London Diary – Brockham Bonfire and Fireworks


Thank you Kelly Withers who put together a list for me before I moved and she urged, “You must go to a Guy Fawkes celebration”. Thank you Paula Morrison, and you Caroline Day, for the recommendation to Brockham. Thank goodness the heavy rain stopped in time. Guy Fawkes’ night at Brockham was a blast, literally.

We went earlier to explore the village a bit. Early enough to get to park at the closest car park at the sport field where there was a rugby game going on.

For a village Brockham seems big. The village green is roughly the size of a football field and surrounded by a church, two pubs, village hall and cottages and big houses.

In the center of the village green, the bonfire was 26 feet tall, was started in Sep. Once lit, it would burn through next week. The pig roast was set next to the auction stand.

We ate pork roll, then sausage, bacon, with beer, and hot chocolate later.

We joined the procession/parade as many others did in the dark. There was not one single street light through out the village but torches were handed out to some of us.

Back to the village green after the 1hr procession, the thin crowd had miraculously grew at least a hundred fold, the field was packed like a sardine can.

A long line of torches marched towards the bonfire cutting through the crowds and subsequently surrounded it. The bonfire started with a colossal flume of smoke, as the smoke shrank, the flame grew and grew, until it was roaring with fire and eventually reached the top where the effigy of Guy Fawkes, an elaborate production, was set. Some guy was yelling, “Burn him”.

The MC from his command center, a tall stand outside the village hall, goaded the crowds to cheer/shout/make noises, lest the fireworks won’t come out. The crowds must have done a good job, fireworks blew out with a boom. The next 30 minutes the crowds were feasted to explosion after explosion of fireworks. It was the most spectacular fireworks display that I had seen for a long time. The Brits surely know how to do their fireworks, among other things.

Through out the fireworks display, the MC continued to announce greetings and messages between loved ones. The last one, a marriage proposal!

Some started to leave after fireworks, many gathered around the food stalls and pubs. We watched the pig auction. The auctioneer told pig jokes until it was ready to auction off the pig, that had been roasted for more than 12 hours, piece by piece. Some pieces were more sought after and hence pricier than the others. It was a lively event, hilarious to watch. And a good course, all proceeds goes to charity.

What a night!

Nov 7, 2015


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