fires from 6pm to midnight that year while the council removed the debris from 131 fires in the following days.

Edinburgh sisters Joan and Donna Pattie (or Pettie, writing unclear) look forward to Bonfire Night 1967 with a box of Standard fireworks.

Edinburgh sisters Joan and Donna Pattie (or Pettie, writing unclear) look forward to Bonfire Night 1967 with a box of Standard fireworks.